Posted on: July 15, 2021 |

Location is key for any vending machine business; your location needs to see enough traffic to generate substantial income. However, traffic is not the only consideration when it comes to choosing a good location for your vending business. For ice vending, a few other factors can help to make installation easy and help you get started faster. Here are some of the factors that make a good location for an ice vending business.

What Makes a Good Location for an Ice Vending Business?

An ice vending machine business can be successful in many different locations. While the traffic flow around the location is an important consideration, it’s not the only factor that matters. Since they don’t need to be restocked, ice vending machines require minimal attention compared to their food vending counterparts, but there are a few more installation steps than a food vending machine. Looking for the following can help to make this process easier.

Traffic and Visibility

If you have a location in mind, estimating the traffic past the location can help you calculate returns. Your location should be near a main thoroughfare, such as a central street. Ideally, traffic will pass at about 45 mph. That’s slow enough for passersby to see and recognize your machine, but fast enough to move plenty of potential customers throughout the day. Proximity to other storefronts and businesses, such as convenience stores, grocery stores, car washes, banks, or restaurants, is also a good indicator that the location has access to the right utilities and sees enough traffic to support a successful business. Finally, it’s helpful for your location to be near a stop light or stop sign. This will not only help passersby see your ice vending machine, but it will help them access it from a busy road. Your location should be easy to enter and exit from.

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Accessible Electrical Lines

Most vending machines require electricity to work. An ice vending machine uses a separate electric meter, so the electrical expenses can be charged separately from other buildings or fixtures. To install your ice vending machine, an electrician will need access to electrical lines around the installation site.

This generally isn’t a problem for many of the most popular sites, such as lots with existing storefronts nearby, strip malls, car washes, and similar locations. If you’re working in a tight space with multiple intersecting buildings or fixtures, or you’re working in a more rural location without electrical lines nearby, such as a state park or similar outdoor location, this might be more challenging. With information about your site, an installation expert can help you decide whether an ice vending machine is viable or not.

Accessible Water Lines

Ice vending machines create fresh, clean ice on the spot. For this, as you might expect, access to water lines are important. Just like electrical use, water use is also measured on a separate meter. This means your ice vending machine will require access to water lines in similar ways to electrical lines. Though the purification system is built into the machine for extra clarity, safety and taste, the water line must be safe for drinking, such as those from a municipal water source.

Similar to electrical lines, access to water lines isn’t a problem for some of the most popular sites. However, this can, again, become a challenge in areas without much space to work with, or areas that are particularly remote. Or, if the water source is not considered safe for drinking—such as those contaminated with heavy metals or pathogens—this might not be the right location for an ice vending business.

Adequate Drainage

Wherever a fixture attaches to water lines, it must also have the necessary drainage. The drain line must be large enough to support the size and capacity of the machine. It must also support a shutoff mechanism. This generally isn’t a problem for areas with accessible water lines, however some areas can present challenges, such as those with frequent flooding.

Adequate Space

As previously mentioned, areas with many intersecting buildings or fixtures can create installation challenges. At minimum, there must be enough space for the machine itself. Some smaller vending machines, such as the Ice Merchant or Inline Merchant, can fit into smaller spaces. However, a good ice vending location must also have enough space for customers to comfortably access the machine. Customers should be able to park nearby, easily access the machine, and return to their vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to allow enough space for a truck and trailer to maneuver around the machine. It’s important to choose a machine with the right footprint and capacity; if a machine can produce plenty of ice, but doesn’t allow enough space for customers to comfortably access it, it might not be the right fit.

Finding the right location for your ice and water vending machine is essential to success. Take some time to estimate traffic, consider how visible your machine would be, and how utility access might work. If you’re not sure, don’t worry. Talk to an expert to learn more about installation requirements, ROI, and more.