Category Archives: Vending News

Reasons To Have A Coffee Vending Machine In Your Office

 Reasons to Have a Coffee Machine in Your Workplace

Girl enjoying Coffee Vending Machine coffee

Coffee is one of the most valuable traded commodities in the world, second only to oil. A nice cup of coffee, made from a Coffee Vending Machine,  is the perfect way to start in the morning or it can keep you company during the day. More importantly, coffee is a core part of the workday. But what is coffee without a good coffee machine in your office?

At work, the good old coffee pot is not enough to satisfy the different cravings of your employees and customers anymore. People want espresso, latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate and some even demand soup out of their office coffee machines.

Recent studies revealed that employees think that high-quality coffee offered by employers is a vital workplace perk, proving that the company cares about its workers. So it is time to deal with the fact that having a coffee machine in your workplace is a necessity, even more so than pens and paper nowadays.


Four Reasons Why You Need a Coffee Vending Machine in The Office

Investing in a quality coffee machine for your business does not only have benefits for employees, but it can improve the whole work environment and increase workers’ productivity. If you are still not sure why or whether you need a coffee vending machine in your office, here are four excellent reasons to have one.

1. Coffee Improves Productivity at Work

Caffeine is a strong stimulant that helps employee fight off sluggishness and keeps mental alertness, energy, and endurance at work. Throughout the workday, most people undergo a decline in mental abilities. Because of the normal human biorhythm, many people feel mental acuity to flag at around 10 AM and 2 PM. This is connected to the production of a chemical responsible for sleepiness, adenosine, which links to receptors that slow down brain activity. The more adenosine, the more you feel tired. Caffeine has a similar structure to adenosine, binding to the same receptors but as it is not adenosine, the sleepiness effect is not felt.

*Check Out this Video By TED-ED if you would like to know more.

2. Coffee in The Office Helps Networking

Coffee Vending Machine- Coffee in a meeting

Taking a coffee break with colleagues during the workday is nowadays a widespread and ingrained habit in office culture. Meeting or inviting co-workers to take a coffee is a perfect occasion to foster relationships, network and talk things over in a more relaxed way. The Swedes even have a word for it, ‘Fika,’ and they believe that it’s during the coffee break that most work gets done.

A study at MIT proved that coffee breaks have a positive effect of increasing the strength of groups in the workplace and they also increase productivity. Having a cup of coffee in the office with your colleagues may also create a space where new ideas are born. People tend to exchange opinions by merely chatting over a cup of something hot.

3. Coffee Makes Workers Happy

“Depresso,” the feeling you get when you have run out of your coffee can be a real productivity killer. In a Harvard study, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. Caffeine affects the level of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, preventing their re-absorption, which makes you feel happy. Obviously, the happiness of employees is proportionate to the number of coffee varieties they can choose, so having a proper office coffee machine is fundamental to keep workers happy and foster a positive work environment.

4. Coffee Keeps People Honest at Work

Fortune reports that “People who get too little sleep are prone to go along with unethical practices at work unless they up their caffeine intake”. Sleep-deprived people are more susceptible to undertake unethical behaviors but caffeine can help strengthen will-power and self-control. Employers should always make sure they don’t overwork their employees, but sometimes it’s not up to them to decide how much rest they get. What is up to them, though, is how much coffee they offer in the workplace. To ensure that employees are on their best ethical behavior, plenty of coffee should be available at all times.

Coffee Vending Machine- Person holding coffee

Even More, Reasons to Get a Coffee Vending Machine for Your Business

These are only four of the many good reasons why having a coffee machine at work is important. Overall, being able to take a break from work and enjoy a good cup of coffee makes people happier and better at their jobs. Of course, coffee is not the only thing you need for a healthy and productive work environment, but it is a way for an employer to show his or her employees that they care about them.

Employees will typically take breaks and socialize during working hours, whether they have a coffee machine or not. Employers can encourage this behavior to show that they respect their workers’ needs. In turn, employees who feel like their needs are taken into consideration, will work better and avoid sneaking behind the boss’ back. A simple gesture like getting a coffee machine for your workplace can go a long way to make everybody happier and more productive.


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Free Vending Equipment Training School

The national vending show at NAMA will be April 13-15, in Chicago, IL. Why not stop at A&M Equipment Sales to meet our team?

