Most of your customers need to snatch their refreshment while on the run. Be it snacks or hot drinks or simply water, people depend on the vending machine to service their varied needs. The need to provide hot drink solutions to people at all odd hours too has resulted in the proliferation of coffee vending machines. With the vending business getting increasingly competitive, but lucrative, the time has come to start differentiating.
The most vexing question that most people who run coffee vending machines or any kind of vending machine have to resolve is related to location. Which would be the most lucrative place for the vending machine? Now instead of waiting for the customers to come to you, why don't you go out to your customers? There are many mobile restaurants which operate out of vans and trailers. You can also put your vending machine on a van and chalk out an itinerary for a select area/s where people keep coming and going.
If you want to concentrate on offering only hot drink solutions initially, then you can use a coffee vending machine to dispense coffee, tea, chocolate and maybe some health drinks. What you really need to check out is that the model of coffee vending machine you opt for brews the coffee swiftly, even if it is a beans to cup model. You risk losing customers if they have to wait forever and a day for that caffeine laden cup they have been thirsting for.
The two other things that you need to keep track of when chalking out the itinerary are what is the likely consumption to be in a best case scenario and what is the minimum sale that you need to keep the business viable? The first will dictate your refilling options – where and how much – particularly for the basics like milk (which can spoil) and water (without which you won't be able to brew anything let alone fine tasting coffee.) Remember that your mobile coffee vending machine business will have the added overhead in terms of fuel. Most of the outlay required to make this business viable would remain the same for other things.