Should You Have a Credit Card Reader on Your Vending Machines?

credit card reader

Back in the day, having a vending machine equipped with a coin slot was enough. Then as time went on, adding a dollar bill acceptor became top-of-the-line. However, with fewer and fewer people carrying cash on hand, smart vending machine operators and business owners know that having a credit card reader on a machine is key to increasing sales and has become the standard for vending machine operators. USA Technologies, the leading developer in cashless systems, reports credit card payments to increase average vending machine sales by 30 percent over cash. While some worry about monthly fees or per-use fees, they pale in comparison to the increase in sales you’ll experience.

Types Of Credit Card Readers

Swipe readers or chip readers, two different ways of accepting credit cards, can be added aftermarket to a machine you already have or can be built into newer machines on the market. Either way, going cashless is a great way to maximize profits and ensure that you don’t miss out on any sales just because your potential customer doesn’t carry cash. Additionally, some readers allow customers to pay with their smartphone or tablet rather than using cards at all, making sales even easier for both you and the customer.

Many aftermarket and some built-in credit card readers also include a mobile app that offers mobile management and monitoring for your machine. For customers who use the mobile app, they are offered the opportunity to earn rewards in the form of credits or free vends.

In short, there’s almost no downside to adding a credit card terminal to your existing vending machine. Any cost outlay is recouped almost immediately in the form of increased sales, and you’re making the entire process easier for you and your customers.

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Popular Vending Machine Spotlight: Soda Vending Machines

soda vending machine

Of all of the vending machines in use today, soda vending machines are by far the most popular. Unlike in the past, however, when soda vending machines supplied soda almost exclusively, newer beverage vending machines offer a much wider variety of options for cold drinks. Water and energy drink options have now become more attractive to the public, and newer machines reflect that. For those who run a vending business, there are a few choices which can be made to ensure that your soda vending machines are as attractive as possible to consumers, whether they are serving up soda, or other kinds of beverages. 

Types of Soda Vending Machines:

Glass front vending machines offer a great way to show off multiple types of beverage options, allowing the merchandise to sell itself. In addition to choosing a glass-front machine, there are several other features which may lead your customers to spend more at your machine.

For example, utilizing credit card acceptors allows people who may not carry change to access your items. Drink vending machines and snack vending machines with a multi-price option allow you to charge different rates for different items, which may make it easier for you to stock a wider variety of items, such as both 11-ounce cans and 20 oz. bottles. Multi-price item machines use different vending machine parts, so if you have single price machines you would like to upgrade, you may want to consider having your vending machines refurbished or to upgrade your soda machines altogether. As someone in the vending machine business, it is important to keep upgrading your vending equipment to keep up with the latest in technologies, whether you have a single beverage machine or a whole group of soda machines and snack machines. 

A & M Equipment Sales has a wide variety of machines for sale, from drink machines and snack machines to those which can be set to vend sandwiches, hot foods, and even non-food items. Their machines come with a 90-day warranty on vending machine parts and their staff is trained to be able to answer any questions you may have to ensure that your vending business is as profitable as you want it to be.

How Healthy Vending Machines Can Boost Your Business

For years, when people thought about food vending machines, they thought about junk food. However, as people grow more conscious about how their diet affects their health, offering healthy snacks and drinks have become a more attractive alternative to traditional vending for vending business operators. According to Reuters, over a third of Americans are currently obese. This costs $190 billion a year in extra medical spending. One cause of this is the convenience and prevalence of junk food. This has led more and more people to want healthy options in the most convenient places of all, their vending machines. The vending industry is led by consumer desire, and having healthy vending machines and offering healthy food is a great way to increase traffic to your route.

Healthy combo machines such as the Healthy Vend Combo Vending Machine gives vending operators the freedom and flexibility to offer healthy drinks instead of soda pop, such as water, milk and juices, and healthy snack options such as fruit, yogurt, sandwiches, string cheese, and more.  

The vending products you choose are as important as your machines and your location. It’s important to keep on top of the trends and even laws in your area. For example, the “Smart Snacks In Schools” program, which went into effect in 2014 encourages schools to sell healthy foods that are aligned with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines suggest the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy options; while limiting calories, fat, sugar, and sodium. To comply with this program, many schools have banned traditional “junk food” offerings in vending machines, so being able to supply them with healthier options can be a boon to your vending business. If you don’t have a combo machine, there are still plenty of healthy options you can offer. This includes water and juices instead of soda, or baked chips, low-fat popcorn, dried fruit, brown rice crackers, sunflower seeds, or nuts instead of greasy chips or candy. 

