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TOPIC: Vending Machines

Vending Machines 04 Dec 2001 12:58 #25689

  • trackfood
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I've had this idea for a while now, and I submitted it to my company as an added revenue idea. The theatres should buy and place vending machines in the lobbies. I'm talking about those 25 and 50 cent machines that dispense toys in capsules,superballs,stickers, etc. and small handfulls of candy. WHY DO THIS? you may ask-Our patrons are there for enjoyment. If there are kids they will undoubtedly ask their parents for a quarter or two for the machines. Gives people something to do when waiting for a movie to start or end. My company thought the idea was good, hasn't done anything about it yet. They didn't like putting candy in them,because they thought it would eat into their concession sales. I told them the opposite, that it would enhance concession sales. As a parent I would NEVER BUY candy at the theatre, way too expensive,(ours ranges from $1.50-$3.50)I would always tell my kids NO, but if there were a machine, I wouldn't have any problem parting with a quarter or two for a handful.So, I think you would capture a whole new audiance of people who like me are cheap...
Anyone have machines like these?
How do they do?
Comments...
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Re: Vending Machines 05 Dec 2001 02:08 #25690

  • RoxyVaudeville
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No I don't have any vending machines, but I wish I did.

Years ago most theatres had vending machines for candy and drinks, and sometimes popcorn as well. As a matter of fact, vending machines were in theatres before concession stands. During my youth, and during the earlier years of my envolvement in this business, most theatres still had vending machines along with concession stands. All the big downtown theatres that I went to while growing up ran continious from noon, but didn't open the snackbar until around 6 PM. The weekday matinee business usually didn't generate enough concession sales to justify paying an attendent so the machines were there so sales could still be made. I find that my Wednesday matinee seldom supports having the stand open, yet if I don't open it people complain. Vending machines would solve that problem. Also, as I close my stand 15 minutes after the start of the final show, the machines would pick up the sales for those who come out during the show and find the stand closed.

As to the junk toys... leave them for the 99 cent store.
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Re: Vending Machines 05 Dec 2001 10:24 #25691

  • Ken Layton
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We had vending machines at the local theaters all thru the 1980's until the theaters were sold to a big corporation.
The theaters actually owned the machines outright and they were purchased 'used'. We stocked them with mainly the items in the snack bar and were priced the same, too. Since these machines were older and had originally come with mechanical pricing units they couldn't be priced above 50 cents, so with my background in vending machine repair, we bought retrofit electronic pricing conversion kits that allowed items to be priced as high as $6.35 by setting some dip switches.
We found that some customers on busy nights did not want to stand in line at the snack bar so they went right over to the vending machines and plunked their money in, got their candy, and went in and watched the movie. It also worked for food sales after the snack bar closed for the evening.

We had an old ealy 1960's vintage popcorn vending machine that was originally only priced at 10 cents, but I retrofitted that with a pricing conversion kit and set it at $1.50 for a small sack of popcorn (it only dispensed into sacks). When the theater was sold, the owner took the machine with him because of it's nostalgic value to him.
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Re: Vending Machines 05 Dec 2001 15:16 #25692

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When I was at UA they had 20oz Coke vending machines in all of their theatres. Up until last year it was $2 for 20oz but last year it went up to $2.50 per drink. They changed it up a bit by putting in Rootbeer and Fruitopia which isn't available in the stand. It was mostly successful with the Teens who didn't want to wait at the stand. It wasn't hugely successful but it was inexpensive to impliment and it was added revenue. i.e. It didn't steal sales from the stand, it just added to the bottom line, but it only added about 2%.

I now run an art cinema and the idea of a vending machine would be an anethma.
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Re: Vending Machines 06 Dec 2001 09:51 #25693

  • poppajoe
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They may add to sales, they may not. I can't see vending machines in my theater. I see them in bus and gas stations, outside at motels and just don't think they belong in a theater.
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Re: Vending Machines 06 Dec 2001 16:19 #25694

I have seen this done in some locations and have not really seen any advantage to having them except as a cup holder for those standing in the lobby. Movement was slow. I guess it depends on what merchandise you are willing to set up.
I have seen big vending machines in some locations that do quite well. 20oz sodas in bottles sell well in some locations because some people do not wish to stand in line.
I have also seen movie soundtracks on CD in a "snack" type vending machine I don't know how well these sold.
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Re: Vending Machines 08 Dec 2001 10:30 #25695

  • Mike
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We bought 3 of the .25 single item glass top machines from Sam's Club and we keep them filled with cheap candy and they suck up a lot of quarters. And it's a great place to park a cup of coffee. We don't have room for the bigger ones. I used to have 4-5 machines in a store I had and they brought in about 500.00 clear per month. That was a real shock to me.

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Vending Machines 08 Dec 2001 13:57 #25696

  • trackfood
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Those are the type of machines that I started this thread talking about. Sounds like they do fairly well for you. They are cheap,the product is cheap, and its always a nice suprise to find a box of quarters in there... Anyone else have these machines that vend a small handful of candy, or capsuled toys??? I have been doing a test with this type of machine for a few weeks now,they have been pulling in about $40.00 a week..
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