Category Archives: Start A Vending Machine Business

FDA Requirements for Vending Machines: What You Need to Know

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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.

Americans eat about one-third of their calories away from home. So the FDA has created these calorie labeling requirements for vending food items. Food labeling has become more popular in all venues. This includes 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 are for vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines. They 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. 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. They must be placed prominently and may be placed on a sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine. As 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. This is only 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. Mainly 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: https://www.amequipmentsales.com/

FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm515022.htm

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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: www.vending.org.

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: https://www.amequipmentsales.com/ to see the machines we have available or email [email protected] 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. More so, 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. These will also help limit 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. These completely lack any nutritional value. They add 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. 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. 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. The sugar and calories are seen as prime targets in anti-obesity efforts. Smarter beverage options can include bottled water, seltzer, and flavored water. Additionally, 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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How to find the Most Profitable Vending Machine Locations


The Importance of Vending Machine Locations


The right vending machine locations give you a greater chance of sales. Here’s our 4-step process to get an establishment to agree to host your machines. 

Vending Machines generate $20 billion to $30 billion annually. Getting an establishment to agree to host your machine can be very profitable. A vending machine’s financial success is tied to its location. The more people visit an establishment, the greater your chances of sales.

Look for locations with lots of employees or pedestrian traffic, such as colleges, auto shops and factories. Stay at least a few blocks away from coffee shops, grocery stores, and bakeries.

Push the Right Buttons

Contact the business owner or the property manager of the building or business where you want to install your machine. Introduce yourself as the owner of a vending machine business in the area and illustrate why a vending machine would be a great fit for the establishment. Explain that a vending machine is beneficial to customers, employers, and employees—especially in that they can access lunch, drinks, and snacks without leaving the building. It can also boost morale and productivity.

Come to Terms

Some businesses may agree to a vending machine only on the condition that they receive a percentage of the net sales. If there is no competition, negotiate a commission of up to 10%.  Or, to help to determine the rate, research the local market to find out what other vending machine companies pay.

Be Prepared

Expect to answer the business owner’s questions about how much power the machine uses; how it works, runs, and is installed; how, when, how often and by whom it will be monitored, restocked and serviced; and how commission is tracked and payment is sent. Offer to keep the machine stocked with the items that are most popular according to your records.

Seal the Deal

Create a document that details the terms and conditions to which you and the owner of the establishment agree. Review it with him or her a final time before you both sign it.

The vending machine industry can be a lucrative one. If you secure a suitable location that attracts a steady stream of people and keeps the machines fully functioning and stocked with the items customers enjoy most, you can definitely make some serious coin.

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Graphic Vs Live Display Drink machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine Beginning a snack or drink live display vending machines business venture is an exciting and potentially beneficial prospect. But also one that is filled with uncertainty and risk. Whether you are starting your own vending business or forming a partnership, research the pros and cons that most relate to the business. Learning the facts helps you be realistic about your business’s chances of survival. According to the Small Business Administration, seven out of 10 new companies will last at least two years. Only a quarter of those will have the longevity to last 15 or more years. The information below should help you better understand graphics machines and live display.

Graphics Vending Machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine If you want your vending machine to stand out, what can you do? A vending machine is a remarkably familiar sight. To keep navigating customers to your business, amongst this vast sea of different options, you must keep your vending machine looking as sharp and presentable as possible. One of the most effective approaches you can take to make your vending machine POP is to purchase different wraps to place on the outside of your machine. These are typically made of vinyl and come in a boundless variety of designs and prices. Vendor’s Exchange and graphicsthatpop.com (GTP) are two companies that sell graphics for vending machines. GTP also sells pre-cut graphics panels. These panels offer the added advantage of hiding any unsightly blemishes on your machine. Such as; scratches, dents, chipped paint, etc. You may also check with your local print shop to investigate different adhesive vinyl wraps that may be available in your community. Vinyl wraps aren’t only for driving attention to your vending machine. They also add a layer of protection to your machine. Wraps can protect it from damaging bumps and scratches. If your wrap gets worn or damaged, they are relatively easy to remove. You can then replace the wrap with a new one that you’ve designed or that better fits your location.

