Knödelautomat-Stories – how an instagram video nearly went “viral”

To admit it, the headline may sound a bit catchier than the story itself is. But in the context of about 280 followers my Instagram story went viral – or something like that anyway. OK, at least it got a lot of response. But let’s start from the beginning.

One of the mysteriously things at voestalpine in Linz is the so called “Knödelautomat”. And yes, it is exactly what you picture right now. It is a vending machine for dumplings. Produced by the catering company Caseli (which is owned by voestalpine). There is even a map on the website which shows the exact location. So everyone could go there and buy dumplings. It is not for employees only. You can choose between:

  • Hascheeknödel
  • Grammelknödel
  • Speckknödel
  • Erdbeerknödel
  • Marillenknödel
  • Zwetschkenknödeln

The story behind

Why am I telling you all of this? After working a bit more than six years at voestalpine, I finally managed to take a short visit to the “Knödelautomat”. Within our department it was a running gag, that I’ve never managed to get to the vending machine by myself. Not sure why, because it is placed directly next to our office building. So when I finally decided to visit it, I’ve thought about pulling together a short Instagram story. Also, at the moment we had a storytelling webinar at the same time. I just wanted to try something new.

I’ve been prepared quite well, I had a lot of coins with me – because the vending machine only takes coins – and I also stacked up my employee card with money.  I am myself not a big fan of sweet desserts. I know, this may be shock to some of you, but I would rather prefer a cheeseboard instead of a birthday cake. So I’ve chosen Hascheeknödel and Grammelknödel to try out first.

See the whole Knödelauotmat-story below

The hours and days after the video

After I’ve posted the story it got so much attention – at least with my friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Over 150 people watched the story within 24 hours. This amount is not so bad, considering that I’ve only 280 followers in general. 80 people have voted which dumpling to cook for dinner. Spoiler alert: “Grammelknödel” won with a slight lead. But I’ve cooked and eaten both of them anyway 🙂 And so many people responded to my story via direct messages on Instagram and Facebook. I got some WhatsApp texts and even two work-mails from colleagues abroad. To be honest, that was a bit weird. And everywhere I went, the people approached me on the story. Everyone was really fascinated by the fact that we have our own dumpling vending machine at work.



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