As a new business owner, you may be wondering where the best, and the most profitable, places are to put your vending machines. After all, location is key to a successful vending machine business. You want to make sure your machines are in high-traffic areas where potential customers will see them and have easy access to them.
Elements of a Great Vending Machine Location
So, what makes a great location for a vending machine? There are a few key elements to look for:
- High foot traffic: This is perhaps the most important element of a great location. You want to make sure your machine is in an area where there are a lot of people passing by on a daily basis. The more potential customers who see your machine, the more likely you are to generate sales.
- Convenience: Another important factor to consider is convenience. Your vending machine should be easily accessible, with no obstacles in the way that would make it difficult for customers to use.
- A captive audience: A captive audience is a group of people who are likely to use your vending machine because they have no other options nearby. For example, if you place your machine in an office building, people who work in the building will be more likely to use your machine than if they had to leave the building to find a vending machine.
- The right demographics: Not all vending locations will be equally appealing to all customers. You need to consider who your target market is and choose a location that is likely to attract them. For example, if you are selling healthy snacks, you may want to put your machine in a gym or fitness center.
- Open 24/7: If possible, try to find a location where customers can access your machine 24/7. This will help ensure that you are able to generate sales even when the location is closed if your vending machine is outdoors, or available at all times for businesses that might have a third shift.
- Indoor/Outdoor: Depending on the type of vending machine you have, you may want to consider whether it is better suited for indoor or outdoor locations. Outdoor machines can be seen by more people and generate more sales, but they are also exposed to the elements and require more maintenance. They also experience more vandalism, which can take a toll on your profits.
Now that you know what makes a great location for a vending machine, let’s take a look at some of the best places to put your vending machines.
32 Top Locations For Vending Machines
When starting a vending business, location is key. You want to put your machines in high-traffic areas where potential customers are likely to see them and have the need or desire for a quick snack. Here are the most profitable vending machine locations:
- Office Buildings: If you’re looking for a high-traffic area to place your vending machine, office buildings are a great option. People often work long hours and have no time to go out for lunch or a snack, so having a vending machine in their office building can be very convenient.
- Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals are another great option for vending machines. Most hospitals operate 24/7, and there is always a steady flow of people coming and going. Even if the hospital cafeteria is open, many people may opt for something from the vending machine instead.
- Colleges & Universities: Universities also tend to generate a lot of foot traffic, making them ideal locations for vending machines. And offering healthy snacks and drinks can be especially appealing to college students who are trying to maintain good nutrition while on campus.
- Gyms & Fitness Centers: Gyms are excellent locations for selling healthy snacks, sports drinks, protein bars, and other items that exercisers may crave after a long workout.
- Airports: Airports are full of people who might be looking for a snack or a drink before their flight, so placing your vending machine in an airport could be quite profitable. This type of audience may desire a wider range of products outside of the typical snack and drink machine, so consider adding machines for items like phone chargers, earbuds, and other travel accessories.
- Bus & Train Stations: Bus and train stations also tend to generate a lot of foot traffic, making them great spots for vending machines. People waiting for their train or bus may be looking to purchase snacks or drinks while they wait.
- Military Bases: Military bases offer another opportunity to place your vending machine. Soldiers often work long hours and don’t have access to convenience stores, so having a machine on base can be quite convenient for them.
- Convention Centers: Convention centers are another great option for vending machines. People attending conventions are usually there for a few days and may be looking for snacks or drinks throughout their stay.
- Amusement Parks: Amusement parks can be a great place to install your vending machine. People who are visiting amusement parks tend to have no time to go out and purchase food, so having a vending machine right there can be extremely convenient.
- Stadiums: Placing your vending machines at stadiums can also generate a lot of business. Stadiums draw large crowds of people, making them the perfect spot to offer snacks and other items that people might desire while attending the game or concert.
- Movie Theaters: Movie theaters also generate a lot of traffic, and having a vending machine in the lobby can be profitable. Your traditional drink and snack machine might not be eligible, but a machine with toys or trinkets or something that makes their movie-going experience better may be a great option.
- Truck Stops: Truck stops are another great location for vending machines. Truckers often don’t have access to convenience stores while on the road, so having a snack or drink available at their next stop can be extremely convenient.
- Casinos: Casinos are another great location for vending machines. People tend to stay at casinos for hours at a time, and having access to snacks or drinks can be very convenient for them.
- Laundromats: Laundromats are also great spots to install your vending machine. People often spend long periods of time there, and having a snack or drink machine can make the time go by faster. Vending machines that offer laundry soap, dryer sheets, and other items needed at a laundromat are also great options.
- Retirement Homes: Retirement homes offer another great option for vending machines. Many of their residents stay on the property, and having access to snacks or drinks within easy reach can be very beneficial.
- Recreation Centers: Recreation centers such as bowling alleys, roller skating rinks, and even arcades can be great places to place your vending machine. People who are there for a few hours may be looking for snacks or drinks throughout their visit.
