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Vending Business Information, Issue #056 -- Dealing With Stale Products
July 08, 2012

Dealing With Stale Products

Stale products are a part of selling food. Every company needs to have a policy on how they are to be handled.

My suggestion would be that the stale products are to come out of your machines if the date will not make it to the next scheduled time you are to fill the machine.

If your driver is servicing the machine on the 9th and the date on the product is the 10th and they will be back on the 11th then it should come out on the 9th.

It is just not worth losing a good account over the owner or CEO buying an item that is out of date.

What To Do With The Stale Product

Many employees want to take the product home with them. They feel there is no magical moment that says on this date the product is good and the next day it is bad.

The employee is right in their assumption but allowing them to take the product home could become a legal liability for you. It also sets a trend that it is okay to eat company product.

You could end up feeding your employees family if your policy on stales becomes too lax. It can lead to employees taking good product home or even an employee eating at your expense on the route.

Dealing With A Machine That Has Too Many Stales

Many of us have machines that just are not selling enough product and we are throwing away too many stales out of them. In most cases it is a cold food machine that is the culprit.

Many cold food machines can be set to shop only 2/3rds of the machine. Another answer is to stock some nonperishable items in the food machine.

The answers above are for large accounts that have multiple break rooms. When they insist on one of their break rooms that doesn’t justify having a cold food machine having one.

If the account is a smaller account with one bank of machines then it should be removed. It is not profitable to hold onto a small account with a food machine that is just not producing.

If you are throwing away product from a snack or pop machine and you feel the account is worth holding onto then take some masking tape and mark par levels that the driver is not to fill beyond.


I have listed a few things you can do with equipment that has too many stales. Too many stales may be telling you that the account is just plain and simply not a good vending account.

Pull your equipment and move on if this is the case.

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