Tampa, Fla. -- If you've been trying to stay on a diet, our apologies in advance, but we just had to tell you about a new ATM coming to Tampa Bay that dispenses calories -- not cash.
It's a high-tech answer to a very basic craving.
Sprinkles, the enormously popular cupcake shop in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, is about to fire up its cupcake ATM.
“It's a 24-hour automatic machine that dispenses freshly baked cupcakes throughout the day,” said the store’s general manager, Grace McGee.
It's a dream come true for late night partiers suffering from he munchies. A romantic date novelty. Or even a middle of the night pregnancy craving -- which is what Sprinkle's founder was having when she came up with the idea.
The ATM is loosely fashioned after those old Automat vending machines.
“It is easy, it's fast, and it's fresh,” said McGee.
“I think it's an awesome novelty people will use it,” said customer Noel Golding smiling at what’s to come outside the store.
10News WTSP was given a quick look behind the scenes at how it all works.
Inside the ATM is a robotic arm. After you choose the cupcake you want from a touch screen menu, you swipe your credit or debit card to pay. The robot arm pulls the boxed cupcake you’ve chosen off a numerically coded shelf and gently places it in the bin.
The ATM door opens -- and voila!
The ATM cupcake flavor selection is the same as you’ll find in the store. And freshness?
“We stock this ATM continuously throughout the day,” said McGee. “So this cake is the exact same cake that you're going to buy in the store from behind the counter.”
“It's here. It's pink. It's new to Tampa. Not something you normally see,” said Avery Congdon, who has seen another Sprinkles ATM in New York City.
And just how popular do they expect the cupcake ATM will be? Well, the first 12 machines sell as many cupcakes a day outside as they serve up inside.
It does cost 50 cents more than the base $3.75 per cupcake price -- for the ATM packaging -- but considering the convenience, customers will likely find it pretty darn sweet.
The ATM is such a novelty the company says three-fourths of its customers take a selfie in front of it before they head off with their sweet treat.