Dispelling Vending Myths.

We’ve all heard our fair share of myths about the world we live in, some very believable, others outrageous, and it’s very easy to get mistaken between true and falsified stories.

In this article, we look at some of the top myths about the vending machine industry, and help you understand what’s real, and what’s not.

Myth 1 – Food and drink from vending machines is unhealthy

It should go without saying that this is untrue. Everything that goes into a vending machine is specified by the vending operator or the client themselves, meaning that as long as the products can fit in a vending machine spiral or a cold drinks tray, they can be dispensed.

In recent years there has been a substantial movement away from high sugar, high fat food and drink items, towards healthier alternatives. Products such as protein bars, low sugar confectionery and spring water are now commonplace in vending machines.

Many people are unaware of a specific type of solution – the fresh food vending machine -which allows you to stock fresh food items, including salads, wraps and sandwiches, and give staff in any workplace access to high quality, nutritious food all day round.

If you’re looking to buy a vending machine and fresh food vending sounds like something that would meet your requirements, drop us a line!

Myth 2 – Vending machine products are low quality and sit in machines for long periods

As we’ve said above, there’s no reason to believe that vending products are any lower quality than those you’d buy from a supermarket or smaller food retailer. In 2022, vending machines are capable of vending frozen, chilled, and ambient product ranges similar to those you’d buy in your weekly shop, so you shouldn’t have any concerns about the quality of the items available.

Shelf lives are often similar to those you’d get in a food retailer or supermarket – just because the item is in a vending machine doesn’t mean that the risk of out of date food is any higher. For sites with a fully managed vending service, machine operators will typically visit machines multiple times during each week to rotate and manage stock, as well as clean the inside and outside of the unit.

Myth 3 – Vending machines are a quick and easy way for anyone to make money

We’ve seen the TikToks and YouTube Reels of influencers explaining how quick and easy it is to make money by setting up vending machines. As with most things on the internet, it’s best that you take these videos with a pinch of salt – sourcing, setting up and running vending machines is not as straightforward as influencers want you to believe, and it’s certainly not going to make you a millionaire overnight.

Companies like Connect Vending have been in business for decades, and our business has the supplier relationships, engineer and operator networks and access to consumables that your average Brit doesn’t. There are also many things to consider on the food hygiene front, as well as needing substantial capital to be able to buy the machines in the first place.

Like most things in life – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Myth 4 – Most companies get their vending machines for free

Depending on the operator who you’re looking to work with, you may be able to get your vending machines Free on Loan (FoL), though this commercial model is becoming more and more rare in a world of increasing costs, and greater demand for high quality service.

In the past, Free on Loan vending machines were extremely popular, as this approach minimised the initial financial outlay for a business and ensured that staff had access to food and drink on an ongoing basis, without the need to get involved in any of the maintenance or management of the solution.

However, the Free on Loan model relies on machines getting high footfall, as the vending operator recoups the cost of their machines by taking the profits from all products sold. If the site footfall drops, and the return for the vending operator disappears, you’re at risk of that machine becoming unviable – suddenly your workplace refreshment solution isn’t being filled and cleaned regularly, and the machines are sitting empty.

The best approach for vending in today’s world is to spread the cost of the vending equipment over several years, by leasing machinery. On top of this, the most successful vending solutions in small to medium businesses opt for fully managed services, meaning that for a small weekly fee, machines are regularly visited for cleaning and replenishment. This means that if your machines aren’t on a site with thousands of staff, you’ll still get an excellent service and attentive operators.

If you’re looking for a best-in-class vending operator, get in touch with one of our sales experts.

Myth 5 – Vending machines break all the time

You’ve likely seen a vending machine in a film or a tv series that has swallowed someone’s change, not dispensed their item, or it’s malfunctioning in one of many ways. The truth is, sometimes vending machines do break, but it’s not as regularly as you might think, and the turnaround times to fix them are remarkable.

Everything with mechanical or electrical components has the potential to break or otherwise malfunction – it’s the cost of having incredible machines that can automate tasks that we used to do manually. But don’t let the films fool you. Vending machine breakdowns are rarer than you think, and usually the fixes can be deployed quickly.

At Connect Vending, we send an engineer out to site within 4 hours of the service call being logged, on almost 80% of occasions, and those who don’t sneak into that 4 hour attendance window, are typically seen within 8 hours.

Now imagine the last time one of your household appliances, or your car, broke down – how long did it take to get an engineer or mechanic to take a look at the broken appliance or car?

And it’s not just about getting to site quickly. Our engineers fix the vending machine, water cooler or coffee machine on the first visit more than 90% of the time, meaning that within a 4 hour window, your machine has gone from being reported as broken, to fully operational again.

We think that’s pretty good, and it’s also why we strongly believe that the myth of vending machines being unreliable is just that… a myth.

If you’d like to find out more about vending solutions, you can speak to one of our vending experts who will give you advice on the perfect service type and machine type to fit your needs. Call us on 01865 341011 or contact us.