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Subway Rolls Out ‘Smart’ Vending Machines for its SandwichesSubway Rolls Out ‘Smart’ Vending Machines for its Sandwiches

Fridge can talk to you and weigh your food

Deborah Yao

December 15, 2022

1 Min Read

Fast food chain Subway is rolling out smart vending machines that can ‘talk’ to customers and offer them sandwiches.

The company said its “smart fridge” features sandwiches that are made daily and stocked in the vending machine. Using AI and natural language processing, the fridge can answer questions from diners about its products.

Also, shelves with weight sensors ensure customers are charged correctly for what they ordered. The fridge also has a UV-C light for sanitation.

The first smart fridge was installed in the fall at the University of California San Diego. Subway said the initial feedback has been “extremely positive” from college students who can get sandwiches at any time of day or night.

Subway is “seeing strong interest” from its franchisees who want to use the smart fridges.

Subway actually debuted its vending machines in 2020 but these did not have AI. Called Grab & Go, franchisees prepared sandwiches for these machines placed in casinos, convenience stores, hospitals, airports and other locations. There are now more than 400 machines in North America.

The new smart fridges are fully unattended and interactive.

"There is a significant opportunity to expand our footprint in non-traditional locations and for franchisees to generate incremental revenue for their business,” said Taylor Bennett, vice president of non-traditional development at Subway, in a statement.

About the Author(s)

Deborah Yao

Editor, AI Business

Deborah Yao is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Associated Press, Amazon and the Wharton School. A graduate of Stanford University, she is a business and tech news veteran with particular expertise in finance. She loves writing stories at the intersection of AI and business.

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