Newsline 2017: Healthy Vending Machine Trends

As one of the premier vending machine repair, parts, and service sites, VendNetUSA looks at a lot of vending machines. That gives us the unique position to be able to see what types of products and trends are showing up, often before any individual vendor notices the change in their sales analysis. The current uptick in health food items has been developing over a few years, but is really entering a whole new level of demand. There are three specific trends to follow closely this year and implement in your vending machine business.

  • Fresher Options. Even with the new wave of vending machines that make drinks and snacks to order, or offer frozen or refrigerated options, customers are looking for snack items that have less processing, fewer additives, and provide more macronutrients. Vendors cannot simply offer Red Delicious apples; consumers want fruits, nuts, smoothies, and even more exotic whole food options like edamame or even salads.
  • Balanced Choices. Beyond fresh whole food selections, customers are also seeking more balanced and nutritious options, particularly in the form of various protein, health, and granola bars. Vending machines have rapidly shifted from being a semi-reliable source of junk food to a normalized font of wholesome snacks.
  • Free Selections. By no means are we advocating a profitless sales system. Instead, -free refers to the trend of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and other -free classifications of health foods consumers are looking for in their vending goodies. We have found that numbers of customers with dietary needs have risen astronomically over the past three to five years and continues to climb, unabated.  Providing reasonable refreshment and even treats to these special classifications of buyers allows vendors to capture whole new markets–buyers who previously couldn’t utilize vending machines as a reasonable source of nutrition.

Vending machines started in the 1880’s as a way of dispensing novelties, and only later transitioned into providing drinks and sustenance. When they proliferated in the middle of the last century, vending machines acquired a reputation as a quick and dirty way to grab a bite, but without any healthful benefits. It is now our turn to change the messaging behind the machines from pre-packaged candies to nutritious, delicious, and specialized selections for every consumer. To learn more about VendNet USA’s vending machine repair, parts, and services, please visit our website or blog.

 

The Top 4 Tips for Opening a New Vending Location

What does it take for a vending location to succeed; that is, to create and sustain sales? Having the right location isn’t the only factor, though it does help. Having a terrific product is also helpful, but that alone won’t guarantee growth.  The newest, flashiest machines with the latest technology can also be a draw. Having a dedicated and professional staff for vending machine repair and maintenance is also important. Ultimately, a successful vending location has all these and more. Neglecting even one area may result in failure. Here are our tips, garnered from years of achievement and profit with vending machines.

  • Have a well researched location to meet your needs. Whether your business model is focused on a high traffic area or on repeat business, it’s vital that you know what your business goals are before you select a location, not the other way around.
  • Offer the best product your customers want. This seems somewhat obvious, but there is a subtle difference between the best products your customers want and the best products available. Knowing your consumer base, their spending habits, and their shopping predilections can prevent you from making an inconvenient and costly mistake in stock.
  • Take advantage of technology, not the other way around. From cash-free payment options to wireless enabled stocking and sales stats, the amount of data available to a vending machine operator is greater than any other time in history. Getting bogged down in this much information is a real concern, as is trying to launch fancy technological advances in locations that may not have the right user base.
  • Maintenance saves money. While every item we own may break at some point in its life, the value of preventive vending machine repair and maintenance cannot be overstated here. A broken machine is at best a fancy column to lean on, and at worst can actually cut into your bottom line.

Ultimately, your success, achievements, and profit as a vending machine owner or operator is limited only by the amount of research, diligence, and elbow grease you are willing to put in. That’s part of what makes vending machines such an appealing line of business–the ability to dictate your own business and results.

Vending Goes Mobile

It’s clear to see how new technologies and mobile devices have become fully embedded into our current society.  With nearly two thirds of Americans owning smartphones and thousands of apps available for facilitating day to day activities, it’s time to look at how the vending machine industry can capitalize on this growing trend.  

