Drinks Machines

(Mike Ando) #21

Another image for those so curious… I tend to buy the drinks in smaller batches of 200 or so every few weeks, because a large number of cans gets unmanageable to take to the space (and a single store normally only has a few hundred cans of each flavour anyway). But when a sale happens and the prices are low…

Another 468 cans, another 190 kilograms of beverages. Lugging these to/from my car is hard work. :stuck_out_tongue:

You might have noticed that the main drinks machine in the green room is running low. This is because we need to reduce its weight to move it to the new kitchen, and letting it naturally run low with time is easier than manually removing & restocking 500 cans. I’m trying to keep enough stock in each line so they don’t get completely exhausted, but it’s not always easy to predict what will be popular the next week. Apologies if something is temporarily out!

Also, since we have to empty it completely to move the drinks machine to the kitchen, when that happens I’ll be shifting around the order of drinks & swapping some flavours. Because why not! I’ll also be adding more sugarfree options as soon as the Pepsi Next line is depleted. The members have spoken & low-sugar isn’t wanted, it must be either full-sugar or no-sugar.

Also also, due to popular demand, the random button is back! It’s the one appropriately labelled RAND();. So long as I’m stocking the machine, the random line will contain at least four different flavours (it currently has 7, some of which aren’t available on any other line). In addition to this, if I understand the vending order correctly then no two cans in a row should come out the same. Which I guess makes it only pseudorandom, really.

Are you feeling /dev/random lucky? Well are ya??

(Brendan Halliday) #22

Good news everyone! You don’t need to move the drinks machine anymore. Hovo and I puttered about with network cables in the roof to relocate some to where it is now

Net effect, the drinks machine can stay there and will be joined by vendo.

Anyhow, back to Mike’s awesomeness.

(Mike Ando) #23

So I acquired another 212 drinks this week. I managed to find Mt Dew at a reasonable price again, oh frabjous day! :smiley: I also acquired a second sugarfree option, Diet Lemon. Our stash in the server room is now stocked up again.

In addition to this, both drinks machines have been loaded up as full as they can reasonably be without completely overloading the motors. This is the green room “cold drinks” machine with 420 drinks (yes I counted, I was curious how many it actually holds when full. Now we know!).

And in addition to that, the flavours offered & order of flavours in both machines have been swapped around. Just to keep things interesting, and to give more space to the more-popular flavours.

The new order in the green room “cold drinks” machine:
Coca Cola
Mountain Dew
Lemon (20 or so Kirks Lemon, then all Lift)
Lemonade (Schweppes Lemonade)
RAND(); (random flavour and no two in a row should be the same, currently stocked with 8 different flavours, some of which aren’t available in any other line)
Ginger Ale (Kirks)
Pepsi Next (to be replaced by a fully sugarfree Cola option once this line is empty)
600mL Water bottles

The new order in the warehouse “Port-Hack Cola” machine:
600mL Water bottles
Orange (currently Fanta)
Ginger Beer (Kirks)
Creaming Soda (Kirks Candy)
Diet Lemon (Kirks)

This should do us for a few months. :slight_smile:

For those who like numbers - we currently go through around 70 cans a week, over a third is just Coke. Because I try to get really good sales prices, it averages out that every dollar I spend buying & loading up drinks earns the hackerspace between $1.65 & $2.50 depending on the flavour. Definitely worth the ROI for my time. :slight_smile:

The many geeky shirts of Mike
(Mike Ando) #24

Important drinks announcement: some of our stock is in danger of expiring and we need to clear it out because no one drinks it. Because of this, Pepsi Next and regular Pepsi are on sale, 50 cents a can! We can’t change the price for individual lines on the vending machines, but come see me and I’ll reimburse you the difference (or I’ll just open the machine & give you a can for 50 cents straight away). Feel free to buy in bulk or grab extra to take home - in fact please do buy in bulk, because it all must go by the end of the month!

Also another 220 cans of soft drink were acquired for this week, mainly Coke & diet soft drinks. Yes the 216 cans of just Coke I purchased mid-July are all gone. We go through so much Coke.

