Not sure if a vending machine is right for your workplace?
We get it. There’s lots of other solutions you could go for – contract catering, snack vans, or even offering Deliveroo vouchers.
But we’ve found an operated full-line vending machine service saves money, is easier to manage, and gives less headaches to facilities managers and business leaders than other options .
Vending machines are an underrated facility that improves wellbeing, drives productivity, and increases staff satisfaction on the premises. And because they’re unmanned and don’t require anyone to assume control, they present a cost-effective refreshment solution that can be entirely automated.
We explore these benefits (and more) in this article.
Different types of vending machines
A vending machine is an automated facility that dispenses products such as food and drink, usually in return for payment or a token.
There are many different types of vending machines you can enjoy on your premises. This includes more unique choices that dispense niche items such as PPE.
For the ultimate convenience, vending machines can be experienced with an optional operated service that takes care of all service, maintenance, and replenishment.
Traditionally popular, a snack vending machine dispenses items such as confectionery, crisps and sweets.
It’s a great option to increase satisfaction on site, with big brands such as Cadbury, Walkers and Haribo available. You can even customise your snack machine with more tailored choices, including healthier items such as low fat and low sugar products.
The Merchant Media snack machine, with its HD touchscreen interface and shopping basket functionality for multiple purchases, is a smart choice.
A hot beverage machine dispenses hot drinks, such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate and even soup.
But don’t get thinking that the end product is like it used to be all those years ago; watery and undesirable. Vending now serves barista-quality drinks. Think fresh bean coffee and leaf tea, which introduces the taste of the coffee shop into the workplace.
Popular hot beverage machines include the Cali, with a touch-sensitive user interface housing a luxury drinks menu consisting of Americano, Cappuccino, Espresso and more.
Depending on the size of your premises and requirements, a tabletop coffee machine may be better suited. These are obviously smaller, but still feature cutting edge functionality that brings the taste of the coffee shop onto site.
Cold drinks machine
A cold drinks machine keeps your staff and visitors hydrated on site, with a range of choices that can be tailored to your needs.
The BevMax cold drinks machine has always been a firm favourite, utilising a vast glass window that displays your preferred variety of cold cans and bottles. Temperature controlled with a simple user interface, the BevMax is the perfect equipment for refreshing hydration on the go.
As with snack machines, you can customise your menu with healthier options and even combine cold drinks with snacks.
Fresh food machine
A fresh food machine can be enjoyed as part of a wider fresh food service that introduces a tasty selection of food for mealtimes.
Fresh food machines encourage people to stay on site rather than risk heading away during break time. No more watching the clock as you will the person in front of you to hurry up and decide what they want. Fresh food machines stop this stress and lets you and workers enjoy a fresh meal stress-free.
Fresh food machines such as the Shopper 2 demonstrate the flexibility to offer a wide range of choices, all tailored to your requests.
PPE vending machine
PPE vending machines have grown in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic and cleverly demonstrate how the flexibility of vending can cater to almost any product.
These machines stock and dispense a wide variety of PPE including protective goggles, face masks and even high-vis jackets! The beauty of a PPE vending machine is that the company can keep track of where the products are going via an assigned account for team members. This helps cut costs and reduce waste.
PPE vending machines can be tailored to suit your requirements and can be placed almost anywhere in the building, such as a factory floor.
Where vending machines are commonly placed
Because vending machines are unmanned and simply require a standard power source, they can be placed almost anywhere in both private and public locations.
You may want to place a vending machine in a high-footfall environment that encourages use, but this is totally up to you.
Vending machines have always been great refreshment solutions for offices as they present a quick and easy way for staff and visitors to stay refreshed on site.
Business leaders choose vending machines because they’re low cost and deliver staff satisfaction through high quality products such as fresh bean coffee and healthier food and drink.
Nespresso UK found that over a quarter of office workers surveyed said having luxury coffee available on site drastically improves their working day, which is why office coffee machines are especially popular here.
Coinadrink has installed many office coffee machines in offices, from cheap and cheerful pod machines to premium fresh milk coffee machines.
Refreshments are synonymous with staff break times, making the workplace canteen and breakout areas natural environments for vending machines.
Today, staff retention is about more than just salary. Employees want to feel appreciated, with business leaders understanding that they need to invest in the workplace to both keep hold and attract star talent. Did you know that a fifth of UK workers are apparently unsatisfied in their role?
A workplace canteen should be an environment that promotes rest and relaxation, helping an employee to destress. Vending machines providing food and drink are a great addition to this location, whether you’re looking for a solitary machine or a whole suite of equipment.
