For aspiring business owners and health enthusiasts, owning a healthy vending machine business is a solid opportunity.
But is it? We delved into the customer reviews and business details to sort it out.
What HealthyYOU Vending Reviews Say
Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. At the time of this writing, HealthyYOU has 4.2 out of 117 reviews on Google, 4.46 out of 26 reviews on the BBB and has been in business for over 20 years.
You see a lot of reviews like this one from Andrew C on the BBB:
And this one from Barbara Avila on Google:
In his review on the BBB website, Larry A. even shared his revenue numbers:
Of course, not all reviews were good. Like this one-star review from Robert M:
Most of the bad reviews are from people who weren’t customers or had a hard time getting the business off the ground. HealthyYOU responds to each bad review in-depth, which shows that they genuinely care about both the experience their customers have and their reputation.
All business opportunities carry risk. These reviews show that a few people don’t have success with HealthyYOU. But judging by the overwhelming ratio of good reviews to bad, they seem to be a tiny minority of customers.
HealthyYOU Vending Advantages
Our own review of HealthyYOU found that it has many advantages as a business opportunity.
Vending Management Software
HealthyYOU Vending’s proprietary vending management software helps each new business owner maximize revenue.
The software tracks revenue and profitability as the new owner tries different products and flavors in each location. This allows the owner to have a route filled with machines where each sells what the people in that location are buying the most.
The software also tells the machine owner precisely what is needed to stock a machine when this information is required. In other words, when inventory is low or needs to be restocked.
This “Know Before You Go” tool saves the machine owner a great deal of time. Instead of having someone manually visit each location, whether or not it’s needed, you only need to restock the machine when you know it’s low.
Customizable, Advanced Machines
HealthyYOU Vending designed their machine and optional side units to help their business owners collect extra revenue. These are some of the most advanced vending machines on the market.
The smart mart sells non-refrigerated meals, soups and side dishes. It can also be used for other products, including in a hotel, where you can sell everything people forget when they travel, like phones, chargers, dental floss and shaving cream. The wellness center can also sell over-the-counter medication.
Helps You Find Great Locations – And Avoid Location Rent
HealthyYOU Vending helps each new business owner get their machines into great locations. They are the only company in the industry that allows for a customized location process instead of a one-size-fits-all process.
Each new owner is trained on all of the best location strategies, and then the HealthyYOU Vending support team helps them develop a custom strategy for their area. As we saw in the reviews, customers really like the in-depth training for finding locations.
Some new owners focus on the closest locations, others find locations that take multiple machines, and others prefer specific locations like hospitals or schools. These preferences, along with geographical factors, are all considered in the custom strategy.
Most machines in the HealthyYOU Vending Business require no commission or rent to secure the location. Usually, location decision-makers look at traditional vending machines as a revenue stream and expect a 15 to 20 percent commission on gross sales.
However, they look at HealthyYOU Vending machines as part of their health and wellness program and do not expect commission. This keeps much more of the machine revenue in the owner’s pocket.
No Recurring Royalties
HealthyYOU Vending does not charge royalties or other ongoing fees. Typical franchises take 6 to 8 percent of revenue monthly, year after year.
Many new franchisees with a typical franchise don’t mind paying royalties during the start-up phase due to the large amount of support they receive.
Later, when their business is well-established, and the home office is doing little to support them, those high royalty payments become a major issue. Some franchises also charge ongoing training or advertising fees.
Even though profit margins are high in this business, a 6 to 8 percent revenue royalty can really take a huge bite into owners’ profits, especially as they scale up the business.
HealthyYOU Vending Disadvantages
The Risks of Business Ownership
As with any new business in any industry, there is risk.
While HealthyYOU provides franchise-level support, they are not a franchise. Accordingly, they do not require the submission of monthly financial statements from customers. They cannot monitor the performance of business owners’ vending machines.
The company strives for (but does not mandate) regular contact with business owners. So, the company may only be aware if a business owner is hitting their financial goals.
First-time business owners should determine if they have the self-discipline to work past the obstacles that come with any new business.
As the reviews above indicate, some people aren’t successful with their business and don’t take full advantage of HealthyYOU’s training and support.
A Large Upfront Investment
Most businesses require capital, and the vending machine business is the same. The startup cost is between $60,000 and $190,000, with the average investment being about $100,000.
While this number pales compared to fast food restaurant startup costs, it is still significant. It’s a lot of time, money and work to buy the machines, go through the training and get each machine placed at a profitable location.
Make sure that your finances are in order before you move forward with starting a new business like this.
Like any business opportunity, the one that HealthyYOU Vending offers has risk. The overwhelming majority of customers are happy, and it looks like a legitimate opportunity for those willing to put in the work.
The contents of this article are for information purposes only. All financial investments carry a level of risk, and it is recommended that you do extensive research and/or consult a trusted financial advisor prior to making a financial investment.
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.