Mountain Dew is about to be exhausted; it’s a popular drink but hard to find at a good price. A new flavour will replace it either this week or the next & the remaining Mt Dew stock will be placed pseudo-randomly in the Random line!

(Mike Ando) #25

Small update so people know the status of the drinks machines… Thanks to @rut4ger the Pepsi Next has been depleted, and this line has been replaced by Coke Zero! Also due to availability issues, the Mountain Dew line has temporarily been swapped with Pasito. Mt Dew will return at some time in the future, but for now enjoy the new flavour!

(Mike Ando) #26

Even moar drinks incoming, 264 pictured. Not pictured: 48 cans of Coke & 48 cans of Coke Zero, totalling 360 cans. We weren’t completely out of the 220 cans I bought 3 weeks ago but we were running low and it was a good sale price. We also have a new record: ~70 cans of just Coke and depleting the entire flavour line in under a week. In the words of Ronald Weasley, “bloody hell”. If this keeps up I might have to add a second line of Coke just to handle demand. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Mike Ando) #27

Members might’ve noticed that the drinks machines haven’t been stocked as well as they used to be. The server room keys to the store room went missing and I didn’t have access to our stockpile to replenish the machines (skip it for just one week and four lines run out…). The lock to the store room has been replaced, a few hundred more drinks were purchased and both machines have been stocked up once again… and with the empty lines, this is also a convenient time to change around the flavours on offer!

Current stock in the green room “cold drinks” machine:
Coca Cola
Ginger Beer (Kirks)
Lemonade (Schweppes)
RAND(); (random flavour and no two in a row should be the same, currently stocked with 7 different flavours, some of which aren’t available in any other line)
Raspberry (Kirks)
Coke Zero
Water 600mL bottle

Current stock in the warehouse “Port-Hack Cola” machine:
Water 600mL bottle
Orange (Fanta)
Mountain Dew
Ginger Ale (Kirks)
Diet Lemon (Kirks)

Additionally, the green room “cold drinks” machine has had its interior thoroughly cleaned, the seals freshened, condenser and evaporator fins dusted and the condensation drain repaired. All of this will reduce this machine’s power consumption by perhaps 30%… So I’ve decided to lower the thermostat in this machine a little bit to make them more enticing on a hot summer day. The cold drinks are now slightly colder! :smiley:

Moving the Drinks Machines
(Mike Ando) #28

I’m not currently responsible for the drinks machines any more, but I have learned a few things from doing the job over the past year. I thought I should document these nuggets of information somewhere so they’re not lost forever, and right here is as good as anywhere! This will be a little long and most people can skip over this.

