The "ATM" in Athens where you order a burger and fries

Athens World X11

There is a shop in Athens where you can order a burger from an ATM-like machine. The machine is playful, highly Instagrammable, and futuristic. It is blue with neon lights and high-tech screens, and it isn't easy to pass it without being visually stimulated, even if you walk hurriedly through the square of Archelaou.

First of all, from the name alone, World X11 Burgers, we understand that it is obviously another street food point in the popular Pagrati neighbourhood.

However, the absence of human interaction between customers and employees—which is immediately noticeable—wildly fuels our imaginations as to how exactly these burgers end up in our hands and how the store achieved this.

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The first answers come as we notice a unique ATM-looking machine in the centre of its open-space hall, flirting with the 80s arcade aesthetics.

This automatic machine may look similar in many ways to the classic bank ATM machines, but it is bigger, different, and certainly much more fun. Instead of money, withdrawals here are made in burgers and fries.

But what's even more impressive is that everything is prepared at the time of the order in the invisible kitchen, right behind the shop's almost space-like setting.

How to order step-by-step

Upon entering World X11, you see a QR code on the left, which you can scan with your mobile phone to view the menu. After you pay, the order is prepared, and in about 15 minutes, they call out your personal code over the loudspeaker, and you pick up the white paper bag from the metal box.

There is no fear of getting confused since next to the QR Code, there is a sign that explains the whole process step by step, even separately, for IOS and Android devices.

Once you receive your order, you can eat the burgers on the street or at home or sit at one of the tables in the shop (divided into two wide blue plastic strips, also a trademark of the futuristic setting).

If you are lucky, you might even get a table outside.

Meanwhile, while you wait, you can freely play video games on the retro console.

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Behind World X11 are the friends Vasilis Stefanakis and the team of Lost and the Selina Athens rooftop, the photographer Giannis Oumoudoumidis (who conceived the idea), George Lentzas and Dimitrios Moysiadis.

"The inspiration," explains Vasilis Stefanakiss, "came from a photograph. Giannis thought of turning a vending machine into a shop.

"How do you order chewing gum, condoms or water in the subway? He thought of making something similar to burgers. So, we took his inspiration and slowly developed the concept.

"There is also the thought that in the future, it will also function as a pop-up in shopping centres and central markets but also in the restaurants of crowded businesses where by simply setting up our own ATM, customers or employees could also have the choice of a good burger."

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On the other hand, he continues, "As a project, it may seem impersonal, possibly sketchy, but we have invested in good and strictly selected raw materials. For us, the burger - as is also the case abroad - can easily claim a place at our lunch table or brunch.

"You don't necessarily need to eat it after your drink or early in the morning to settle your stomach. In this sense, we invested in our recipes: the buns of the burgers are made especially for us by a cooperating bakery, our sauces are homemade, from our own recipes, while our burgers are in themselves a premium product from black angus and our own blend.

"We spent six months of repeated testing until we finally arrived at the recipes that satisfy us."

As for the burgers? The menu options are counted on the fingers of one hand: Cheese X, with a double smashed burger, cheddar cheese, onion, pickles, chopped onion and sauce; Green X (same recipe as Cheese X plus tomato and iceberg); Veggie X (with bean burger, chilli relish and vegan mayo, by Eleni Saranti), Jalapeno 3X (with triple burger and Jalapenos) and finally, Super X (with square brioche, double smash burger, cheddar, pickles, onions, mustard and ketchup).

info: Archelaou 14 Pagrati

Loukia Chrysovitsanou is a columnist for Olive Magazine. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos.

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