Future Of Vending How Will It Look In Five Years

Changes in our industry have always moved slowly. There is a new form of vending that seems to be taking hold and it is making me wonder what the industry will look like in another five years.

The new form I’m talking about is the self serve break room. Most of us have seen the self-checkout lanes that are at many Wal-Mart stores today.

Now picture a break room where there are no traditional machines just a cooler for the cold food, milk and items that need to be refrigerated. Then a rack that holds the candy, chips, and pastries that would come inside a snack machine.

Most locations would have a cooler for soda, energy drinks and items you would find in a glass front soda machine. If the location justifies it you may have a freezer to sell frozen food.

Your customer walks along the displays and takes what ever they want and then steps up to a kiosk where they can pay with cash or a credit card. Many companies will pass out their own debit cards that you are able to replenish the money on the card.

Each employee will have their own web site to go to and at the end of a day, week, or month they can look to see exactly what they have purchased at the companies break room. It will tell them how many calories, saturated fats, and most anything that shows up on the ingredients label.

Pricing Items

Pricing of items is a major bonus with this system. Many companies are able to price their cold food at 30 to 50 percent more than they would be able to get out of it through a vending machine.

Another advantage is if you are charging $1.35 for a 20 oz bottle of soda that comes out of your machines that is the total amount you will receive for that item.

Now with the self serve you may price that 20 oz bottle of soda at $1.39 and then when they get to the kiosk to pay for the item the kiosk will add sales tax and the bottle deposit to the total amount that your customers pay.

Many people don’t mind paying more for a meal that they can pickup and look at before making the actual purchase. Figures are saying that sales are going up from 20% to 50% at a location after the kiosk and coolers are installed.


Theft is minimal if you watch the type of account that you are setting up with this type of a program. When you factor in being able to get more out of the same products that you sell through your machines this becomes a viable new tool for the vendor.

I will be writing more on this subject in the near future. I would like to hear from you on your thoughts of this type of a system.

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