We’ll be hosting a free training school on April 11th and 12th. There will be free transportation to and from the Atlanta airport.

If you are interested in attending our course, please fill out this form.

Vending Opportunities: School & Healthy Vending




Larry Towner

Vending Guru

In this episode of the Vending Business Show, we interview Larry Towner, a successful vending operator, and vending business consultant. He shares valuable tips about school vending and healthy vending, .


Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers: I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, and today, we’re here with Larry Towner, of course, who is a vending business consultant with Service Group International. We’ve got a interesting topic today, which is kind of unique for this particular year, about school vending and healthy vending, so tell us what we’re going to talk about today, Larry.

Larry Towner: Well, today we’re going to talk about everybody favorite topic, that’s healthy vending. We all know that healthy vending is coming, whether we want to believe it or not, there is now legislation. It’s early July here, and we are … Well, we originally were talking about impending events in our last video, and so we were discussing this concept, Tom and I were, and we decided we needed to do some impending events that’ll affect you right now that you can take out and use today, and that will be able to be used year after year and month after month, for that matter.

We came up with this concept of doing this, the healthy vending in schools, due to the recent legislation put into place by the Obama administration, saying that healthy vendors, there’s going to be certain healthy vending aspects that need to be done in school. The reason that we’re presenting it at this time is we know in the future that healthy vending is going to be an increasing part of our product mix as we go forward through time.

If we don’t get it legislated into our business, we’re going to end up … our customers are going to end up demanding it. Whether they really will eat it or not is another story, but they will demand it eventually, so you need to be preparing for that concept of healthy vending, and so we decided we would talk about … we would kind of wrap the school vending together with the healthy vending, because they really go hand in hand. That was one of the things that came out in our impending events. We know this is going to happen. Well, right now, you have to do it if you’re going to do vending in schools, and you know it’s going to be an increasing amount of our business as time goes on.

So, some of the challenge that we think are showing up in healthy vending really has a lot to do with product selection. It’s been difficult to identify the products that meet these requirements that the government has put down upon us, and so what we found is … I sort of had an idea that this might happen because we didn’t see a whole lot of push back from the various big companies like Frito Lay or Coca-Cola or Pepsi, and so what happened is, is they had products basically ready to go. They just didn’t launch them until this healthy vending initiative got passed through the legislation.

We wanted to give you a couple of resources, because we’re here about … At A&M Equipment Sales, and when we do these things, we want to give you the resources that you can go out and do the kind of work that you need to do. I’m going to take the screen that I have here and I’m just going to show you all some screen shots that we’ve taken off the internet. They give you a couple of resources that are available to you out there, as far as for healthy vending resources.

One of them is a website called Actually, if you go to their home page, which I’ll scoot back to their home page, and I’ll show you how to kind of run through this program if I can find their home page. Well, I had it, anyway. Maybe it’s here. But they offer up a couple of products, or a couple of services, I want to say, that are really, really good services. I’m going to type in the There it is right there. Let’s pull that up.

Yeah, this is the home page for the website, and what we wanted to do was kind of walk you through which screens, as it were, are really the important ones. We go to here to Eat to Live Healthier, and we click on Eat Healthier. In this Eat Healthier screen, as you can see, there’s a lot of information about making your diet better, but the things that really matter to us in the vending business are these two right here.

There’s product calculator and product navigator. The product calculator, if you click on that, will take you to this screen right here, and this screen is all about figuring out if your products actually meet the requirements for the school vending. It gives all kinds of different things, and it’s basically … It walks you through the things, and it’ll tell you if it works.

One of the other things that’s here on this website is the product navigator. What the product navigator does is it actually gives you lists of products that meet these requirements, so we click on that. We go down here to Smart Snacks, and of course, then you go back here to Snacks again, and it’ll give you a complete … Here’s a menu of items that it shows: bars, cereals, cookies, brownies, pastries, chips. If we just click on chips, it brings you up a whole bunch of things, and who makes them, and what the skews are, and all that kind of thing. This is a really tremendous website that you can use. It’s called Really good one.

One of the other ones is, if you’re in the vending business, you already know about Vistar, but Vistar now has a whole series of products. As you can see on their home page, they have healthier snacks for a healthy life, and they have a whole section and a whole bunch of products dedicated to healthy vending, and getting you in the products that you need in school.

These are the kinds of things that we wanted to give to you out there so that y’all know what you’ve got coming up, because adding healthy products into your mix is going to be important as we go forward.

