Canadian Vending

Features Business Operations
Innovative Insights: Opportunities And Bargains

April 30, 2009
By David Murphy


During the last recession I wrote an article called “Noissecer,” which is Recession spelled backwards.

During the last recession I wrote an article called “Noissecer,” which is Recession spelled backwards. I will touch on some of the points later I made then, as they are very prevalent today.

History does repeat itself. I have sold my coffee trucks, office coffee business and vacated my largest account of 1,500 employees (that’s for another story), which has left me with a nice short day of work for both my wife and myself. Despite all the doom and gloom in the media, I find the vending profession still has some definite opportunities in both margins and accounts.

Over the years, I have often written about communication and the associated benefits, so as I do a small route myself these days, I have not only increased my customers’ perception of my equipment, but sales are also on the increase.


How you ask? Well, I make changes daily in product as well as giving the customer the feeling of confidence in both the equipment and supplier as well.

You have more than one route and no time?

“Do you not realize the most important person in your business is yourself,” I wrote in Noissecer. Communicating directly with your customers in these economic times is priceless.

The slumping market has also created many product bargains. You just have to know where to find them. One such place for me is when my wife and I go grocery shopping. I take time to check out all the new beverages and packaged food product on the shelves. Water is often on for $3.99 for 24 500ml.

At the end of every fiscal quarter, bottlers need to meet their quotas and they almost always have specials on cans and bottled drinks.

In one local grocery store, I not only found a delicious frozen food
dinner at a reasonable price but they had some chocolate bar products on for 50 cents each.

Consider the “merchandising” apsect. Large stores often move products around to make you aware of all their products. In one of my accounts I put all my chips in upside down. This created some humour, but also brought attention to the equipment – which can only result in more sales and some laughs as an extra.

This is just one way of creating attention your business, so you have ideas to try something new.
Remove and sell equipment where necessary for whatever price. With one account, I ended up with 20 can vendors. I am now selling them as “beer machines” to service clubs or small groups of guys who meet regularly after sports, etc. I have sold 10 this winter and expect all will be gone once the warm weather is here.

A machine ready to go with coin changer for $650.00 is a bargain for cans or bottles.

Hey, there is no recession if you take advantage of opportunities and bargains.

“Work smarter not harder, the results will follow.”

David J. Murphy has over 35 years of experience in the foodservice industry. He is currently vending and consulting to our profession. Visit Dave’s website at

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