Gers: the crazy success of pizza vending machines

the essential
For several months, pizza distributors have been growing in the city and in the countryside in the Gers, to the point of sometimes changing the profession of pizza makers.

It all started from Seissan, the real pizza capital of the Gers. And yet, the appearance of automatic pizza distributors in the department, amateurs do not owe it to food companies, but to artisan pizza makers in the village. One of them, Pascal Schmitt, set up La Dolce Vita in Seissan 15 years ago. “I had always had an activity on site, to take away.

When the Covid and its health restrictions imposed themselves, we had to find a solution… ”Pascal Schmitt graduated from the Lannemezan pizza maker school, and he has maintained friendly ties with his trainer. It was he who suggested to his former student to look at automatons. “I contacted the manufacturer, a company from Nancy, and after three months we had the machine installed in Auch, at the entrance to Tarbes. And three months later, we placed a second in Seissan! »

Growing demand

The success is overwhelming. Customers flock to pick up the fresh pizzas just baked. Sales are soaring. The Gersois eats 24 hours a day. And especially in the middle of the night. Bar or disco exit hollow for the youngest, but also practical relays for those who discover their empty fridge. “Me, I find it practical”, assures Marie, nurse, who receives her pizzas rue de Lorraine in Auch, where Pizza Gascogne has installed its distributor. “I take it when I finish late, or at the weekend, it’s the same price or almost as in the dining room. »

In front of that of the Marguerite bakery, in one of Clarac’s car parks, Florent chooses his pizza. “It’s more at night that I buy it. Once, at 3 am, even! “How did he do before? Florent never asked himself the question. “But there, I can buy it whenever I want, even at night, so I’m taking advantage of it!” »

New places, new customers

Éric Marguerite, the baker, installed the vending machine 6 months ago. “The project had existed for years, but the Covid confirmed its relevance. This machine opens up a new clientele, more nocturnal, that we could not capture during our opening hours. He also notes that the peak of activity is between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., “but we can clearly see that there are withdrawals between midnight and 5 a.m.”

Pizza machines are even found in the countryside, such as in Sainte-Christie, along the RN 21. La Bonbonnière, which manages this machine, has placed a second in Condom. “The work is totally different for us, says Pascal Schmitt. Now, we work in the morning, and no longer in the evening as before, when our schedules were more related to the rhythms of catering. On the other hand, we work 7 days a week: we have to restock the machines. “The Seissanais even stopped the indoor reception for the summer.

The distributor, the future of pizza? “Not sure, but consumption patterns have changed with the Covid, notes Pascal Schmitt. On Friday, when the room was open, people crowded on the machine…”

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