Moreover, installing vending machines in your workplace canteen encourages staff to stay on site for breaks, which could also strengthen staff relationships.
Coffee shops and restaurants
Coffee shops, restaurants, and hospitality settings demand the highest quality. Vending machines now compete with barista coffee machines to deliver truly authentic coffee.
Take the La Radiosa tabletop coffee machine. It’s EVOMilk technology dispenses hot and cold milk at the right volume and density – without the need for a barista. Choose from an extensive drinks menu, including Americano, Cappuccino, Espresso – all beautifully crafted with fresh coffee beans and fresh milk.
Coffee machines like this one are great choices for coffee shops and restaurants because they’re autonomous solutions. Just select a beverage and get on with serving the customer whilst you wait less than a minute for dispense!
Schools and education centres
Vending machines provide a quick and convenient way to get refreshments in education settings, whether that’s for a student canteen or staff room.
The beauty of vending is that it is completely unmanned, making break and dinner times a breeze when you just want a quick sandwich or snack. Vending machines even cater to the demand for healthier eating in schools and colleges, with a fully operated service keeping low fat and low sugar options topped up.
Coinadrink recently installed a suite of Icon hot beverage machines in a local college, so staff and students could enjoy great tasting hot drinks throughout the day.
By adding biometric payment technologies, using these vending machines was effortlessly simple and secure, and parents could keep track of spending.
Financial and legal services
Just like so many industries, you could argue that financial and legal services run on coffee! That makes a hot beverage or tabletop coffee machine a great option for businesses.
The reputation of organisations operating in this industry will make or break repeat business. Your coffee facilities are a simple yet valuable aspect that will go a long way to ensuring customer satisfaction, so something like a Magic machine with fresh milk beverages could be worth a look.
Premium coffee also matters as much to employees as it does for clients. Nespresso Professional UK found that 83% of employees in a business with over 20 staff said high-quality coffee breaks help relieve stress.
This statistic is highest in the HR, Finance/Insurance and Creative industries.
In such a busy industry, a vending machine or even a water cooler is a fantastic solution to make sure staff can stay refreshed on demand during their shift.
Staff haven’t got the time to be heading off site, so having something like a vending machine installed in a corridor or breakout area is a great choice. Totally unmanned for added convenience, staff can enjoy refreshments at a time that suits them. All that’s needed is a power source!
And with a stronger demand on healthier eating and drinking, you can enjoy a vending machine in a healthcare setting with low sugar and fat products.
Consider a snack vending machine, or an in-cup beverage machine that dispenses hot drinks in under 30 seconds.
The requirements for hotels are very similar to coffee shops and restaurants. Customers demand a certain level of quality, both in product and the overall ambience.
The scope for vending and coffee machines in hotels is arguably even greater. With plentiful opportunities to place luxury machines almost everywhere across the premises from the lobby to guests’ hotel rooms.
Something like a Vitro X1 fresh milk machine is sure to work in a reception area, whilst a pod coffee machine like a K-Fee One is a great choice for rooms with its slender design and convenience. Previous studies found that two thirds of consumers judge environments like hotels based on the quality of the coffee.
Meanwhile, providing a snack vending machine in an additional communal area also works well.
Owing to the fast-paced nature of the manufacturing industry, vending machines have traditionally been a popular on-site refreshment solution.
With the flexibility to be placed almost anywhere including the somewhat riotous conditions of the factory floor, vending machines withstand these harsh environments to dispense tea, coffee and more in seconds. You could also consider something a little more premium like an Icon hot beverage machine for your breakout area.
The UK remains one of the ninth largest manufacturing nations in the world. With staff retention key on the agenda of business leaders, providing tea and coffee is a great way to keep staff satisfied and productive.
Why vending machines matter in the workplace
With the ability to dispense fresh bean coffee, fresh food, healthier products and more in less than one-minute, vending machines are identified as a solution that encourages employees to take a break at work.
Good business leaders now identify this as a key part of a positive company culture.
Whether you place a solitary hot beverage machine on a factory floor or install a suite of vending machines into a grand breakout area or canteen, this on-site solution is a small but certainly value facility that represents a fantastic employee perk.
In fact, the whole idea of workplace refreshments are strongly desired by staff.
- 84% of office workers drink coffee every day.
- It is believed that the average British employee will consume around 25,000 cups of tea throughout their career.
- 88% of respondents from a survey said it is important for their employer to provide snacks.
