Vending Machine Buyer’s Guide 2024

considerations before purchase

Business needs

First and foremost, your choice of vending machine needs to meet the needs of your business. Businesses invest in vending machines and self-service solutions for a variety of reasons including:

  • Boosting employee engagement
  • Meeting H&S or other compliance needs
  • Increasing productivity
  • Generating additional revenue
  • Enhancing guest experiences

Vending machines can play a role in meeting all these needs, but specific machines work better in specific circumstances.

For example, a self-serve coffee machine that dispenses quality brand-name coffee is great for enhancing guest experiences. But, it’s less effective when you need to serve a factory floor full of thirsty workers.

Understanding your needs

Business needs

Stakeholder buy-in

Rolling out a new vending solution affects everyone in your business, not just the Facilities Manager. If you want your new vending solution to be a success, find out more about what people want. A vending machine tucked under the stairs that no one uses is wasting money that could be invested elsewhere.

Survey your staff and get an understanding of their needs. Not only will your employees feel more appreciated and engaged with how the business is being run, but you can be more confident that you’re making the right choice.

Employees needs

On-site space

Vending machines come in all shapes and sizes. So, before you start ordering, review your site to determine the best place for your new machines. Studies have shown that there are optimal locations for vending machine positioning. They allow for maximum opportunity for sales, without causing disruption to foot traffic or workflows.


Site needs

An average freestanding snack machine is about the size of a phone box in width and depth. A table top machine can range between the size of a large toaster and as big as an industrial microwave. It also needs somewhere to sit. If you have a small office, with limited table space, you may find that a free-standing coffee machine is, in fact, a better option.


Choosing the right supplier for your enterprise is a major challenge for facilities managers and office managers. They will be held accountable for the quality of the service being provided to your business. So there’s more to consider than cost.


Before engaging a vending supplier, find out more about their existing customers and the company’s background. This will give you an indication of the quality of the service. Well-established suppliers with high-quality customers have those customers for a reason.


Your vending machines need to be stocked and maintained regularly. You can rely on suppliers who offer regional services because their maintenance people are never far away. This is means that your machine is always well-looked after.


In today’s socially conscious world, it benefits businesses to seek out suppliers who care. From energy-efficient machines to Fair Trade coffee, a socially conscious supplier makes your business look responsible in the eyes of future clients and employees.


The more brands your supplier works with, the wider variety of products you get. You should also make sure that they can provide for your employees’ specific needs. This includes healthy options, gluten and vegan free options etc.


Many machines can track and capture data about customers’ habits. This data can help you improve the vending experience. Analysing sales of items also makes it easy to switch out low-selling products with more popular choices.