Research conducted by USA Technologies on the use of Apple Pay in vending machines suggests consumers are more likely to not only make a purchase, but also more likely to spend more on their purchase if the technology is available.  

The study found that after 24 weeks there was a 36.5% increase in overall sales and a 55.5% increase in revenue.  As more and more businesses begin to implement these mobile technologies, Apple Pay and other smartphone technologies will soon become the norm for transaction payments.

Vendors should consider mobile payment for the following advantages inherent in its use:

  • Ease to use. Smart technologies are designed to be intuitive. Apple Pay interfaces are easy to use, and not just for individuals who are familiar with Apply products.
  • Security of transactions. Beyond convenience, there is a growing need for increased security in transaction payments.  After multiple incidents of credit card breaches and fraud, it is incredibly important for customers to feel safe when making a purchase.  Apple Pay provides consumers a secure method of payment designed by a brand they know and trust.
  • Convenience in a busy world. We live in a time where convenience is the number one priority for consumers.  With the growing amount of options, if a customer is not able to find that convenience with your company they will just go somewhere else that can.  It has become absolutely crucial in the business world to keep up with trending technologies.

With the obvious financial success and increased customer satisfaction, mobile payment is the next step for the vending machine. Visit our website to learn more about vending machine repair, maintenance, and upgrades.

Free Vending For Your Office?

It is no mystery that in today’s competitive employee market, finding and keeping employees does have a lot to do with offering employee perks. No matter how small or large your business, keeping your employees happy is always on the priority list. What better way to keep employees happy than offering them free snacks and drinks they can enjoy throughout the day?

Benefits of free vending for your employees:

Low cost, high value.

Providing free vending machine offerings to your employees can seem trivial from the surface, but these little things are aspects of an employer-employee relationship that many people attribute value to. With a relatively low-cost threshold, this offering indicates to your employees that you value them, and are a generous employer.

Less hungry, less time away from tasks.

Productivity is not a new term, since the inception of employer-employee relationships, productivity has been in the mix. Being hungry is a very distracting state of being. Although an entire day of worth nutrition is not usually found in a vending machine, a free snack can certainly deter someone from nodding off into unproductive land.

Opportunity for nutrition education

Some may not jump to nutritional benefits when thinking of food from a vending machine, but in today’s age we now have the ability to provide healthy snacking options dispensed one at a time. It is far too easy to eat unhealthy when at the workplace. By providing healthy snacking options, you have the chance to educate your employees about the benefits of choosing a healthier snacking option, for free, while at the workplace.

To stay abreast of current and developing trends in the vending industry, stay in touch with VendNet at our blog and on our social media sites. We are here to meet your vending machine repair and acquisition needs.

Future Directions of the Vending Industry

In previous decades, vending machines were on the cutting edge of convenience for on-the-go lifestyles. However, in recent years, the advent of ubiquitous on-demand food delivery services and other trends have outpaced the innovation of the vending industry. Vending machines are also sometimes dogged by their stereotype of housing predominantly unhealthy, sugar-packed candies and snack foods.

To stay ahead of the curve, vending machines are being utilized in new and innovative ways that are in line with emerging healthy living values. Some of the trends vending machines are embracing, or may move toward in the near future, include the following.

  • More Health-Conscious Options. With obesity levels among adults and children alike continuing to rise, the call for convenient and healthy eating choices grows louder. While it is challenging to stock healthier, perishable items like fruits and vegetables in a vending machine, such offerings appeal to the growing number of individuals who are looking to improve their eating habits.
  • Convenient Non-Food Offerings. How many times have you gotten to the gym only to realize you forgot some essential item–headphones, a hair tie, a towel? A vending machine can stock such goods for individual sale, along with other convenient offerings, such as pre- or post-workout shakes and supplements. Possibilities for frequently forgotten but essential items in a variety of settings could be an elusive trend as the vending industry continues to evolve.
  • Machines that Decide for You. Instead of selecting your choice, imagine being able to tell the machine what you are looking for–sweet or salty? A particular calorie range? A set price point?–and then the machine telling you what your best option is. Now THAT is the future!

