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USI Alpine ST5000 Elevator


LouReed101

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I haven't used one but there are a few major benefits that I know of. One benefit is better control on FIFO (First In First Out) stocking. Although this isn't the biggest advantage, it does help.

A major advantage is attractiveness and versatility as it relates to the rest of your business. You can use it for chilled snacks, beverages, and food. It will generally have a drop sensor too so it is theoretically superior to a National 431 in large accounts. It's also very attractive compared to turret-style machines.

Although you can sell pretty much the same stuff in a 431 as you can in an Alpine, the fact is that it looks really tacky putting soda or snacks in a 431. A turret vendor looks like an old machine for food whereas an Alpine (or any refrigerated machine with a snack cabinet) looks like a refrigerated snack machine. People feel like food looks fresher when it comes out of a clean machine, and that's probably the biggest advantage to the Alpine. Your sales should be higher because people trust the machine better. It looks like it is more reliable, better lit, and it looks newer. People assume that a newer pop machine will vend more reliably than an old machine and the same holds true for a food vendor.

On the downside, it costs a fortune and I've been told the refrigeration deck is a pain to swap out should it fail.

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I'm sure that very few of them are sold at the outrageous prices of new machines now.  This one is probably in the $7000 range new.  The elevator is their answer the the ADA requirements for new machines and it could be very problematic if it's anything like the first elevators that came out in the DN Bevmax's. 

 

As Chris said, the refer decks are an absolute abomination to work on as they glue the panels together that allow access to the condensing unit parts.  It's a joke the way they "engineer" their refrigeration units now.

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My main reason for looking into this machine was to vend salads and sandwiches without having them drop and possibly open in the delivery bin.  Are there any other refrigerated machines out there that accomplish the same?

 

btw, AZ was right on the money.  I was quoted a price of $6770 new.

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You could use an AP320/Crane 960 glassfront refrigerated / frozen machine.  They don't have an elevator but you still get the nice glassfront presentation.  If your products are packaged securely you won't have any problems when they fall.

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As AZVendor brought up, if they are packaged properly, salads do not get damaged when they fall.  I just want to let you know though... salads are notorious for not selling very well and they don't last a tremendous amount of time.  I personally don't think salads are worth it unless it is a stellar account ($2,000+ per week in overall sales).  If you do have an account like that, then getting an Alpine is no big deal (cost-wise).  If you are dealing with an account that does less than $500/week in overall sales, I wouldn't worry about salads.  It would be cheaper for you to give the salads away than to buy an alpine just for that reason.  Please don't consider investing into such a machine for an account that isn't worth it just because they don't want salads to fall down.

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