- Gas Stations: Gas stations can also be great spots for vending machines. People often need a snack or drink while they are filling up, and having a machine right there can be very convenient for them.
- Apartment Complexes: Apartment complexes are usually full of people who may be looking for a snack or drink, so having a vending machine nearby can be quite beneficial.
- Grocery Stores: Grocery stores are also great spots to place your vending machine. Many people who shop in grocery stores may be looking for snacks or drinks while they wait in line or when they leave the store. Candy and toy vending machines can also be great options.
- Concert Venues: Concert venues are another great spot to install a vending machine. People who go to concerts tend to be there for multiple hours, and having a vending machine nearby can be very convenient for them.
- Hotels & Motels: Hotels and motels are also great spots for vending machines. Many people who stay at these places may be looking for a snack or drink throughout their stay, and having access to one can be very convenient.
- Recreational Parks: Parks are another great spot for vending machines. People who go to the park often need snacks or drinks while they are there, so having a vending machine nearby can be very beneficial.
- Beaches: Beaches are another great spot for vending machines. People who go to the beach often need snacks or drinks while they are there, and having access to one at their local beach can be very convenient.
- Local Restaurants: Restaurants are also great spots to install candy and toy vending machines providing kids and families with entertainment while waiting for their food to be served.
- Tourist Attractions: Tourist attractions such as museums, monuments, and other local attractions can be great spots to place your vending machine. People often stay at these places for hours at a time, and having access to snacks or drinks can be very convenient.
- Tattoo Parlors: Tattoo parlors are also great spots for vending machines. People who get tattoos often spend a good amount of time in the shop and having access to snacks or drinks can be very convenient during the long hours of getting a tattoo.
- Barber Shops: Barber shops are also great places to install vending machines. Many people who go to barber shops often stay for a while and may be looking for snacks or drinks while they wait.
- Beauty Salons: Beauty salons are another great spot for vending machines. People who get their hair done often spend quite a bit of time in the salon, and having access to snacks or drinks can be very convenient.
- Nursing Homes: Nursing homes are also great spots for vending machines. Many of their residents stay on the property and having access to snacks or drinks within easy reach can be very beneficial. The employees in these facilities usually rotate in 12-hour shifts or 3 8-hour shifts and having easy access to snacks and drinks for those long shifts can be very convenient.
- Manufacturing Facilities: Manufacturing plants are great places to install vending machines. Many of their employees work long shifts and may be looking for snacks or drinks during that time. Having a machine nearby can be very convenient and also provide them with much-needed energy to complete their daily tasks.
- Schools: Schools are also great spots for vending machines. Students who spend long hours in school may be looking for snacks or drinks throughout their day, and having access to a vending machine can be very convenient before and after school. Vending machines that sell usable school supplies (like notebooks, paper, pens, etc.) are also great options.
- Golf Course: A golf course lounge can also be a great spot for vending machines. Many golfers spend a lot of time at the course and having access to snacks or drinks while they are there can be very convenient.
These are just a few of the best vending machine location ideas. If you are considering starting a vending machine business, be sure to research these and other locations to find the best spot for your machine.
How To Get The Best Locations For Vending
The best way to get a vending machine into one of these profitable locations is to first research the area and its potential customers. Once you’ve identified a location that meets your criteria, contact the location owner or building manager and inquire about their current vending machines if any. If there are none, you can present your proposal for a new one and the benefits it would bring to the business. You can then secure a vending machine contract.
In addition to researching potential locations, make sure you have an up-to-date understanding of local and state regulations when placing vending machines in certain areas. Once you’ve identified a suitable location, you can begin setting up your machine.
Another option for getting these vending machine locations is to purchase an existing route. Many vending operators have routes of existing locations that they are willing to sell. Purchasing a route can give you access to established locations for vending machines and potentially save you time on research and negotiations.
Maintaining Your Position in These Profitable Locations
Once you have your machine in one of the best vending machine locations, there are a few simple things you can do to keep it running smoothly and ensure that customers keep using it.
- Provide great customer service. Make sure to visit the location regularly to check the machines and restock products as needed. Also, make sure to keep the machines clean and in good working order.
- Provide a wide variety of products that are popular among your target customers. This can include drinks, snacks, and other items like cigarettes or lighters. Also make sure to update products regularly as trends, tastes, and seasons change.
- Stand out from the competition. Make sure to find ways to differentiate your services from those of other vending operators in the area. Be aware of their pricing and products, and try to offer something different from them with a competitive pricing strategy.
A business in the vending machine industry can be a great way to generate income, but the success of your vending business depends largely on the locations of your vending machines. Be sure to do your due diligence in researching the location both online and in person to make sure it meets your criteria and has the potential for success. Once you’ve done that, you can begin the process of negotiation and setting up your machine in that location. Make sure to provide great customer service, keep the machines clean and well-stocked with popular items, and differentiate yourself from other operators in the area. With these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy success as a vending machine operator.