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Venturing into frozen


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I currently service 2 frozen machines so I am aware of the pain it is to service frozen but I have requests from 2 other of my top accounts to add a machine with "food", they qualify in my opinion for frozen, over 100 employees and 24 hours operation.

 

My question is do i just go with a Fastcorp and stay cheap

or do I run a Wittern 3182 frozen which I currently already use in my other 2 accounts.

or what other options should I be looking into?

 

Thanks!

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The Fastcorp is a good machine for temperature stability but requires the robot to be carefully programmed, the bins to be un-moveable, you to not change your products around very much and then you're restricted to only 12 selections.  Depending on model used (F631 is the least expensive and oldest) you may be stuck with micromech coinage.  For the best presentation of products and the most versatility the AP 320 is the best frozen machine to use.  It is a 5 wide cabinet with no coinage so it has to be paired with a late model AP snack or an AP tower.  It has 5 shelves with up to 8 motors per shelf and the motors can be slaved to give you dual spirals for larger items.  Let me know if you need either as I have some of both available.

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The largest item you can fit into a Fastcorp is about the size of a personal pizza, so maybe 6 inches.  If you want to vend larger items then that's where the AP320 has it's advantage.  You can spread out the dual spirals as far as you need to fit frozen dinners in it.  Usually the bottom shelf is set up for three large items like that.

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Is long as you get into food understanding the chances turning a profit are slim to none.  

 

The only reason to do it is if food is the only thing that will allow get or keep a very good lactation.

 

Once you have spent thousands for a machine and find it sell 14 sandwiches a week. Make sure you pick a machine that can sell other products.

 

The Fastcorp F631 is a poor choice for use as a food machine.

 

The problem is to pick up heavier item you will be forced to crank up the vacuum pressure. When you do this the next time the hose gets fully extended to the bottom of the freezer there is enough surface area with the extra pressure inside the hose to lift the weight of the picker head. Now the cable goes slack and can get off the pulleys. Once the cable is off the pulley in a few vends the cable will be shredded and fail.

 

You will have better luck with a Fastcorp 820 or Z400.

 

I like the AP 320 but the early ones are getting to be 15 years old now.  If the compressor fails and you need some of the updates kits for the refer unit, you will see a $1200.00 bill easy.

Last time I priced a glass for a 320 it was over 1000 + shipping.

 

 

Walta

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My markup is 3 times how is this not profitable, the main account I am thinking about currently has a food truck that comes 2 times a day but since they are moving across town and into a secured area they will not be having the food truck come. I am assuming since they will not have a lunch truck for their meals they will be buying food from my machine. I hope!

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I currently service 2 frozen machines so I am aware of the pain it is to service frozen but I have requests from 2 other of my top accounts to add a machine with "food", they qualify in my opinion for frozen, over 100 employees and 24 hours operation.

 

My question is do i just go with a Fastcorp and stay cheap

or do I run a Wittern 3182 frozen which I currently already use in my other 2 accounts.

or what other options should I be looking into?

 

I know since you are already servicing frozen equipment you are are aware of the problems that can happen... so my question would be are you looking at buying "new" or "used" equipment & how much are you looking at spending?

 

I am a firm believer that when it comes to frozen equipment you are better to spend a little bit more because if you don't it can cost you in the long run....

 

I wouldn't advise that you purchase a 3182 model even though you already run 2 of them. I would suggest you purchase something newer like a 3532 or a 3530 model... I prefer the 3532 model personally but it may not be in your budget. The 3532 is the best frozen machine on the market in my opinion.

 

I also like the AP320 but agree with what Walta said regarding there age & the cost of maintaining them but AZ may be able to help you out when it comes to this...

 

I have never been a fan of Fastcorp machines although I do like the extended time food will stay frozen inside giving you more time to save products from melting.

 

Do you currently use remote monitoring in your frozen machines to keep track of alerts & monitor temperatures?

AP 123, AP 113, AP studio 3... these would all run that ap320, correct?

AP120 Series, AP130 Series & Studio Series will run a AP320...

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The only location I have ever seen food to be a big seller was a prison everyone else has better options.

 

You have 2 choices spend 8k on a brand new machine and enjoy years of low maintenance costs, or buy someone used problem child for 3K knowing you will spend more keeping it running.

 

Write up your biz plan with numbers and post them

 

How much will you pay for the machine?

