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August 18, 2021

Only in Paris: the baguette ATM

Certainly, the world has no shortage of bizarre ATMs.

4413310-4413310-baguette There’s the mobile ATM in Texas. There’s the gold ATM in Abu Dhabi. There’s the generous ATM in Louisiana.

But few ATMs may reflect the nation they sit in more than this.

In France, the bread-mad French now have to access to exactly what you’d think: the baguette ATM.

Just rolled out in Paris, and in the tiny town of Hombourg-Haut in the country’s northeast, is an automated baguette dispenser that beats your average deposit/withdrawal system.

*Bing: What country pays the highest ATM fees?

Patrons interested in a fresh loaf simply walk up to the 24-hour baguette machine, pop in a euro (about $1.41) and sit back and wait. The baguette ATM takes a partially precooked loaf, bakes it up and delivers the steaming bread to customer within seconds.

Of course, if you’ve ever been to Paris, you know it’s not tough to find a baguette; they’re in every café, grocery and hipster backpack across the city.

But not so, tourist. According to the AP, getting a fresh baguette is especially tough at night, on a holiday or in August, when many of France’s 33,000 bakeries are closed.

“This is the bakery of tomorrow,” says the man behind the baguette ATM, warning that snooty bakers looking down on the innovation will “get decimated” by his machine’s convenience.

If nothing else, curiosity has at least propelled the baguette ATM to a modest market share. In the machine’s debut month, June, it sold 1,600 loaves – then another 4,500 last month.

And get this: if the machine sells 100 baguettes per day, the fully-patented ATM will rake in a whopping 33 per cent profit margin.

Can someone get the French Kevin O’Leary on the phone?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...