The Vending Business Blog

What the Coronavirus Means for Your Vending Machine Business

by | Apr 25, 2020 | Start A Vending Machine Business

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now with the Coronavirus running rampant. This is a modern pandemic that we’ve never seen before, and it’s left a path of destruction in its wake. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused thousands to die, but there is a much deeper economic problem brewing.

That’s why, today, I want to show you how to navigate the harsh economic landscape brought by the Coronavirus. The economic impact has definitely been felt, and unfortunately, this is how it’s going to be for a while.

It may sound bleak, but it’s the truth. Now, while all hope may seem lost while everyone is stuck indoors, I’m here to tell you that there is no need to panic. Having a future-proof vending machine business is not impossible, but you need to follow the right steps.

By the end of this post, not only will you know how to thrive during the pandemic, but you’ll be able to provide a service that people truly need. So, without wasting time, let’s dive right in.

What to expect during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus has introduced social distancing that’s never even seen before. People need to remain 6 feet apart, and all non-essential businesses have started to close their doors. Nobody knows how long this will go on for, so I want to spend some time going over what the impact of this will be on the vending machine industry.

The Current State of Vending Machines

While a lot of businesses are closing, that doesn’t mean that vending machines are suddenly irrelevant. Believe it or not, the opposite is actually true. While there may be rules and regulations surrounding walk-in businesses, there has been no legislation or temporary holds put in place on vending machines.

I also want to mention how helpful vending machines can be during the pandemic. There is little to no human interaction, and people can safely get the products they need without risking their health or the health of others. It’s a win-win, which is why they remain open. 

A trend we are starting to see is many of our venders are replacing their Micro Mart setups with automated vending machines because of new safety issues due to COVID-19 and the easy spread of germs.  This trend is because, with Micro Marts, customers can touch the merchandise before purchasing.

So, if you were worried about closing up shop for a while, hopefully, this puts your mind at ease.

Adjustments You May Have to Make

As I mentioned a moment ago, vending machines are still able to operate as they were. Now, while this may be the case, that doesn’t mean that you won’t feel an impact. Depending on the location of your vending machine, there could be a huge fluctuation in foot traffic. If you have a machine in a non-essential business, trust me, you’ll definitely want to find a new spot as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if you have a vending machine in a good location or essential business, you can actually expect a very similar profit margin. So, when push comes to shove, it really comes down to your location.

Keep in mind that some situations may be unique, so just keep a close eye on the location of your vending machines to see if you may need to move.

The future-proof vending machine business: how to turn a profit while helping the community

I’m sure many of you are worried about maintaining the costs of your machines and potentially losing out on the profits you’ve been expecting. I know how frightening that can be, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As a vending machine owner, you’re actually in a great position to make some money. Let me explain.

Choosing a High-Traffic Location

The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a location that has high-traffic. During social distancing, my advice is to look into food service locations. These can be supermarkets, pizzerias, parks, and any other place that people might flock to when it’s time to leave their homes.

Even if it’s only temporary, moving your vending machine to one of these locations can be very profitable. Think about it, if people only have a few places to go, you have a chance to get your vending machine in front of all of the potential customers you need.

It may seem strange to look at it this way, but vending machines are in a unique position to actually see an uptick in business.

Choosing The Right Products

Location is only half the battle, so you need to be clever with your product selection. With the pandemic impacting supply and demand, people are typically only buying what they need. For a vending machine that carries snacks, this can be a bit problematic. Luckily, all you need to do is focus on your customers.

During the pandemic, people’s needs have changed. People will be more eager to get essentials like fruits, vegetables, groceries, and bulk goods. While vending machines may not be able to house large stocks of products, you can still help the community while turning a profit. To do so, consider stocking vending machines with products like:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Canned goods
  • Tissues
  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Disinfecting spray

If you stock products like this, I bet you’ll have no problem keeping your level of profits or even increasing it.

Final Thoughts

It may seem like social distancing is going to go on forever, but like all things, it will come to an end. The good news is that a future-proof vending machine business is easy to maintain during the pandemic. Plus, not only can you survive this, but you can help others do the same.

While there may be less foot traffic, think about the opportunity. A lot of businesses will be closed down, which leaves people with fewer options when it comes time to grab essentials. Filling your vending machines with the right products can help you keep the profits coming in while providing people with a service that can truly make a difference.

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