What Are the Disadvantages of Having a Vending Machine at Work?

by Sean Russell; Updated September 26, 2017
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Vending machines provide easy, quick and usually inexpensive solutions to people looking for something to eat or drink. While having a vending machine in the break room provides easy access for a quick snack, there are several reasons why a vending machine might be more trouble than it is worth.

Health

Whether or not the organization carries the cost of a health insurance plan, the health of its employees directly impacts the bottom line. This is because a healthy employee needs fewer sick days, focuses better and feels more physically comfortable. Vending machines, which typically carry the high fat, high sugar “craving foods” like candy and chips, promote poor dietary habits and contribute to lost productivity. An Estridge Group Study found that overweight and obese employees were 21% more likely to call out sick than their healthier eating counterparts. Unhealthy eating led to 39.2 million call outs in 2008.

Energy

While vending machines are often expensive on their own (ranging from $2,000-3,000 at various retailers), many companies will provide you with a vending machine at little or no rental cost in order to sell their wares in your workplace. This seeming kindness hides the fact that the business is still responsible to keep the power on in that machine. The cost of running one normal candy vending machine during business hours can be high, but running a soda machine (which must be refrigerated at all times) or numerous machines of different types can be very expensive. The University of Buffalo removed conventional vending machines in favor of special low energy consumption machines and saved $21,000 a year in electrical savings.

Waste

If your company pays for waste disposal, a vending machine will increase your waste bill. On their own, wrappers and packages that hold the foods available in vending machines seem small, but in a workplace where vending machines are the primary option, vending garbage can become a major part of the waste from the organization.

About the Author

Sean Russell has been writing since 1999 and has contributed to several magazines, including "Spin" and "Art Nouveau." When not writing, Sean helps maintain community gardens in Silver Lake and Echo Park, California. Russell also worked extensively on the restoration and rejuvenation of public parks in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi after damage from 2004-2005 hurricanes.

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