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What You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Own Vending Machines

What You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Own Vending Machines

Vending machines have been an integral part of the business landscape for years, providing easy access to a variety of products for people on the go or busy employees in an office. Proper maintenance ensures the smooth operation and profitability of vending machines. If you own any, you’ll need to understand everything from the basics of vending machine maintenance to learning the individual needs of the models you use. We’ll discuss what it takes to keep your machines running smoothly and maximize your business’s success.

The Basics of Vending Machine Maintenance

Keeping a vending machine operational involves routine cleaning, restocking, and inspections. Every machine is different, so familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for vending machine service. Learning about the basics of your specific model, such as the payment mechanisms, refrigeration systems, and product dispensers, will help you identify and resolve potential issues promptly.

Routine Cleaning

No one wants to buy food or drink from a dirty vending machine. Regular cleaning ensures the machine’s appearance remains appealing, prevents product contamination, and reduces machine malfunctions. Drink and food machines have compressors and condensers that need to be cleaned and maintained monthly. Snack machines are simpler to clean and care for since they lack cooling mechanisms, but still will need regular hygiene. Exterior surfaces should be cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners. Close attention should be paid to high-touch areas, such as buttons and coin slots, to ensure these are disinfected adequately. The front glass should be treated with a product that prevents fingerprints and smudges. Inside the vending machine, check for spilled products, dust, or debris that may interfere with the proper functioning of the mechanisms. Consider using compressed air to remove dust from the product delivery system and electronic components. Coffee and water vending machines will also need their water lines monitored and cleaned.

Assess and Adjust Inventory

Offering a wide variety of fresh and appealing products is key to vending machine success. Regularly assess the inventory levels and adjust the product selection as needed. Rotate products seasonally to keep the selection fresh and exciting for customers. Pay attention to popular trends and adjust your offerings accordingly. Sometimes you’ll have a particular item that just doesn’t sell—consider it a lesson learned and replace it. Incorporating healthier snack options or catering to specific dietary requirements could appeal to a broader customer base. This group often feels left out of common food offerings, and will appreciate you providing options for them. Monitor product expiration dates and remove any expired or soon-to-expire items from the vending machine, especially if stocking cold items like salads or sandwiches. Stale or expired products not only reflect poorly on your business but can also lead to customer dissatisfaction and health concerns.

Regular Testing

To ensure proper functioning, regular testing should be a part of any maintenance program. Perform tests on both the product dispensing mechanism and the payment system. Make sure that the machine accurately counts and accepts payment and dispenses the correct products. Regular testing allows you to proactively identify and fix any malfunctions, minimizing downtime and customer dissatisfaction. If your vending machine offers cashless payment options, such as card or mobile payments, test those systems as well. Create a testing schedule that includes running various products through the machine to ensure proper dispensing. Keep a log of test results and any issues encountered to track patterns and identify recurring problems.

Keep Good Records

Always have a log of when maintenance and repairs are done, and what the work entailed. In addition, track the amount of money collected from each machine as well as the inventory sold. This information should be updated regularly along with any stock ordering information and stored inventory you’re keeping on hand. Regularly collect cash from the machines to minimize the risk of theft or vandalism. By staying on top of your cash flow, you can identify any discrepancies, ensure profitability, and make informed decisions regarding product restocking and pricing. Modern machines count the money accurately, but you should always double-check.

What Is the Average Maintenance Cost of a Vending Machine?

The cost of maintaining a vending machine depends on age, model, and the type of machine you purchase. Routine work should be performed based on manufacturer’s guidelines and helps solve issues before they become bigger problems. Weekly and monthly maintenance can cost as little as $5-10 a month, but repairs from lack of regular care can cost thousands of dollars!

While maintaining vending machines is not difficult or expensive, it can be a daunting task if you lack the necessary expertise and resources. Learning how to maintain a vending machine isn’t high on most people’s list of interests. This is where a professional vending machine service provider can come in handy.  When you purchase a vending machine from S Vending Solutions, we provide a comprehensive maintenance program that is easy to follow and execute for each type of machine.

We will teach you how to clean your equipment, maintain the key functional components, and make basic repairs as needed on a weekly and monthly basis.  This will enable you to keep your costs down while owning your equipment.  We will also teach you how to load products into your machines, program their many functions, and provide restocking strategies that will help increase profits.

Once you purchase a machine from SVS we will be with you step by step to make sure you are confident in your maintenance skills and equipped to get the most profit out of your machine.

Ready to buy a vending machine of your own, or expand your inventory in the Nashville area? SVS is here to get you a modern vending machine that’ll make operating easy! Submit a quick form and we’ll match you with the perfect machine that’ll be yours within days.

Steve Caldwell
Steve Caldwell

Steve Caldwell is the owner and CEO of S Vending Solutions. As a former vending equipment salesman and later the National Sales Manager for PBS Vending Services from 2001-2008, Steve learned the industry inside and out. In 2018, Steve started his own vending company and quickly established routes in Nashville, Knoxville, and West Tennessee, expanding from there. As his personal routes grew he decided to sell his company and help new and existing vending operators market their businesses. Steve currently sells both new and used vending equipment and specializes in helping new operators start and grow their vending companies. He has become a certified Service Entity for the USI/Wittern brand of equipment.

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