Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers

Part I – Why Vending is the Ultimate Controlled Dispensing Solution for the Convenience Services Industry

As organizations modify their operations and procedures to best keep employees and customers safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping across our nation and the world, the need to safely provide food and beverage options remains critical.  

Federal and State governments, along with the CDC, are encouraging social distancing, including reducing or eliminating face-to-face encounters with alternative options such as contactless delivery and self-serve options.  In workplaces, this includes re-evaluating how food and beverages are offered to employees. For example, in the past weeks, many organizations have shuttered cafeterias to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 Recently the NIH and CDC released information on the Coronavirus’ lifespan on surfaces.

  • Airborne: 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Stainless Steel: 2 days
  • Plastic: 3 days

These guidelines have prompted many organizations to further re-evaluate self-serve convenience service options deployed in their organizations such as unattended retail markets.  The risks in these applications is that the food and beverage products are not controlled in such that consumers can pick-up products and return them to the shelves for the next consumer to handle.  With COVID-19 having up to a three-day lifespan on items such as bottled beverages and clamshell salad containers, unattended retail applications may pose a risk of being a spreading point within organizations.

Unlike unattended retail markets where consumers can access and return the food and beverage products, vending requires consumers to purchase the product(s) before the consumer is able to touch the product(s).  Just think in a micro market setting how many people before you may have picked up that plastic bottled beverage or salad in a plastic clamshell before you and put it back on the shelf.  

Besides the product itself having the opportunity to be handled by multiple people in a micro market application, another consideration is the cleanliness of micro market hardware itself.  For example, when consumers access products in micro markets they often come in contact with shelving holding the product. You have risk of direct exposure on the shelf itself, as well as transfer exposure from the product.  Being full secured access, this is not a concern or risk when it comes to vending, as only the operator has access to the interior of the machine including the shelving.

Vending offers the ultimate secured access solution and allows organizations to safely provide employees and consumers with food and beverage products, with little to no risk of contamination from numerous other individuals handling the product.

According to the European Vending Association, “Vending machines are a reliable and safe way to obtain food and beverages. Vending machine operators place food safety as top priority in their daily service, and are trained in protection against infections. During the current health crisis, operators have also put in place measures to ensure that the disinfection of machine surfaces is also carried out as regularly as possible.

For more information or other equipment questions, please contact Vendnet at
1-888-836-3638. 

What products are recommended to safely clean and disinfect vending equipment? Check back soon to find out in Part II.

Maintaining Your Air Filter

Caring for your machine is crucial in ensuring that your machine is around for the long-haul. This means keeping the outside of your machine clean, as well as the inside. Ensuring that you are using a clean air filter is imperative for the health of your machine. Failure to do so will result in your compressor running hot, which can cause premature failure for your machine.

We have put together a video to help you ensure that your air filter is kept clean on your Alpine Machines and Refrigerated glass front machines. Watch below to learn how to remove and clean your washable air filter.

While the washable air filter will cost more up front, it will save you money in the long run, since the washable air filter can be reused and you will not have to continue to purchase disposable air filters over the lifetime of your machine. While it will vary by location, it is recommended that you check your air filter every 30 days until you have a feel for the level of dirt that your filter will accumulate.

Learn more about washable air filters and purchase one yourself here. Looking to purchase other products for your machine? Access our product catalog or give us a call at 888-836-3638.

Understanding Push-It

Push-It is a new tray delivery system that is an optional feature on many merchandisers. It gives operators the opportunity to increase product by vending larger, high margin products. It does not have any coils, so is allows for greater capacity per selection. With clear gates instead of coils, Push-It allows operators to display products without an obstructive view. 

Understanding your merchandiser is a crucial aspect of your vending business. If you have any questions about how your machine works, check out our extensive video library or give us a call at 1-800-833-4411.

Understanding Greenlite Alerts

One of the advantages of installing Greenlite on your machine is that it gives you data about all of your machines in one location, as opposed to going to each machine to receive that data. You have access to sales information and inventory data. It also alerts you about issues that your machine may be having, eliminating hours of frustration trying to diagnose an issue.

