Vending is a very profitable industry. According to Vending Market Watch, the industry’s total revenue was $24.2B in 2019, and although it dipped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue in the vending industry rebounded to $19.4B in 2021, with continued growth anticipated in the coming years. On top of being very profitable, the vending business model allows for a lot of freedom and flexibility on the business owners’ side. With cashless payment acceptance and effective management software, you can streamline your business operations and save tons of money.
Whether you’re opening a new vending business or want to scale your business operation, it’s important for you to consider where you place your vending machines. Location is the most important factor in making a sale, so you want to choose a location with lots of foot traffic.
Types of Locations for Vending Machines
There are two main types of vending machine environments: open and closed. Open environments are located in public spaces that allow universal access. These open environments, such as an outdoor shopping mall, get a lot of foot traffic. However, given that they are located outdoors in public areas, standard cash vending machines run the risk of vandalism and theft. The solution to this is accepting cashless payments and using a secure device such as Nayax’s VPOS Touch. You can even weatherproof your device with protective casing to ensure that it will last.
Closed environments have many advantages. First, they tend to be in restricted-access locations such as airports, hospitals, offices, and universities, thus making them more secure. They also provide an opportunity to boost customer loyalty as many of your consumers can be found at the same location on a daily basis. By analyzing your sales, you can get to know your customers and provide them with the right products based on their preferences. You can also encourage repeat spending with punch card campaigns and other personalized promotions. So, let’s look at the most popular locations for food and beverage vending machines throughout the USA in 2021 and discuss the advantages of placing machines in these locations.
10 Most Popular Vending Machine Locations
According to Vending Market Watch’s 2021 State of the Industry Report, 31% of vending machines were placed in manufacturing locations, 19.5% in offices, 13% in retail sites, 8.5% in hospitals and nursing homes, 7% in hotels and motels, 6% in schools, 4.5% on military bases, 4% at colleges and universities, 4% at correctional facilities, and 2% at restaurants, bars, and clubs. Let’s examine why business operators chose these locations and how this can help you decide where you’d like to open or expand your business.
Manufacturing locations hold the #1 spot for the most popular location for vending machines in the US. Manufacturing plants have hundreds if not thousands of workers, and many are open 24/7. Workers, whether they work a day shift or a night shift, need an occasional break, and a vending machine is the perfect way to provide them with an inexpensive and convenient pick-me-up. Vending machines don’t need to be monitored, have low risk of theft, and can provide workers with a snack or beverage with a simple tap of their credit or employee card.
Offices are another popular location for vending machines. Though employee presence at offices was greatly reduced in 2020, employers are starting to request that more and more people return to the office, either full or part-time. We all have days where we don’t have the time to bring a snack to work, which is one reason why office vending machines are so popular. Employees can grab a granola bar or an iced tea on a break and not waste any time in line. And with prepaid employee cards, they can be encouraged to buy more often.
As an operator, opening a vending machine business at an office can be both beneficial and safe. Offices often have camera surveillance, providing a safe and secure environment for your vending machines. Offices also provide you with the opportunity to expand and scale your business by adding a micro market or office coffee services alongside your vending machines, providing employees with even more choice in the same closed-loop environment, and with the same rewards.
Retail sites such as malls and shopping centers are very popular, get a lot of foot traffic, and are full of people who are in a hurry. Vending machines provide people with a quick and convenient way to get a snack instantly when they want to buy something quickly, without having to wait in line. With seamless cashless payment acceptance that allows consumers to choose the way they pay, you’ll never miss out on a sale at these locations.
Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Hospitals and nursing homes are an interesting hybrid of open and closed-loop environments. For employees such as doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, these are closed-loop locations. Many hospitals and nursing homes provide their employees with employee cards to which they can add money and pay at a discounted price with reward programs. Non-employee visitors at these locations also have the opportunity to purchase items, but pay instead with open cashless payments. Providing options in both open and closed environments helps you increase your reach and revenue.
Hotels and Motels
Hotels and motels are great locations for vending machines, as they constantly have traffic and new guests. Imagine getting into town on a red-eye flight and wanting a quick fix when you arrive at your hotel. Well, with vending machines, you get instant satisfaction!
Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
After school programs, play practice, football games…. There are many reasons that kids stay at school after the bell. Parents may not always have time to pack them an extra snack, so getting a snack at a vending machine is a great option! Parents can provide their kids with a prepaid debit card or some pocket money for them to get a snack between activities. With Nayax’s Easifit, it’s easier than ever for you to accept cash as well as cashless payments at your vending machines.
Military bases are another popular location for vending machines, much for the same reasons as other closed loop environments. These high-security locations have many workers who are on site for long periods. Night shifts are also not uncommon, and having access to quick and convenient pick me ups is greatly beneficial to the military personnel on site.
Colleges and Universities
In the US, college students often live on campus. They’re also known for staying up late. Whether they’re studying or partying, having convenient, 24-hour snack availability is important. By encouraging students to pay with Monyx Wallet, you can capitalize on their need for fuel when not much else is open.
Correctional facilities are closed and open-loop environments that, like hospitals, can serve both staff and visitors. Because the staff needs to be on site and alert 24/7, having easy and convenient access to snacks and beverages is an advantage, making this another popular place for vending machines.
Restaurants, Bars, and Clubs
Lastly, we’ll discuss restaurants, bars, and clubs, that make up just 2% of vending machine locations. Because these areas already serve food and drinks, there is less need for extra snacks. However, they still do have vending machines on site for situations in which the kitchen has not yet been opened or if they’re located at a beach or resort at which customers often look for a quick fix instead of ordering something from a menu.
Now that you have a better understanding of the most popular locations for vending machines throughout the US, you can make an informed decision about where you’d like to install your next vending machines!
If you have any questions about Nayax’s vending solutions, contact us here.