Loading & general maintenance tips

  • Keys to these machines are currently with the exec and there’s a copy in the server room attached to a big metal “don’t lose me” sign. Please don’t lose them. It’s nearly $40 to get another set cut.
  • When loading the machines, place the top of the can or the lid of the bottle pointing towards the back of the machine. This decreases the chance of a can bursting while vending.
  • Don’t overfill the lines; the motors can only take so much weight on them. Basically stay a can or three below the top of the metal sheet edge, and keep the double line of bottled water half-full.
  • When a line’s empty light turns on, there’s still 2-4 cans left in the machine. Try to avoid manually removing those cans as priming the machine is a pain that normally leads to the machine crunching cans if you don’t do it juuust right. When swapping flavours, it’s MUCH easier to just add them on top of the old stock then vend out few remaining the old cans.
  • Whenever the cold drinks machine is opened you will need to empty the moisture tray. Grab a bucket & cup to quickly empty the first half, then use a kitchen sponge to soak up the rest. You really have to do this every time; you’ll be amazed how quickly it fills up.
  • Don’t tighten the lock on the cold drinks machine too tight. If you’re straining to do or undo it, that’s too much. So long as it’s caught the latch, spinning the lock tighter doesn’t make the machine any more secure; it just pulls the door closer. It only needs to be closed enough to form a good air seal on the rubber strip around the door. Overdoing it will over-compress the seal and damage it.
  • Our electricity is billed based on the time of use, Tariff 22. Off-peak time is 9pm-7am weekdays, plus all weekends. Restocking drinks adds a lot of thermal mass to the machines that needs to be chilled, plus it means you’re leaving the door open for a long time while you do it. This might sound like splitting hairs but loading up the machines after 9pm or on a weekend will save us a dollar or so every time. If it needs loading at 6pm on a Tuesday then just load it right away, but it’s a pretty easy cost-cutting measure to keep in the back of your mind. FYI, I calculated the machine’s total energy cost to be around 5c/can worst-case, but we sell a lot of cans so this small amount adds up.
  • Bottles are currently limited to two lines; one per machine. This isn’t easy to change and on one machine it requires permanent modifications. Don’t change these unless you have a very good reason.
  • Speaking of bottles, the machines need calibrating for the size of items it’s vending. The can lines are all sized for 375mL cans and the bottle lines are currently sized for Woolworths Select home-brand water bottles. Stick to these sizes or you have to recalibrate the lines, adding/removing spacers, and that’s a tedious job.
  • If something breaks beyond repair, there’s a spare single-column motor, double-column motor & some microswitches in a labelled & taped-shut box in the server room. Don’t use these for anything other than the drinks machines since we had to import them from the US and they’re NOT cheap!
  • Coke-product cardboard boxes are fairly robust when unopened but weak when opened. However Kirks boxes are weak even when unopened and the handles routinely rip off. Don’t carry Kirks boxes by the handle. You will have the handle rip off & drop the box, making a big mess and negating the profit from a dozen cans all at once.
  • When emptying the coin box, check the supply of spare change. You may need to feed some coins back into the machine (but don’t fill them past the marked lines); there’s a slot to do this just above) the change store tubes.
  • When storing boxes in the store room, if you’re stacking boxes never stack them more than 6 cans on top of one another (meaning a max of 3 boxes high for 24-pack cubes of Coke) but keep it to 4 cans on top of one another wherever possible. Store them with the cans standing upright for maximum structural strength. This means that because Kirks & Mountain Dew cans are on their side in the boxes, you need to stack these boxes on their side. Failure to do this may result in a can rupturing, the pile collapsing and an awful sticky, stinky mess in the store room.
  • Try to stack drinks on the pallet with the oldest stock at the front and the newest stock at the back, so we constantly use up the oldest stuff. We don’t want cans to expire. Yes this can happen, and has happened.
  • Never put any drinks on the ground in the store room, only on the pallet. This room becomes a shallow pool when it rains and I’ve personally waded through 4cm deep water in there. Damp, rotting cardboard smells horrible.

