As an office environment evolves, so do the amenities. Snack vending machines have become commonplace in many workspaces, offering an array of convenient snack options for those in need of a quick pick-me-up. But is the cost of installing office vending machines really worth it?
In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the cost-benefit trade-off of having snack vending machines in the workplace, and what important considerations need to be made for organisations looking at purchasing and implementing a snack vending machine solution in their workplace.
The Pros of Having Snack Vending Machines at Work
We’ve all seen snack vending machines in our favourite films and TV shows – they’re synonymous with hospital waiting rooms, school corridors and rail station platforms. Pretty much any situation where a character has been waiting, travelling or meeting with a friend, there’s a snack vending machine lit up in the background. And they aren’t in these settings for no reason – they’re best utilised where access to food and drink is low, but demand for food is high.
In a workplace setting, snack vending machines provide convenient access for staff to access a range of confectionery products during the work day, sometimes without needing to actually take a break to grab something, as employees are sometimes passing these machines between meetings.
This convenience not only provides an easy way for people to grab food on the move during busy periods in the office, it also enables staff to get that quick boost of energy when it’s most needed, helping to keep focus and ensure productivity levels remain high.
According to research by The Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), 82% of UK workers believe that having good food options in the workplace helps them stay productive.
Having snack vending machines on site can also provide a heightened feeling of value, with employees feeling that their wellbeing and job satisfaction is being considered and acted upon with the arrival of snack vending machines.
Many employers will go through a consultation period with staff to understand their needs, with snack vending machines being a great option in larger workplaces where staff may be dissatisfied by the lack of provisions.
The Cons of Having Snack Vending Machines at Work
Having snack vending machines at work may immediately seem a convenient and cost-effective approach, but there are downsides to consider before committing to a snack vending machine contract.
The most obvious of which is the need to have someone available to keeping the vending machines stocked with products, and to deal with any malfunctions or refund requests. This can tie up an internal member of staff who, typically, has a full-time job to focus on alongside these responsibilities, which can lead to the vending machines being left empty or out of action as a lower priority.
There is also a health consideration, with most snack vending machines traditionally being filled with sugary and salty products that aren’t necessarily healthy enough for workforces with increasingly diverse tastes and broad dietary preferences. In years past, it has been hard to avoid unhealthy options with narrow product ranges making it hard to find something nutritious that was also suitable for dispensing from a snack vending machine. However, FMCG manufacturers have worked extremely hard to broaden their range and now offer a wide range of healthy alternatives which can be put into snack vending machines.
Finally, and most importantly, the appropriateness of snack vending machines for a workplace depends on having enough staff or visitors regularly on site to make them a worthwhile investment, as well as having the right place for the machine to be placed.
Buying a snack vending machine can be costly, and machines need to be regularly maintained and restocked, which incurs extra cost should you prefer your supplier to deliver a fully managed vending service. Simply put, if your workplace doesn’t have enough staff on site, or consistent high footfall, it’s unlikely you’ll make a commercial return on the machines.
Fortunately, many of these drawbacks can be solved by working with an experience snack vending machine supplier, who can ensure that your machine receives regular operator visits to replenish stock, provide ongoing machine service and maintenance support for any malfunctions, and provide a broad range of vending machine snacks to fit all tastes.
The Bottom Line - Is the Convenience Worth the Cost?
When it comes to making a decision about whether or not to invest in a snack vending machine for your workplace, you need to be clear on what you’re trying to achieve. If the business’ primary objective is to improve staff welfare and satisfaction, and the business has 50+ staff on site, a snack vending machine is worth exploring. If your business has fewer staff or wants to see a vending machine break-even, or even deliver a profit, you may be better served looking at other options.
For businesses struggling with the cost of a snack vending machine for the office, there are options available to lease the machine over a term as long as 7 years, helping to spread the cost of the equipment across manageable monthly repayments.
The benefits for those businesses where staff numbers are above 100 and there’s a lack of current options on site, a snack vending machine is a very sensible option. With the amount of footfall to each machine, you’re likely to see significant sales from the machines and be in a great place when demonstrating return on investment from the purchase.
Ultimately, your unique business situation will determine whether snack vending machines are the right solution for you.
Buying a snack vending machine from Connect Vending
Our team of vending experts are here to help you navigate the world of snack vending machines. We’ve been delivering market leading solutions for more than 25 years and can help you understand the likely value of snack vending machines to your business, whether that’s commercially or for staff satisfaction.
Getting started is easy. Give our sales team a call on 01865 341011 to find out more about the options available to you, or send us an enquiry.
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