A vending machine can be profitable if stuck in a prominent location. Often vending machines sell food and beverage, but can also sell newspapers, alcohol, cigarrettes, and other goods depending on the country and location.
Vending machines do best in large public places, like schools and subway stations. A vending machine can either be business owned, individually owned, or government owned. If you are considering a vending machine, there are a few locations you should consider when placing it: next to the entrance, near to the exit, next to the water fountain, in front of the restroom, next to the change machine, and in the waiting area.
Vending machines often do best in schools. Schools can make more than $100,000 a year from vending - an average of about 50 cans of soda per student. There is a health issue with vending in schools though; students are spending to much on junk food, and not eating healthy enough. Many schools in states have banned or removed vending machines for that reason. Some have simply replace the vending machines with healthier products like dairy.