Live Display Drink Machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine Live display vending machines offer a great compromise between traditional drink vending machines and the glass front bottled drop style of machine. Like the glass front, the live display machine helps convert sales by displaying an actual product. The live display can give you an edge when placing in a new account. Let’s say you are taking over an account that was run by someone who would buy unreliable machines. Let’s say one of the problems was that the machine never worked. Now if you go and place a similar machine with a front sign it will put off some customers who dealt with the same machine in the past. The live display will attract new customers help increase sales in your location. This is a proven method for increasing sales.Live display vending machines also offer some versatility in product, with the capability to vend 12 oz cans, 20 oz bottles and several other sizes.

While a new business venture can be invigorating, it is also a tiring pursuit. The hours you set for yourself may grow exponentially as you try to get the company off the ground. While your old job may have had a 40-hour work week, small business owners can work approximately 52 hours a week. This is according to the 2005 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. These numbers can increase around the time of your opening. You’ll also need to purchase insurance and other benefits that were likely provided or subsidized by your former employer. Giving up those benefits can be costly. Don’t underestimate the difficulty that comes with having to wear many hats. While you may have been performing one or a few job duties at your old job, when you open a business, you will need to have the ability to complete any needed task. This includes hiring and firing employees, arranging contracts and relationships with vendors, and performing less glamorous jobs, like cleaning.

 

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The Benefits of University Vending Machines

University Vending Machines in a cafeteriaWhen most people think of eating on college campuses, they picture unappetizing cafeteria food. The use of University Vending Machines can change that.

 

 

Although cafeteria food has significantly improved, this is not always an option for a hurried college student. Students may not have time between classes to stop by the commons, and hunger can interfere with concentration and ability to perform.

Vending machines are both helpful and profitable. By placing a snack or soda machine in an ideal location, such as a college campus, you can help college students curb their hunger as well as make a profit from your sales.

 

Terrible cafeteria

The Benefits of University Vending Machines

Sometimes, hungry college students do not have the time to navigate their way through the cafeteria for a quick snack. Therefore, snack machines are ideal for universities. On-the-go students simply have to dig up their pocket change in return for an easy, tasty snack. Other benefits of college vending machines include:

  • Helping students get their “caffeine fix” to perk up for class
  • Providing college students with bottled water to prevent dehydration
  • Offering students both sweet and salty treats for a midday pick-me-up
  • Additionally, specialty devices like laundry vending machines can help college students with laundry, which is often a big step for new students. Others, such as medical aid vending machines, offer bandages and alcohol wipes to prevent infections and the spread of germs.

Vending Machine Business : Making Profit With An Ice Cream Vending Machine


Vending Machine Business: Making Profit With An Ice Cream Vending Machine


Starting a vending machine business provides many benefits. Starting a vending machine business offers the luxury of working less than one day per week while receiving those same benefits. The vending machine market has grown exponentially in recent years and allows you to run a business that’s simple to execute with low capital start-up costs and take the initiative margins.

Your customers are looking for convenience, and with busy lives, they’re seeking to satisfy a craving while on the move. You will have a broad target audience when you begin an ice cream vending machine business. There are certain aspects to keep in mind that ensure you achieve the most success through your business venture. Our refurbished machines are an alternative to a franchise, requires no franchise fees or royalties. And the vending machine business offers an abundance of additional benefits that make your next business venture exciting.

Simple Execution.

When you start your business, we provide you with details that you need to get started, making the process easier. From the machine itself to coolers, compressors, and traditional flavors of ice cream, you can set up and execute a business plan stress-free. You’ll streamline the process by setting up a vending machine, placing it in a lucrative location and watching your earnings pile in.

Location. The most important aspect is location. The more traffic is passing by your vending machine, the better your potential is with the business. Think about the product—delicious ice cream—and choose a location that can provide the most return on investment. With locations available nationwide, you can choose high trafficked areas such as zoos or theme parks, or choose popular shopping destinations like Walmart. The opportunities are endless.

