Vending machine
Overview
A vending machine is a machine
Machine
A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, and a molecular machine. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work...

 which dispenses items such as snacks, beverages, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, consumer products and even gold and gems to customers automatically, after the customer inserts currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 or credit
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

  into the machine.
The first reference to a vending machine is in the work of Hero of Alexandria
Hero of Alexandria
Hero of Alexandria was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineerEnc. Britannica 2007, "Heron of Alexandria" who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt...

, a first-century engineer and mathematician. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed holy water
Holy water
Holy water is water that, in Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and some other churches, has been sanctified by a priest for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects; or as a means of repelling evil.The use for baptism and...

.
Encyclopedia
A vending machine is a machine
Machine
A machine manages power to accomplish a task, examples include, a mechanical system, a computing system, an electronic system, and a molecular machine. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work...

 which dispenses items such as snacks, beverages, alcohol, cigarettes, lottery tickets, consumer products and even gold and gems to customers automatically, after the customer inserts currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 or credit
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

  into the machine.

History

The first reference to a vending machine is in the work of Hero of Alexandria
Hero of Alexandria
Hero of Alexandria was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineerEnc. Britannica 2007, "Heron of Alexandria" who was active in his native city of Alexandria, Roman Egypt...

, a first-century engineer and mathematician. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed holy water
Holy water
Holy water is water that, in Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Oriental Orthodoxy, and some other churches, has been sanctified by a priest for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects; or as a means of repelling evil.The use for baptism and...

. When the coin was deposited, it fell upon a pan attached to a lever. The lever opened a valve which let some water flow out. The pan continued to tilt with the weight of the coin until it fell off, at which point a counterweight snapped the lever up and turned off the valve.

Vending machines waited for the Industrial Age before coming to prominence. The first modern coin-operated vending machines were introduced in London, England in the early 1880s, dispensing post cards. The first vending machine in the U.S. was built in 1888 by the Thomas Adams Gum Company, selling gum on New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 train platforms. The idea of adding games to these machines as a further incentive to buy came in 1897 when the Pulver Manufacturing Company added small figures, which would move around whenever somebody bought some gum from their machines. This idea spawned a whole new type of mechanical device known as the "trade stimulators". The birth of slot machines and pinball is ultimately rooted in these early devices.

In December 1970, Ussery Industries of Dallas, Texas at its Dallas convention displayed its "talking" vending machine, the Venda Talker. With insertion of a coin, the machine said "thank you" and added a one-liner voiced by comic Henny Youngman.

Mechanism

After paying, a product may become available by:
  • the machine releasing it, so that it falls in an open compartment at the bottom, or into a cup, either released first, or put in by the customer, or
  • the unlocking of a door, drawer, or turning of a knob.


Some products need to be prepared to become available. For example, tickets are printed or magnetized on the spot, and coffee is freshly concocted. One of the most common form of vending machine, the snack machine, often uses a metal coil which when ordered rotates to release the product.

The main example of a vending machine giving access to all merchandise after paying for one item is a newspaper vending machine (also called vending box) found mainly in U.S. It contains a pile of identical newspapers. After a sale the door automatically returns to a locked position. A customer could open the box and take all of the newspapers or, for the benefit of other customers, leave all of the newspapers outside of the box, slowly return the door to an unlatched position, or block the door from fully closing, each of which are frequently discouraged, sometimes by a security clamp
Clamp (tool)
A clamp is a fastening device to hold or secure objects tightly together to prevent movement or separation through the application of inward pressure...

. The success of such machines is predicated on the assumption that the customer will be honest (hence the nickname "honor box"), and need only one copy.

Bulk candy and gumball vending


Bulk candy machines are mechanical machines that vend a handful of candy, a bouncy ball, or perhaps a capsule with a small toy or jewelry, for one or two coins. The items may be unsorted; in that case what the customer exactly gets is subject to chance. In other instances, the customer is guaranteed a specific type of candy.

The gross margins in the bulk candy business can be quite high — gumball
Gumball
Gumball may refer to:*A ball made of bubblegum often dispensed from a gumball machine*Gumball , a video game for the Apple released in 1983 by Broderbund Software*Gumball , an alternative rock band from the 1990s...

s, for instance, can be purchased in bulk for 2 cents apiece and sold for 25 cents in the US. Gumballs and candy have a relatively long shelf life, enabling vending machine operators to manage many machines without too much time or cost involved. In addition, the machines are typically inexpensive compared to soft drink or snack machines, which often require power and sometimes refrigeration to work. Many operators donate a percentage of the profits to charity so that locations will allow them to place the machines for free.

