The Ultimate Guide to Vending Services

An Introduction to Vending

Vending is a way to sell a whole variety of products in a controlled, contactless way. Predominantly Vending is best known for Workplace Refreshments, from hot fresh drinks to snacks, cold drinks and fresh food. But many more unusual products can also be sold from Vending machines, such as PPE, Books and Beauty Products.

Post Covid, Vending has never been more popular, seeing a surge in contactless payments, telemetry and great innovations in reducing contact points wherever possible. UK manufacturers have responded very well with some great innovation.

How do you choose the Right Vending machine and the best service to match?

This guide will take you through Step by Step from finding the right machine to securing the perfect trustworthy partner to manage your service. With some careful planning and asking the right questions your Workplace Refreshments will be a real asset to the business.

Automated self-service refreshments in the workplace gives a massive boost to the overall Health and Wellbeing of staff. Whatever your solution, consider the people you are creating a solution for, don’t be afraid to involve your team in the process and challenge the norm to create something to future proof the business.

Step 1 – Understanding your business objectives for workplace refreshments

Workplace refreshments can be so much more than just refreshments, it can be a path for bringing people together, or making your business an ‘employer of choice’, no longer competing on just an hourly rate.

Simple ways to prepare and understand potential benefits of vending:

  • How many people are you looking to serve?
  • What facilities do you currently offer, if any?
  • Are there other facilities close by for limited breaktimes?
  • What’s a realistic budget?
  • What space is available?

You won’t necessarily have all the answers, that’s where the experts like East Midlands Vending come in. But the understanding of the needs and demands of your own people and what your objectives are will give you a much clearer picture.

Step 2 – How to choose the Right Vending Machine?

With many different models, designs, shapes and sizes, it’s important to do you own analysis and understand what you are trying to achieve & offer to your workforce. Check out the range on

Hot Drinks – A way to bring quality and warmth to your workplace, a choice of table top or full standing machines, each offering a different menu of available drinks.

Snacks & Confectionary Great way to offer staff facilities for quick breaktimes. Create a combination of top brand, niche products and healthier choices to give great choice.

Cold Drinks – With so much variety these really work for a mixed audience, East midlands Vending have a strong focus on healthier and low sugar drinks.

Fresh Food or MicroMarkets– Replace your costly and dated canteens or provide round the clock food with minimal overheads.

MicroMarkets are modular and there is no ‘one model’ fits all, you can simply combine the best of vending and incorporate it into a MicroMarket if that works for you.

Even the smallest of spaces can be utilised as a Refreshment Hub in your business, whether this is Vending or MicroMarkets, consider what other facilities could enhance the area, engaging with your teams brings huge long-term benefits to your business:

  • Formal & Soft seating areas
  • Wi-fi and internet space & access
  • Quite space or social gaming – think of your demographic and how they will use the space
  • Security and CCTV
  • Creating a green environment and promoting recycling options

Deciding on the right Vending machine, some of best questions to consider:

  • How much space do you have for your refreshments?
  • Do you need payments systems or Free Vend?
  • Do you need internal paper cups for hot drinks?
  • Do you want hot and cold drinks or would water coolers give you more flexibility?
  • Is energy saving features important?

What products do you want to offer?

  • Is your machine just for coffee or do you have tea drinkers to look after as well?
  • What sort of coffee do you want to enjoy? Fresh Bean – Filter – Quality instant
  • Would snacks, cakes and biscuits be a good addition to offer?
  • How important is fresh food?
The Ultimate Guide To Vending Services

Step 3 – How to Choose the best Service for your site?

There are three different types of service to consider:

Fully operated Vending Service – Let the professionals take all the responsibility. The East Midlands Vending Fully inclusive operated service includes all stocking & servicing, maintenance and callouts, with no hidden extras. Look for a good, realistic call out and response time, East Midlands Vending promise 4 hours response time, but achieve 2 hours on over 90% of calls.

Self-Operated Service – You choose the products for the machine and run the day-to-day service – East Midlands Vending can support you with maintenance and adhoc support as and when you need it. If you want product and merchandising advice the East Midlands Vending Team are happy to help.

For more information click

MicroMarkets – When to choose a MicroMarket rather than, or as well as vending?

This is the time to let the experts guide you. East Midlands Vending will bring together the answers to your questions and build knowledge about your people and environment to create a solution that will work for you. By listening, we compare the benefits of Traditional Vending with the features of the new Modern MicroMarkets concept, creating something that will both complement your workplace but set you aside as an employer of choice for the facilities you offer.

So, if you’re looking to save costs on an existing catering solution, a MicroMarket is perfect. You may be looking at making the workplace environment more attractive to encourage people back into the office post Covid. Every site is different, with unique objectives, MicroMarkets are tailored specifically to each site, open the hours that suit you with the range to please everyone. Click here to find out more

Step 4 – How to find the right Vending Company to be your Partner?

Your service provider is the most important decision you will make.

Local Partner – The best service will come from local companies who have proximity to your site and who understand the regional tastes & preferences of your people. Many local companies can still offer you the financial and service benefits of multi-site contracts but are located close to your site to provide you with the quickest response.  

Listening – The right partner will listen to you answers and expand with further questions to understand and create the perfect solution for your Workplace Refreshments. East Midlands Vending is a privately owned local business with the owners working within the local area every day. We have a vested interest in your success with the flexibility to respond to your needs.

Transparency & clear costs – Discuss the financials right for the start, understanding the breakdown and your choices. Nothing is ever ‘Free’, by understanding and have transparent costs, you remain in control and have the flexibility to change as your site changes and only pay for services you need when you need them.

Flexible Contract – Consider flexible contracts, a great service provider won’t need to tie you in to long contracts. With East Midlands Vending you only pay for the services you need them as you need them.  

Check out the Credentials – request a visit to an existing site near you, ask for references from people experiencing the service and don’t be afraid to ask the questions that matter to you. A good operator will be able to demonstrate good practice time and time again.

For further guidance check out our FAQ’s or contact the East Midlands Vending Experts on 0800 002 9338 or email us at