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Frozen food


nvb
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Can anyone with experience in food vending give me some insight? Do certain accounts ever hit it out of the park with a cold food/ frozen machine or are they always a break-even or money losing endeavor?

I have 3 locations that are very similar. approx 130 staff each, 24/7, centralized lunch room, blue collar and in an area with few options and nothing after 10pm.

Each location grosses approx $400/week total from snack and cold drinks.

In my situation would you:

Offer cold/ frozen food and expect to make good money?

Provide it only if asked?

Stay away at all costs?

 

Cheers

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I have yet to make any money on cold food, but if a good location really wants it I will do my best to provide it to keep the account.  In some situations I think it could make money, but the problems are many.  Short shelf life; highly variable demand; sourcing, ordering, storage, and transportation logistics; not having enough good locations to make volume; additional regulation/health inspections; etc etc etc....

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When southeast says "good accounts", he probably means the kind of accounts that need serviced at least once each week.  If you can stock them full and let them go two weeks without looking empty, they probably won't make money on food.

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You are both right. These are good accounts Chris - one week or less service cycle.

Still I don't want all the extra headache of cold/ frozen unless there is some real upside potential.  I've yet to hear anyone on this forum say they made big bucks off frozen food.

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11 minutes ago, nvb said:

You are both right. These are good accounts Chris - one week or less service cycle.

Still I don't want all the extra headache of cold/ frozen unless there is some real upside potential.  I've yet to hear anyone on this forum say they made big bucks off frozen food.

The upside is that it helps to prevent someone else from swaying your customer from switching.  If you have a stellar account (Something well over $1,000+/week) then food might actually make you money, but those are the kinds of accounts with 1 snack machine, 2 soda machines, maybe a coffee machine, and a food machine.. all with a lot of blue-collar employees who cannot leave or don't have the time to go get lunch.  Under those circumstances, you will likely make some money with food.  On the flip side, you are likely to face fierce competition as every other capable vendor tries to strike a deal to get in there.  It wasn't *my* account but I did service an account about 10 years ago that averaged about $500-$700/day from soda and snacks alone.  It was serviced every day and the machines were at least 80% empty.  I don't remember, but I think it was lost because the account was bought-out by another company and they had a national contract.  Regardless, I would see competitors come in regularly with boxed lunches and coolers (all free) as a means of trying to sway the customer to switch.  I would love to get an account like that for myself, but I am not sure I am ready to take on such a big account.  I am sure the food was profitable here.

I also temporarily serviced a very very large plant with over 100 buildings and well over 100 vending machines.  We collected (me and a partner) something in the range of $2,000/day.  Most accounts were done 2 times or 3 times each week (Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs) with a Saturday being worked something like every other week.  There were at least 20 food machines and we came in with about 4 thermo bags full of food every day.  If I were to guess, however, I would say that the food was NOT profitable here due to the number of food machines on site (probably 20-30 food machines).  Even though we sold a lot of food, we had to constantly rotate things from certain stops.  I'm sure the company I worked for made money from the deal, but they weren't our machines and that's why it was only temporary.  Even so, I wouldn't dare take on an account like that.  That was a monster.

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7 hours ago, AngryChris said:

The upside is that it helps to prevent someone else from swaying your customer from switching.  If you have a stellar account (Something well over $1,000+/week) then food might actually make you money, but those are the kinds of accounts with 1 snack machine, 2 soda machines, maybe a coffee machine, and a food machine.. all with a lot of blue-collar employees who cannot leave or don't have the time to go get lunch.  Under those circumstances, you will likely make some money with food.  On the flip side, you are likely to face fierce competition as every other capable vendor tries to strike a deal to get in there.  It wasn't *my* account but I did service an account about 10 years ago that averaged about $500-$700/day from soda and snacks alone.  It was serviced every day and the machines were at least 80% empty.  I don't remember, but I think it was lost because the account was bought-out by another company and they had a national contract.  Regardless, I would see competitors come in regularly with boxed lunches and coolers (all free) as a means of trying to sway the customer to switch.  I would love to get an account like that for myself, but I am not sure I am ready to take on such a big account.  I am sure the food was profitable here.

I also temporarily serviced a very very large plant with over 100 buildings and well over 100 vending machines.  We collected (me and a partner) something in the range of $2,000/day.  Most accounts were done 2 times or 3 times each week (Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs) with a Saturday being worked something like every other week.  There were at least 20 food machines and we came in with about 4 thermo bags full of food every day.  If I were to guess, however, I would say that the food was NOT profitable here due to the number of food machines on site (probably 20-30 food machines).  Even though we sold a lot of food, we had to constantly rotate things from certain stops.  I'm sure the company I worked for made money from the deal, but they weren't our machines and that's why it was only temporary.  Even so, I wouldn't dare take on an account like that.  That was a monster.

I just backed down from an account with 62 snack machines. The bottler did the drinks. Was a little scary for me.

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