Earnings Potential.

As vending machines are sprouting up in many areas and venues across the country, ice cream has become a popular and profitable vending machine product. Depending on the location of your machine, you can make money around the clock without being present. You can check in and collect your earnings once a week, and re-stock to maintain your operation.

Make sure to get the proper licenses before you set up, and take initiative in your new venture by keeping your equipment in good working order. If you have any questions about our business opportunities or would like to learn more about our proven business model, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Basic Vending Sales Presentation

Basic Vending Sales Presentation number one don’t be late and if you are call and apologize.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number two  Get there in plenty of time to ride around in the parking lot in order the count the cars for population and to see how many deliver vehicles and other walk in traffic is there.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number three meet your contact and ask him questions about his current vending service and how he thinks it could be run better.  Basic Vending Sales Presentation number four  Ask to go see the current vending machines.  Most times you can show the contact machines that are dirty or with stale product.   Basic Vending Sales Presentation Number Five  Point out everything that is wrong with the service he now has but be careful not to look like you are bad mouthing too much.  Fine Line. Tell him how your service would be better.  Listen to him and tell him how you could improve what he has.  .

Basic Vending Sales Presentation Have a plan and practice it. Always ask positive leading questions like:

  • What do you like about the vending service that you have right now?
  • If you had a choice is there anything you would change about your vending company right now?

Listen to these answers and with that you have enough info to make a very professional sales presentation in vending. You’ll want to cater your presentation.

Most of the time you already have the products they want, so by asking questions you will learn what all you need to do there.

Next, you’ll explain how your system works and incorporate in it the things they like right now and that you will fix the things they don’t like right now.

The majority of the complaints about vending is not product but service related, so ask plenty of questions to understand how to cater to that prospect.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Tom: Hi I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show and today we’re talking about  basic vending sales presentation. So, Larry Towner’s here with us, so what is a basic sales presentation look like?

Larry Towner: Well, so we wanted to just go over some of the basic things cause I … let me tell you the genesis of this story. I was sitting in my new job, as it were, and we had a coffee man come in and he was gonna do a sales presentation to us at the shop that I work at. I was like, “Okay. This sounds like fun. I’ve been selling coffee for a little while, selling vending and coffee and doing all of this stuff for a little while.”

Larry Towner: It spurred this idea to come up with how to do the basics of a sales presentation. This guy come in and he had set up an appointment. He had done a cold call and he had set an appointment to come in and talk to us at eight o’clock in the morning.

Larry Towner: Let’s talk about the first thing. Tom, when should you show up at for an eight o’clock appointment? A: at 5:00, B: 8:00, C: 8:05, D: Next week.

Tom: Well I would say B, but …

Larry Towner: I would say that’s A or B. By the time 8:00 rolls around, you better be there and ready to go. Don’t show up late. If you are gonna be late, even if it’s a few minutes, make sure you call and talk to the man or woman or whomever you’re talking to and who you’re presenting to. In this case, we had eight people standing there waiting for this to happen and he was late. It started him off on the wrong foot straight away, so be on time. Number one.

Larry Towner: So number two. Have a plan. Understand what you’re trying to do. Come up and practice this once in a while. When you go in to do a vending presentation, always ask lots of questions, right? So one of the first questions is, and stay positive, what do you like about the vending service that you have right now. Listen, right? Pay attention to what they say, then cater your presentation to what he said right after that. So what do you like, so if there was anything and also again staying positive, ask another question.

Larry Towner: If you had a choice is there anything you would change about your vending company right now, and listen to what he says. Then you can go in and you can say okay, with that, those two questions right there give you enough information to make a very professional sales presentation in vending, because what you’re going to do is cater your thing. If the fella says, you know, we just don’t have the products that we want here. Fella or woman I should say, because many times you’ll make a call to a woman. But, if the person says to you, “You know, we just don’t have the products that we want here”. “Well what kind of products would you like?” Another question right? But again, you want to listen and half the time those products are going to be on your truck anyway, so all you’re really doing is finding out what you’re going to need to do there.

