India now has a vending machine for Biryani. Here’s everything to know about it

India now has a vending machine for Biryani. Here’s everything to know about it
  • Restaurant Bai Veetu Kalyanam (The BVK) launched a manless takeaway for biryani in Chennai, where customers can order a biryani through a kiosk.
  • The BVK is a Chennai-based restaurant launched in 2020.
  • Last year, Bengaluru-based startup Freshot introduced an “idli bot” — a vending machine dispensing piping hot idlis with chutney.
Many of us have used an ATM, at one point or another, to extract some quick cash. But imagine if you could use a vending machine to extract a meal and not packaged goods like chips, chocolate, cold drinks or water, but an actual, hot meal? Well, that’s what Chennai-based restaurant Bai Veetu Kalyanam (The BVK) is doing with manless takeaways for biryani.

On February 8, The BVK launched what it claims to be a “first-of-its-kind, unique & state-of-the-art unmanned takeaway ordering experience”. The restaurant launched four kiosks at an outlet in Kolathur, Chennai.

The kiosks have a 32-inch display touchpad screen that customers can use to place an order. The payment can be made through a card or UPI (using a QR code). Once the order is placed, a countdown timer indicates the time it will take for the meal to be prepared. Once the time is up, customers can collect their “freshly packed” order from a pop-out window.

As per the restaurant’s Instagram page, on average, a biryani order is ready in four minutes. The price starts at ₹199 for a mini chicken pack. As per food blogger Nisha who visited the outlet, “The biryani came in a metal copper container, sealed tight and was very hot! It was properly cooked and the flavour was so good and authentic.”

Currently, the restaurant has just one manless outlet with four kiosks. It plans to open 12 more in Chennai, before launching pan-India. Customers can also select accompaniments with biryani, like dessert, beverages, etc.


Tracing the history of BVK

The BVK was launched in 2020 by Faheem S. As per The Hindu, the restaurant aims to recreate the experience of a Muslim wedding. It takes care to prepare meals using fresh meat, ensuring that “the time from slaughtering to cooking is less than 4 hours, which keeps the meat tender, fresh and healthy.”

“We use daily cut meats, daily produce vegetables, classic Basmati rice and cooked in traditional coal and firewood to bring the taste of biryani the way it was meant to be made,” states the company on its website.

Apart from four types of biryani (chicken, egg, mutton and vegetable), the BVK also offers dishes like a chicken roast, idiyappam, idli, dosa, etc. as well as desserts like bread halwa, gulab jamun, payasam and beverages like coconut milk, cold drinks, etc.

Other experiments in automated food service

The BVK may be the first restaurant serving biryani through manless takeaways but they’re certainly not the first to venture into automated food service for hot meals.

Last year in October Bengaluru-based start-up Freshot Robotics set up the world’s first “idli bot” — a vending machine that dispensed piping hot idlis. As per reports, the food was available in just 55 seconds. The machine had the capacity to dispense 72 idlis in just 12 minutes. It also dispensed chutney with idli.

Similarly, in March 2022, RoboBurger was installed in Jersey City in the USA. RoboBurger is an artificially intelligent, self-operating system that builds a burger from scratch in just six minutes.

And in December 2022, fast food chain McDonald’s opened their first, mostly automated store in Texas, USA that used touchscreens and conveyor belts to deliver food — limiting human interaction.

Long before burgers and idlis though, a man from Gujarat invented a panipuri or golgappa vending machine in 2020 during the pandemic. And he made it from leftover scraps! As per Gadgets360, Bharat Prajapati, who was 33 at the time, created a machine that dispenses golgappas. Prajapati runs a mobile and electronics repair shop in Raviyana village in the state.

Apart from these ventures, Noida-based startup Daalchini is also providing home-cooked food, along with snacks and healthy bars, etc. through its network of automatic vending machines across 11 states and 23 Indian cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore. In September 2022, the startup raised $4 million.

REITs and InvITs become attractive after major taxation overhang removed
You need to link your PAN with Aadhaar by March 31: All you need to know