Bulk vending may be a more practical choice than soft drink/snack vending for an individual who also works a full-time job, since the restaurants, retail stores, and other locations suitable for bulk vending may be more likely to be open during the evening and on weekends than venues such as offices that host soft drink and snack machines.

Cigarette vending

Cigarettes were commonly sold in the United States through these machines, but this is increasingly rare due to concerns about underage buyers. This is similar to the situation in the UK, where many machines in pubs and clubs have been removed. Sometimes a pass has to be inserted in the machine to prove one's age before a purchase can be made. In Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 cigarette machine
Cigarette machine
A cigarette machine is a vending machine that takes cash in payment for packets of cigarettes. Vending machines often dispense packs containing 16 or 18 cigarettes, although the dimensions of the packaging are the same as the equivalent pack containing 20....

s are still common.

Since 2007, however, age verification has been mandatory in Germany - buyers must be 18 or over. The various machines installed in pubs and cafés, other publicly accessible buildings and on the street accept one or more of the following as proof of age: the buyer's identity card, bank debit card (smart card) or European Union driver's license.

Full-line vending

A full-line vending company may set up several types of vending machines that sell a wide range of products. Products may include candy, cookies, chips, fresh fruit, milk, cold food, coffee and other hot drinks, bottles, cans of soda, and even frozen products like ice cream. These products can be sold from machines that include coffee, snack, cold food, 20-oz. bottle machines, and glass-front bottle machines. Almost all machines accept bills with more and more machines accepting $5 bills. This is an advantage to the vendor because it virtually eliminates the need for a bill changer. Larger corporations with cafeterias will often request full line vending with food service.

Specialized vending

In the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, some vending machines dispense personal products, typically in public toilet facilities. The machines in ladies' restrooms typically sell some form of absorbent device for menstruation, such as pads or tampon
Tampon
A tampon is a mass of cotton or rayon or a mixture of the two inserted into a body cavity or wound to absorb bodilyfluid. The most common type in daily use is designed to be inserted into the vagina during menstruation to absorb the flow of menstrual fluid...

s. The machines in men's rooms, when they are present, are most commonly for the sale of condoms
Condom machine
A condom machine is a vending machine for the sale of condoms. Condom machines are often placed in public toilets, subway stations and airports as a public health measure to promote safe sex. Many pharmacies also keep one outside, for after-hours access...

, though in some locations they may be found dispensing cologne, medicine, small candies, or even pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

. These are often found at toilets used by transient persons in high traffic locations, such as bus stations, shopping centres, airports and service stations.
From the 1950s until well into the 1970s, vending machines were used at American airports to sell life insurance
Life insurance
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness may also trigger...

 policies covering death, in the event that the buyer's flight crashed. Such policies were quite profitable, because the risk of a plane crash is low. However this practice gradually disappeared due to the tendency of American courts to strictly construe such policies against their sellers, such as Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 mutual insurance and financial services company based in Omaha, Nebraska. The company was founded in 1909 as Mutual Benefit Health and Accident Association.- History :...

.

From 2000-2010, specialization of vending machines became more common. Vending extended increasingly into non-traditional areas like electronics. Machines of this new category are generally called Automated Retail
Automated Retail
Automated retail is the category of self-service, standalone kiosks in heavily trafficked establishments such as airports, malls and resorts....

 kiosks. The trend of specialization and proliferation of vending machines is perhaps most apparent in Japan where vending machines sell products from toilet paper to hot meals and pornography, and there is 1 vending machine per 23 people. Containers of live bait are sold in vending machines in the rural United States.

Safety and security issues

Risk of falling machines

Most modern vending machines are tested and designed to inhibit theft, with security measures resulting in designs similar in strength to safes. As a result, the machines can be very heavy.

A few people have been fatally injured after having a vending machine topple over them, either while they were attempting to steal from the machine, or venting frustration over a malfunction which caused a failure to dispense the purchased item or the proper change. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Journal of the American Medical Association is a weekly, peer-reviewed, medical journal, published by the American Medical Association. Beginning in July 2011, the editor in chief will be Howard C. Bauchner, vice chairman of pediatrics at Boston University’s School of Medicine, replacing ...