Larry Towner: You’re just asking a series of questions and then you go, “Well here’s how our system works” and you have a pre-prepared statement of how your system works. Now, you’re going to modify that a little bit and incorporate, of course, all the things that they said that they liked about what they have now and you’re going to fix all the problems for the things they don’t like right now. So, if the guy comes in and he says, “Well you know the product, you know if I had to change anything, I’d make sure that the products are in date”. So, when your going down your presentation and you say “Well here’s how our system works”. We come in every two weeks. Well the first thing we do is we open the machine and we check all the dates, and we’ll remove any of the product out of there, that’s out of date or close to date.

Larry Towner: So immediately, you’re doing two things. You’re showing what you do and you’re also showing how you’re going to fix what they don’t like about their situation right now. That’s the basics of a sales presentation. Ask some good qualifying questions, and the two questions that I just asked out there, you want to stay positive. Don’t say what do you not like about your vending company right now?, you don’t want to say that. You want to say if there was anything you would change, what would you change? And, he’ll, he or she, will come out and tell you exactly what it is that they don’t like about the vending company and conversely, what do they like about what they have? Because, of course, to be successful you want to do what they want. We would hope anyway. Do you agree with that Tom?

Tom: That sounds like a great plan Larry.

Larry Towner: It’s really tough. Really tough.

Tom: I’m sure it is. It’s just a matter of getting some new habits going though.

Larry Towner: It is a question of habits, and it’s a little bit of a question of being, of just maintaining a positive spin on it and you don’t need to badger your competition, because they’ve already done that. If you have the opportunity to be in there, there’s something there that’s not right with the customer, and the customer will eventually tell you. You just have to keep asking those questions and if it gets down to it, says you know, because this is the question you’ll get. “His products are just too much money”. Your only answer to that, really is, “Well this is driven largely, you’re in business yourself, if you’re costs exceed your income, what’s that called? It’s called a loss and our company, we need to run at a profit, just like your company. Unfortunately, we don’t control the costs of our products and we don’t control the cost of gas and all of the expenses that go along with this business. The product costs what the product costs.”

Tom: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Larry Towner: That’s the only answer to have in those kinds of situations, but other than that, most of the time if they’re looking to, if you’re there, there’s a reason that you’re there. It’s usually service related, so, anyway.

Tom: Thanks so much Larry. If you want to subscribe to get more vending business tips like this The Basic Vending Sales Presentation, you’ve been watching the Vending Business show a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.

Great Vending Machines that can go in any location is the Dixie Narco 501E and the Automatic Products 113 Snack Machine

Vending Operator Tools Basic Security

Vending Operator Tools Basic Security  The route man with a bad habit can result in a theft… The basic problem in dealing with cash is… people want it.

Your habits are part of your security:

  • Have your head on a swivel; pay attention to your surroundings, be aware of what’s happening in your environment.
  • Don’t do the same things every time you go to an account. Criminals will watch you and know how long you go into that stop so they can get to your money.
  • Make sure people in your account know who services them.
  • Don’t put all your money in one place.

Subscribe to get more vending business tips.

See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers:Vending Operator Tools Basic Security  I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, here with Larry Towner, the Vending Business Consultant with Service Group International, and we’re finishing up a series on vending business tools, only this is more about tips.

Tom Shivers: Tell us what we’re going to be talking about today, Larry.

Larry Towner: Tom, you and I were just talking and we decided we were going to talk about Vending Operator Tools Basic Security so I wanted to tell a quick story here because I’m a storyteller at heart, what can I say?

Larry Towner: I had a routeman one time who used to have a really bad habit. His habit was he would take the money out of the machines, put it in the bags, and then he would take and put it in a box and set it on the table. Then turn it around and service his machines.

Larry Towner: One day he did that, and of course, there’s a couple people in the room, and he turns around and his box with the money has taken a vacation on him. It’s gone out the door with somebody that we never did figure out who took it.