Buying drinks

  • A dollar a can is an insanely low price and the only way these machines make a profit is because we buy the cans in bulk when they’re on sale. I contacted Coca-Cola Amatil about establishing an account with them and they wanted to charge us more than we can get at a supermarket ourselves during sales. Plus waiting around HSBNE all day for a delivery truck isn’t an option since most people work or have uni.
  • Drinks do have an expiry date. Always check it on every box you pick up before placing in your trolley. Generally this isn’t much of an issue as regular sugar drinks take around a year to go off and it’s easy to get boxes that expire in 9 months or more. Having said that, we have had flavours go off in the past because the dates weren’t checked. It also means you shouldn’t go crazy with stockpiling cans in case people stop drinking that flavour. Diet soft drinks in particular only have an expiry date 6 months from manufacture when new, which means you have to try hard to get the newest boxes only 4+ months from expiring and we can’t ever stockpile much diet stuff.
  • How much stock do we need? Well, the whole reason we have a stockpile is to avoid running out of any flavour. That and it’s much easier to take one trip to the store rather than six trips. Plus, you can get a better deal if you buy in bulk when it’s cheapest & use them over the following months, increasing profit margins. I used to try to keep a stockpile of around 50 cans for the less popular flavours, 100 for the more popular flavours, and as much Coke as I could buy when it was last at a good price because we go through 30+ cans of Coke a week. This gives you a month or two of leeway to slowly pick up flavours when they go on sale. It’s all very varied though, particularly when you’re constantly rotating which flavours are in the machines. So much hassle to keep all the numbers in your mind, but someone does need to be paying attention to it.
  • When to buy drinks depends on the current sale and our stockpile level - you don’t want to run out but you don’t want to buy a few hundred at just an average sale price, only to have a huge sale happen the following week. But some general guidelines: If it’s under 50c/can load our stockpile up to completely full (and if it happens to be Coke buy as many as you can, visiting multiple stores if necessary. I’m serious here. Get 600+ cans of just Coke). 50-60c a can, load us up if we’re empty or running low. 60-70c/can, only buy if we’re gonna run out. 70c+, only buy if it’s Coke and we’re gonna run out. 80c/can or higher, I would never buy because it’s not worth the time for so little profit.
  • Kirks drinks are frequently on sale for 50c/can so try to hold out for the 40c/can sales if possible, but stores also don’t normally have many boxes on the shelves. Which is a problem when two 30-can cubes is the same number of cans as six boxes of Kirks. I’ve cleared out a supermarket’s shelves many times.
  • The main sources of cheap drinks are Coles, Woolworths and IGA. Physically visiting stores to check prices is for crazy people; we have the internets these days! You’ll want to bookmark these links to Coles Online and Woolworths Online soft drink listings. Add in your postcode so it shows your local store’s prices, sort by unit price, show maximum number of items per page, then use that to see where & what the sales currently are. For IGA, there is no online store but you can find your nearest IGA location and view their most recent catalogue online. Catalogues always list any soft drink sales. Don’t forget that cost per can is what matters most, not the box price, and don’t be shy to pull out your phone to calculate them out. $17 for a 30-pack is cheaper than $14 for a 24-pack.
  • Woolworths has a free to sign up for rewards card, and you can only get some sales if you have one. I recommend getting one. If you’re a Flybuys user at Coles, totally swipe your card - those points are your reward for doing the job :wink:
  • If you can establish a good relationship with your local IGA manager they may bulk order drinks just for you at a discounted price. I never got around to doing this but I’ve heard of lots of people doing this because it’s apparently cheaper than a CCA account. I totally recommend investigating this at one point, to see what prices they’d give us - probably higher than supermarket sales but it’d be much easier to manage.
  • If anyone at the supermarket asks, I found the best cover story is that you got stuck buying all the drinks for a family reunion barbecue, but * “you should see the poor guy who has to buy the meat!” *
  • One more thing… Vehicles do have a maximum carrying capacity weight limit. You will hit this limit before you run out of space in your car. Check what it is on your car and don’t exceed this, keeping in mind around 400g/can. It varies per vehicle (plus your own bodyweight) but for my cars it’s around 600 cans plus me as the driver. Yes I’ve gone right up to the limit many times before, more often than I posted in photos above. We go through thousands of drinks a year.

Making hackers happy & improving sales

  • There’s a lot of psychology behind increasing drink sales and Coke, Pepsi etc have some guides but I’m too lazy to find & link them right now. Suffice to say, from my own experimentation I found that taking these things into account actually noticeably improved sales. So consider the below as pretty solid advice that I tested and found true for us, not generic advice, nor my personal biased preferences or anything like that.

  • Pepsi products don’t sell. Don’t buy them, no matter how tempting their lower price may be, they just don’t get bought. Schweppes products too. They will sit around for a year until they expire. With the exceptions of green Lime Solo, Mountain Dew, and to a lesser extent Schweppes Raspberry, HSBNE members only buy Coca-Cola and Kirks soft drinks. People prefer Fanta over Sunkist, Lift over Solo, and oh my GOD do they prefer Coke over Pepsi.

  • People actively hate the smaller can sizes and will avoid that line altogether, no matter what the flavour. Go 375mL, never smaller.

