Vending: a Business without Problems
They are quick and easy to use, and they have been long before appreciated by students and office clerks. They are vending machines that sell goods without a shop assistant. No communication is needed: look, make your choice, and buy.
One might think such a service could have become available in the IT era only. In fact, the first prototypes of vending machines came into being as early as in the Ancient Egypt. In order to get some sacred water in the temples of Alexandria, you had to drop a coin into a special slot. As time went by, people kept trying to develop the vending systems: mysterious automatic boxes sold pencils in China, and tobacco – in England. In the 20th century, some entrepreneurs realized that unmanned sales of goods could bring high profits.
The beginning was rather small-scale – ordinary chewing gums. Those gums were cheap and went off like hot cakes. Later, vending machines started selling soft drinks, packs of cigarettes, matches, postage stamps and fountain pens. During the Great Depression, there appeared the machines that would spray some perfume for 1 cent. A quick mind and flexibility was all that businessmen needed. For example, you could even use some automatic machines to have a shave: they produced a razor and some shaving crème and lotion.
Vending machines flooded the market, and the US became the leader – which hardly seemed surprising. It was in the States that vending was first used for selling fruit pies and doughnuts. When the first coffee vending machine appeared, development of unmanned sales took a new turn. Nowadays, such machines sell drinks to any taste: tea, juices, water, hot chocolate and even mulled wine. Usually all those machines are connected to the public water mains, where the quality of water often leaves much to be desired. In order to eliminate any foreign smells and tastes, including chlorine and its compounds, remove bacteria, viruses, pesticides and other harmful substances, modern manufacturers have invented special filters. One of suppliers of these products is ready to share the news in the field of professional water treatment. The company will participate in the specialized public catering and hospitality exhibition HoReCa Expo Ural, which will take place in Ekaterinburg-Expo during February 13-15, 2014. The company has already established itself in the Russian market; its filters are used by such well-known international food chains as McDonald's, IKEA, Quick and Sbarro.
Nowadays, vending machines are all around us. We can feel the touch of progress everywhere – in shopping and entertainment centers, at schools and universities, and even in hospitals. The customer, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly demanding. It is quite possible that in a couple of years, vending will have more surprises for us, and when we put some money into the machine, teapots, irons, frying pans or even mobile phones will drop in our hands in return.