What is your maintenance budget?

What is the shrinkage budget eaten by you and the route man?

If you lose 2 loads of food a year to machine or power failures will you still turn a profit?

How much did you budget for your shop freezer and electricity?

How much did you budget for your time handling food?

How many sales do you need to turn a profit?

 

 

Walta

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I know since you are already servicing frozen equipment you are are aware of the problems that can happen... so my question would be are you looking at buying "new" or "used" equipment & how much are you looking at spending?

 

I am a firm believer that when it comes to frozen equipment you are better to spend a little bit more because if you don't it can cost you in the long run....

 

I wouldn't advise that you purchase a 3182 model even though you already run 2 of them. I would suggest you purchase something newer like a 3532 or a 3530 model... I prefer the 3532 model personally but it may not be in your budget. The 3532 is the best frozen machine on the market in my opinion.

 

I also like the AP320 but agree with what Walta said regarding there age & the cost of maintaining them but AZ may be able to help you out when it comes to this...

 

I have never been a fan of Fastcorp machines although I do like the extended time food will stay frozen inside giving you more time to save products from melting.

 

Do you currently use remote monitoring in your frozen machines to keep track of alerts & monitor temperatures?

AP120 Series, AP130 Series & Studio Series will run a AP320...

 

I've always bought used and honestly I am not interested in a brand new machine.

 

Az, How do you feel about cost of parts for the AP320?

 

I do currently use remote monitoring on my frozen machines.

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AP120 Series, AP130 Series & Studio Series will run a AP320...

I think the AP130 is referred to as the AP930 but I am sure that AZ will confirm this....

I do currently use remote monitoring on my frozen machines.

I think buying used is fine in your case... 

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So this comes to my next question,

 

I met a guy that only does frozen and fresh food nothing else.

 

He places his machine at my account then stocks the machine, cleans machine and bills me for what he puts in machine. 

 

I go to machine and pull cash out and pay him when I receive bill.

 

Example of cost would be a hot pocket he would pay something like .75 cents then bill me 1.50 per sold hot pocket but my sale price is 2.00 to 2.50.

 

He does all repairs

 

Should I just have this guy run all my fresh and frozen accounts?

What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages or issues that could happen?

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Who covers the cost of stock if a meltdown occurs?

My other concern would be if he decided to one day convince your sites to kick you out & place his own snack & drink equipment on your sites...

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The most expensive parts on the AP320 are in the cooling system excluding things that don't break like the heated door.  If you need a fan motor you're looking at upwards of $140 or more.  They don't go out every year but maybe every 3 years.  The compressors are 1/2HP units so a new compressor is about $800 but they don't die unless you restrict the air flow.  Other common replacement parts are in the baffle door that opens when products vend.  If the door itself isn't kept clean then it binds up the motor and wears it out.

 

I would also be leery of anyone else operating machines in my own locations.  You would also then not have control of a part of your business.  This is just like letting Coke or Pepsi service your soda equipment while you only collect a meager commission, like Canteen does.

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I can see a market niche for a frozen only route servicing a metro area.

 

They can operate out of a freezer truck and run all day without any damaged product.

 

If you try to do freeze out of a cooler you are forced to run straight from point A to B nonstop or play with dry ice.

I am not sure if you guy do this but what we sometimes do here is we have a small chest freezer onsite... we then have our frozen suppliers deliver our stock directly to the chest freezer & we transfer it into the frozen machine/s when required. As the freezer runs low on stock we just place another order with our frozen supplier.

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AP and Crane frozen food machines are actually very simple machines. There are a lot of them out there for sale . If you follow my plan above you shouldn't have any problems!

 

The newer frozen food units come with a 20amp GFCI-these are made in china, cut this off and install a non GFCI plug. The frozen food machine should be plugged into a dedicated 20 amp plug......DEDICATED! Ensure this!

 

Your top trap should have burritos, 2nd tray should have pizza, 3rd tray should have ice cream ( a whole tray of ice cream sells really well) and the bottom trays can be used for Philly steak sandwiches or TV dinners! There are quite a few burrito varieties so filling a frozen food machine at least 15-25% with these will sell out quick!

 

Make sure you buy CRANE frozen food motors, crane coils, crane frozen food pushers ( black ) and index the coils for optimal delivery! 

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