Tom, anything that you have to add?

Tom Shivers: That’s great stuff there, Larry. Now, we’ll have links to both of those resources below the video, so anything else we’re going to be talking about later?

Larry Towner: Well, we always have lots to talk about on the Vending Show, but we’re going to do, coming up is impending … Any of these impending events, we’re going to start doing a series on what we’re calling impending events. These aren’t necessarily doom and gloom things, but they’re things that are going to happen to you as you run your business, and we know, just because we’ve done this for a long time, there’s going to be certain things that we know we’re going to do.

We’re going to try to leave the seasons a little bit, which means we’re going to start into a fall program, because it’s dead of summer right now, but these things happen year after year after year at this time, so we’re going to do a series of events that are going to come up that you can do a little pre-planning for, get yourself prepared for it, and be ready to go. All of that’s going to come up in future Vending Shows.

Tom Shivers: Awesome. And of course, subscribe to get in on all these new shows that are coming, and you’ve been watching the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.

Whether you are doing school vending or not, healthy vending is going to be an increasing part of your product mix in the future because customers are going to begin demanding it. So you need to begin preparing for it if you haven’t already.

Some of the challenges with healthy vending are identifying products that meet the government requirements. Here are resources that will help in this area:

Subscribe to get the next issue of the Vending Business Show.

PayRange: Simple Mobile Payment Solution For Vending Machines

logo full color - PayRange: Simple Mobile Payment Solution For Vending MachinesAn interview with Paresh Patel, Founder PayRange

PayRange is a simple mobile solution for machines: vending machines, laundry, amusement, any type of machine where you make a payment. I started PayRange because I saw that payment is still a big problem in machines. It’s hard to get machines to accept card payments because of the cost and cash/coin is really frustrating to the users.

PayRange is simple for the operator and simple for the user. Setup is as easy as plugging in a USB thumb drive. The price is $49 for the hardware – one time, there are no monthly fees plus pay 3.95% per transaction – that includes all fees.

Listen to the rest of the interview:

Webinar: Sales Success Secrets of Vending Pros

Calorie Info For AMS Vending Machines

The government requires all vending machines to comply with the new health codes which means calorie info must be displayed on the machine for each product before the sale. How are operators going to handle this requirement?

This is part of the healthcare reform act and the reason you need to vote.

AMS has a program to comply with this law, but their new firmware does more than just comply with this regulation. If you have older equipment you’ll need some way to do this. AMS has a retrofit for the Sensit 3 board which can be added to the machine, but if you have a Sensit 3 board, you simply need the new firmware.

1. Use your computer to input all the data into the firmware on an SD card and then load it on to each machine. This saves a lot of time.
2. You can load multiple planagrams into your machines – a fantastic resource with flexibility.

The initial cost is less than $50.

Going forward all A&M Equipment Sales refurbished AMS machines will have the Sensit 3 board installed.

Healthy Vending Is Hot!




Larry Towner

Vending Guru

In this episode of the Vending Business Show, we interview Larry Towner, a successful vending operator, and vending business consultant. He shares valuable tips about school vending and healthy vending, .


Episode Transcript:

Tom Shivers:  Hi. I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show and I’m here with Larry Towner, who is a vending business consultant, been in the vending business for a number of years and sold his business in 2012. Thanks for being here, Larry.

Larry Towner:     How are you, Tom?

Tom Shivers:     Good, good. Today, we’re talking about healthy vending. Earlier this year, Fresh Healthy Vending, which is a brand of vending company, had an IPO. It makes you wonder, wow, is healthy vending really hot now and if so, what does that mean?

Larry Towner: Well, healthy vending is a hot subject right now. There’s a lot of talk in the media about snack food. New York City just had that size restriction on sugary drinks and things like that. So the topic itself is very hot. The IPO that you’re seeing that came out is certainly an interesting development in the vending business. There are a number of public vending companies that are out there in the world and they are actually quite large corporations. The interest is that this particular company specializes in healthy vending alone. That’s what I find so intriguing. What’s your take on it, Tom?

Tom Shivers:    Yeah. I think it is a … You hear about healthy snacks and healthy from the USDA and all these things coming down from the USDA lately affecting schools and things like that. I think that’s kind of … Vending in schools is almost game over really. You do it the government’s way or you don’t do it at all. I’m not sure what the solution is for school vending, but healthy vending I think is interesting and it can work in some places. I don’t know if it works everywhere though.

