Healthy Cravings - CEO, Al Manning

Date: SEP 25th, 2012

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Mr. Manning began his career in the bulk-vending business in 1986. He became a consultant to the industry in 1992 and today is helping entrepreneurs enter the ever growing bulk-vending industry featuring healthier snack options.

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the Healthy Cravings concept.

Al Manning: Healthy lifestyles have created a big market for healthier snacks in vending machines. Today, not only are there health-conscious consumers looking for healthy snacks, business owners want them for the benefit of their employees and customers. Instead of offering sugary candies that satisfies the sweet tooth, they want snacks that satisfies their taste buds and waistline.

BTB: How did you become involved with Healthy Cravings.ca?

AM:By test marketing numerous machines in the field, we established which products were the most popular and profitable. The results proved that the majority of business establishments were in favour of the healthy concept and the multiple product choices available to them.

BTB: What is your background prior to joining Healthy Cravings?

AM:My partner and I started a bulk-candy vending business in 1986. We developed over 200 bulk-vending machines in our route and years later sold it for a premium. I moved to Toronto and became a consultant for several major vending manufacturers. In 2002, I was offered a position with Vend Tech International as their Canadian Program Director which I still hold today

BTB: What are the advantages in being a Healthy Cravings owner/operator?

AM:

#1. There are so many different types of businesses that are receptive to the concept.

#2. Business owners prefer our small machines because they dispense a variety of popular products in just 18" of floor space that eliminates clutter.

#3. The entire route can be serviced on a monthly basis which frees up a huge amount of time. This allows the operator to operate multiple machines on a part-time basis. For example, restocking products and collecting money takes just 2 to 3 days monthly on 50 machines.

#4. We believe our program presents a far better alternative for first time vending owners than investing in expensive snack and drink machines that are difficult to place in qualified locations. This industry is fiercely competitive and very limited. For many years, big vending companies have owned exclusive contracts with high traffic locations in each city. Locations such as hospitals, schools, universities, and large corporations are off limits to all other vending companies. Purchasing high maintenance snack and drink machines that can cost over $8,000 each, and without knowing they can be placed in proper locations can be risky.

BTB: Who is your ideal Healthy Cravings owner/operator?

AM:We look for people who want to start or expand to at least 50 to 100 or more machines because the significant income is made from the combination of multiple units. When you have income coming in from a variety of income producers, you are using the same strategies and principles wealthy people use to become rich. They invest in multiple income sources.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Healthy Cravings vending market?

AM:The market is extremely varied and vast. All types of businesses that have lunch rooms, break rooms, waiting areas, and employee lounges have accepted our machines. There are countless retail stores, restaurants, bars, service businesses, and many other types of businesses that have also taken our machines. Healthy snacks are no longer considered an alternative. They are now mainstream products that appeals to all age groups.

BTB: What are the greatest lessons you've learned in growing this business?

AM: Providing the right products is important. Maintaining good relationships with your accounts are also important because they can provide referrals for new accounts. A large part of our business comes from shipping additional machines to our existing operators because they are growing their routes.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there a someone you use for inspiration?

AM: I admire entrepreneurs who are visionaries. Walt Disney comes to mind, "Get a good idea and stay with it. Work it until it's done, and done right." I also agree with General MacArthur said, "There is no security in this life, only opportunity." And of course, there is John Candy, "Think Big, Be Big."

BTB: What advice do you have for someone who is looking to get started?

AM:Entrepreneurs who work the business and who can see the end results are the most successful. If you can enjoy promoting healthy products that are good for you and your customers, then owning a Healthy Cravings snack vending business is a business should be considered.

BTB: In your opinion, why is this a good opportunity>

AM:There are several good reasons.

#1. It takes just a few sales each day to earn significant income with multiple machines which can be serviced in a few days per month.

#2. The market is wide open. #3. The low entry level. You can get started for less than $5,000.

#3. Our FOUR and EIGHT product vertical design enhances sales at each location.

#4. Operating our machines provides the least amount of risk, supports high profit margins, enjoys growth opportunities, requires low maintenance, minimal service time, and are the simplest of all vending machines to operate.

Lastly, our company has been in the industry for nearly 30 years and have helped thousands of people around the globe excel. We don't just sell machines and walk away. With our experience and knowledge, we teach our operators everything there is to know about operating a successful vending business. Not only do our operators have superior machines they can rely on, they have a well established company they can rely on!