Are Beer Vending Machines Legal in the US?
Yes, beer vending machines are legal in the US, but only in certain states. Florida, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania all have legal vending machines. The cans need to be served open by law, so the vending machine needs to not only verify the age of the purchaser, but also open the can before vending it to the customer. Some vending machine credit card readers can also read a driver’s license to verify the age of the customer.
The BeerBox is a beer vending machine that is capable of opening the can as the beer is vended, so that it complies with the law.
Are Beer Vending Machines Allowed in Bars?
When you think of vending machines and bars, you likely think of a vending machine that can serve beer or hard liquor. An alcohol vending machine in a bar is not a bad idea, especially if the bar is very crowded, though if you have multiple beer vending machines, then the bar owner might need a team of people to restock the machines.
If there were to be beer vending machines in a bar, I think they would need to be owned and operated by the bar. In a really busy bar, a line of alcohol vending machines could be set up similar to a self-service kiosk at a grocery store checkout. Then you only need one “bar tender” or employee to oversee the vending operations and keep the line in order or fix machine malfunctions and re-stocking.
Other Types of Vending Machines in Bars
But what about putting snack vending machine in a bar? It really depends on the type of bar, because a vending machine for snacks or ice cream might make sense in a corner of a dive bar in New Jersey, but probably not at an upscale bar in Manhattan, unless it is a high end machine like a robotic pizza vending machine like the piestro.
But if there’s a dive (or Tiki) bar in your area, it might be worth a shot to reach out to them to see if they have snack and beverage machines. I’d be wary of trying to set up a beer vending machine in a bar as a vending machine operator since there could be some expensive alcohol sales license laws in your town.
I’ll let you know if I ever get around to getting a beer vending machine set up somewhere, but I’ve been getting into hop tea recently (citra bomb is freakin’ amazing), and I think that would make a pretty neat specialized vending machine. You stay classy, San Diego.
Are there vending machine locators specifically for alcohol vending machines?
Unfortunately, there are no vending machine locators dedicated to placing only alcohol vending machines. However, it should not be much different than placing a typical specialty vending machine, so you could hire a locator or find the spot on your own.
Do I need additional insurance for a alcohol vending machine vs. a snack machine?
Put simply, yes. People who are drinking are more likely to damage your vending machine than sober people, and therefore your insurance costs are likely to be higher for an alcohol vending machine.
Other vending machines that work well with alcohol vending machines
Since a beer vending machine is essentially a pop-up bar, any type of vending machine that would do well in a bar would also complement a beer vending machine very well. Pizza vending machine seems pretty obvious, and if there is ever a chicken wing vending machine, then that would be good too.
Of course, people who are enjoying a stiff drink also tend to appreciate art a bit more and their wallets tend to loosen up, so an art vending machine might be profitable.
Imagine this for a “full line” – Pizza, beer, and art all from vending machines! That’s definitely a cool vending line.