Whilst communal spaces were perceived to be outdated after the Covid-19 pandemic, opportunity for rest and collaboration either alone or with colleagues still matters to the workforce.
It makes sense to add vending machines to these spaces.
And with modern-day equipment housing innovation that improves the quality of the product, wider service, and overall customer experience, they have never been more enticing than they are now.
With 75% of staff saying that a company’s benefits package is crucial to staff retention, fresh bean coffee and more via vending could tick the box.
In a candidate driven market, vending machines are an underrated perk that contribute to a team of satisfied and productive employees.
Saves the business money
Vending machines are a cost-effective refreshment solution, primarily because they don’t need anyone to assume control.
You can position a vending machine wherever there is a power source, and it requires very little space. After install, staff can access the machine whenever they want – even 24 hours a day!
You can rent a vending machine on terms to suit you, with no overhead costs. Furthermore, cutting-edge technology draws low power both in use and when sitting idle.
Accessible for everyone
The flexibility of vending machines goes beyond just their placement. As part of the wider service, they can also be tailored to your unique requirements.
Coinadrink’s own operated vending service is designed to be personal from the start. We’ll discuss aspects such as payment methods and the kind of products you want to offer ahead of install.
For example, you could require products containing no nuts in your snack machine, or you may want to request low fat and low-calorie items.
These are replenished on a schedule that suits your own buying habits, so we know exactly when to attend your site.
Vending machines have always made it easy for customers to pay with cash, but they now cater to card and contactless payment for added convenience and security.
Moreover, we can also provide biometric payment options, which is ideal for schools and other education settings.
Self-serve functionality with simple user interfaces means vending machines are available to use whenever your business is open with no need to assume control.
This means staff can enjoy a hot drink or a bite to eat whenever they want, even if your business adopts hybrid working or has night staff.
Easy to manage
Vending machines require very little maintenance for operation, which is all handled by the operator.
This means business leaders can get on with their day, even being handed your time back if you are experiencing vending from another refreshment solution such as contract catering.
Vending machines can be left unattended. If you do ever encounter a problem then one of our engineers will attend your site to fix it as part of your service plan.
As part of Coinadrink’s operated service, we provide the fastest service response time in the industry at under 2 hours, meaning all of these benefits are present all year round.
Maximises staff satisfaction
Although we’ve already established the value of vending machines to employees, increasing wellbeing and driving productivity, staff satisfaction should never be undervalued.
Your staff spend so much of their time at work that the workplace should be invested in to bring the best out of them and help realise their potential. The addition of fresh tea and coffee, refreshing cold drinks and more go a long way to show your team that you care for their wellbeing.
Convenience is a valuable perk, and being able to grab refreshments on site rather than being forced away from the premises will be appreciated.
Coffee shop quality products can be dispensed within just one minute, and many businesses elevate staff satisfaction further by subsidising the costs.
Vending machines can even be switched to “free vend” entirely, but a lot of sites find value in offering staff one free hot drink a day or offering free vend as part of a trend such as “wellbeing Wednesday”.
The options are endless, all thanks to the flexibility of a vending machine.
When your employees crave a taste of the coffee shop or a chocolate bar as a special treat after lunch, vending machines are a fantastic facility.
And the best thing? There’s no need for anyone to be on washing up duty after break time!
More hygienic than a kettle
The kettle is an extremely outdated on-site refreshment solution, not least because it’s an unhygienic way to prepare hot drinks. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, hygiene and shared touch points are more important than ever. .
Vending machines contain far fewer shared touch points because the ingredients are of course kept inside the machine. There’s no need to reach for the milk, sugar, teaspoon, for example. You can even have antimicrobial film fitted to vending machines for greater peace of mind.
However, we take hygiene one step further.
Instead of quickly cleaning the parts of your hot drinks machine on your own premises, we take them back to be deeply cleaned using our in-house facilities, replacing them with like-for-like parts that have already been sanitised to eliminate downtime.
This is just one way we push the hygiene boundaries in our industry.
Take vending machines off your to-do list
Refreshments in the workplace matter to your employees, visitors, and clients. And vending is a convenient, cost-effective, and high-quality way to enjoy them.
With high quality products, striking designs that house simple and smart user interfaces and all the latest payment methods, vending machines represent a fabulous employee perk that can be placed almost anywhere in the building to strengthen both wellbeing and productivity.
Go for a trusted operated service that provides maintenance and replenishment, and you have a convenient and cost-effective solution that’s always available for your team.
Talk to Coinadrink today for a zero-obligation discussion about your requirements.