In April, Bloomberg reported on queues that were hundreds of people long–all maintaining social distancing rules–waiting for a twice-daily distribution of 1.5 kg of rice via an ATM in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The service has been vital for the 5 million people who have lost jobs or been furloughed as a result of the pandemic.
In Kansas City in April the owners of Jones Bar-B-Q took delivery of a vending machine that had been ordered the winter before but “couldn’t have come at a better time.” Customers can drive up, socially distanced from one another and the staff, and order one of seven items–chicken wings, turkey, rib tips and burnt ends (the crispy charred bits of brisket which are a local speciality). The machine is stocked between 5am and 10am when they come off the smoker, the pay is contactless and service is steady, providing an ideal pandemic-friendly food service for a small business.
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