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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Vending Machines

Author Topic: Vending Machines
Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12211
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 05-17-2003 12:23 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How many of you exhibitors use vending machines? In particular, candy and soda machines.

How much do they take away from your normal concession sales. That is, do you find that when times are busy, rather than waiting in line to buy $10 worth of stuff, do the customers go to the vending machine and buy $2 worth of stuff?

Do you find that they just add to your bottom line? Or are they more trouble than they are worth.

I am not looking for opinions here but some facts based on those that have used (in the company sense, not in the customer sense) them, preferably theatre owners and management.


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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-17-2003 12:51 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
UA experimented with vending machines. This is what they found. Vending machines took nothing away from the concession stand. They only added to the bottom line.

A 20 oz plastic bottle of soda is not replacement for a nice iced beverage from the concession stand. They are two separate products. Bottled soda in vending machines doesn't sell well. Vending machines work well where there are no services like gas stations; Bus stations and the office break room.

But candy vending machines placed well down the hallway from your concession stand is just additional profit for very little effort or cost. Kids can't resist them and neither can I. I think $.50 worth of candy is just the perfect amount. The perfect amount is just enough for the palm of my hand. I never buy candy from the concession stand but I'll pump a couple of quarters in to a gumball machine. Personal favorites are Runts, Spree, Hot Tamales and Boston Baked Beans.

So I say no to soda machines, yes to candy machines and a hearty “Hell Yea!” to Cigarette Machines. Ah the sweet sting of that first hit of nicotine… Yea!!! [Wink]

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Michael Gonzalez
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 790
From: Grand Island , NE USA
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 05-17-2003 06:04 PM      Profile for Michael Gonzalez   Email Michael Gonzalez   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know what I would love to see is theaters that have Pepsi products at the concession stand should also have a coke machine sitting somewhere in the corner and vice versa. Though I am sure that theaters have some sort of exclusive contracts with said venders that would prevent them from doing so. I for one would be willing to pay extra for a coke product ($2.50 range for a 20oz) instead of having to settle for some kind of Pepsi product and I am sure that there would be others who would feel the same but with the opposite product.

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 05-17-2003 09:33 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually a vending machine that dispensed sports drinks, energy drinks and iced coffee might be interesting.

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4067
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 05-17-2003 09:50 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does the presence of a familiar looking soft drink vending machine create the expectation that the prices should be similar to what one might expect out in the real world? Should the prices be in line with the concession counter or as Ian says, they are separate products so it doesn't matter?

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 05-17-2003 10:17 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've got jellybean machines at a few theatres... they're always good for a couple hundred a month. They don't take away from concession sales, people usually buy jellybeans with whatever change we give them after they buy popcorn.

Gum ball machines aren't worth your time though, you spend the money you made peeling the gum off of the seats.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17689
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 05-17-2003 11:27 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve, they are. I think UA charged $2.00 for a 20oz Coke.

Mmmmmmm, real Coke. [thumbsup]

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Daniel Fuentz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Fresno, CA, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

 - posted 05-17-2003 11:32 PM      Profile for Daniel Fuentz   Email Daniel Fuentz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Edwards here charges $3 for a 20 oz. Coke.

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Thomas Procyk
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1842
From: Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 05-18-2003 11:43 AM      Profile for Thomas Procyk   Email Thomas Procyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Edwards here charges $3 for a 20 oz. Coke.
Out of a vending machine? That's crazy. Hell, even at the Universal Studios theme park where people EXPECT to pay thousands of dollars for food or drink, it's still $2.00 for a 20oz.


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Tom Fermanian
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 101
From: Sainte Adele, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Dec 2001

 - posted 05-30-2003 06:53 PM      Profile for Tom Fermanian   Email Tom Fermanian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi all, we charge $3.00 Canadian for 600ml =20oz bottled pepsi , this does include .157% taxes that are charged on all foodstuffs here in Quebec, We have Drink & Candy vending machines, they add to the bottom line, BTW prices are matched to regular concession items, & availability is 90% the same as at concession stand. When it is especialy busy, these machines act like 'silent salespersons" where people don't want to wait in line, they use these machines & wind up buying a $3.00 drink and a $2.50 candy & more, Yes our more artsy crowd don't patronize our snack bar as much as we want, be we do have a gourmet café vernding machine $2.00 a cup, which they buy plenty off (not having to wait on line, + Mints (at $1.75 a pack) sell? go figure??

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 05-30-2003 08:56 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
At edwards $3.00 for a 20 oz coke is more than reasonable when your 20. oz fountain drink is 3.50.

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Travis Hubrig
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 175
From: Minot ND, USA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted 06-08-2003 04:09 PM      Profile for Travis Hubrig   Email Travis Hubrig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gumball Machines are a terrible Idea...
The mall that are theatre is located in placed a large gumball
kiosk just inside the main entrance. Just so happens that is where the theatre is. We spoke with the mall about moving the machines but of course after one weekend of them making a fortune off of our Box office lines going by the gumball machines, they just laughed at the idea. My janitors spend an extra 20-30 min. a night removing gum.

I love the idea of Coffee machines, as long as it is not a product you currently sell. I think a reasonable price of a vending machine product should be about %10 more than what the concession stand would sell a comparable product for. You won't lose money on your concession products and the higher price will help pay for the equipment and startup cost.

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Don Bruechert
Mmmmmmmmm, bird!

Posts: 340
From: Manitowoc, WI, USA
Registered: Jan 2003

 - posted 06-08-2003 08:20 PM      Profile for Don Bruechert   Author's Homepage   Email Don Bruechert   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have a "Magic Candy Ball" machine that charges a quarter and does quite well for us. It also has empty ones in it that have free popcorn, admissions or drinks inside of them - gives it kind of a gaming quality about it!

We also have a video machine - some kind of driving thing, and one of those stuffed animal machines you try snagging something with a crane. Those are both rentals, but we own the candy ball dispenser. We also have our own pay phone in the lobby.

I have seen plenty of places that have a lot more machines than we do, but I don't think we would get that much traffic to make them worth while.

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