Author Archives: Lindsay Hottovy

A Simple Way to Increase User Experience

As with many things, the technology on vending equipment is always evolving. If you are not willing to keep up with it, you are doing your customers and your business a huge disservice. For example, by utilizing a touch screen display instead of a keypad, you are not only increasing the user experience, but you are making it easier for yourself to set up your vending equipment. Watch the video below to see how an interactive screen is engaging to your customers.

Technology is always changing and it is your job as a vending machine owner to change with it. For more information on the latest in vending technology, give us a call at 888-836-3638.

Set Your Business Up For Success

When it comes to setting up new combination vending machines, it is integral that everything is set up correctly from the very beginning. From learning how to receive your machine to power on your machine, fully understanding your merchandiser leads to a more profitable business. Learn what to look for when receiving your vending machine by watching the video below.

We want your vending business to be successful from the very beginning. For additional information or questions about your vending equipment, contact Vendnet at 1-888-836-3638.

End the Search for the Serial Number and Barcode on Your Machine

In order to ensure you are accessing the correct information on your vending machine, it is crucial that you know how to find the serial number and barcode. This information allows you to find the correct manual for your machine, as well as helps our service techs answer your questions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The location of the serial number and barcode varies, based on the machine. To help narrow down the search of the serial number and barcode on your machine, watch the video below.

At Vendnet, we want to ensure that you know the inside and outside of your machine like the back of your hand. Discover more resources, such as manuals and videos, on our website or give us a call at 888-836-3638.

Are You Loading Your Products Correctly?

Each vending machine and each coil within a vending machine is different. This means that different sized products and products with different package form factors and shapes must be loaded differently. To find out more about how to properly load specific products within your vending machine, click the video below.

Vendnet has a variety of resources to ensure that you are taking proper care of your vending machine. This includes a video library, online manuals and an online parts catalog to order from. For more information, contact Vendnet at 888-836-3638.

Do You Understand Your Machine?

Understanding your merchandiser is essential in running a successful vending business. Whether you are curious about a specific product or you just want to understand your machine like the back of your hand, Vendnet can help you. We make it easy for you to access resources to save you from scouring the internet looking for exactly what you need.

It can be a pain lugging around a vending machine manual. It can be even a bigger pain remembering where you last put your machine manual. We make it easy for you to access your machine’s manual no matter when or where you are. Our service and parts manual library is easily accessible to everyone. You want your machine to last a long time. These manuals help you understand and care for your machine, so you can do just that.

It is inevitable that one day your vending machine is going to need a new part. Instead of spending time and money looking for the exact part you need, you can order vending parts directly from the Vendnet website. You can find whatever part you need, including pumps, motors, switches and more, directly on the website. This even includes coffee products to keep employees awake and alert throughout the day.

We understand that it may be easier for some people to visually see what they need to do to care for their machines. That is why we have put together an extensive video library. These videos range from setting up your machine to programming your machine and everything in between. Making these videos easily accessible to you will ensure that your business will never skip a beat.

Like you, we want your vending business to be a success. That is why we make our manuals, parts catalog and video library so easy for you to access. If you have further questions about these items, please contact us at 888-836-3638.

Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part 4

Reducing COVID-19 Exposure Risk with Contactless Payments

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I, finding the right product to keep your vending machines disinfected and safe for your customers to use in Part II and best practices to properly clean your machine in Part III. In this final installment, we will focus on why cashless payment options are more important now than ever before.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or their eyes.  Potentially contaminated surfaces and objects that pose as infection risks include dollar bills and coins. 

When it comes to the potential spread of COVID-19 through currency, some countries are taking an aggressive approach to reducing the risk of currency spreading COVID-19. China, for example, has been quarantining the country’s cash. The government collected banknotes and then sanitized the stacks of bills. From there, the currency was kept in isolation for 7-14 days before being released into the banking system. 

While the United States has taken similar measures on currency that has come from Asia, steps such as those taken in China have not been taken on a widespread basis in the US. Even so, as consumer behavior changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect to see an acceleration in the already growing trend of cashless as consumers’ payment preference of choice in vending.  

Recognizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure through surfaces and objects, many operators are being proactive in reducing the risk to consumers by ensuring their vending equipment is cleaned and sanitized on a more frequent basis and updating their fleets with cashless card readers.

“We see the cashless payment trend increasing, even while the crisis is happening, with a shift towards the use of contactless transactions.  The ability to offer cashless payment capabilities encourages consumer confidence,” said Carly Furman, CEO of Nayax LLC.

While the COVID-19 crisis is sure to bring unseen changes to the convenience services industry, we believe there is an underlying, long-term opportunity for operators.  The current crisis may increase the growing share of cashless transactions in vending, resulting in increasing operators’ profits. In fact, in a study done of 250,000 machines over an 18-month period, the number of total transactions increased by 26% on machines that allow for cashless payments. 

According to the same study, there is a 37% increase in dollar spend when customers pay with a card versus cash. Customers are more inclined to purchase more than one item from the machine, simply because it is so easy to swipe their card. Although mobile payments only account for 5-7% of payments, that number is estimated to grow during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are looking to move away from making contact payments, such as cash.  Apple Pay and Google Pay use near-field communication (NFC) to power contactless payments. With NFC, consumers simply tap their phone to a compatible terminal such as a Greenlite device and the transaction is complete. 

