Jimm Vending, a one-route operation in Anaheim, Calif., uses the Smart Waiter elevator delivery system from Wurlitzer USA to vend all types of products. The machine accommodates any type of package, noted Mary Arteaga, co-owner, including the tall, thin Red Bull energy drink. Jimm Vending vends fresh food, cold food, milk, juice and energy drinks in the machine, and has never had any temperature control issues.
Arteaga said she likes the fact that the machine has greater capacity than most glassfront food machines, and is easy for the customer to operate.
Some operators raise the same objection to these new combo concepts that have kept earlier combo units from becoming commonplace: operational inefficiency.
"It's going to be an awfully low volume account, and you're going to have to service it more often," said Dale Lund, operations manager at Theisen Vending in Minneapolis, Minn. He sees this as a concept for the very small operator. "It just wouldn't work for us," he said.
Some operators are discouraged by experiences with older combo machines. "What it does is dramatically restrict your variety of both snacks and soda," said Stan Glassco, general manager of Don's Vending in Livonia, Mich. "When you restrict your capacity and variety, you reduce your sales."
Glassco said it makes more sense to put in full size machines and service them less often. "If they gave you the machine for free, you're worse off taking those locations," he said. "The answer isn't to reduce the capacity of your equipment but to lose the labor."
Glassco said the equipment cost represents only about 5 percent of the total cost of doing business while the labor accounts for 20 percent. "You should address the savings in the biggest expense category."
With the marketplace moving to smaller locations, vending operators are finding
a greater need for more
versatile equipment. As operators begin to work with these new systems, they will develop new operating models to provide optimum service frequency.
For more information, contact:
International, ltd., 800-523-8363
Automated Merchandising Systems, 304-725-6921
Dixie Narco Inc., 800-688-9090
GPL, Division of Crane Co. 314-298-3522
National Vendors, Division of Crane Co. 800-325-8811
Savamco Manufacturing/FRD, 800-373-7789
Seaga Manufacturing, 815-297-9500
Vendo Co., 800-344-7216
U-Select-It Corp., 800-247-8709
Wurlitzer USA, 800-987-5480