British consumers spend around £1.5 billion on vending machine purchases each year from the around 420,000 vending machines in the UK. Offering anything from confectionary, to sandwiches, ice creams, hot and cold drinks, vending machines are attractive business opportunities for their convenience, versatility and ease to operate. The food is also stored in a hygienic and chilled environment and is usually reasonably priced.
The beauty of a vending machine is that it is in action 24/7. Providing hungry or thirsty customers with a snack or beverage when other options are closed, vending is a lucrative industry that savvy entrepreneurs can capitalize on. Vending machines are in almost every public venue you visit. They are located in airports, convenience stores, business offices, movie cinemas, and more.
The vending machine franchise business offers business owners a significant market share. You can manage your franchise business on a part- or full-time basis. What you put into your business in time, effort and marketing are what you’ll get out of it. For instance, if you identify your market based on products that are needed and wanted, then you can have a vending machine franchise that offers unlimited growth and potential.
Every vending franchise can have something within its vending machines that attracts attention and customers. How and what you choose to do with that attention is in direct correlation to how well you will progress, grow, and develop. Franchising has come a long way in the UK, and while it still needs to grow in awareness, its lucrative rewards can be yours if you apply yourself to it.
In the United Kingdom, you have one primary objective when you’re starting a vending machine franchise business, and that’s to promote your brand and products to customers in your designated territory. That means you have clients from day one of your business endeavour.
According to reports, the vending machine industry has a market share of over £25bn and product sales that are expected to go in no other direction than up between 2019 and 2025. There is a massive demand for on-the-go snacks, drinks, and everything in-between that’s contributing to boosting product sales. Vending machines are the ultimate convenience when searching for food or drinks, which makes them extremely popular with consumers.
The vending machine business in the UK is one of the few businesses where you have no rent, electricity, or even staff if you can run everything yourself. Howbeit, you are expected to properly understand the business process in the UK so you can determine if it’s good enough for you.
Note that by using the franchise route to get into the UK vending machine business, you will benefit from operating under an established brand with a proven business model. If you’re keen to be part of this unique industry, here are top choices to consider.
8 Vending Machine Franchise Opportunities in UK and Their Cost
Sweets and Treats Vending – £9,950
Sweets and Treats Vending is a UK-based franchise company that specialises in retailing and promoting a variety of confectionery products, primarily working with the leading international brand, Mars (Masterfoods Ltd). Note that the brand promotes confectionery products across a wide range of markets through vending machines and stores, including schools, workplaces, leisure centres, offices and more.
Since the brand does not create or sell its own products but focuses on confectionery from leading manufacturers, franchisees do not in general need to try hard to promote the service, because customers are already familiar with the confectionery on offer.
- Franchise Investment: £9,950
Tubz – £3,295
Tubz is a leader in the industry and is proud to be the number one snack tower vending franchise across the UK and Europe. The brand has a wealth of knowledge behind it which will ensure that franchisees feel confident running their business. There are over 300 franchisees making the most of its attractive franchise package.
It isn’t a requirement to have experience in the industry, as comprehensive training and ongoing support is provided as standard. There is also a two-years guarantee on equipment, a dedicated customer manager and 24/7 engineer support, to name a few of the perks.
- Franchise Investment: £3,295
Snack In The Box Ltd – £20,000
In brand partnership with drinks and confectionery suppliers, Mars, Walkers and Britvic, Snack-in- the-Box (SITB) delivers vending machines and their contents to workplaces across the UK and Ireland. Snack In The Box offers three solutions to workplaces, depending on their size.
This is more or less a vending box suitable for 2-20 staff, a slim-line vending machine for 20 to 50 staff, and a combination of vending machines for workplaces of more than 50 staffs. Snack In The Box installs the business’s chosen vending solution at no cost to the franchisee and with no contract.
Installation and use of equipment are free. Staff pays for what they eat and drink, so a Snack In The Box snack vending solution comes at no cost to the business. The franchisee offers a regular cleaning, refill and maintenance service to their Snack In The Box customers.
- Franchise Investment: £20,000
Charisnack – £2,799
Charisnack is a unique franchise specialising in self-vending boxes that sell colourful sweets. Boxes can be placed in offices, workplaces and many other possible locations, all within your own exclusive territory. As well as sweets, you can also fill your box with healthy snacks and treats to suit all dietary requirements, which will widen your potential customer base. However, if you intend to be part of this brand, you will be joining over 45 franchisees across the UK.
- Franchise Investment: £2,799
Snack Aid – £4,259
Snack Aid is a low-cost, easy franchise that supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK through the sale of sweets, flapjacks and cakes. It’s easy to run, with the flexible hours that will suit any franchisee, even parents who have to work around the school system. Snack Aid is well connected in the confectionery world and is able to provide its franchisees with a wide range of high quality products and some unique lines.
Notably, this is a proven and effective method for a charity to raise funds as it is known that customers will purchase snacks and sweets because they like the idea of helping a charity, and a children’s charity in particular. This gives the franchisee a significant advantage over other charity sweet boxes that may be placed in the same area.
- Franchise Investment: £4,259
The Coffee Cube Company – £8,500
If you’re more of a coffee fanatic, you can choose to operate a vending franchise that sells 100 percent Arabica coffee with The Coffee Cube Company. One thing that sets this mobile coffee franchise apart from the competition is its dedication to serving tasty coffee that doesn’t compromise on quality – a common misconception of coffee from a vending Machine.
Note that you will have to keep all the profit generated from the machine. With the Coffee Cube Company there is room to grow into a multi-unit franchise with little associated risk and minimal running effort, with each machine paying for the next within the first year.
- Franchise Investment: £8,500
Really Awesome Coffee – £9,300
Really Awesome Coffee is a mobile café franchise that serves fresh gourmet coffee, hot drinks and food to people at businesses and events nationwide. Note that the concept is simple – the brand takes advantage of the huge demand in the ever-expanding UK coffee market but avoids the fierce competition on the high street by taking the coffee shop directly to customers in its unique mobile café vans.
This company was established in 2010 by entrepreneur Kevin Haswell, who noticed people were still queuing outside cafes to get their daily caffeine fix despite the recession. After raising finance and remortgaging his house, he launched Really Awesome Coffee with the office in his back garden and the first coffee van parked on his driveway. However, Really Awesome Coffee has grown to become a market leader, with a network of over 50 franchisees.
- Franchise Investment: £9,300
Coffee-Bike – £7,490
Coffee-Bike is one of the most fast growing mobile coffee franchises in Europe. Tobias Zimmer and Jan Sander, two students from Osnabruck, Germany, had the intention to design, develop and produce mobile coffee shops while at university – and the result was Coffee-Bike.
It was so successful they began franchising the business in Germany in 2011 and today more than 250 Coffee-Bike franchise partners in 18 countries are creating high quality, organically certified coffee on the move, making it a truly multinational company. Countries are Austria, Czech Republic, Dubai, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the UK.
- Franchise Investment: £7,490
Coffee Blue – £16,950
Coffee Blue is a van-based, mobile coffee supplier that delivers hot drinks on-the-go. Coffee Blue’s award winning blend of coffee, state-of-the-art van and unrivalled support network gives you all the tools to make your business a success. With over 30 years’ experience in both the van conversion industry and mobile catering, Coffee Blue knows what it takes to create a coffee van that is easy to use.
- Franchise Investment: £16,950
Vending isn’t a complicated business but it won’t suit everyone. You won’t necessarily make big money and you will largely be working on your own with remote backup. But if you like a challenge and definitely don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day, vending machines could push your buttons.