Larry Towner: So we wanted to talk to you a little bit about security. That seems like an exaggerated story, but there’s plenty of stories in fact that go on in the vending industry because after all, we do deal in cash. The basic problem in dealing with cash is people want it. They really want it, and they’ll just take it because they think it’s great. Besides you, the Mr. Vending Man, “You make all that money. Oh my God, help me, so you can spare some of that money.”

Larry Towner: Anyway, the biggest thing I want to talk about has to do with your habits and how you do things. One of the big things that I always did, and I have my head on a swivel all the time. I’m forever looking to the sides and looking backwards. I look around. I pay attention to what goes on in my surroundings.

Larry Towner: You pull into a place and it’s late at night. You’re alone or you’ve got very few people there, you really need to have your head on a swivel. You’ve got to be very careful of who’s around and things like that, and that even goes for the daytime. You’ve got to be aware of what’s happening in your environment, especially when you’re dealing with money.

Larry Towner: One of the other habits is, don’t do what my routeman did. Don’t take the money out of the machine until the very last part of the service cycle. It makes sense, but I see people do it. I’ve ridden with other vending men and they’ll do it, vending people, whatever, and they’ll do it before they’re done.

Larry Towner: One of the things that I always say is, “Keep your head on a swivel.” Look around a lot and really pay attention to what’s going on around you, what’s going on around your truck. Get out of bad habits. Don’t do the same thing every time when you go to an account. Don’t go to an account the same time every day.

Larry Towner: The criminals, if you want to call them that, the real criminals, somebody that intentionally comes to steal from you, will be watching you, and they will watch you, and they will know how long you go into work in that stop. They’ll break into your truck, and they’ll take stuff. Or try to find money, but they’ll take your stuff too. If you get in the way, they tend to not be very nice so it’s a lot about safety and a lot about things like that.

Larry Towner: One of the other things, another tip that you can do to stay secure is make sure people in your account know who services that account, be it you or one of your route men. Give them an idea of who’s there, and if you can, get them to challenge anybody that comes in to work on the machines.

Larry Towner: This comes from, I believe, it was Automatic Merchandiser or Vending Times, it doesn’t matter, but there are people out there that have picks for locks. They have the round key lock picks. They will actually follow vending people around about half the time between your service intervals. They go in and help themselves to the money. They don’t take it all so it can take you quite a long time before you figure out that you’re actually having a theft problem.

Larry Towner: I’m reminded of this because in this one particular case that they mentioned, this particular criminal got caught because the person at the front desk challenged him. He said, “Oh, I work for the vending company.” She didn’t recognize him. She called the vending company. Vending company said, “We don’t have anybody working out there right now.” They called the police. That guy got put in jail, but he said he took $67,000 from that company in the two week period following their vending man around and picking the locks, and they never knew. They never knew what was going on.

Larry Towner: He got caught because somebody in the account said, “You don’t work for that company.” He was dressed like a vending man. He had the uniform on, the whole deal, but he was very crafty, but somebody knew him. So that’s a good tip.

Larry Towner: The other tip, I can’t stress enough-

Tom Shivers: Hold on to that one.

Tom Shivers: What can a vending company do to help the front office sniff that kind of thing out?

Larry Towner: Really, if you introduce yourself to somebody in the front office or wherever you enter the building and even at the machines, if you get to be friendly with some of the people there, they’ll get to know you.

Larry Towner: Somebody goes up to the machine, and if you change personnel or if somebody different’s working the account say, “Oh yeah, I work with so and so.” If they don’t know who what is like … Let’s just say, “Tom, you work with me, and you’re in servicing an account while I have to go do it for you one day, and somebody comes up to me and they say, “Oh, where’s Tom tonight?” You go, “Oh yeah, Tom, yeah. He’s a good guy.”

Larry Towner: They suspect it after a while. People aren’t … They pay attention too. So you just have to let people know, and if you as a routeman are out there talking, you say, “We’ve only got two guys that work in the company. I’ve got a service guy.” Or he’s going to say, “I’ve got a service guy and 15 other guys, but they all know me.”