Larry Towner :  Well, that’s always been kind of my position. In our companies, we always had a section of our machines that we dedicated to, I’m going to say healthier type snacks. I mean I’m kind of loving right now, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but I have watched, and I have seen that Nature Valley granola bars is showing off how healthy their products are and things like that and how it’s nature and this and that. I kind of laugh because if you actually look at the packaging, it’s pretty much about the same as eating a Snickers candy bar from a total calorie intake and fat content and things like that. It just has products that are actually a little bit better.

In our machines, we always had a section of our machines that were dedicated to healthier type snacks. When I have approached the healthy vending side, one of the things about the so called companies that specialize in healthy vending is that once you’re into that particular subset of the market, you’re not going to be able to do anything without compromising the integrity of what your … because their whole machine is fronted with this healthy vending concept and all of that. So you go and put it what would be a traditional bag of potato chips or a traditional candy bar and people are going to kind of look at you like you’re a little bit strange.

We always kind of went in the reverse way. We promoted sections of the machines as being healthy or if somebody wanted a whole healthy machine, we just put in a regular vending machine with all healthy items in the machine. It’s easy enough to do because you’re just changing product selections out. You’re not actually changing out the fronts of machines.

Fortunately, we all work with A&M Equipment and if you do want your machines fronted with healthy vending selections, Joe at A&M Equipment Sales will front your machines however you like them. So you don’t need to get tied up into a big franchise agreement or into anything like that. You can go out and compete with the so called healthy vending companies and present machines that offer up healthy selections at a fraction of the cost. That’s really the only difference I see is that vending is vending is vending. If someone puts money or slides a credit card in and a machine pushes the product out, at the end of the day, that’s what vending is.

Tom Shivers:    Very well said. Yeah. Tell us a little bit more about your business and what you do.

Larry Towner:   Well, my business, I’m in the consulting business. Like I said, we were in the vending business since the mid-80s and it makes me feel old. Been in the vending business since the mid-80s. We sold off our vending operation in 2012. We took up the marketing side. We help companies solve their vending problems, particularly smaller operators that need help in sales and marketing and operations and things like that. We help to make people more efficient so that they can make more money, help them with their maintenance issues. Across the board, we’ve done it all. We are available at and send us an email and we’ll get back with you.

Tom Shivers:    You’ve been watching the Vending Business Show, a publication of A&M Equipment Sales.



Biggest Freakin’ Vending Machines In The World

Omaha’s biggest vending machine
Coke’s biggest vending machine
A big vending machine in the world
Could this be the biggest vending machine in the world?
World’s largest capsule vending machine (Guinness World Record)

Healthy School Vending: Government Regulation Or Freedom To Choose?

An interview with Seden Harrison of SmartSource Vendingbalance-judgement


You’ve been keeping up with the Federal legislation as it relates to school vending, what are you learning?

A couple months ago the USDA came out with a stringent ruling with a 60-day open opinion on it. The ruling is basically highly controlling of the content on the snacks and drinks served in schools. They are proposing to regulate school stores, ala-carte lines, vending; they say they aren’t touching the fundraising, but the wording says:

“If there are too many fundraisers selling the traditional items, that will be regulated as well.”

It should be about choice, not regulation.

The USDA is focused on the childhood obesity issue in schools and vending seems to be an easy bulls eye. But there are so many other ways students get these items that it seems the wrong approach and too much regulation. The schools don’t want it either and are in favor of choice; they make money on the commissions; they are struggling with many cut backs. They don’t want the regulations to deal with and they don’t want to lose the funds.

Are there places that are benefiting from healthy vending?

I know from personal experience and from the corporate side, people want the choice. It’s good to have the option vs. “I’m told this is all you can have.” When the latter happens, I tend to find what I want elsewhere.

The government has also made a big push to get the calorie disclosure for all products and this might be a good compromise. Most people already know what’s what in terms of nutrition, but if you still don’t know what to pick, here’s all the calorie and nutrition info for each product. All vending machines are moving toward calorie and nutrition disclosure in 2014.

Do we want to be completely 100% healthy vending in a location? Absolutely not. Do we want to provide the choice? Yes.

