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Vending1

Any significant competition to Compass Group/Canteen/Best Vendors

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Hi, first post here, I'm trying to see if there is anyone that provides direct competition to Canteen on a national level? Is there anyone here that contributes to a National Vending Management Company that competes against them to help the independent vendors? I read some of the forums and gather that there are regional management companies but is there any groups nationally?

 

 

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None of the management companies look out for the vendors.  They're like ant other business. 

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It seems like there would be at least one american company bidding against Best Vendors for national business. What companies have you worked with and why didn't it work out?

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I doubt discuss them.  Especially on a forum.  They're only looking for there money.  Just like any other company,  that's all. 

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Best Vendors originally started in the retail sector so they were based in Minneapolis. After Canteen bought them they became national but primarily in areas that Canteen services. 

They, like all management companies, are parasites in the industry. 

National Vending is owned by The Wittern Group (USI) and is probably the largest competitor to Best.  There are some smaller regional outfits and one called Pelican that focuses on bulk and FECs along with video and bar coin ops.

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If you have just one office of a national account what do you usually do to secure the business?  

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8 hours ago, Vending1 said:

If you have just one office of a national account what do you usually do to secure the business?  

In my experience (which is quite limited), you deal with a lot of favoritism from the management companies.  Basically, there are vending companies out there (usually larger in size and well established) that already have a pretty strong relationship with management companies in their respective regions.  Because of this, they tend to try to "please" the vending companies by offering them the better deals (better locations).  When the vending company is good and the location is good, the customer (the company, not the people physically paying for products) is likely happy because they get a nice corporate commission and good service, the management company is happy because they get a steady commission for doing hardly anything in comparison to the vendors, and the vending company is happy because they got a decent location with enough margins to be profitable.

If you are not an established vendor or you don't have an established relationship with the management company, then they will probably not reach out to you.  Without ranting about the experience with the physical location, things went downhill after a while.  I contacted the management company once or twice to ask about any new locations and they ONLY offered me locations that no one else would take.  In fact, a vendor I personally know told me that they had offered him a few locations and he turned them down and asked if I would be interested, but they had already called me anyway.  I quickly realized that this particular management company was going to offer everything to their best customers FIRST before going to the little guy.  It makes sense from a business standpoint, but it also means that smaller vendors don't have much of a chance.

Because of all of this, the only three ways I an think of to break the ranks is to 1) contact them constantly and say you want more accounts, 2) do an excellent job if you have existing locations under management companies and 3) Try your damn hardest to get existing locations to call the management companies to get their current vendor kicked out and call you to set up an agreement to put your services in there.  Honestly, I don't think doing an excellent job will actually have that big of an impact because I don't think the management companies really pay that close attention to who is doing well.. rather, they pay attention when the customer is complaining.  Because of that, I think the best way (and hardest way) is to reach out to actual locations that are under a national contract.  Thing is, you might have absolutely NO idea that they are under a national contract because you'd have to see something on the machines (if it's even there) to show contact information for a management company.  You can try calling them constantly until you get some locations but you MIGHT have to take a lot of turd accounts before they'll give you better accounts.  Even then, you have to assume that they are going to keep feeding their top vendors in any region because the management companies rely ENTIRELY on the vendors.  I honestly think they just go through a database and see that they have xx number of accounts with [vendor name] in a region and they need a vendor to service a location so they just call them first and go down the list until someone services the location.

Personally, I prefer not to deal with them.  In fact, as it currently stands, I am not involved with any management companies, any ice cream machines, or any food machines.  I am making a respectable income by keeping things very simple but that doesn't not mean that I won't go after a good account if the right opportunity comes along.  Management companies just happen to fall into the category of an unnecessary evil.

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