Healthy Vending Machines in the Workplace

Having a healthy vending machine available in the workplace may improve the overall diet of employees. Thus, increasing productivity, a win for you, and a win for the company that hosts your machines.  

Healthy vending machines come in all different sizes and configurations to suit ADA compliance rules, and utilize the same payment technologies, LED lighting (for lower energy consumption) and configuration options as standard machines. A reputable dealer such as A&M Equipment Sales will be able to help you find the right machines for your location and offerings. Whether it be new or refurbished, to make the most of your route, we are here to help. Joining the healthy vending movement is a great way to add to your route, refresh the offerings in your machines, and help improve the health of your customers, one snack at a time. 

A&M Equipment Sales Holds Second Annual Fundraiser to Benefit Veterans

Semper Fi Fund

From May 1st until Labor Day will donate $10 out of every machine sold to the Semper Fi Fund.


(Lithonia, GA) There are over 20 million veterans in the United States, and the number rises every year. For many, their lives have been radically altered by their service, either through injuries or illness, resulting in the need for funds, programs, and benefits for these brave Americans.

In order to help support one of the premier service organizations providing support for our soldiers, vending machine business A&M Equipment Sales is participating in their Second Annual Fundraiser to benefit veterans. For the second year in a row, they will spend their summer paying it forward. Beginning on May 1 and lasting through Labor Day, they will donate $10 for every vending machine sold to the Semper Fi Fund.

“At A&M Equipment Sales, the main focus has traditionally been toward our customers. By providing them with the best quality machines in order to maximize their profits” stated A&M spokesperson Katie. “However, we feel it’s also our duty to give thanks, and to give back to those who fight so hard for our country, to grant us our freedom. We hope that, in some small part, our annual fundraiser is going to help to do that.”

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance, as well as lifetime support, to post-9/11, combat wounded, catastrophically injured, and critically ill members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. This Fund delivers the resources these individuals need during their recovery and transition period back into the community, working to ensure no one is ever left behind.

“We at the Semper Fi Fund are appreciative of A&M Equipment for choosing us as the recipient for their annual fundraiser for the second year in a row. Their campaign will raise much-needed funds and awareness for our wounded, ill, and injured veterans and help us to serve those who preserve our freedom,” said Wendy Lethin, VP Community Outreach for the fund. 

Additional information about A&M Equipment Sales, as well as the fundraiser, can be found by visiting the company’s website.


Initially started as a vending operator in 1964, the staff of this company knows the vending machine business. A&M Equipment Sales has one of the largest vending machine inventories in the southeast. It supplies businesses with new and refurbished soda vending machines, snack vending machines, coffee vending machines, sandwich vending machines, dollar bill changers, and condiment counters.


The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans in order to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater. The Semper Fi Fund has been awarded the highest ratings from watchdog groups: an A+ from CharityWatch—one of only two veteran nonprofits to receive this rating last year—and seven consecutive “4-Star” ratings from Charity Navigator, an achievement attained by only 3% of rated charities. 

Learn more at

Media Contact
Katie or Joe
Lithonia, GA 30058 

How Can a Custom Vending Machine Help My Business?

Today’s vending machines are more flexible, more useful, and more profitable than ever before. Whether you have your own vending business or you own another kind of business and are looking to install a vending machine in your location, new vending machine technologies have made the idea of purchasing a custom vending machine a no-brainer.

Custom Vending Machine Benefits:

Vending machines have far exceeded just being for drinks or snacks; they are now used for not only every food you can think of but also as automated retail kiosks. Advances in vending machine technology now mean that businesses can expand their retail offerings without having to increase staffing levels.

For example, laundromats looking for an easy way to provide supplies to customers without burdening staff may find the 18 Select Laundry Center to be an excellent choice. With a variety of adjustable trays to handle both boxes and bottles, and a glass front offering great visibility of product offerings, this is just one example of what a custom machine can do for a retail location. 

However, a custom vending machine is more than just adjustable shelves. A custom vending machine will allow you to bring whatever combination of products you want to offer to your customers. Looking to offer drinks and beverages in one location? A combo vending machine gives you that option. If you’d like to offer merchandise alongside snacks or beverages new dual zone merchandisers offer features like add-on lockers which let you sell even larger items easily and efficiently. 

Vending Machine Advances:

In addition to different combinations of goods, vending machine manufacturing has come a long way in terms of customer convenience. Vending machine designer options now include custom graphic wrap designs to compliment your business and specialty currency acceptors which allow customers to use cash or a credit card, or even to get change for locations such as laundromats that run on coins. A vending system card reader that works off touch screen even allows for remote management, meaning less maintenance time for the machine operator. 

