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How to hire the most profitable vending machines

Getting a vending machine for your office is a great way of keeping your staff happy and increasing morale and productivity. By offering convenient drinks and snacks in the office, your staff won’t have to pop out to grab their morning coffee or afternoon snack. You are likely to find that the easiness of a vending machine will build social relationships between staff as the machine becomes a social hub and your staff will be happier to grab a drink for a colleague. There are many benefits to having a vending machine in the office such as: Increased productivity Improved morale Stronger employee relations Time saving But those aren’t the only benefits that come with an office vending machine. They can also bring a welcomed extra income into your business. There is definitely a trend towards millennial employees forgoing a traditional breakfast like toast or cereal and opting for more convenient ready-to-eat options like breakfast bars and shakes. With everyone living increasingly busier lives, a quick and easy vending machine snack is likely to be welcomed and well used by your staff. But how much can vending machines make for your company?

How much can a vending machine make?

Well there is no straightforward answer to this question. With so many variables involved such as demographics, locations, profit models, machine type, products available and cost of products, it is impossible to get a single definite answer. However, as a rough guide you can expect to make between £1.50- £3.50 per employee per week. This is not a life changing profit-making scheme by no means but it can help fund smaller things. Although, as already mentioned there are many different variables that can affect how much money your vending machine will make.

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Many millenials forego breakfast in favour of ready-to-eat options from vending machines

How to maximise your vending machine profits

There are many things you can do to boost the profit you make from your vending machine. By taking the following aspects into consideration you will be able to maximise your vending machine sales. Think carefully about: Your office location The location of the vending machine within your office The products you choose to offer What additional features you want your vending machine to have


How to ensure you have the most profitable vending machines

There are a number of criteria that can influence vending machine profitability. Use these factors when you calculate your vending machine's profitability.

Office Location

How many sales you achieve will depend very much of other food and drink options available. If you have a canteen or there are cafes and shops nearby, your vending machine sales will be less. If you are in a remote location with limited food and drinks options your vending machine is likely to make more sales per employee.

If there are plenty of other options for your staff to grab a coffee and a bite then you may want to think about pricing your products competitively to encourage them to buy from your vending machine rather than the local corner shop. This will lower the overall profit margin you make but ultimate you are likely to make more sales.

It would also be a good idea to see if there is anything that your employees want that local amenities don’t offer. Maybe there is a lack of coffee shops around or no where to grab a really good sarnie. Looking for gaps in the local market will give your vending machine the edge.

Vending machine location

The location of the vending machine within your office will also have a big impact on the number of sales and ultimately the amount of profit you make. If your vending is hidden away in a dingy corner where there is no passing traffic your sales will be dismal at best. If you place your vending machine in a well-lit thoroughfare where people are passing all day then people will more likely to be tempted by your offerings and your sales will benefit.

The main appeal of vending machine is ease and convenience. You will want to make sure that your vending machine can be easily accessed. If you have a large office, putting the vending machine is central location will see you make more profits. If you have a very large office it may be worth investing in more than one vending machine so that there is always one nearby for those mid-morning hunger pangs and coffee cravings.

Product offering

Offering the right kind of products is key. It is well worth doing some market research to figure out what the people in your office would want in a vending machine. There is no point stocking your vending machines with yummy chocolate bars, crisps and fizzy drinks if a large proportion of your office is health conscious and would rather grab a bottle of water and a fresh salad or healthy cereal bar.

It is also worth considering the ethics of your business. For example, if your company specialises in fitness or healthy living products, it may not give off a good image to your clients if you have a vending machine full to bursting with unhealthy snacks. Equally, if you’re a company that is keen on being environmentally conscious, having a vending machine full of single-use plastic bottles is unlikely to sit well with your employees.

By giving some thought into the type of products you would like to stock you will be able to source products that your employees are more likely to buy and that align with your company values. This will also inform you on the type of vending machine you need, such as refrigerated machine to accommodate fresh food or a coffee vending machine that allows you to use your own cup. By making sure you are providing your employees with the products they want you will make more profits from your vending machine investment.

Vending machine features

Ensuring your vending machine is easy to use is vital. No one is going to use your vending machine again if it took them ages trying to select the product they want. Look for an easy to use vending machine will ensure that your staff will keep coming back. There are many technological features that can make your vending machine easier to use. For example, a touchscreen interface will offer a clear and intuitive way to select products and customise orders, especially in coffee vending machines.

Having a vending machine with a cashless payment system will make your vending machine much more attractive to your employees, especially the younger generation. Less and less people are carrying cash these days so you will limit the amount of potential customers by having a machine that only accepts coins. There are many vending machines that can now accept card payments and well as contactless and mobile payments. By investing in a machine with the latest payment technologies you will make more sales and therefore more profit.

More fancy high-end vending machines may even feature mobile apps so that your staff can order their drink without even having to leave their desk and have it ready and waiting for when they get there- ease and convenience at its peak. Smart features like this make your vending machine even more efficient. If your employees are tech savvy and are comfortable using the latest technologies then we are sure smart vending machines will be a hit in your office and will help increase sales.

We are happy to help you decide which vending machine is right for your business and answer any questions you might have. Simply call us on 01752 418084.

How to calculate your vending machine profits

Although it can be difficult to estimate the potential profits due to the vast number of variables which can affect sales, you can work out a rough guide. It is best to start on a monthly basis. It is also a good idea to look at the annual figure so you can have an idea about the return on investment you can expect to achieve on your initial outlay if you bought the vending machine outright.

  1. Work out how much you expect to make from total sales. This will be based on the number of working days per month and the number of employees you expect to be using the vending machine. You will also need to figure out what products you plan on selling and how much for. Do some market research beforehand so you know what your staff want and how much they are willing to pay. If there are plenty of other places nearby to grab a bite then you may want to price your products more competitively to attract customers.
  2. Work out the cost of inventory. Everything else will now need to be subtracted from the total sales. One of your biggest costs is likely to be the cost of stocking your machine. You should expect this to cost around 30% of your total sales. For example, a 33cl can of coke can be sold for around 60p but would only cost you about 20p to buy when bought in bulk.
  3. Add up your additional costs. You will also have to subtract any additional costs from your potential profit. These may include your lease or rental charge, any labor costs needed to maintain the machine, services and repairs, and any commissions you may need to pay.
  4. Commissions. If you are renting your vending machine or have a vending machine free-on-loan, then you may have to pay a percentage of your profits back to the owner of the machine. This will be stated in your contract so make sure you read this carefully and factor this in to your profit estimate. Always make sure you are clear on any commissions you have to pay so you don’t end up with an unexpected bill to pay.

By subtracting your stocking costs and expenses from your total sales, you will be left with your net profit. Remember, it is hard to know exactly how many sales you can expect to make until you have put it into practice. It is also important to consider how you wish to attain your vending machine. There are many different options such as buying outright or leasing your machine which may impact your potential vending machine profits. Take a look at the cost of a vending machine to read in more detail the costs you should consider before deciding to get a vending machine.

We are happy to help you decide which vending machine is right for your business and answer any questions you might have. Simply call us on 01752 418084.

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