There are many places where 100% healthy vending has gone into a government location and a year later you read the report that shows sales have plummeted and things aren’t doing that well. What happens to us vendors? It requires us to raise the prices and they don’t sell as fast so we’re dealing with expired product and a loss.

It seems like the government is saying “if you really don’t have other options as a child, you learn to chose what is more healthy.” What do you say about that?

In theory yes, your starving and trapped on an island that has nothing but bananas and coconuts, yeah you’re going to choose the healthy items. But these kids, and I have kids of my own who are teenagers. We are preparing them to go out into the world, especially high school kids, get jobs, join the military, become self sufficient, do you really believe that if you tell them “you can’t have this” that they’re not going to find a way around it?

We’ve already seen this with the American Beverage Association agreement that Coca Cola and Pepsi made. They agreed they would only stock certain types of drinks with less sugar. Sales plummeted, but what happened… kids stopped by QuikTrip before and during school. They find ways to circumvent it.

On top of that you aren’t teaching them anything, the forbidden is always more enticing. When you ban it, they want it even more.

What is the ABA?

The American Beverage Association (a trade organization representing the nonalcoholic beverage industry in the US) worked with Coca Cola and Pepsi to come up with a plan to meet these so-called healthy requirements and in the schools they agreed on the drinks that they will stock.

When this happened, sales went down, the kids found ways around it. And when some kids can’t find a coke classic, they do buy a diet coke – but it’s not solving the problem of obesity. It should be about doing things in moderation.

It’s my job as a parent to deal with obesity, not the government’s and not the school’s job either.

On a federal level, what can a vending operator do to let their voice be heard?

1. Look at the USDA website, especially when they are open for comments on policy from the public.

2. Contact your local representative, their job is to listen to you.

3. NAMA has been very helpful. Eric Dell, senior VP of government affairs, has been right there on the front lines. They can help with communicating with the government. The more operators we have contacting them, the more ammunition that they have at the ground level.

It’s almost understandable to regulate the elementary level students, but high school students? Really?

I have accurate records of sales in the schools we operate in showing what students are purchasing per capita between healthy vs. traditional items and it is not what you think.

When you aren’t in the vending industry it’s not obvious that there’s a business behind a vending machine. Healthy items are more expensive and when a customer asks to stock only healthy items, they often act like they are being price gouged when in reality the costs are higher for those items.


Should Schools Have Vending Machines?

school vending machinesAs many of you know, Congress has been debating legislature to regulate vending machines in all K-12 schools to require that vending machines provide only healthy options. The debate is rather interesting…

Those in support of this bill argue that:

  • There’s an obesity epidemic among America’s youth and vending machines are aggravating the problem.
  • The market for healthy snacks will improve if this action is taken.
  • Sugar and caffeine often cause students to lose attention and focus.

Those who oppose the bill argue that:

  • It’s not up to the schools to decide the eating habits of students or teachers.
  • Revenue from vending machines is used to pay for all kinds of school expenses like football uniforms, band trips, etc. Healthy snacks aren’t expected to bring in as much revenue.
  • In banning these machines, schools are saying that some foods are “bad.” Instead schools should provide educations on healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Banning these foods on campus will cause some students to leave in search of their desired snack, increasing tardiness, etc.

See more details about the bill in Congress and how some representatives have voted.

Over at, a site that promotes open discussion between all members of the community on a wide range of topics, people have weighed in on this issue. As of today:

  • 81% say “Yes, schools should have vending machines” and
  • 19% say “No, schools should not have vending machines.”

In addition to the above arguments, there are a number of other arguments or opinions on this issue. On the “Yes” side of the debate:

Chele72 says “There is no reason a vending machine HAS to be filled with garbage they can just as easily be filled with fairly healthy choices like granola bars or 100 calorie packs or perhaps nuts and trail mixes.”

Kurta234 says, “IF the parent teaches the child the good and bad foods early on kids would know that its okay to have a snack every once in a while without overstuffing.”

alyssaa says, “There is nothing wrong with giving students choices about what they will consume.”

On the “No” side of the debate:

Anonymous says, “Putting vending machines in school is putting temptation in school for our kids – a poor choice on our part as adults.”

Anonymous says, “It wouldn’t be fair to have vending machines in school because the children that don’t have money to get vending food would feel left out and if a friend gave them money for vending foods they might not have the money they need and go after the kid who he has given the money to”

What’s your opinion on this debate?