(11 November 1988, p. 2697) documents 15 cases in which men trying to get a can out of the machine were crushed. Three died, the other 12 required hospitalization for injuries such as fractures of the skull, toe, ankle, tibia, femur, and pelvis; intracerebral bleeding; knee contusion; and one punctured bladder. The article states that because the soft drinks are located in the upper half of the machine (so that they can fall into the dispensing slot), the center of gravity of the machine is abnormally high. Because of this high center of gravity, the machine will fall over once it has been tipped only 20 degrees, a deceptively small angle. A large, fully loaded soft drink machine can weigh over 400 kg (880 lbs.)

Coin fraud

One issue with vending machines, particularly mechanical vending machines, involves the use of coins of foreign currency, or, in more extreme cases, worthless tokens or washers (commonly referred to as slugs
Slug (coin)
A slug is a counterfeit coin that is used to make illegal purchases from a coin-operated device, such as a vending machine, pay phone, parking meter, transit farebox, copy machine, coin laundry, gaming machine, or arcade game...

), which have the same size and shape as the coin accepted by the machine. This is done to pay less for merchandise, and some times in order to get change that has more value than the originally inserted object.

One remarkable example of this was the use of Libyan coins of 100 Dirhams and 50 Dirhams denominations in Maltese vending machines in the late 1990s. The 100 Dirham coin was used in place of the 1 Maltese Lira
Maltese lira
The lira was the currency of Malta from 1972 until 31 December 2007. The lira was abbreviated as Lm, although the traditional ₤ sign was often used locally...

 coin which had, back then, a de facto black market value of approximately 10 Libyan Dinar
Libyan dinar
The dinar is the currency of Libya. Its ISO 4217 code is "LYD". The dinar is subdivided into 1000 dirham . It was introduced in 1971 and replaced the pound at par. It is issued by the Central Bank of Libya, which also supervises the banking system and regulates credit...

s and thus having a value 100 times higher than that of the fraudulent coin. Similarly, the 50 Dirhams coin was used in place of the 25 Maltese cent, which meant a 50-fold increase of value according to the black market price. However, this problem was quickly solved when the machines involved were quickly replaced with new ones that could detect the difference between the Libyan and the Maltese coins, especially in tourist areas.
In another case, the 2 euro coin is similar in size to the 10 baht coin (worth only €0.25). As a result, many vending machines in the eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 will not accept €2 coins, such is the extent of the 10-baht scam.

In the United States, most vending machines can discern coins by reading the coins' "magnetic signature;" thus, many American vending machines will not take coins from Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

, the British fivepence or the East Caribbean
East Caribbean dollar
The East Caribbean dollar is the currency of eight of the nine members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States...

, even though those coins are nearly identical in size to their American counterparts.

Innovations

Vending has gone through significant changes. Many machines are evolving to accept credit cards and companies are now able to monitor a machine's state from afar.

John Greenwick of the Greenway company is a former Mars Electronics employee and former product manager of the first ever bill acceptor. According to him, the industry saw a need for the ability to standardize the acceptance of coins and currency on a global basis. As such, a standard known as MDB (Multi-Drop Bus
Multidrop bus
A multidrop bus is a computer bus in which all components are connected to the same set of electrical wires. A process of arbitration determines which device gets the right to be the sender of information at any point in time...

) was invented. This allows for machines around the world to utilize the same bill acceptor and coin changer devices with an international specification.

Doug M. Sanford of Vending Times
Vending Times
Vending Times is one of the most popular trade magazines for the U.S. vending industry. It attempts to cover the entire vending industry, addressing the business, legal, legislative and regulatory concerns of companies providing industrial, institutional and public vending, refreshment, feeding and...

notes that "many vendors today do not remember the urgency with which industry leaders called on their peers to install coin mechanisms that held the patron's money in escrow until the vend was made; to post a telephone number that a customer could call to report a failure and request a refund; to make sure their drivers were cleaning the machines adequately and replacing burnt-out lamps; and so on and on". More recent innovations include improved coin and bill validation and the rapid adoption of sense-and-feedback systems to verify that the vend was made.

According to Michael Kasavana, National Automatic Merchandising Association
National Automatic Merchandising Association
The National Automatic Merchandising Association, or NAMA, is the American national trade association of the food and refreshment vending, coffee service and foodservice management industries. Public relations is an important part of its mandate....

 at Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act.MSU pioneered the studies of packaging,...

