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bkelly

Newbie to the vending biz..... need help ..... please

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Hi folks, yes I am a newbie getting into the vending biz.  I have searched all over this forum an the internet, and I still am not clear on two things:

1. the most economical and reliable coffee vending machine for a start up operation (countertop or free standing)?

2. Which is easier to maintain and can generate the most profit a K cup or a expresso type of operation? 

 

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Coffee machines are very difficult to operate, especially for a newbie.  Start with snack and soda machines! Based off your 2 questions it sounds like you might be more interested in Office Coffee Service then vending.. 

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No one has ever made a living off of coffee vending alone. Do not buy into a blue sky sales pitch. 

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All coffee machines are relatively high maintenance.

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On 12/12/2017 at 8:57 AM, lacanteen said:

No one has ever made a living off of coffee vending alone. Do not buy into a blue sky sales pitch. 

Didn't say I was trying to make a living off of it..... just not trying to spend a whole lot of time epairing it and wanted to know if there where any machines that where relatively inexpensive and would not cost a small fortune..... (reliable and inexpensive)

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On 12/11/2017 at 9:50 PM, Anacapa Vending said:

Coffee machines are very difficult to operate, especially for a newbie.  Start with snack and soda machines! Based off your 2 questions it sounds like you might be more interested in Office Coffee Service then vending.. 

"Difficult to operate"  or do you mean maintain? ...... Mechanical aptitude to maintain is really not a major concern for me.  I am very mechanically inclined.  I have an opportunity that is strictly for coffee vending at a couple of sites.  The area where I'm at has "NO" coffee vending machines whatso ever..... no competition at all..... however it has oooodles of soda and snack vending machines..... all competing for the same dollar.

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11 hours ago, BTVFC said:

All coffee machines are relatively high maintenance.

Noted .... but so are automobiles.... some are higher maintenance than others though.... 

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All that may be true but everyone here would need more info to give any advice that is valid

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3 hours ago, SCOTT1963 said:

All that may be true but everyone here would need more info to give any advice that is valid

Ok.... not sure what more info is needed.... ask and I'll try my best to answer.  Honestly I do apreciate any feedback.

 

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More info:

1.  I am an certified automotive and aeromotive technician.  I am also well versed in electronics... no expert but I'm brighter than the average joe.  I also have a relatively good understanding of computerized systems.

2.  I am looking for something to supplement my upcoming retirement which does not require 8 hours a day 7 days a week.

3.  I'm located in an area where there is one university and 1 major hospital along with a good share of government office buildings and service stations.  There are probably only 5 coffee vending machines (Nescafe Alegria) in the area.

4.  Aproximate population of 50,000 people.  Tourism/hospitality based economy.  Possibility to expand to 2 additional areas which are about the same 

5.  I would "prefer" to purchase my equipment outright.

6. I will have to buy supplies by bulk from the US mainland preferably Florida.

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4 minutes ago, SCOTT1963 said:

I meant accounts  you are going after

Starting off with about 3 to 5 initially

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No, how many people work there

are they there all day

blue collar vs white collar

what business are you putting them in

transient staffing vs permanent

You know, details about the accounts you are looking at

 

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23 hours ago, bkelly said:

Didn't say I was trying to make a living off of it..... just not trying to spend a whole lot of time epairing it and wanted to know if there where any machines that where relatively inexpensive and would not cost a small fortune..... (reliable and inexpensive)

Reliable and inexpensive in relation to coffee vending is an oxymoron. Coffee vending means cash or credit in, coffee out. Customer has no access to fill the machine. From there, if you want fully self-contained, it will need a cup dispenser (you will need cups made for vending machines) Vending grind coffee or whole beans (not a blend, beans must be 100% the same), non dairy creamer, or powdered milk, vending hot chocolate, sugar that can hold up to the humidity inside the machine. You will not find any machines close to reliable for less than $2,000. There are coin-op machines that don't drop cups or dispense condiments, but you need to control access to these supplies or they walk away when you are not there. 

No one makes a counter top machine any more that does all of the above. If you are talking about coffee service (office coffee), where they buy the product and supplies from you and you provide the machine, that opens up another bag of fuster cluck. Kcups, pods, bean, liquid concentrate, open brew, glass decanter or airpot, foam cups, paper cups, sleeves, cream & sugar packets or bulk. And that's just to get started.

If it were feasible in these locations, it would already be there. Send this forum a donation for helping you not lose thousands of dollars. If you want to really supplement your income and exercise your talents with vending, think soft drinks. We can help guide you down the right path without raiding your 401K. 

https://vendiscuss.net/clients/donations/

 

 

PS: How often should I change the blinker fluid in my 2012 F-150  4 X 2 Super Crew, 5.0 V-8?

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Honestly, if you are retired, it may be an ok choice. But, I would read all the back posts here, and think long and hard about this.

Also, I am guessing that you live in a warm area, is there demand for hot drinks?

Personally, if I were to do this, I would talk to local vending operators, and ask to partner. Reason being, most vending operators (myself included) don't like dealing with coffee. Too much work, and hassle, and you have to be there once or twice a week to clean. But, if you specialize in coffee you could work on a deal with an existing company, where you put coffee machines in only their best locations.

Then, I would choose one model of machine, and only use that (if you do decide to do this, come and ask for recommendations). Since you are on an island, parts will be hard and slow to get. So, only run one model, and have a machine dedicated for spare parts. Get to know it inside and out.

 

Another option would be ice cream. They are somewhat lower maintenance, and you could possibly place them in tourist spots. Ice cream should sell better, as you are in a warm area. But there are still a bunch of pitfalls, so think and read the posts here first, before you spend a dime.