  • Coke Zero wins over Diet Coke. Don’t even bother with any other diet cola variant like Pepsi Max etc. People like having a sugarfree non-cola flavour too, but as mentioned above, don’t go crazy stockpiling many cans of it; 50 at most. Change the non-cola sugarfree option regularly, to keep things fresh.

  • Change is important. Swap a flavour every month or two. Between both machines we have 14 lines, and people do enjoy having a choice, but they always love something new. Especially the random line; this needs to constantly have different flavours in it, particularly flavours you can’t buy in other lines.

  • Keeping all the lines populated is important too. People don’t like having choices offered then taken away; think of it like giving someone a plate full of brownies but then taking one without asking & eating that brownie in front of them vs just giving someone a plate of brownies that had one less brownie in the first place. Just having the red “sold out” light there is a visual detraction. Give people 8 lines and if a single one is empty, people complain and sales drop. Add a second machine, give people 14 lines and if a single one in either machine is empty, people still complain the exact same amount and sales still drop.

  • When deciding the order of drinks in the machine, popular drinks should go on a higher button. You’ll also have to consider that some columns are single-sized while some columns are double-sized ones that hold more cans & are better suited for the quicker-selling flavours.

(Joshua Hogendorn) #29

Thats a great post Mike, I will move it to the wiki once I get it up again.

I have a question, do you think we’d see better returns from increasing the per drink price? or would we see an equivalent drop in volume. I love that these things are cheap but I want to get the most of them, their function is to make money for the space and diversify our revenue.

(Hamish McGregor) #30

The question becomes is the aim to maximize profit or to provide a service to members. I say this because after talking with mike a few times about the machines (he estimates we sell 20kg of sugar each month in soft drinks) its pretty clear that the primary cost is time, which he is currently giving for free. This means two things, first he is awesome, second talking about making money needs to take the maintainer of the machines wishes into account because honestly they’d be able do donate the same money each month if they spent the time working a regular part time job and donated less than 25% the revenue, even at minimum award wage.

But that aside everything bar power scales linearly with number of drinks sold. as such I’d reason that it will be an extremely high price like $2.50 and selling only a few drinks a week. On the other hand as a member who uses the machine I think that would suck… I don’t help out with moving\loading the machines and generally donate my time so people can optimize their profits, I do so in order to allow us to maintain the best service to members possible, and I feel that $1 drinks are more in line with this than $2.50 ones even if it will result in lower profit for us to spend on other cool things later.

Anyway that’s just my 2cents on the issue, I’m not the person maintaining the asset so it doesn’t really count for much, but I’m certainly hoping we can find a solution that allows us to keep or insanely cheap prices, as it stands it is a real asset to the space.

EDIT: After looking at numbers regarding the taxation of soft drinks in the UK as a way to reduce consumption, a 10% increase in price resulted in a approximately 76% of the sales, so assuming this holds true in HSBNE I may actually be wrong about my assumption that the ideal returns will be located at more than double the current price. On the other hand the study area was 1.25L bottles costing 2 pound ($3.87aud), so pricing is already far more as a luxury item than a basic food stuff as it is common in Australia or NZ.

(Mike Ando) #31

Short answer: yes, but we should consider the purpose of these machines before raising the cost.

Long version: Originally, these machines were supposed to be nothing but a “service to members” and they weren’t supposed to be a major revenue stream. All that mattered was that they at least broke even and any profit was purely gravy. For those not around in those days, the old system was just cans in the fridge plus an honesty-system donation box which barely made even. It’s just that somehow we (mostly me but I certainly won’t take all the credit) managed to turn these machines into something that should be earning us over a thousand dollars a year.

If the machines are specifically designed to maximise profits, that’s a change in classification for them. Having the drinks priced at a nice, round numbers is a big plus. There’s also a cultural thing where, because it’s so low (“It’s only a dollar!”), I’ve observed a lot of people buy drinks for others as thanks. I wouldn’t recommend bumping it to, say, $1.20 just because managing the change is a pain for everyone and that alone will decrease sales. $1.50 is the next reasonably round number. I feel $2 would be too high (even though it’s still cheaper than any other vending machine or cafe’s prices for a cold drink). Assuming a current average of 40c/can profit, raising prices to $1.50 more than doubles the profit per can and while sales would decrease, I can’t see them halving.

