Guest Facilities

How Vending Machines can Improve Your Business

Vending machines – at first they may simply seem like a small addition to your hotel or resort but, quite the contrary, they can make a massive difference to your profit margins.   

Only requiring minimal upkeep and with little or no expenses, they provide your guests with 24 hour convenience and are a guaranteed source of income. Vending machines come in huge variety – drinks, snacks, bouncing balls, children’s toys, arcade games, toy capsules, coffee and hot drink dispensers, and more.

Thomas Davenport works with Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd supplier of one of the most popular vending brands nationwide. “Beverages and snacks are the most popular products,” he claims, “and now that vending machines provide more choice and look better, they are much better suited to the accommodation sector than before.”

According to Mr Davenport, the best way to approach vending machinery is to simply have them installed and collect the profit at the end of each month, there is no need to purchase the vending machine itself. “Resort managers are very busy and managing vending machines would be yet another job for them to do, getting the machines managed for them is the most beneficial situation.”

All the machines Mr Davenport works with are connected online to a computer system that tracks product sales allowing them to proactively fill the machines before they run out of stock. The system also adjusts the mix of products to best suit the purchase behaviour of the consumers using that machine. Rather than worrying too much about produce, the most important decision a manager can make in terms of vending revenue, is location.

Mr Davenport elaborates, “Areas such as the lobby are preferable as they have the most foot traffic and are the most convenient for all guests.”

Similarly, Vincent Guthrie from Penny Junction Australia Ltd asserts, “Vending machines in the right locations are a great source of income for clients, particularly when site owners do not have to pay anyone for the machines themselves. The vending operator will install and maintain the machines at their own expense, the clients will receive a set monthly payment or commission based on a percentage of the machine’s monthly gross earnings.

“It is consequently in the vending operator’s best interest to keep their client happy by providing the most popular products in a quality maintained machine. According to Mr Guthrie, “Vending machines are a terrific source of income as they are essentially staff members working for you without any overheads or costings – you can make plenty of money as long as you have them in the right locations.”

With health concerns rising in public awareness, healthy vending options are a terrific way to keep on top of the status quo and offer guests alternative snacks and drinks. Wholemeal Vending Ltd is a company committed to helping out businesses interested in investing in “healthy” vending machines. As the country’s first and only vending supplier and manufacturer committed to providing healthy, green food, Wholemeal Vending Ltd offers an easy, economical way to comply with new government policies, as well as the demands of often health conscious guests. Obesity concerns have been on the rise in Australia for decades and with 25% of children allegedly overweight or obese, being able to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner choices that are all low fat, low GI and high in vitamins and nutrients is a terrific step in the right direction for any Australian business but particularly hotels and resorts who so often accommodate young people and children over holiday periods when their snack food intake is at its highest.

Wholemeal Vending’s Paul Davies insists “the vending market is set to change because consumers like convenience, they like healthy living and now they have the opportunity to have both”.

For hotels looking to think outside the box a little, Wholemeal Vending now offers machines stocked with hangover cures, as well as over 450 other products.

Reiterating assertions made by Mr Davenport and Mr Guthrie, Mr Davies describes how “My company’s machines are automated and managed by a central computer system, although not all suppliers operate that way so be sure to do some investigating – they may be managed by a weekly visit from the supplier.”

As a general rule of thumb, if the resort does not own the machine, they are usually allotted 10% to 20% of the monthly profit gained by the supplier. If this doesn’t sound like much, it goes a long way when considering the supplier manages, repairs and services the machines, all the site owner has to do is house them – essentially gaining profits for nothing.

According to Mr Davies, “There is sometimes an option for site owners to sign a lease for vending equipment but this is unnecessary and would suggest the company offering it to you is unreliable.”

A good supplier, ultimately, will monitor closely the market trends of your establishment and others in order to supply products most suited to your guests; they will work alongside hotel managers and consistently aim to maximise profitability.

Some good tips provided by Mr Davenport, for instance, revolve around making sure the machine is well equipped and has features that will hopefully increase profits even more. First of all, product visibility is crucial – if the machine itself looks good and has a transparent window so guests can physically see the product they are chosing, it has been proven to increase profits by up to 30%. Another key element is ensuring that credit cards can be used rather than the machines needing exact change. An alternative to that problem would be installing an ATM or change machine – these are two exceptionally popular machines amongst tourists.

With a simple crane machine at a licensed premise likely to earn between $100 and $1000 a week, the monetary potential of vending machines for Australian accommodation providers is nothing short of enticing!

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