To stay abreast of current and developing trends in the vending industry, stay in touch with VendNet at our blog and on our social media sites. We are here to meet your vending machine repair and acquisition needs.

Vendnet USA’s Vending Machine Service Includes Downloadable Manuals

vendnet

Before installing your new vending machine parts or calling for vending machine service, make sure you know where they go and how the system should work. As part of our comprehensive service, Vendnet USA offers manuals for many major vending machines and snack machines. With both vending machine part manuals and service manuals, available in both Spanish and English, you can troubleshoot your machines before calling for vending machine service, giving you a greater return on investment.

Download Vending Machine Parts and Service Manuals Instantly

Vendnet USA offers you the chance to download vending machine parts and service manuals onto your tablet or computer. The convenient PDF format makes it simple to search for the information you want, and the instant download option puts help in your hands quickly. We offer parts and service manuals for snack machines, soda machines, cold and frozen food machines, refrigerated combination machines and coffee machines. If you have another type of vending machine, you can find the manual in the miscellaneous vending machines section. Advanced programming manuals for your vending machine are also available for more complex repair needs.

Comprehensive Vending Machines Repairs and Services

If you’ve found your manual here and realized that you can’t troubleshoot the problem on your own, trust Vendnet USA for comprehensive vending machine repairs and services. Our technical service department will walk you through the problems and help you find a workable solution, so you can get your machine up and running quickly. Not sure which manual you need or which part will fix your problem? Again, our technical service professionals are here to point you in the right direction. Simply give us a call to get started: 1-800-833-4411.

Tips for Starting Your Own Vending Machine Business

Vending machines are virtually everywhere you look; from workplace break rooms to high school hallways. You might find yourself looking at all these vending machines and wonder, ‘should I start my own vending machine business?’ If the answer is yes, then here are a couple of tips to make it happen.

  • Get Information; The most important part of owning vending machines is having a profitable place to put them in. Take time to stake out several locations and study them for customer traffic and demographic. You want to be smart and careful to make sure the right vending machines get placed in the right spots to maximize profit.
  • Get on the Pitcher’s Mound; You won’t get anywhere without a great pitch. A bad pitch means no business means no money. Be sure to personalize each pitch and do some research on the business owners for a better understanding on what to pitch to them.
  • Get Permission; Before you can start selling you have to get a sales tax permit from your county clerk. If you plan on becoming a vending machine owner then you are required to pay tax on sales.
  • Get Vending Machines; This one’s an obvious tip. Find a reputable supplier of vending machines. If you plan on buying used ones, be sure to know of a vending machine repair company, like VendNet USA, that can fix them if there’s a problem with the machines.
  • Get Stock; Empty vending machines won’t collect any money, only dust. Find a wholesales company that sells what you plan to put into your vending machines and buy stock to put into your machines.

It may seem like starting your own business is hard, but if you want to succeed you have to work for it. Follow these tips to help ensure that your vending machine business can get of the ground.

Preventative Maintenance of Vending Machines Can Increase Profits

VendNET USA

It’s no secret that the best medicine is preventative. This is true for the health, finance, construction, and vending industries; almost every industry can benefit from preventing issues before they actually occur.

Once you purchase or lease a vending machine, maintaining it is the next step in ensuring your profits are going to stay healthy. Maintaining your vending machine can help with decreasing the number of emergency calls you make to last minute repair people. While some emergency calls are unforeseeable, regular maintenance utilizing prevention techniques will help to drive down surprise costs.

Everyone’s goal is to maximize revenue, so we’ve developed a quick list of preventative measures anyone can take to preserve your profit margins:

Stop Predictable Problems

  • Prevention is key to avoiding bigger problems. We all know a cheeseburger a day is not exactly prevention for heart disease, but eating more vegetables is preventative for your health. Take preventative measures again predictable problems, like for example changing the water filters in your coffee vending machine, or cleaning the bill acceptor to avoid jamming. Clean the compressor on cold or frozen food dispensers.

