15+ Best Locations for Ice Cream Vending Machines (2024)

Ice cream vending machines are a huge hit during hot summer days. They provide people with a sweet refreshment when they need it the most. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to maximize sales with this genius business idea, you must know the best locations for ice cream vending machines.

Each location has its ups and downs, bringing various opportunities and challenges. To pick the perfect one, you should consider several factors to ensure it is easily accessible for customers yet profitable for you.

Let’s reveal the perfect spot that will sweeten your revenue!

15+ Best Locations for Ice Cream Vending Machines (1)

Best Locations for Ice Cream Vending Machines

Ice cream is a beloved frozen dessert from every generation, from the youngest to the oldest. A vending machine for ice cream is an increasingly popular business idea as it offers various benefits.

Getting ice cream from a vending machine is a unique experience for customers. As for you, as a potential owner, they have lower operating costs, operate 24/7, and are a good opportunity for revenue generation.

However, to fully exploit all the advantages, it is crucial to carefully plan and strategically choose a location. The place where you install the ice cream vending machine can significantly impact its success.

So, what are good vending machine locations for selling ice cream? They are the following:

  • Parks
  • College dorms
  • Beaches
  • Motels
  • Playgrounds
  • Theme parks
  • Cinemas
  • Shopping districts
  • Sports arenas and stadiums
  • Factories
  • Care homes
  • Schools and other educational institutions
  • Airports
  • Gas stations
  • Office buildings
  • Apartment buildings
  • Waiting areas in large facilities
  • Zoos

Indoor vs outdoor ice cream vending locations

As you can see from the list, ice cream vending machines can be installed indoors and outdoors. Each option has a unique set of pros and cons.

But what is the best location for a vending machine according to the environment? The table below compares indoor vs outdoor locations for ice cream vending machines.

Indoor ice cream vending machinesOutdoor ice cream vending machines
Operating hoursThe same as the venue24/7
TrafficMore specific target audienceWide potential customer base
SecurityHigher securityLower security
Maintenance requirementsTypically lowerHigher due to constant exposure to harsh weather
Location rental feesMight be higherMight be more affordable

If you decide to install a vending machine in a venue or building, you should carefully consider the placement. For instance, most successful indoor vending machines are located near the main building entrance, exits, or waiting areas.

Conversely, different challenges might arise with outdoor soft-serve vending machines. The location you pick should have a power source nearby so that your vending machine can have an uninterrupted electricity supply.

How to Choose a Location for Your Ice Cream Vending Machine

Knowing your options where to put an ice cream vending machine is just the start. To narrow down your choices and decide which ice cream machine placement is the most suitable for your business, you should consider several factors. Here is what makes a good ice cream vending machine:

  • Foot traffic
  • Security
  • Demographics, diversity, and behavior of potential customers
  • Visibility and accessibility
  • Competition
  • Operational logistics
  • Local regulations

Foot traffic

Foot traffic directly influences the potential number of customers your business will have. The higher the foot traffic, the more customers you will have. If you install the ice cream vending machine in a high-foot-traffic area, more people will pass by it, become familiar with your brand and products, and make a purchase.


Safety is also a paramount factor when picking a location for the ice cream vending machine. Vandalism and theft happen more frequently than you think. Thus, ensure the vending machine is placed in a well-lit area and potentially install cameras to minimize security risks.

Demographics, diversity, and behavior of potential customers

As with every other type of business, your ice cream vending machine should be tailored to the needs and preferences of your target audience. One of the prime consumers of ice cream is young children and teenagers.

So, if you want to target them specifically with their families, you should place your vending machine near a school, park, family entertainment venue or beach. On the other hand, if you want to focus on adults and young professionals, you should opt for busy commercial areas and office buildings.

In addition to the demographics, it is good to research the purchase habits of your potential customers. Consider areas where people are most likely to make spontaneous purchases.

Visibility and accessibility

The exact location of your vending machine should be clearly visible, recognizable, and accessible. Avoid installing vending machines in hidden corners or places with limited visibility due to other subjects.

Additional tip: To enhance the visibility of your vending machine, order one with an eye-catching design. Create high-quality visuals of frozen desserts and use bold colors.


A competitive analysis is necessary for opening an ice cream vending machine business. A good practice is to pick a location where you will be the only frozen treat vending machine. If you choose to put one near the competition’s location, ensure you offer unique flavors and toppings that will set your vending machine apart.

Operational logistics

Vending machines require constant maintenance, refilling, and quality control of the ice cream. When seeking a location for your vending machine, you should think about operational logistics. Assess how practical it is to place a vending machine in a particular spot by answering the following questions:

  • How long will you have to travel to maintain the machine?
  • Is the location easily accessible with a vehicle so you can restock?
  • How close is the location to your ice cream supplier?

Local regulations

You need an adequate permit for indoor and outdoor vending machine installation. To place an outdoor ice cream vending machine, you will require a permit and permission from the local government.

Rules and regulations might vary from state to state. But generally, there are places where you might not be allowed to install a vending machine.

Tips for Finding a Vending Machine Location

Once you pick one or more from the list of best locations for a vending machine, you will need to start looking for a specific spot. You can either look for one yourself or use a vending locator service.

Looking for a vending machine location on your own

If you decide to see one by yourself, it’s best to start by doing online research. Google Maps is an excellent tool for locating spots as it has different features, such as “near me”. For instance, if you want to put an ice vending machine business in an amusem*nt park, just type “amusem*nt parks near me”.

Next, it is recommended to visit the location in person. While some locations seem good on maps, the situation might differ. Doing market research to understand the demand for vending machines in a particular area. Also, check with the local government to see whether you can get a permit to set up an ice cream vending machine there.

Using a vending locator service

If you don’t have the time or expertise to look for a location yourself, you can use a vending locator service. You can schedule an initial consultation to explain your needs, preferences and target audience to the professional. Vending locators can do market research and propose multiple locations.

Some might also assist you during the negotiation process with owners or other decision-makers. You might also be offered help obtaining all the necessary permits for your ice cream vending machine.

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Finding a perfect spot for a frozen treats vending machine can enhance your success and profitability. The best locations for ice cream vending machines include parks, amusem*nt parks, playgrounds, factories, airports, shopping malls, waiting area areas in large facilities, and others.

When you are looking for a specific location, you should consider the amount of foot traffic, security, demographics of the target audience, visibility, competition and operational logistics.

So, if you place your ice cream vending machine in the ideal spot, you can tap into your potential consumers’ daily habits and preferences. This will make your business strive!

15+ Best Locations for Ice Cream Vending Machines (2024)
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