Gilbert Ramirez Jr. believes he has the answer for operators who are looking to replace the 30% of workplace revenue that could be missing for the next several years. His solution for operators: invest in ice and water vending. Specifically, the Everest VX.
Typically, this type of vending is a channel of opportunity for “entrepreneur show operators,” buying one or two ice machines and setting themselves up with a small business of their own.
Ramirez’s company, Everest Ice and Water Systems, is producing revenue numbers that are so impressive, he believes the Everest VX ice and water machine should be on the radar of traditional vending operators.
An advantage for traditional operators
“Our Everest VX is extremely easy to operate, with virtually no maintenance issues. Ice and water vending at this high level makes sense for an operator who already has a complete infrastructure in place,” said Ramirez, marketing manager for Everest. “A traditional operator has the capital, the location contacts, the community knowledge, the sales team and the service structure in place – which makes this an incredibly easy and profitable play.”
According to Ramirez, an “average, typical location” will generate around $3.500 a month in sales. “That represents about 50 bags of ice per day at $2 to $2.50 per bag with the rest coming in bottled water sales at 25¢ per gallon,” he said. “The sales range per machine runs from $3,000 to $5,000 per month.”
Ideal Everest VX locations
What type of locations will generate consistently high revenue? Gilbert provided a list and an explanation for each:
- Marinas: “People are going out on boats and they need ice for many reasons. These are the best locations. We have an operator in Alaska who is doing $3,000 a month. You probably would not have figured that was possible in Alaska. Marina locations can do $5,000 per month.”
- Campgrounds: “Massive locations because campers need ice and water.”
- Liquor stores: “People are buying beverages and the ice is conveniently waiting – 24 hours a day.”
- Car washes: “If people are waiting around at a car wash, they apparently decide that they want to skip a trip to the store and they buy ice. High traffic works and we are seeing strong performance at these locations.”
- Hardware stores: “Working contractors like roofers, HVAC guys, carpenters and do-it-yourselfers, anyone putting in a hard day’s work, need a convenient source for ice and water by the gallon. They find us when they head in for supplies.”
- Construction sites: “If you can place an ice machine at a long-term construction site, the revenue is impressive. Our unit is a giant vending machine, not a stationary shed like many ice competitors. It can be moved easily by an operator. In some areas, construction sites are actually required by law to provide ice and water for onsite workers. As a result, we are seeing increased use of this application.”
- Large residential: “Home ice makers can never produce enough ice for a party or even a small gathering. There is definitely an opportunity in large complexes where traffic walks right past the unit every day.”
Focused on simplicity
With just one moving part, Ramirez said that the Everest VX is incredibly simple to operate. He believes there are several features that should be very attractive to convenience services operators, including:
- The ice machines are manufactured in the USA, at the Everest manufacturing facility in Florida.
- There are currently over 700 machines on location.
- The machines accept cash or credit.
- The commission or rent paid to a location is usually between $200 and $400 per month.
- Everest has added connectivity to the Everest VX, with their “Basecamp” telemetry system.
- Two requirements to install the equipment – a water line and power.
- The Everest VX uses Everpure filtration, already popular with traditional operators.
- Everest offers sales support and consultation regarding machine placement.
- Everest has no plan to ever compete with machine operators.
- Everest Ice and Water Systems ranks 2,024th on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list, which recognizes fast-growing companies, with three-year revenue growth of 218%.
Record sales and growth
“Everest as a company and the people who operate our ice and water machines - we enjoyed record sales during the past two years,” Ramirez said. “Our solution is advanced, eco-friendly, convenient and on the water side, reaches a large demographic that does not trust the public water system.”
Ramirez sees ice and water vending as a viable revenue channel for traditional operators that is recession proof and thrived over the past 18 months. “As people flocked to their boats, campgrounds and the safety of our free-standing ice and water units, sales grew,” he explained.
Looking at the numbers
According to Ramirez, the price tag of the Everest VX units, just over $40,000 each, are offset nicely by the ongoing demand for ice and water, along with the extremely high margins. “We are totally transparent on our website. We have profit calculators available based on various levels of performance,” Ramirez said. “We are happy to share existing revenue figures from existing locations.”
“The product cost is around 8¢ for a 10-pound bag of ice. The numbers speak for themselves. For a convenience service operator who is forward thinking, looking for fresh sources of revenue that can be counted on, ice and water vending is a perfect fit,” Ramirez said.
For more information about the Everest VX Ice and Water System, contact Everest Ice and Water Systems at (407) 930-4437 or visit everesticeandwater.com.
About the Author
Industry consultant and VendingMarketWatch.com contributor Bob Tullio is a content specialist who advises operators in the convenience services industry on how to build a successful business from the ground up and advises suppliers on how to successfully connect with operators. Tullio’s YouTube channel, b2b Perspective, is designed to “elevate your business in two minutes.” Tullio is currently developing an online course, Leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business. Visit tullioB2B.com to learn more about VMW's contributing editor and his b2b services.