, the advent of reliable, affordable wireless technology has made telemetry practical and provided the medium through which cashless payments can be authenticated. Research shows that 50% of consumers will not purchase from a vending machine if its "Use exact change only" light is on. Machines with telemetry can transmit sales and inventory data to a route truck in the parking lot so that the driver knows what products to bring in for restocking. Or the data can be transmitted to a remote headquarters for use in scheduling a route stop, detecting component failure or verifying collection information.

Many telemetry technology providers are competing for the standard as the market tests different vending machine setups. Based on early documentation, digital telemetry communication for stocking and Credit Card style payment systems saves up to 40% of the carbon emissions over standard human monitored, and mechanical change systems.

IntuiSense Technologies a French based technology firm has developed the first ever "touchless" vending machine using Gesture Recognition (Computer Vision). IntuiSense's patented technology includes a high definition monitor (55"-32"), a custom built CPU, MDB monitor, and the IS Gesture Recognition system all in a vandal proof construction. They have utilized the same technology as the Microsoft Kinect and other Computer Vision companies.

Vendtxt Vending Inc. developed and deployed vending machines allowing customers to purchase products through an SMS (text) message. The user sends a text to a short code and receives a text message back with a four digit numeric code. The user then enters their code into the vending machine and make a selection. If their product is delivered the mobile phone account is charged.

Another innovation is self-service, standalone Automated Retail
Automated Retail
Automated retail is the category of self-service, standalone kiosks in heavily trafficked establishments such as airports, malls and resorts....

 stores, for example with a touchscreen. Once a product is purchased the robotic arm delivers it into the pickup box and charges the consumer's credit card.

In the area of service vending machines other innovations include internet kiosks and DVD vending. Cashless vending now allows consumers to use debit cards or precharged "keys" such as the U-Key
U-Key
A U-Key is an implementation of the MIFARE RFID chip, encased in a plastic key style housing.It is used as a prepayment system on vending machines and for some self-service diving air compressors in Switzerland...

 for added convenience. Vending is a multi-billion dollar industry.

To prevent injuries or death from tipping or striking the machine, most modern snack vending machines equipped with spirals to hold products contain lasers near the access door at the bottom. If a purchased item does not break the laser beam when falling, the spirals will automatically turn, usually three times to ensure that a product will fall. If this still does not occur, the customer will be asked to make another selection or will be refunded their money.

Off-grid fuel cell
Fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

 based vending machines with swappable hydrogen storage
Hydrogen storage
Hydrogen storage describes the methods for storing H2 for subsequent use. The methods span many approaches, including high pressures, cryogenics, and chemical compounds that reversibly release H2 upon heating...

 tank
Hydrogen tank
A Hydrogen tank is used for hydrogen storage. The first type IV hydrogen tanks for compressed hydrogen at 700 Bar were demonstrated in 2001, the first fuel cell vehicles on the road with type IV tanks are the Toyota FCHV, Mercedes-Benz F-Cell and the HydroGen4.At the hydrogen station Hamburg...

s are entering the market.

Cashless payments will soon be on many vending machines in the near future. The majority of vending machine operators plan to add credit card swipers to their machines in 2011, according to a study by Apriva, wireless transaction services company. About 57 percent of companies surveyed by Apriva said they planned to expand the number of their machines outfitted with card swipers.
Sweden's
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 Distec company invented the bokomaten
GoLibrary
GoLibrary or Library-a-Go-Go is a book vending machine used by libraries in Sweden and the U.S. state of California...

 machine to vend library books at remote locations and during off hours.

Australia

In Australia, where gemstones are commonly mined, vending machines selling gemstones have appeared. The machines, usually converted candy machines, sell gemstones for approximately A$2.

RedRoomDVD rents DVDs through automated vending kiosks. With no memberships, users swipe a credit card, returning the DVD to following night to any kiosk.

Japan

Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every twenty-three people. Japan's high population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

, relatively high cost of labor, limited space, preference for shopping on foot or by bicycle, and low rates of vandalism and petty crime, provide an accommodating environment for vending machines. While the majority of machines in Japan are stocked with drinks, snacks, and cigarettes, one occasionally finds vending machines selling items such as bottles of liquor, cans of beer, fried food, underwear, iPods, porn magazines, sexual lubricants, live lobsters, fresh meat, eggs and potted plants.