Sharpen your repair skills

  • Learning how to take care of vending machines is so easy now. We offer vending machine repair and technician classes where you can stay up to date on keeping your machine on track. If you opt not to do it yourself, staying in good communication with a reliable technician is a huge proponent in saving money on the repairs that are out of your scope.

Keep maintenance records:

  • Just like any other industry, there are parts and bits that are used in the operation of your vending machine business that need to be replaced, and that have a certain lifespan. You have to know when certain products are low and about to expire, keeping good records of these things can certainly prevent the need to replace them more often, since you will not be purchasing unnecessary additional replacement parts.

Your team at Vending.com is here to help you with all your vending machine repairs. Contact us by phone at 1-888-836-3638 or web today to get started!

 

The Benefits of Servicing Your Own Vending Machine

New to the vending business? Just like any other machine, vending machines require regular maintenance. While owning a vending machine can be profitable, take your profits to new levels by maintaining your own machine. Some benefits include:

Save money

By learning to troubleshoot and service your own equipment you will be able to save money by bypassing the need to hire a technician. Make sure to place your order vending machine parts with us, we can help get any part you may need.

Save time

We all know hiring a technician can be a costly service, and time consuming. Many technicians will give you a time frame of when they will be at your location, when in reality the service may be less than hour, yet you are waiting for several hours. Save time by servicing your own vending machines.

Help others

There are over 2 million vending machines in the USA alone, chances are you know someone who has a vending machine. Having the knowledge to service a vending machine allows you to offer your technical services to other who have vending machines.

Service School Special

Learn to keep your vending equipment in optimal condition at our 2-day service school in Des Moines, Iowa. Classes cover snack, cold drink, cold and frozen food, and hot beverage machines.

Register at least 3 weeks early and receive a free Bill Validator or Coin Mech REPAIR.

Make your reservation today!

Call 1-888-VENDNET (1-888-836-3638) or Email: ServiceSchool@VendNetUSA.com

Maintaining your Vending Machine: Best Practices

38997462_m

You’ve managed to secure the perfect spot for your new vending machine and loaded it up with goodies and change. Now you just sit back and wait for profits to roll in, right? Not exactly. The reality is that managing vending machines is an ongoing, if not daily, process. We’ve spoken to industry experts and long time owners about what constitutes the best practices. The following are recommended steps for ongoing vending machine maintenance.  

  • Regularly Scheduled Restocking and Cleaning. It seems obvious that machines need to be supplied in order to sell products, but the reality is deeper than that. Consumers are more likely to patronize a well-stocked machine than one that visually appears to be nearly depleted. Furthermore, those regular stockings are opportunities for quick once-overs for cleanliness and observation of any subtle mechanical issues.
  • Maintenance–Even if No Issue is Apparent. Vending machine repair is a specialty service; however, even if your machine doesn’t display any problems, it may still need annual care to remain in peak functional order. Proactive responsibility can save time and money on future vending machine repair.  
  • Continuous Location Research. Some vending machine owners find a prime site and then never do any follow up on the area. Businesses change, rezoning occurs, and then suddenly their previously successful locality is now a dead zone.
  • Inventory Tracking and Analysis. With the bevy of options to consumers now available, it’s vital that an effective vending machine purveyor stays on top of their own stock trends as well as new items in the field. If you simply restock all the same products, week after week, without examining your sales data, you are neglecting a valuable source of information! For example, in a snack machine in a school, no nut products were sold for five months because the school had a new allergen policy. If the vendor had noticed this trend after the first few weeks, more appropriate replacement products could have been selected, and less revenue may have been lost.

None of these recommendations alone will guarantee a financial improvement in your vending product. However, by following them, you can improve your business practices and thus your potential for success. For more ideas on how to grow your commercial vending enterprise, check out our blog.