Larry Towner: It’s just that kind of thing. If you just let people know, they’ll keep an eye on your stuff because you’re doing them a service. If you’ve been in vending awhile, you’ll find out that they really depend on you a lot, or at least they did in my accounts. They really depended on me for their snacks because they were hungry, and they wanted to eat so they wanted to make sure that they were being taken care of. That’s one way to do it.

Larry Towner: Stay observant. Get out of patterns. Don’t do the same thing at the same times every week. Make sure that you don’t … Don’t put all your money in one place or get a safe, and put it all in the safe. Now they’ll work on the safe too, and they’ll steal the safe or they’ll steal the truck and steal the [inaudible 00:06:37].

Larry Towner: But either way, you can do a bunch of things. So that’s just a couple of ideas, but the biggest thing is pay attention. Just keep your head on a swivel. Don’t get locked stepped into anything. Don’t flash the money around. Don’t stick it in the bags behind your back so people don’t see you. Things like that, and just don’t show how much is there, and it will greatly reduce your chances of being stolen from.

Tom Shivers: Excellent tips. Thanks so much, Larry.

Tom Shivers: If you want more good vending business tips like this, be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching Vending Operator Tools Basic Security at  the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

You can see another Vending tip at Vending Operator Tools: Money Handling

Vending Operator Basic Tools

Vending Operator Basic Tools   When servicing an account and before leaving, that machine needs to be clean and looking good! There are many different cleaning supplies to carry with you:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Squeegee
  • Paper towels
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Dow scrubbing bubbles
  • General purpose cleaner
  • Small vacuum cleaner

Vending operator Basic Tools  The basic tools you need to service a vending machine:

  • Phillips head screwdriver, #2
  • Flat Head screwdriver, #1, #2
  • ¼” socket set
  • 11/32” Nut Driver, Deep
  • 5/16” Nut Driver, Deep
  • Channel Lock Pliers
  • Vice Grips
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Electrical Tester
  • Strip and Crimp tool
  • Scissors
  • Clear Tape, 4” wide
  • Business Cards
  • Money Bags
  • Hand Truck
  • Coin and Bill Counters
  • Planograms
  • Brochures

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See all five videos in the Top Vending Operator Tools series

Episode Transcript:

 

Vending operator basic tools Tom: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show here again with Larry Towner, the vending business consultant with Service Group International and we are continuing in this series of vending business tools. Thanks for being here Larry. What are we gonna be talking about today?

Larry: Well, today we’re gonna talk about the basic toolkit for a route man and/or a basic toolkit for an owner/operator.

Tom: What’s first?

Larry: Well, let’s talk about a route man’s basic toolkit. You’re all, if you’re an owner/operator, you’re running route anyway so you’re gonna need these things but one of the big mantras in the vending business is clean, filled, and working and so we’re gonna talk first about cleaning vending machines. There are, it’s really, really important when you go into a, into one of your accounts and you’re servicing an account, that when you leave, that machine is clean. You want it to be clean but at the same time, you wanna be very efficient in how you clean and how you get things done because you want it to be, you want it, it’s your place of business. It needs to look good.

Larry: The first thing that I always like to carry, there’s several different things in cleaning supplies that I always like to carry, but the biggest that most vending companies have is glass because of course, the front of a vending machine is a large piece of glass so I always carried some kind of a glass cleaner. I just used basically Windex or any kinda multipurpose glass cleaner is what I use but I also always carried a squeegee and I’m gonna tell you why I carried a squeegee. The squeegee allows you to take that glass cleaner and clean it much faster and much more efficiently than if you tried to use paper towels all the time. So I always carried glass cleaner and a squeegee, along with paper towels, I would use the paper towels to clean the edges and I would also rub the front of the machine down if it was particularly dirty with the paper towels and then use the squeegee to liquid off.

Larry: There’s all kinds of cleaning techniques but in my opinion, you definitely have to have a squeegee. It makes things go much, much, much faster. I also always carried a soft bristle brush because I would take, and in a dusty location, you can take a soft bristle brush and you can just brush the dust right off the tops and fronts of the machine and you just brush that stuff off and it takes that dust off. Then I would actually brush it first and then I would go clean the glass from there.