Another option is to raise the prices, finish the RFID payment gateway and offer a discount for paying via RFID. There’s less hassling with coins and I’m pretty sure even a 10c/can discount would encourage a lot of members to switch to RFID. Using RFID will let us get a better idea of who is at the space on Tuesdays as most members don’t swipe in on Tuesdays, it lets someone crunch more numbers about the statistics of drinks to assist with increasing sales, and it saves time for the person who has to count the change bin, bank the money, constantly open the machine to change a note for someone or the machine eating their money, etc. This also means we can get away with using non-round numbers too. Heck, making drinks $1.20 by coin but $1 by RFID would definitely do it. :stuck_out_tongue:

On the other hand, if the primary roles of these machines is as a service to members and not to necessarily maximise profits, we should probably keep some of their profits aside to start investing it back into improving the machines. When I’m done wiring in and coding the lights, the next step will be replacing the front polycarbonate sheets and styling the machines because I think the finished machines will be a fantastic showpiece for us. I’d also love to see the RFID payment stuff finished and for HSBNE to buy a note reader so members can load cash onto their cards at the space, which would also give a means for members to easily pay their membership or contribute to causes directly at the space - something not currently possible without an awful lot of sweet-talking the Treasurer because it’s so much extra hassle for him. Of course, we could raise prices and still do this.

TL;DR: I think it’s about time we think about what is the primary role of these machines.

(Mike Ando) #32

While I’m spilling my brains on this topic, I’d like to offer one more word of advice to HSBNE. First off let me say that this is not a knock against any past, present or future members and not an attempt to call anyone’s character into question or anything like that. However, please be VERY careful about who you choose to manage the vending machines. This person needs to be more trustworthy with finances than our Treasurer and I sincerely mean it. They will be routinely handling hundreds of dollars of cash and product, none of it auditable or traceable, and no one would know if they were to start pocketing some on the side. Our bank accounts have records to show if a Treasurer tried to make a shady transfer, but by the very cash-based nature of the vending machines this person will have access to the machine’s cash before it’s banked and added to our accounting records. There was literally nothing stopping me pocketing hundreds of dollars of profits over the past year other than my own morals. Don’t issue a key to the machines to someone lightly, and I’d never give it to anyone whom you wouldn’t trust with server room access.

That said, there’s currently no reward for doing this job. I thought about asking to make managing the vending machines a woofing position. But I really don’t think it’s a good idea to let someone who can’t afford our monthly membership fee be in charge of handling hundreds of dollars of cash a month. I also thought about making the vending machines a cause so the people who manage them get to say where the profit is spent, but that idea has so many problems you don’t have to even tell me about them, I’m very aware of them and I wouldn’t want to even seriously suggest that idea unless I had solutions to all of them.

But finding some way to reward whoever does this job is a good idea, or else anyone doing it will just burn out.

(Hamish McGregor) #33

I really like the idea of the machines taking notes to load onto your membership card, especially if in future things like the BBQ, bulk pizza order or whatever food we are doing you somehow be paid for using your card, that’s be awesome as it would allow eventually cashless functioning with immediate financial records. This means that the amount of money your trusting people to deal with will drop off dramatically as regular members start using the cards instead of cash and it will also leave a paper trail at the machine end as we know exactly how much value was loaded onto cards so its obvious if anybody is stealing from the vending machines note handling.

On another note I think that we need to ask ourselves if we want to make it a benefit of membership getting cheap drinks or make it also available to visitors, as they won’t be able to use the swipe system. I can see either way working, we could make the machines cost as much as a $1.50 cash but still be a dollar on RFID and just have it a stop on the Tuesday tour of the space for visitors to introduce the $1 drinks as a “perk” of membership. Alternately we could initially set the RFID and cash price the same and see if many people will switch just for convenience.

