Noodle vending machines reopen in Shanghai
Unmanned noodle vending machines have reopened in Shanghai, having been shuttered by city authorities because of concerns about food safety and a lack of appropriate business licenses.
Noodle vending machines reopened in Shanghai on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
According to a report by thepaper.cn, the first Lu Dou Jiqiren Yidong Mianguan stores ("Stewed Bean Robot Mobile Noodle Shop") first opened in October last year. Customers can order and pay using their smartphones, and their order is served within 45 seconds. Four types of noodles are on offer at a cost of 10-16 yuan. The company says that the noodle vending machines can each make 60 to 80 serves of noodles every day, and that around 90 percent of them sell out.
But shortly after the first three noodle vending machines opened, authorities in Shanghai shut them down citing food safety and licensing issues. They reopened on Tuesday this week, the start of a chain of more than 20,000 sites that the company plans to open in 20 cities across China, with estimated annual revenue of more than six billion yuan.
The noodles sold by the noodle vending machines [Photo: Xinhua]
The company has raised more than 10 million yuan in its latest fundraising round, which will mainly be used for developing new products, and for team building and marketing activities.
Since December last year, noodle vending machines have also appeared in the United States. A joint venture established by Lu Dou and U.S.-based Yokai Express will install 600 machines in the United States over the next three years.