Combining Snack Box Routes with Vending Routes

Some vending and snack box routes fit together nicely while others do not. I’m going to give you the pros and cons of this type of an operation. Over the years I tried most of the different combinations and want to share my experiences with you.

Combining Products

There are some differences in the products you sell in the different types of vending. In the honor snack box business you sell prepackaged snack foods. Mainly chips, candy bars, cookies and crackers.

In the bulk vending business your product comes of course in large packages and the bulk items are either poured or scooped into the bulk vendors.

A full line vendor will carry snacks, soda, cold food, bulk coffee supplies, and change for his/her machines. The full line vendor has the most SKU’s by far.

Combining Shelving

Most honor snack box operators will build a rack that fits in a cargo van (Ford E-150). They normally can hold between 60 and 80 boxes and will leave a gap between the front of the rack and the back of the seats.

The bulk vendor doesn’t need a lot of space for his/her product it comes in the bulk form and in most cases they will keep the number of products to a minimum (3 to 4 items). Many strictly bulk vendors will operate out of a car or small pickup with a topper.

The full line vendor needs coolers for his/her cold food. They need a place to store cases of chips and snacks for restocking as they go along during the day. They will also need a rack for the soda and non-carbonated liquid items they will be carrying.

Combining Tools

The snack box routes will need almost no tools. The only exception would be a few tools if they want to be able to work on their vehicle if something goes wrong with it.

The bulk vendor needs a pair of pliers, screwdrivers and some very basic tools to work on their bulk vendors

The full line vendor doesn’t need very many tools because in most cases they will have a maintenance man that takes care of their machines. The one exception here would be if they are a one-person company then they would need a good set of tools and replacement parts with them.

Type of Vehicle

Honor snack box operator needs a full size cargo van to carry their product. The bulk vendor can get by with a car or small pickup while the full line vendor will normally run out of a step van or a box van.

Combining Warehouse

The warehouse is like the vehicle in that the bulk vendor will need the least amount of room while the snack box operator will need more room. The full line vendor will need the most room as they will need coolers; freezers and shelves for shelf stable items.

Summary

From my experience it is possible to combine snack box routes and bulk-vending route into the same warehouse and vehicle. The full line vendor in my opinion should keep out of snack boxes and bulk vending. The full line vendor needs a lot more room to operate in both his/her vehicle and warehouse.



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