Skip to main content

Foodles’ connected fridge can save you from having to leave the office for lunch

foodles connected fridge 15304337 744472699040796 4020673084728813175 o
Foodles is not the vending machine of your childhood. Rather, this new connected refrigerator dispenses not packaged junk food like chips and cookies (delicious as they may be), but instead full meals that you can purchase using either a card or, of course, your phone. The concept comes from the eponymous French startup, which sends fresh food to an office’s connected refrigerator, allowing employees to purchase heavily discounted sustenance throughout the day. It’s something of a cross between Seamless and your traditional vending machine. And in France, it could be a big hit.

Lunch delivery startups in the European country have already done quite well for themselves. In 2016, Nestor raised $1 million to bring food directly to office workers in Paris and other similar startups abound. But the idea behind Foodles is to have lunch already available at the office. While it won’t be free, it will be cheaper and more convenient than other options might be.

As it stands, a number of smaller French companies give employees meal vouchers in order to subsidize lunch. While this is great for the employee, it is not so great for cash-strapped startups. But that is where Foodles comes in. The company will charge $3,400 a month to have its smart fridge in French offices and additional fridges will set companies back $900 each. The fact that it’s a refrigerator allows companies to stock actual meals instead of just snacks, and its connected properties allow Foodles to keep the company abreast of inventory and employee preferences.

While thousands of dollars might be a hefty upfront investment, Foodles will then come every day to fill up the fridge with dozens of meals at a time. Options change every week, and the company even has daily specials and vegetarian options that can be ordered ahead. Employees will be charged less than $6 to eat from the Foodles fridge. Options include things like pasta, quiche, and of course, dessert.

Thus far, Foodles has managed to raise $2.3 million in funding and is working with a dozen or so companies. While at present, it is only operational in the Paris area, it certainly seems as though there is an opportunity for the startup to go a bit further, at least in France. Of course, such a venture may see less adoption in the tech hubs of U.S., where free lunch is almost an expected part of the job, but hey — we can’t all be so lucky.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Petcube Bites 2 Lite petcam and treat dispenser can connect you to a vet, too
The Bites 2 Lite device mounted on a wall.

Petcube’s line of smart devices has gotten an affordable update with the Petcube Bites 2 Lite, a combo pet camera and smart treat dispenser that allows owners to interact with their pets from a distance. The cam clocks in at a significantly reduced price from previous models. The Petcube Bites 2 was $190, while the Bites 2 Lite version, which is now available on Amazon, is just $125.

The pet camera features 1008p full HD video, a 160-degree viewing angle, and a night vision mode for observing pets in lowlight conditions. The 1.5-pound dispenser allows owners to release a dry, crunchy treat, with options to control how far the treat is propelled to offer more play options (the durable plastic of the Bites 2 Lite is made to be pet-proof if things get carried away). Two-way audio with a noise-canceling microphone also allows owners to communicate with their pets, while the sound and motion sensors can provide cam alerts when the owner is not present.

Read more
Now you can chat with music legends from the comfort of your couch
chat with a music legend from the comfort of your couch nile rodgers virtual interview

Nile Rodgers: Waiting for your questions ... Forever Holdings

A new kind of virtual experience could revolutionize how music stars and other famous folks interact with their fans.

Read more
If you’re after a PS5, you might have a chance to get one from Target tomorrow
Playstation 5 with disk drive

Playstation 5 with disk drive

If you've been wanting a PlayStation 5 but haven't been able to get one this holiday season due to shortages, then good news -- you may have the chance to buy one at Target tomorrow.

Read more