The first vending machine in Japan was made of wood and sold postage stamps and post cards. About 80 years ago, there were vending machines that sold sweets made by the "Glico Company". In 1967, the 100-yen coin was distributed for the first time, and vending machine sales skyrocketed overnight, selling a variety of items everywhere.

In Japan, vending machines are known as 自動販売機 (jidō-hanbaiki) from jidō, or "automatic"; hanbai, or "vending"; and ki, or "machine", 自販機 (jihanki) for short. Vending machines are also commonly used in casual restaurants to sell meal tickets, similar to automat
Automat
An automat is a fast food restaurant where simple foods and drink are served by coin-operated and bill-operated vending machines.-Concept:Originally, the machines took only nickels...

s: one purchases a meal ticket from a vending machine, then presents the ticket to a server, who then prepares and serves the meal. These are referred to as 食券機 (shokkenki, "food ticket machine"); see :ja:File:IKEA bistro ticket vending machine ALL.JPG for an example.

In 1999, the estimated 5.6 million coin- and card-operated Japanese vending machines generated $53.28 billion in sales. Vending machine goods and services can cost as little as 50 and as much as 3,000 yen.

With the introduction to services such as "Osaifu-Keitai
Osaifu-Keitai
, literally meaning "Wallet Mobile", is a trademark of NTT DoCoMo, which developed the system. It refers to mobile phones that integrate Sony's Mobile FeliCa ICs, as well as to services provided by applications on these phones....

", cell phones can now be used to pay for the items bought from these vending machines more easily.

In 2008, a smart card
Smart card
A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card , is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits. A smart card or microprocessor cards contain volatile memory and microprocessor components. The card is made of plastic, generally polyvinyl chloride, but sometimes acrylonitrile...

 called taspo
Taspo
, formerly known as , is a smart card using RFIDdeveloped by the Tobacco Institute of Japan , the , and the for introduction in 2008. Following its introduction, the card is necessary in order to purchase cigarettes from vending machines in Japan. The name "Taspo" is a portmanteau for .The group...

 was implemented in the majority of tobacco vending machines across the country to restrict sales of cigarettes from them. From such machines cigarette purchases may only be made by those in possession of the card, which is issued to adult applicants (which in the case of Japan, is 20 years of age). The card is held up to a sensor after money is inserted into the machine. Some beer vending machines also require age verification.

Netherlands

A common feature of snack bars in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 is known as the automatiek or more commonly the automaat and is similar to an automat
Automat
An automat is a fast food restaurant where simple foods and drink are served by coin-operated and bill-operated vending machines.-Concept:Originally, the machines took only nickels...

. It consists of a wall lined with coin-operated machines. Each has a vertical row of little windows, with a (usually hot) snack behind each, e.g., a croquette
Croquette
A croquette is a small fried food roll containing, usually as main ingredients, mashed potatoes, and/or ground meat , shellfish, fish, vegetables, and soaked white bread, egg, onion, spices and herbs, wine, milk, beer or any of the combination thereof, sometimes with a filling, often encased in...

, a frikandel
Frikandel
A frikandel is a Dutch snack, a sort of minced-meat hot dog,developed either in 1954 or in 1958/1959 in the Netherlands, depending on the source.-Overview:...

 or a hamburger. Usually the automatiek is part of a larger establishment which will sell a broader range of food and drinks not suitable for vending machines at a counter. The automatiek is there to service customers that do not want, or can not, wait to be serviced by a person at the counter. However, some snack bar chains' business focus mainly on the automatiek, such as FEBO
FEBO
FEBO is a chain of Dutch walk-up fast food restaurants of the automatiek type. Founded in 1941 in Amsterdam, FEBO is most notable for this automatic format: a counter is available for purchasing French fries, beverages, and hamburgers. Other FEBO snacks can be bought from the automats...

.

After inserting the proper amount of money into a slot, an individual opens one of the windows and removes the snack. On most machines it is possible to open a window which does not contain a snack, so care must be taken when opening a window. The machines are heated so that the snacks stay hot, and snacks will generally be thrown away if they stay in for more than two to three hours. Behind the machine is the kitchen where the snacks are prepared, with the little windows being re-supplied from the back.

Automatieks may provide chairs for customers, but it is also common to have seating only for customers buying food at the counter (as they generally buy larger meals). Sometimes the vending machines are in an outside wall, and no shelter is provided.

These vending machines are often located at railway stations or in busy shopping streets.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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