Snack vending machines are the ultimate solution to keeping staff happy and healthy throughout the day. Whether it’s healthy snacks in the workplace that you’re looking for, or something salty or sugary for your team to indulge in, snack vending machines are flexible, secure and offer great variety.
If you’ve never purchased a vending machine or you’re out of practice, knowing where to start can be daunting. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential considerations to ensure you make informed decisions about investing in a snack vending machine.
Define your purpose
Before diving into the world of snack vending machines, establish a clear purpose for your investment. Are you wanting to enhance the workplace experience for your team, provide a greater range of food and drink options, or are looking to generate some extra income?
Outlining the purpose of the investment early on makes sure that your prospective suppliers are clear on your requirements and know what to expect when you start engaging with them.
Please note – If you’re looking at investing in a snack vending machine to start your own vending business, we’d highly recommend looking at used machines online. At Connect, we aren’t able to offer machines to those looking to set up their own vending companies.
Research the Market
You don’t have to take this step on your own. Exploring the snack vending machine market can be quite overwhelming, especially if you don’t understand the language or terminology that is used in the sector. Once you’ve found a few vending operators who you’d like to speak with, lean on them to assist you – provided you’ve got an idea of what food and drink products you’d like to provide in your workplace, the vending operators will be able to take you through the detail.
Taking Connect Vending as an example, you will be given guidance throughout the process and will have machines recommended to you based on your unique challenges and objectives.
Selecting the Right Machine
There are various types of snack vending machines available, ranging from traditional machines with spiral coils to more advanced models with touchscreen interfaces. Consider factors such as capacity, energy efficiency, and payment options when choosing the right machine for your needs. This will be led by the number of staff on your site, whether they are likely to be carrying cash or contactless payment methods, and how many different varieties of products you will need to sell to cover everyone’s dietary requirements and tastes.
Again, if you aren’t quite sure where to start, a good vending operator will help survey your staff, understand demographics and on-site demand, and pitch a snack machine that will meet your needs.
Location, Location, Location
The success of your vending machine largely depends on its location. High-traffic areas within your business premises are the ideal location for a snack machine, assuming that you will not be blocking any access routes or causing queues in corridors.
Also think about where your staff typically congregate during break times or at lunch. Having a machine in these areas increases the chances of sales and also helps staff feel cared for, when they can get access to snacks and drinks conveniently.
If your site has multiple buildings or is part of a sprawling campus, you’ll need to consider the distances to walk between machines. Having machines in busy areas is logical, but if you’re locating machines in a cluster then you may be restricting access to staff in other areas. Most people will make some effort to walk to a snack machine, but not if it takes a chunk of time out of their day!
Consider Maintenance and Operating
Like any other equipment, snack vending machines require regular maintenance. Choose machines that are easy to service and work with vending operators that offer reliable support. Draw particular attention to a vending operators breakdown attendance times – anything over 8 hours for an engineer attending site after a breakdown call should be avoided, especially when some operators like Connect will attend site within 4 hours on most occasions.
Similarly, your machines will need to be filled, cleaned and have stock rotated regularly. You can opt to do this yourself, but for the peace of mind that it’s all in hand we’d highly recommend outsourcing this management to a vending operator. Merchandisers will bring new stock to site to replace and sold stock, and remove anything with a short date. They’ll also do regular hygiene checks and cleans.
Cost and Return on Investment (ROI)
Determine your budget for purchasing and maintaining vending machines. Factor in the cost of inventory, restocking, and any fees associated with your chosen locations. Evaluate the potential return on investment by estimating sales based on location traffic and product popularity.
If you’re looking to install snack machines as a staff benefit, you can measure the impact on staff through surveys and other feedback mechanisms. If you’re increasing wellbeing by a tangible amount, or ensuring better staff retention, you are getting great ROI, just not in the usual pounds and pence measure.
Investing in snack vending machines can help enhance any workspace by offering cost effective, varied food and drink products for staff and visitors alike. By considering all of the above factors, you stand a great chance at navigating the snack vending machine market and getting the right solution for you.
We said it earlier on but it’s worth repeating – if you aren’t sure where to start, simply reach out to us and speak to our team of vending experts. We know our stuff!