If you’re considering purchasing a snack vending machine for your workplace, you may be wondering where to start. Installing a snack vending machine can be a great way to offer a wide selection of snacks and beverages to employees and customers alike.
This beginner’s guide to snack vending machines will provide you with an overview of the process from start to finish, helping you make the right decisions when it comes to purchasing and managing your new snack vending machine.
Why Have a Vending Machine?
A snack vending machine can be a great addition to any workplace, providing employees with a convenient way to purchase snacks and drinks. Vending machines are becoming increasingly popular in offices, schools, and other business settings, as they provide a quick and easy way to access snacks and beverages throughout the day. Not only are they convenient, but they also offer a range of other benefits for businesses.
Vending machines can help save employers and employees money, by reducing the need to leave premises and travel to supermarkets or convenience stores during lunch breaks. With a fully managed vending machine, they also help employers remove the need for storing large amounts of food and drink stock in storerooms or cupboards, where they might otherwise need the space.
They are also helpful in keeping staff morale high, as it’s always nice to have a snack or drink on hand when you need it, particularly around the time of the mid-afternoon slump. All of these factors make purchasing a snack vending machine a great option for any business.
What Types of Snack Vending Machines Are There?
When it comes to snack machines, there are a variety of options for businesses and organisations looking to provide snacks for their employees or guests. Standard snack machines provide an array of snack choices such as crisps, chocolate bars, and other treats. Combination vending machines are also available and provide both snacks and beverages like bottled water and carbonated soft drinks.
Standalone snack machines have a larger capacity for confectionery and crisps than their combination machine counterparts. They can accommodate a wide variety of snack items and come in various shapes and sizes. Many modern models feature digital displays and interactive payment systems that accept debit and credit cards. There is even the option to connect your snack machine to the internet so you can monitor usage, track sales, and adjust pricing remotely.
Combination machines offer more versatility as they provide both snacks and drinks in one compact unit, saving space by combining two vending machines into one compact unit. The latest models also feature cashless payment systems with built-in technology to accept payments from mobile devices. This makes it easy for customers to purchase their snacks and drinks quickly and conveniently.
How Much Space Do I Need?
Before even considering the space requirements of any snack vending machine, it’s vital that you understand which area on your premises a snack machine would be best placed. This is important as you don’t want to be picking the location based entirely on machines that will fit in whatever space is available, as it needs to be somewhere with great footfall and little risk of crowding.
Having highlighted one or more key areas that would be best for staff access and convenience, you can then start to focus in on what type of machine would be most appropriate. Combination machines help cover off both the cold drink vending and snack vending side of things, and offer a more complete solution, which is a great option if there isn’t currently any food or drink provision on site.
If you’ve already got the cold drinks covered, or you know that there will be little to no demand, you can look at a dedicated vending machine for snacks and benefit from the extra machine spirals for confectionery and crisps.
Snack vending machines can come in several configurations to help fit your location. Products such as the Evoca Twist are specifically designed to fit into spaces where there’s limited width, with a small reduction in the amount of machine spirals available, but still offering upto 42 individual product lines. With a width of 746mm, this is ideal for already busy workspaces, or for areas such as tight corridors and waiting areas, where space is at a premium.
If you’re looking for a slightly more sizeable machine with even more capacity, you have options such as the Crane Merchant Media with a width of 1180mm and improved capacity for a massive 564 individual items total. This gives ultimate product breadth in the workplace and allows businesses to stock multiple spirals with the most popular products so they don’t run out between replenishment runs.
For businesses who are severely limited on space, particularly those settings with worktops, counters and cupboards that would stop a full height snack machine being installed, Evoca also offer the MiniSnakky, a compact under-counter vending solution with a height of 1080mm, and a product selection of 24.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing for snack vending machines varies depending on configuration, with the larger machines commanding a premium over the much smaller machines. There may also be some variance on the particular machine you’re wanting to purchase if you opt for a touchscreen or a media unit instead of an older style keypad for item selection and payments.
There will also be a price differential for machines if you are wanting someone to come and stock, clean and provide technical support for your snack vending machine. Connect Vending offer a fully managed vending service which takes care of all the snack machine setup and installation, and ongoing management and maintenance. This will add cost to your service over the life of the machine, but is a highly recommended option to ensure the machine is running effectively and efficiently throughout its life.
On the flipside, there will be costs to managing the machine yourself in the form of confectionery and crisp stocks, and cleaning equipment to keep the machine spick and span. You will need to source these items yourself and purchase them whenever stock levels are low – this also means you will need to store the products on-site in advance of being required, which may incur direct or indirect costs to your business.
Nearly all vending operators have different financing options to help businesses with the cost of purchasing a vending machine, though you will always be able to purchase a machine outright and take the asset on yourself. Provided your business can demonstrate it is financially sound and has been operating for several years, you are likely to have the option to lease the equipment and pay in quarterly chunks over the three to seven year contract duration.
If the total cost of the machine is more than you can manage, don’t worry. There are usually some older machines that are reconditioned and made available on a second hand basis, which are substantially cheaper but come without the protection of lengthy warranties, and are likely to need maintenance much more often than new kit.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is simple. Our sales consultants are on hand to help guide you through the process of buying a vending machine for snacks, and will be able to build your requirements and solution to perfectly fit your business needs.