Vending Machines: What and How?
October 11, 2016
Vending machines need to change if they are to stay relevant and keep growing as an industry. Around the world, we are seeing just how organisations are adapting them to achieve that.
The first way in which vending machines are adapting to modern life is by altering what they offer. When I think of Vending Machines, I think of grabbing a quick chocolate bar as a snack. Well in Florida, they’ve taken it to a whole new level. Instead of getting a quick small snack, you can get yourself a whole hot fresh pizza at vending machines in selected locations. ‘Pizza touch’ have two machines in Orlando and one in Lakeland where you can get a 9-inch pizza in just two minutes. Now that is fast food.
We’ve also written before about how refrigerated vending machines have been used to sell local produce or provide services in some rural areas – meat when the shops are closed, library books in the absence of an actual facility. Meanwhile over in Japan, vending machines sell all kinds of products from the wonderful to the bizarre.
Adapting what is sold in the machines is certainly one way to breathe new life into the vending machine industry. But you also need to breathe life into the traditional model as well – how do you get people to make more use of the vending machines we’ve had for years, selling the products you would more expect such as snacks and drinks. For that, it’s less about changing what they sell, and more about changing how you use them.
John Broderick, chief executive of a Manchester-based Vending Machine business, was recently interviewed on the subject. He said:
“53% of British people go to work with no coins in their pocket, so we decided to fit Apple Pay and note loaders. We’ve seen a 16% increase in turnover just by putting better and more payment systems in. It’s something as simple as investing £500, but you get the cost of that back quickly.”
As more and more people start to use cashless solutions and carry less change on them, vending machines need to adapt. Accepting mobile payments from the likes of Apple Pay could be one way for example.
What we like to do here at BioStore, is incorporate vending into our cashless catering solutions for both schools and businesses. People can use vending machines with their biometric, pin or password they use for everything else on site, such as registration or security access. The payment is just withdrawn from their online account used for catering.
We can provide new vending machines with these capabilities, but are also able to retro-fit existing vending machines to accept cashless payments to cut down on the cost of overhauling existing systems. In a closed environment, a completely cashless solution to vending machine usage is once more making them the most convenient option to quickly grab a drink or a snack at any time of the day or night.