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Franchise Industry Spotlight: Vending Machines

Some aspiring business owners don’t necessarily dream of running a brick and mortar retail shop, but do want to have a tangible versus online presence. For those individuals, a vending machine franchise may be a good fit.

Just think about how many dispensary machines you visit as you go through your daily life: DVDs from Redbox; money withdrawals from an ATM; soda from the company break room, to name a few.

The emerging trend can’t be ignored. Cited as one of the “Top 5 Franchise Industries to Watch” by Entrepreneur magazine, vending is hot, and shows no signs of slowing.

When we think of vending machines, the first thing that probably comes to mind is food—chips, drinks and candy bars. And because those have been the standard offerings for so long, brands that are taking the wellness high road are emerging victorious.

San Diego-based Fresh Healthy Vending claims status as “the largest healthy vending machine company in the world,” selling items such as baked chips, Fuji bottled water, organic milk, etc. They also have a “café” version of their machines, which serves both hot, organic coffee and cold refreshments such as smoothies. Their aim is to lead a revolution of healthy eating to combat the current obesity crises in the U.S.

Similarly, Human Healthy Vending has a mission to “make healthy food more convenient than junk food,” and they’re off to a strong start. Ranked first by Entrepreneur magazine as the “#1 Vending Franchise in North America,” they donate 10 percent of their profits to improve childhood nutrition and fill their 2,000+ machines with items free of partially-hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

As an alternative to food, ATMs are also popular. The ACFN franchise offers “the opportunity for significant, long-term residual income while requiring little time to operate.” They also provide a 3-day training program on-site in San Jose, California and put no limit to the amount of machines franchisees are allowed to operate.

There are many reasons franchisees choose to enter the vending industry. Some of these include:

  • Low overhead and start-up costs compared to traditional retail stores.
  • Less involvement required on the part of the owner; 24-hour earning potential depending on machine type and location.
  • Fast training and brief set-up time.
  • Improvements in technology have the potential to increase efficiencies.

When determining what type of franchise is best for you, be sure to choose something in your price range that allows you the freedom to be as involved as you want on a day-to-day basis.

If the passive nature of the vending machine industry appeals to you, rest assured you’ll have many options available to choose from in your search.

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