Nov 21, 2022

Subway Tests "Smart Fridge" Vending Machine with Pre-Made Sandwiches

Subway looks to expand their off-site footprint with a test of a smart fridge vending machine at the University of California at San Diego since September of this year.

The smart fridge carries pre-made Subway Grab & Go sandwiches that are made daily by a nearby Subway restaurant. The smart fridge features artificial intelligence where potential customers can ask it about any of the products inside. It includes weight-sensor shelves to charge customers properly and conducts UV-C light sanitation after every purchase.

A smart fridge is basically an unattended fridge that you can access with a credit card (or a meal card) that registers what you grab out of it (either through cameras, weights, tags, etc.) and charges you accordingly. The key benefits over a traditional vending machine is that it can stock various objects of different sizes, weights, and materials without getting stuck and tends to be easier to stock.

According to Subway, "Initial feedback on the smart fridge is extremely positive, with college students enjoying the convenience and ease of being able to get a sandwich at any time of day." They're "seeing strong interest" from franchisees looking to add smart fridges to their business so it's possible they might expand the concept.

Photo via Subway.

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