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to custom vending machines, and it’s easy to get confused. For expert advice on both custom and traditional machines, a simple call to A&M Equipment Sales can help you get on the road to the machine you need. 

custom vending machine

5 ways small vending machines can bring in big profits. 

Small vending machines are a great option if space is limited!
Small vending machines can make big money!

When people think of vending machines, they often think of large, hulking machines that hold dozens of snacks and take up lots of space. However, many vending machine operators have discovered that smaller, wall mounted snack machines can offer a great way to improve your bottom line. Here are 5 ways considering small vending machines may be useful to your business.

1) Small vending machines, big choices!

Small machines aren’t just for snacks and candy. Smaller vending machines offer the opportunity to sell beverages, snacks, prepared food choices, and more.

2) Up to date payment options.

Smaller vending machines don’t have to stick with coin-operated payment options. They can now also take bills, and even credit cards, giving your customers more flexibility.

3)Saving energy

Some businesses are hesitant to host a vending machine because of concerns about energy consumption. Small vending machines, however, are more energy efficient and tend to be more attractive to retail centers.

4)Saving Space

Another issue which may cause businesses to be hesitant to host your machines is the square footage they take up. Mini vending machine options and wall mounted machines in particular, eliminate this issue.


While smaller machine brings to mind gumball and candy machines, today’s small and even mini vending machines are incredibly flexible. They can sell everything from cheap vending machine fare, such as typical snacks and candies, to full-service options that can make espresso, or serve up prepared foods and drinks. There are even machines that serve soft ice cream options.

The fact is that a business based on bulk mini vending machines can make as much, or even more than larger, bulkier machines, and their small size and flexibility in food offerings mean great opportunities to make money in almost any setting!

One of our favorite small vending machines is the AMS Slim Gem Snack Machine. With 24 selections available and weighing only about 500 pounds, it is a great choice for small spaces or to start your blossoming enterprise!

New Vending Machines - A&M Equipment

Vending Machine License: Is It Something You Need?

Vending Machine Licenses are an important element of your business
Vending Machine Licenses are an important element of keeping your business above board.

When considering starting a vending machine business, many people fail to consider the vending machine license one must obtain for their business. The truth is most states require vending machine route operators to obtain both a business license and the permits.

There are several mandatory licenses to operate a vending machine business, including a machine license and a sales tax receipt certificate. Depending upon the items you wish to place inside the machines, there may be additional licenses. Soda and snacks, candy, milk products, and tobacco all have different regulations and local ordinances may vary from the state ordinances. Failure to comply with these can mean revocation of your license. 

Vending machine sales are eligible for tax in the same fashion as food items in more traditional stores. If an item would be exempt when sold in a store, the same would be true for a vending machine. However, if it is eligible to taxes in a brick and mortar store, it will also be eligible for tax in your machines. The only exceptions from this rule are:

Hot beverages sold from a vending machine are always exempt. Certain items that are taxable when sold by food stores are exempt when sold from a vending machine for $1.50 or less. When you file your sales tax returns you’ll need to separate the number of sales you made from the sales tax you collected.

Before Obtaining Your Vending Machine License

Consider the location where you will be placing your machines. If they will be in schools, regulations may be different than if you are placing them in commercial areas.

To run your business legally it is important to not only know your local regulations. Adhere to them carefully, ensuring your business is above board and reproach.

To learn more about the vending machines available to you, visit our website: 

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FDA Requirements for Vending Machines: What You Need to Know

FDA Logo Black Large
FDA regulations on vending machines aren’t too difficult, but you need to ensure your company is abiding by the law!

Whether you’ve had your vending machine business for a long time, or you’re just starting out, there are some FDA requirements on vending machines that you should know about.

The Food and Drug Administration, to tackle the obesity epidemic, has created food labeling requirements for all foods sold from vending machines.

Because Americans eat about one-third of their calories away from home, the FDA has created these calorie labeling requirements for vending food items. Food labeling has become more popular in all venues, from restaurants putting calorie counts on their menus to companies redesigning their cans and box packaging to more prominently display nutrition information.

Vending machine labeling requirements mean that vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines, have the duty to disclose calorie information for the food sold from those vending machines, subject to certain exemptions. The compliance date for these changes went into effect on December 1, 2016.

Most packaged food items have calories posted on the back, but for vending machines with glass fronts, the calorie declaration that is now often part of package design on the front of packaged food is acceptable, rather than having to post signage on the actual machine. If the foods you stock do NOT have calorie information on the front of the package, then you must adhere to the following policies:

Calorie declarations must be clear and conspicuous and placed prominently and may be placed on a sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine, so long as the sign is in close proximity to the article of food or selection button.

