Outdoor Vending Machine Business

In the vending machine business we have all seen the Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi machines setting in front of businesses. Is this the next cash cow for vending?

If the cola companies are into outdoor vending there must be money in it. On many college campuses you find kiosks making many of your favorite snack food and drinks available to you as you walk by.

What Type Of Machines Are Available For Outdoor Vending?

Almost any soda machine you buy will be underwriter’s laboratory listed (UL) and it should have a metal tag attached to the side of the door. This tag will say if the machine is for indoor or outdoor use.

If the machine you are thinking about locating outdoors is not UL listed for outdoor use, under no circumstances should you put it into outdoor service.

In recent years there have been candy bar machines designed for outdoor use. Hershey and Mars have machines that are kept cool in the summer so that the chocolate does not melt. These machines are located at swimming pools, theme parks and busy outdoor locations.

The snack machine manufacturers have machines that have refrigeration units in them. This makes it possible to sell chips, chocolate and pastries in a hot environment. If you are going to place these machines outdoors be sure that they are UL listed for that purpose as some are only for indoor use.

Is This A Viable Business

The Mars and Hershey chilled machines have good potential. The great thing about the chocolate machines is that they have a huge capacity for chocolate bars.

Once a person has found a good location they can fill the machine and not have to come back for one or two weeks.

If the machine is on the inside of a swimming pool or theme parks property it will be safe. If it’s located on the outside of a business some precautions need to be taken.

Precautions To Take When Going Into The Street Vending Machine Business

There are problems with outdoor vending. The major one is theft and vandalism.

When you have found a good location it is a good idea to have the business owner sign a contract. In the contract the main thing I would want is that the business includes the equipment you are placing in their insurance policy.

By having this clause you eliminate the problem of theft and vandalism. Some things you might want to consider are bolting your equipment down.

This will help with the youth of the neighborhood that would try tipping the machine over. It is amazing how lazy the petty thief is.

If you are placing the machine in an area that has a high crime rate (which may be an excellent location) there are cages built that the machine can be placed in. These cages can take a bad theft location and turn it into a moneymaker for the vendor.


There are pros and cons with everything we do. I believe that with the proper preparation the outdoor vending business is wide open for growth.

One thing you will want before going into this area of vending is, a contract that the business hosting your machine is going to include it in their business policy.

For some of your best locations a cage may be needed and at the minimum you should bolt your equipment down.

Keep in mind this is an area that is relatively untouched by the larger vending companies. It could provide a very profitable niche for someone that takes the initiative in being prepared and taking the time in planning out a strategy.

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