How to Pick a Soda Machine

by Robert Vaux; Updated September 26, 2017

A soda vending machine is a welcome addition to a break room. Employees don't have to drive anywhere for beverages, and it helps create a more relaxed work environment. Machines vary quite a bit by vendor and model, but a good sense of what what's available can help narrow the field considerably.

First, get the facts and figures. Find out the preferred brands of soda and how many people will be using a vending machine. For a business with only a few employees, a smaller machines that holds fewer cans would be the best option. A larger business can support a full-size vending machine with a greater variety of sodas.

Bottles are more expensive, but hold more soda. Cans are cheaper, so the profit margin involved may make them a better option. Some vending machines sell both bottles and cans, allowing for a mix of size options. The best option depends on the customer base at the location in question and how often they purchase soda.

Decide which sodas to feature in the vending machine. You'll always have a number of different slots to fill, but the variety may have an impact on the model and look of the machine. A Pepsi drinker, for instance, might walk away from a machine with the Coke logo emblazoned on it, even if it's stocked with Pepsi.

Think about whether you want to buy a soda machine, or rent one from a national distributor like Coke or Pepsi. Rentals work well for a trial run if you're thinking about getting into the vending business, because there's less investment upfront. The downside is the parent company may set restrictions on the types of soda you can offer.

Look into buying a used vending machine A good quality used machine will save a great deal in upfront costs, and often works as well as a new one. Used vending machines often require more repairs than new ones, however, so plan to purchase extra spare parts.

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