An unfortunate reality: office snacks, for the most part, suck. The lonely vending machine in the hall self-loathingly spits out the same tired granola bars, Skittles, and Mountain Dew day in and day out; if you're fortunate enough to have a shared reserve of complimentary treats, they're likely ravaged by 2 PM daily and limited to pretzels, chips, and perhaps low-grade milk chocolate. Wouldn't it be lovely if come 10:45 AM or 3:30 PM (primetime for snack pangs), there was some kind of piping-hot, savory food to be dispensed on the premises?
The Australians, as usual, have really nailed this one. A new Perth-based company called Hot Chips is seeking world domination via the French fry vending machine market, aiming to give every pitifully barren office environment or train station the opportunity to happily fatten its constituents with a heaping cup of salty, crisp fries. All of our mid-project daydreams of delightfully nutritionless fast-food can finally be realized in less time than it takes to make a proper cup of coffee.
Four prototypes of the machine—which heats and dispenses pre-fried frozen fries in a little over two minutes—are being tested in Perth and Adelaide. Hot Chips hopes that it can tinker its machines to quicken that time to two minutes flat, or even less. The machines also offer accompanying condiments, such as "chicken salt."
The Hot Chips Company teamed up with Western Australian potato processor Bendotti Exporters more than five years ago to start developing and designing the machines, which required perfecting the cooking time, temperature, and fry size. Bendotti will serve as the exclusive tater supplier for the franchise. The two companies see the vending machines as an opportunity for local potato farmers to up their business.
Hot Chips CEO Peter Malone tells ABC that that company aims to have the machines distributed throughout Australia by Christmas of this year, eventually spreading to a global market. Company director Stephen Bendotti also tells the Daily Mail Australia that 25 more machines will be manufactured next month.
While French fry vending machines already exist in a few places such as Belgium and Dubai, Hot Chips would be pioneers in commercially producing such machines on a large scale. Knowing Americans and their love of both convenience and French fries, the machines would likely thrive in the States.
Before we get to demo Hot Chips for ourselves, we can watch this relaxing video of someone ordering French fries from a machine made by Chinese manufacturer Beyondte:
Could having vending machines stocked with something so tasty lead us all into Jabba the Hutt-itude?
We'll have to watch the Aussies and see how it goes. With great power comes great responsibility.