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1 hour ago, lacanteen said:

Reliable and inexpensive in relation to coffee vending is an oxymoron. Coffee vending means cash or credit in, coffee out. Customer has no access to fill the machine. From there, if you want fully self-contained, it will need a cup dispenser (you will need cups made for vending machines) Vending grind coffee or whole beans (not a blend, beans must be 100% the same), non dairy creamer, or powdered milk, vending hot chocolate, sugar that can hold up to the humidity inside the machine. You will not find any machines close to reliable for less than $2,000. There are coin-op machines that don't drop cups or dispense condiments, but you need to control access to these supplies or they walk away when you are not there. 

No one makes a counter top machine any more that does all of the above. If you are talking about coffee service (office coffee), where they buy the product and supplies from you and you provide the machine, that opens up another bag of fuster cluck. Kcups, pods, bean, liquid concentrate, open brew, glass decanter or airpot, foam cups, paper cups, sleeves, cream & sugar packets or bulk. And that's just to get started.

If it were feasible in these locations, it would already be there. Send this forum a donation for helping you not lose thousands of dollars. If you want to really supplement your income and exercise your talents with vending, think soft drinks. We can help guide you down the right path without raiding your 401K. 

https://vendiscuss.net/clients/donations/

 

 

PS: How often should I change the blinker fluid in my 2012 F-150  4 X 2 Super Crew, 5.0 V-8?

You should change the blinker fluid every time you change the steering wheel actuator ..... 

 

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3 hours ago, SCOTT1963 said:

No, how many people work there

are they there all day

blue collar vs white collar

what business are you putting them in

transient staffing vs permanent

You know, details about the accounts you are looking at

 

I'm looking at A university cafeteria and dormitory

I'm also looking at a hospital

a couple of convenience gas station/stores

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Dont c-stores usually sell their own coffee?

Thing is, for the money, you could invest in some soda machines and make way more.  Coffee machines must be cleaned weekly at minimum!  They are usually made with a hose connected to a spray bottle just so you can clean it out!  I don't do coffee machines.  Why not invest in soda machines?  Having such a small town, you may be able to get away with cans-only and no snacks.  You'll only need to carry maybe 10 varieties of cans, all of which you can get at grocery stores.  You won't have sanitation issues.  Stocking is easy and almost never messy.  All you would need is a dolly and work out of a car.  You could easily get 5 locations doing $50/week each at almost 50% profit.  Boom, you make an easy $500/month working about 5 hours every 2 weeks or maybe 5 hours every 3 weeks.  And i am being very generous on time.  I could collect and restock $500 worth of cans from 5 can machines in 3 hours if there isn't too much driving.

 

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I have had one coffee vending machine, it was a Crane model purchased new and branded for a specialty coffee.  Cost for a new machine was about $5,000.  Did really well, the brand allowed for a higher price point and good margins.  It took me a while to really get to know the quirks of that machine, but once I did I was able to keep it going pretty well.  It was fairly busy and my ROI point was just under 2 years.  Some points for that machine that will probably apply to most others - 1) must be cleaned and serviced at least once every 7 days or it will shut down (waste bucket overflow preventer).   2) Must be kept as clean as possible to prevent problems.  In addition to weekly cleanings a good deep cleaning every 3 to 4 weeks is important.   3) Bean grinder model must grind very fine or the coffee grounds will quickly build up and clog the works.  4) product and add ins must be fresh and high quality.  5) Never lose the owners manual, you will be needing it often! 

Would I do it again as a full line operator - yes, I still have the machine, but I am VERY choosy about locations for it.  It has to be a proven high volume, high traffic location.  The average factory or office that wants coffee will not pay $2 to 2.50 a cup, which is the price point that worked best for me.  The quality of my product compared well with top of the line barista brews, so the price was a bargain for coffee lovers in the know.  A lot of locations will want a 50 cent cup, and there is no profit in that for the operator.   Rather have it in the warehouse than somewhere costing me money to run... or, if you want to come to Florida and buy it, we could maybe work something out!

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5 hours ago, Southeast Treats said:

I have had one coffee vending machine, it was a Crane model purchased new and branded for a specialty coffee.  Cost for a new machine was about $5,000.  Did really well, the brand allowed for a higher price point and good margins.  It took me a while to really get to know the quirks of that machine, but once I did I was able to keep it going pretty well.  It was fairly busy and my ROI point was just under 2 years.  Some points for that machine that will probably apply to most others - 1) must be cleaned and serviced at least once every 7 days or it will shut down (waste bucket overflow preventer).   2) Must be kept as clean as possible to prevent problems.  In addition to weekly cleanings a good deep cleaning every 3 to 4 weeks is important.   3) Bean grinder model must grind very fine or the coffee grounds will quickly build up and clog the works.  4) product and add ins must be fresh and high quality.  5) Never lose the owners manual, you will be needing it often! 

Would I do it again as a full line operator - yes, I still have the machine, but I am VERY choosy about locations for it.  It has to be a proven high volume, high traffic location.  The average factory or office that wants coffee will not pay $2 to 2.50 a cup, which is the price point that worked best for me.  The quality of my product compared well with top of the line barista brews, so the price was a bargain for coffee lovers in the know.  A lot of locations will want a 50 cent cup, and there is no profit in that for the operator.   Rather have it in the warehouse than somewhere costing me money to run... or, if you want to come to Florida and buy it, we could maybe work something out!

Thanks for the good info..... as for purchasing your machine .... send me a private mesage and e-mail me the specifics of the machine bkelly@viaccess.net 

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