This is an unprecedented time for all of us, meaning that we have to adjust to the way we live our lives and operate our businesses. Adding a cashless card reader, such as Greenlite ensures you will not miss out on a sale due to payment acceptance limitations while providing a safe, contactless payment option for consumers. It also keeps you safe by providing you with access to inventory reports, maximizing machine fulfillment when it is needed.

For any questions regarding safe practices for your vending business or information about your vending equipment, contact Vendnet at 1-888-836-3638.

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

Best Practices for Cleaning and Disinfecting Vending Machines

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I and finding the right product to keep your vending machines disinfected and safe for your customers to use in Part II. Part III of our four-part series will provide best practices to properly clean your machine, without causing damage to the equipment.

While Vendnet recommends soapy water for cleaning and disinfecting vending equipment, the choice is up to you.  Regardless of what type of cleaner you choose, here are some Best Practices for Cleaning Vending Equipment.

  • Recommended supplies:
    • Disposable non-linting cloths (‘contact’, ‘non-contact’ & ‘external’)
    • Clean disposable gloves
    • Plastic scraper
    • Spray bottle w/ cleaning solution
    • Glass cleaner or similar for cleaning the window
  • Ensure the machine is Switched OFF before completing any cleaning tasks.
  • Do not apply or spray the soapy water solution directly onto surfaces that could or might leak directly onto electrical components such as the keypad or touch screen.  Where this is a possibility the soapy water should be applied to a ‘clean’ cloth which then should be used to wipe the surface to be sanitized.

Why do I need three separate cleaning cloths?  The ‘contact’ cloth should be used on areas of the machine that come into contact with areas of consumer interaction.  The ‘non-contact’ cloth should be used on internal areas of the machine. The ‘external’ cloth should be used on all external surfaces with the exception of areas of the machine that are exposed to consumer interactions.

Some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do not use metal scrapers
  • Do not put any of the machine’s internal parts on the floor
  • Do not take water for cleaning from a toilet area
  • Always wear protective gloves
  • Always use the correct cleaning agent for the application and follow the manufacturer’s instructions

In many grocery and retail stores, it is commonplace to see self-serve sanitizing wipes for customers to use.  To help ensure your equipment stays clean and provide peace of mind to consumers, if possible, provide sanitizing wipes at or near your equipment. 

As with all individuals working in convenience services in a food-handling role, an operator who is suffering any form of illness should inform their supervisor and not perform any work sanitizing the vending equipment. 

Safe sanitation is crucial now more than ever for your vending equipment. For more information on best practices to sanitize your vending equipment or other equipment questions, please contact Vendnet at 888-836-3638.

With consumers using cashless often due to sanitary concerns, Part IV focuses on why cashless payment options are more important than ever. Check back soon to view Part IV.

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

What Products Are Recommended to Safely Clean and Disinfect Vending Equipment?

Previously, we delved into why vending is the ultimate solution in the convenience services industry in Part I.  Part II of our four-part series will provide guidance on finding the right cleaning agent to keep your vending equipment disinfected and safe for your customers to use.

As communicated by the European Vending Association, even with the secured product control offered by vending, it is extremely important to clean and disinfect vending equipment often, especially considering the current health crisis due to COVID-19.  Fortunately, the cleaning and disinfecting process for vending equipment is easy and cost-effective. All components on vending equipment, including electronics, keypads, plastic surfaces, and glass surfaces, can be effectively cleaned and disinfected with warm, mild soapy water.

Why is soap so effective against bacteria and viruses, such as the Coronavirus?  Soap is comprised of two-sided molecules. One side is attracted to water; the other side is attracted to fat. Viruses, such as the Coronavirus, are comprised of material surrounded by a coating of proteins and fat. When viruses interact with soap, the soap molecules rip that fat coating out. Soap literally demolishes viruses in as little as 20 seconds.  To learn more about why soap is Vendnet’s preferred cleaning and disinfectant agent, check out National Geographic’s article Why soap is preferable to bleach in the fight against the coronavirus.

There are commercial-grade cleaning and disinfectant options such as Kay 5 Chlorinating Sanitizer, which is highly effective against bacteria and fungus, and is used primarily for kitchen equipment, soft serve and shake machines and kitchen utensils.  Another option is PURELL® Foodservice Surface Sanitizer, an EPA registered multi-surface sanitizer/disinfectant approved for use on food-contact surfaces with no-rinse required and is currently registered in all 50 states.

If you choose to use a commercial-grade product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix these products with ammonia or any other cleanser. Also, check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.  Expired products will likely not be as effective against coronaviruses. You can view all EPA approved disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 HERE.

For more information on best practices to sanitize your vending equipment or other equipment questions, please contact Vendnet at 888-836-3638. 

How should you go about cleaning your vending machine? Check back later to find out in Part III.

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.  

According to the National Merchandising Association (NAMA), “Through our unique food distribution system, our industry can be the greatest source of “contactless” nourishment to over 40 million consumers with food and beverages daily, and it is all accomplished in an unattended retail environment, often with round the clock availability.”

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.