You also need to ask if people will start taking the dollar cash and swiping their card on behalf of another person, as I see this as the immediate result if we have a higher cost for paying cash. But then again we may or may not actually even care, after all we still don’t have to handle the extra money, still get all the accounting benefits and so on.

My thoughts on reducing burnout of the vending machine job is to split the job up. Buying the drinks and loading the storeroom can be neatly separated from loading the machines and handling the money, and only the latter is a high trust job as the former would present receipts to claim the money back and thus only has a risk of removing drinks for personal use or resale, which doesn’t seem nearly as bad since its both harder to extract value from and should show up in a storeroom inventory. This split up may seem like a pain initially, but if we where to have a EngineRoom\Wiki\Trello thread that detailed actions of each party and stocks in the areas they maintain (eg loaded 60 coke into storeroom, currently holds 30fanta 60coke 10nukacola) I don’t see it being a big deal. Of course there are other ways to divide the labor, but to me this seems the most sensible as I know of several members that are trustworthy, hardworking and willing to take on the responsibility but can’t handle the buying of drinks due to transport limitations. Also the buying the drinks could easily be handed out as a task to a different cause or person each month (see devains job bounties thread), unlike the loading of the actual machines.

(Karl Richardson) #34

I don’t think theres anything wrong with $1.50 drinks. That’s a much more useful profit margin to make it worth whoevers time goes into making it go. $1.50 is still practically 1990’s prices as far as I can remember so I feel its still a service provided at a loss compared to anywhere else.

(Mike Ando) #35

Because the drinks stock pallet at HSBNE was still basically empty, and I had dedicated today to doing stuff for the space…

622 cans. My largest ever single haul. ~250kg of drinks is as tiring to carry as you think it is. We now have around a month of water, two months of coke & >3 months of everything else, plus two additional flavours to substitute in. All expiry dates are as far away as you can reasonably get (eg most are January 2016). Both machines have had all lines fully loaded up, too. For what it’s worth I kept track of how long this all took, and today I spent 1 hour, 55 minutes doing stuff solely related to the drinks machines - and that was with help from a bunch of other people. That’s about average for a day where everything needs doing. :stuck_out_tongue:

And now that the pallet is full again, other people can stock the machines without having to hassle with trying to buy them when they’re on sale. Woot! :stuck_out_tongue:

(Hovo) #36

A big thank you @riumplus your work towards the space is always appreciated!

(Mike Ando) #38

Astute members may notice that the Cold Drinks vending machine appears to have a faint flickering light inside it. Something that’s vaguely reminiscent of a flickering fluorescent tube, but without the headache-inducing high-frequency variations nor flickers in the epilepsy-inducing range. A simulacrum of a dodgy a fluorescent tube - not quite as annoying, but similar in appearance. Something that seems to be drawing less power.

Pay no attention to the flickering light. Keep buying drinks as normal. Who knows what might happen. The lighting might improve with sales & time. :wink:

Also - see that photo above of 622 cans from the 8th of February? The Coke, Solo, Diet Lemon, Pasito, Ginger Beer, Coke Zero, Sprite and Fanta in that photo are all gone already, and we’re more than half-way through the Ginger Ale, Mountain Dew and Raspberry, and we went through some more Coke packs too. Yes I said that I expected it to last us at least 3 months, but it seems I underestimated things because we went through most of it in six weeks. I’ve acquired more and I’ve been carting it to the space over multiple trips, because this time I bought so much that after 3 carloads I still haven’t dropped it all off. Once again: we go through a lot of drinks.

(Chris Holzworth) #39

Can I put forward a suggestion to switch up the diet kirks drinks? I’ve been drinking quite a bit of the diet creaming soda at home and its actually really good, doesn’t have much of that ‘diet soft drink’ taste to it

Also, thanks Mike for all the hard work :thumbsup:

(Mike Ando) #40

The plan was actually already to do a diet switcharoo once we exhaust our current supply! There’s no more boxes of diet Lemon in the store room, just the few that’re left in the machine, then we’ll be making the change. :slight_smile:

(Chris Holzworth) #41

Excellent! Love me some diet creaming soda!