One alert you may run across is an alert regarding bills and coins. Don’t risk losing out on sales, just because your machine is jammed. The video below will walk you through how to access the alert information, what the alerts mean and how to fix the bill jam in your machine.

 

Another alert you may receive from Greenlite is an inventory alert. This is put in place to alert you when inventory in your machine is running low. You can decide when you receive this alert, whether it be when you are down to five products or when you are down to one. It all has to do with personal preference.

The final video will walk you through additional alerts you may receive from Greenlite. These include battery alerts, DEX alerts and temperature alerts. It also walks you through how to fix these issues.

If any other issue arises, whether it is with Greenlite or general vending problems, check out our extensive video library or contact us at 888-836-3638.

Loading Your Snack Machine

Knowing how to properly load snacks in your vending machine is essential for your machine to run smoothly. Items that are not loaded correctly can become caught in the coils and lead to unhappy customers. We have put together the video below to help you learn how to load bagged items in your vending machine.

 

VendNet has a library of videos to help you learn the ins and outs of your machine, including additional videos to help you properly load your vending machine. If you have additional questions, give us a call at 1-800-833-4411 or email us at service@vendnetusa.com.

Setting Product Prices on Your Vending Machine

Starting out on your vending business venture can be overwhelming. In order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your vending business, it is important to know the basics of your machine including how to operate it.  With Vendnet’s extensive library of brief instructional videos, you can become an expert in no time! 

For example, one thing that can be a little easier is setting the prices for the products in your machine. Follow the video below to learn how to adjust the prices of your Model 3589 vending machine in just a few simple steps.

Not all machines are going to work the same way. That is why we have put together a video for you to learn how to change the product pricing on Model 3561/3563 Vending Machines.

If you have any other questions about how to set the prices of your products, or just questions regarding your machine, please contact us at 1-800-833-4411. Our support team is always available to help you with your vending needs.

New Greenlite Support Page

Using our Greenlite Cashless System is now easier than ever with our newly updated Greenlite Support Page. The page is stocked with helpful tutorial videos that walk you through exactly how to install and use your Greenlite Cashless System. From card reader installation and troubleshooting, to Machine Sales and Cashless Sales Analysis, Vendnet has tools to help you grow your vending business with Greenlite. 

Providing customers the ability to use their credit cards, debit cards and mobile phone payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay make your products much more accessible. Adding a cashless system like Greenlite increases your sales an average of 18%-30%. Greenlite makes tracking your sales and inventory easier with remote monitoring online. Only 25% of vending machines in use in the U.S. are equipped with card readers. A large number of them are too old to add one. Adding a card reader to your new machine can make your vending operation much more attractive to locations looking for better vending service.

Head over to the Greenlite Support Page and have a look! If you have any questions about Greenlite please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-833-4411 or email service@vendnetusa.com.

Bill Validator & Coin Mechanism Special

There’s little that is more frustrating as a vendor than being unable to receive your customer’s money.  And it’s equally as frustrating for customers wanting to purchase products from you machine! Your customer chooses an item or maybe two that they want from your machine but when they try to insert money, there is a jam or a faulty piece of equipment that prevents the sale. Old or unreliable coin mechanisms and bill validators simply aren’t worth keeping around. Vendnet’s Conlux Special gives you a good deal on replacing your coin mechanism or bill validator.

When you purchase a Conlux mech or Validator, Vendnet will accept ANY complete MDB mech or validator working or non-working for a credit to be issued upon receipt and inspection by Vendnet. Rebate form must be filled out completely and accompany the unit(s) you are returning for credit. Credit will not be given for unit(s) that are not accompanied by rebate form at the time of receipt by Vendnet. All units sent in to Vendnet for credit become the sole property of Vendnet and will not be returned. 

Units should be shipped to: 

Vendnet  

165 N 10th St 

Waukee, IA 50263 

Conlux is one of the most trusted and quality brands for bill acceptors and coin mechanisms in the vending industry. Their products are simple to use and highly reliable. Conlux offers 4-way bill acceptance and dual pellet sensing technology. 300 or 500 cash boxes with dual side entry doors are available as well. Call 1-877-4CONLUX(426-6589) or email conlux@vendnetusa.com for more information about this offer.