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Can I put a vending machine in a park?

Discover if vending machines in parks are allowed. Get insights on regulations, potential benefits and whether they are profitable.


The vending machine industry is growing steadily as the years go by, and consumers expect to find vending machines of all types in convenient, accessible locations. As a result, one of the main responsibilities of a vending machine business owner is to choose the right location for their vending machine. Below, we’ll discuss the benefits of putting a vending machine in a public park, answer the question “Can I put a vending machine in a park?” and explore some other ideal locations to place a vending machine.

Why Parks Make a Good Location for a Vending Machine

Parks are one of the best locations for vending machines of all kinds: bulk vending machines, drink machines, popular snack machines, and specialty retail machines can all be very successful in public parks. Sports drinks can do as well as popular vending machine snacks. Parks help make vending machines profitable in three ways: exposure to high foot traffic, access to a diverse consumer base, and limited competition between vending machine owners.

High Foot Traffic

During good weather, outdoor recreation areas like parks will be flooded with people on a daily basis. Many of the visitors will be spending multiple hours at the park and will wish to have a quick snack or drink their favorite beverage. A vending machine that offers drinks, healthy snacks (read more about healthy vending), and other items will be frequented by a sizeable percentage of the total traffic on foot moving through the park. This is the main reason that parks are profitable locations for a vending business—high traffic on foot results in high vending machine sales. The same is true for a vending location as it is for a retail store.

Diverse Consumer Base

Another reason that parks are one of the best locations for a vending machine company is the diverse consumer base. Unlike amusement parks, regular parks are frequented by families, amateur athletes, students, dog walkers, elders, and more. Individuals of all ages can find enjoyment at a park, and as a result, every type of vending machine can succeed. Whether a vending business owner will offer healthy bites like granola bars, regular food and drinks as a meal replacement, energy drinks for a quick pick me up, or park-related retail items for additional entertainment, the machine will be exposed to a consumer that will be interested.

Limited Competition

The vending industry is full of saturated locations such as a shopping mall or sports complex. While these are great locations to place vending machines, they will be home to many other machines (owned by you or someone else) that will negatively affect the vending sales from an individual machine. Placing vending machines in parks will eliminate this loss from competition, boost profitability, and ensure a vending owner receives a steady income.

Can I Put a Vending Machine In a Park?

Yes, vending machines can be put into public parks, but there are a number of things to consider before pursuing this endeavor. Many vending regulations set out by the city will necessitate the machine is stocked with healthy options if it serves food and drinks, so soft drinks and junk food would not be permitted. You’ll also need to follow any federal/local guidelines that pertain to outdoor vending machines, since usually city is the property owner of a park.

You’ll also need to consider the unique elements of securing an outdoor vending machine and the necessities of operation, such as access to an electrical outlet, security cameras and security cage, weatherproofing, and more.

What Other Spots Make Good Vending Machine Locations?

If you’re interested in some other vending machine location ideas to expand your current vending route or install your very first machine, these suggestions are a great place to start. Some of them can easily become top grossing locations with the right management.

Schools: Elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, and any other type of school property are excellent vending machine locations.

Shopping Centers: Any type of shopping center, from large shopping malls to specialized retail stores, can become profitable vending sites.

Airports: They have a huge amount of foot traffic and are also diverse in audience and their varying needs.

Apartment Complexes: Spaces in apartment buildings such as lobbies, laundry rooms, and other common areas are perfect for vending machines.

Gyms: Training facilities, public gyms, outdoor training areas are all great spots to place nutritional drinks, foods, and supplements.

Transportation Hubs: Bus terminals, train stations, airports, etc. will offer unbeatable foot traffic.

Recreation Centers: Swimming pools, party rooms, sports complexes, and other recreation centers are perfect for food and drink machines.

Car Dealerships: Vending machines in dealerships will be frequented by both employees and consumers; the machine will be exposed to a steady flow of people on a daily basis.

Industrial Buildings: Distributions centers, warehouses, etc. all fit this category; these are huge profit opportunities especially when multiple shifts of people come in and out.

Office Buildings: The break room in an office space or lobbies at conference centers can all make perfect vending machine locations.

Medical Centers: This may take the form of a hospital, family doctor's office, dentist's office, various types of care facilities, etc.

Gas Stations: A gas station, convenience store, car wash, etc. are all excellent places for the average consumer to access a vending machine.

Wrapping Up

Vending machines are a wonderful way to generate mostly passive income, but the right location is essential. Public parks offer a number of benefits for vending owners no matter what they choose to sell, but there are many other options out there as well to suit every vending business to perfection.

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