Calorie declarations for total calories present in the packaged food are not informative for gum, mints, and roll candy because consumers typically do not consume the entire packaged product at one time. In order to consider this issue further, FDA is extending the compliance date to July 26, 2018, for gums, mints, and roll candy sold from glass- front machines in packages that are too small to bear FOP labeling. In the interim, FDA encourages vending machine operators to provide calorie information for such products through a sign in close proximity to the gums, mints, and roll candy inside the vending machine.

Visit our website to see our catalog of machines:

FDA website:

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How to Start a Snack Machine Business

A reliable machine can provide a reliable source of income!
Not all snack machines are the same, be sure your machine is reliable!

More than Just Snack Machines

If you are new to or thinking about getting in the snack machine business, we should first let you know that the vending machine business covers much more than simply snacks! With drinks, combo drink-snack machines, and school supplies, there isn’t anything that can’t be sold in a vending machine! With the knowledge that there are now endless possibilities available to you, here are some questions to consider:

Are you ready to be your own boss?

Many of us dream of being our own boss. Picking your own hours, choosing who you work with, and the length of your commute is all liberating. The advantages also come with plenty of responsibilities, so be sure you are ready to shoulder the work that comes with being the boss.

Are you motivated?

Starting your own vending machine business means no more 9-5 schedule. You must be willing to stay until the work gets done! Some days will require the entirety of your day, while other days pass in the blink of an eye. One of the best parts of working with vending machines is that many times they can conform to your schedule. Depending on the location, vending machines generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and could be serviced at any point in the day!

If you have the motivation and desire the freedom that comes with being your own boss; we recommend contacting NAMA (the National Automatic Merchandising Association.) They have collected a series of invaluable resources that will provide you with the information needed to make sure your company hits the ground running! Call (312) 346-0370 to contact NAMA or visit their website:

Food For Thought:

Pick the Right Brand of Vending Machine

Not all vending machines are the same. Steady income of your business is dependent upon minimizing the downtown and maximizing the sales for your individual machines, and a lesser machine is simply going to make your life harder. Because the type and quality of vending machines vary so greatly, we recommend taking a look at NAMA-certified vending machines or calling a local vending company (click here for a list of vendors by state)

Watch Out for “Biz-Op” Scammers

Some companies will sell a route with inferior machines claiming a stake in a franchise that exists only in name. After you have committed your time and money, the company will have stolen your money and ran!

If you find a passion for owning and operating your own vending machines, you can stay in the business for life! Set your schedule every week and above all take pride in being your own boss!

Visit our website: to see the machines we have available or email for more information!


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School Vending Machines Have A Healthy Option

school vending machines - Healthy eating

Schools are cracking down on unhealthy snacks, but that doesn’t mean school vending machines are out of the picture.

As of July 1st, 2014, schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are required to adhere to the USDA standard called “Smart Snacks In School (SSIS)”.

The SSIS program aims to improve the health of school children across the nation. Founded on evidence-based research and practicality, it encourages schools to sell healthy foods that are aligned with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines suggest the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy options—while limiting calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.

In short, healthier foods are in, junk food is out.

43 Percent of elementary schools, 74 percent of middle schools, and 98 percent of high schools offer vending machines to their students.

In the past, most school vending machines have been loaded up with sugary candy, salty snacks, and beverages that completely lack any nutritional value—adding fuel to the fire of the obesity epidemic that affects children (and adults) across the country. As a result of this, and the new legislation, many schools have decided to completely ban junk food everywhere, while others have decided to focus their attention on the contents of their vending machines.

Thanks to these regulations the vending machine industry has become more creative with their offerings, and more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, smart snacks, and healthy beverage options are offered.

Instead of stocking school with apple pies, cheese crackers, and nacho chips, options like sunflower seeds, baked chips, and low-fat popcorn are now seen as far better ways to fulfill those midday munchies. Soda is also a big no-no in schools, as the sugar and calories are seen as prime targets in anti-obesity efforts. Smarter beverage options can include bottled water, seltzer and flavored water, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, fat-free milk, or other low-calorie drinks.

Healthy snacking options are now available from almost every distributor and allow your vending machines to be a source of nutritious snack and beverage options, instead of an endless stream of empty calories. If you’re looking to change your vending machine business over from junk food to smart snacking there are tons of options out there; just take a look! And if you’re looking to start your own vending machine business give A&M Equipment Sales a call, we’re here to help!


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