Owning vending machines can be a highly profitable business, but, like any investment, your profits are highly dependent on choosing the best possible location and knowing your target audience. If you’re considering starting your own vending business, our New Jersey vending machine company wants to help you get the highest return on your investment by helping you choose optimal locations and the best types of machines to go there.
The 6 Best Locations for Vending Machines
First, let’s look at some options where you can start your research by laying out the six best types of locations for your machines.
Apartments complexes are often untapped resources that can be hugely profitable. People are coming and going constantly, and modern apartments complexes often have hundreds of units with community areas including mailbox areas, laundry areas, playgrounds, swimming pools, gyms, and community centers. Having a few machines in convenient locations across the property with a great selection of snacks and beverages can easily lead to the profits you want.
Like apartment complexes, college campuses can be another great spot to place your vending machines. Machines in areas near building entrances make an appealing beacon for students and staff who don’t have time to go across campus for a meal or a drink or who are on their way into a night class.
The dorms have lounge areas and laundry areas that have plenty of foot traffic, and students who are feeling hungry after the dining hall is closed or who want a soda while doing homework are likely to take advantage of the convenience, especially if they take a debit card or a student meal plan card.
Company Break Rooms
Office buildings, manufacturing areas, and even industrial areas like steel mills have employee break rooms. While these areas aren’t seeing a constant flow of new traffic, you have a solid, consistent population, and having vending machines in the break room gives the employees an opportunity to grab a quick snack or drink on a 10-minute break.
For people who use laundromats, they’re often there for anywhere from two to four hours. While the people using the machines may have brought a book or have their phone charged to pass the time, they probably didn’t think to bring something to eat or drink. Having a few well stocked vending machines in the laundromat allows the customers to not have to leave their clothing unattended to go to a convenience store or hit a drive-thru, and provides you with a steady source of income.
Malls and Shopping Centers
Placing vending machines in high-traffic areas in a mall or a shopping area gives shoppers a convenient, affordable opportunity to grab something quick without having to fight a crowd at a food court or stand in line. While your local mall may already have vending machines at the main entrances, this gives you the opportunity to get creative: Try vending machines with healthy selections or place vending machines in areas at the mall near an anchor store but far from any restaurants to get people who may be hungry or thirsty half-way through their day of shopping.
Shopping centers, like strip malls, are a bit unique, but can present some excellent opportunities for vending machine owners. Often, these long stretches of shops don’t have a restaurant or coffee shop, so installing vending between the stores or between buildings can catch a large amount of foot traffic with minimal competition.
Offering healthy vending options to people who have just finished their workout is a great opportunity for a new vending machine owner. While a soda machine or snack machine that contains cookies, candy, and chips would get skipped by this clientele, you could go with healthy vending instead. Consider offering flavored waters, healthy juice, and high-protein snacks like almonds that will appeal to a health-conscious audience and employees of the gym, too.
Three Factors That Determine Your Vending Machine Location
Before you settle on a specific location or area, there are three things that will take a bit of research and work to ensure you’re going to achieve the success you want.
Permission from Property Owner
The most important factor to choosing a location is making sure you’re allowed to place your vending machines there while also protecting yourself from any issues of liability or hidden fees. One thing to factor in is that many property owners will want a cut of your income to generate their own passive income and offset the electricity cost of running the machines.
Foot Traffic and Visibility
Simply put, your vending machines need to be where people can easily see and access them. In places like shopping centers, you’re banking on impulse purchases, so the more people who pass by them increases the opportunities.
In college dorms and office break rooms, you’re banking on habitual purchases – the same people buying a snack in the afternoon when they come in from class or on a break at work every day. If you’re targeting this demographic, you’ll want a larger number of people who work or live there in order to turn a profit.
Should you choose a spot that has no vending machines or an area that already has a few in place? Honestly, either one can be successful. If there are no machines in place, make sure there is sustainable traffic. If there are machines already, make sure yours stand out from the competition by:
- Offering a different selection (such as healthy snacks or a different manufacturer like Coke products if only Pepsi is there);
- Newer, more attractive machines that will craw customers;
- Installing machines that allow debit card usage rather than dollar bills.
- Different price points;
The key is to research the area before installing a vending machine to know if you can install it, if it will get the traffic you need, and how you can ensure it will stand out and sell.
Contact Us to Begin Your Vending Machine Business
If you’d like to create a profitable business through vending machines, Atlantic Vending can help. We work with business owners, schools, and entrepreneurs to connect them with the right vending services for their location and have a wide variety of items that will appeal to your audience. To learn more, click the button below to call us or fill out the contact form to get started.