Larry: I also found, had great success with one particular product. It’s rare that I support one particular product but I got a tip from a guy one time to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles and what he told me to use Dow Scrubbing bubbles for was that Dow Scrubbing bubbles will remove scuff marks from the fronts of your machines down at the bottom. Now, we all know Tom that nobody ever kicks a vending machine. We all know this to be the self-evident truth but every [inaudible 00:02:55] like in a lot of my locations, I would go in and find black shoe marks on the fronts of my machine.

Larry: Now I don’t when that was happening but it seems like that people must have tripped or something. That’s had to be what it was.

Tom: Yeah, there’s no way they were kicking it.

Larry: No, there’s no way they were kicking it. But anyway, so in their tripping, and they tripped and they happened to scuff the machines up, I found that Dow Scrubbing bubbles, you spray it on there, you let it sit for a minute and then you take the paper towels off, and it really, really works really well at getting those scuff marks off the fronts of the machine. I suppose there’s a generic brand of something like it, but I just had such good luck with that Dow Scrubbing bubbles that I always had Dow Scrubbing bubbles with me to get scuff marks and it’s also a good general purpose cleaner, but it really works well on scuff marks. There’s other products out there. There’s some products called Spray Nine that I know people use. Joe at A & M Equipment uses Spray Nine all the time. It’s a great cleaner for inside your machine. You need some kind of a general cleaner also to use, besides the Dow Scrubbing bubbles, just some kind of water and type mix to clean with.

Larry: But those are the big things. You gotta have the ability to clean the fronts of the machines. And the fronts and the insides too. I used to carry, I also carried a small vacuum with me that I would have in the truck if I needed it to go vacuum out a machine. If a package broke open inside a machine and it spilled contents into the vend tray or did something like that, I would have a small vacuum with me and I could vacuum out the insides of the machines. So those are some of the real basic cleaning tools that you need.

Larry: Let’s go into just the real, actual tools you need if you’re gonna do basic service on a vending machine and the tools are very, very simple. You need a number two Philips head screwdriver. You need a number two flat head screwdriver. I always carried a number one screwdriver that would clip on my pocket, in my pocket with me all the time. I had a quarter inch socket set. I always had an 11/32 nut driver D, and I always had a 5/16 nut driver D also. You’re gonna use both of those if you’re gonna do anything on a vending machine, you are gonna run into those two things. I always carry Cannalocks. I always carry vice scripts. Needle nosed pliers. Electrical tools, I had an electrical tester with me, a voltage tester. I had a strip and crimp tool with me also. Usually, had some electrical tape. Things like that. That’s the basic toolkit that you’re gonna need to do any kind of basic maintenance on a vending machine that does not have to do with doing installations. I mean, just talking about basic maintenance.

Larry: Then I always carried a marketing kit with me as well. And in that marketing kit was like a four inch wide clear tape. I had scissors. I had business cards. I had brochures. I had everything for contact information that somebody, if they asked me, and they needed to get a hold of me or get ahold of the company, I had a piece of information there for ’em. I think that route men should always have business cards of some sort that they can hand out to customers for contact information.

Larry: And then we have money handling tools. So you have money bags and then bill and coin counters. Those are kinda issues for the office to handle but money bags are critical for a route man, he’s gotta have money bags, gotta have a way to count out each machine and put it into his bags.

Larry: Those are the basic tools that you’re gonna need to run a vending a route actually, to actually service accounts. So we’ve talked about hand trucks in a previous show and how we got a basic tool kit. Tom, do you have any questions.

Tom: No, that’s a lot of tools there but I know those are all necessary so is there anything else we’ll be discussing in the next show?

Larry: We’ll probably talk about money handling next.

Tom: All right. Getting more good tips about the vending business. Be sure to subscribe. You’ve been watching  Vending operator Basic Tools  at The Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment Sales.  More Vending Business Blogs  Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?