Business Profiles

by Provender

last updated 07/12/2023


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Cashing In - Cashing Up

by Provender

last updated 07/12/2023


Provender franchisee enjoys excellent returns for 20 years from her flexible-time business

Carolyn and Brian: "I've retired early to enjoy spending more time with the grandchildren"

Carolyn Baty originally bought her Provender franchise because it offered more flexibility than her corporate career. The flexible nature of the vending business also meant it could be operated around the Gisborne orchard she owned with her husband Brian.

‘My franchise turned out to be very profitable,’ she smiles. ‘The cash flow enabled a lot of re-investment over the years, and the more we re-invested, the more the business grew.’

Now, after 20 enjoyable years, Carolyn has sold up. ‘It’s hard to believe that when I first started, I had children who now have kids of their own. Now I’ve retired early to enjoy spending time with the grandchildren, and using our caravan to take part in tennis tournaments all over the country.’

Long-term investment

Provender is the largest franchised vending business in the country, with 50 franchisees offering workplace refreshments via snack and drink machines and honour vending boxes. ‘Our group buying power ensures franchisees enjoy healthy margins on some of the country’s top food and beverage brands,’ says Philip Horrocks, who founded Provender in 1991.

‘As Carolyn has shown, it’s also an excellent long-term investment. We grant an initial 20-year term with two rights of renewal of 10 years so that, in addition to making an excellent return on investment from a part-time business, you have something of real value to sell when you decide to move on.’

Getting better all the time

Carolyn has seen the Provender business model evolve over 20 years. ‘Once upon a time I had 200 boxes, which took quite a lot of looking after, but technology has driven the business in a much more convenient direction. Today, there are still 12 boxes – most of which are in the same locations as 20 years ago – but with the vending machines my turnover is much greater than when I started. 

‘In the beginning, I was counting money every night and servicing all those boxes during the day, so I was pretty busy. Now, people pay with cards or phone apps, and this has made life much easier for me. There’s far less cash – money just flows into my account as people use the machines 24/7. Over the years there have been inevitable ups and downs but, even during Covid and the recent weather events, the cash flow has always been positive.

‘Perhaps best of all, we can all control our stock via technology. I only need to consult my Provender app to see exactly what has sold on each machine and which machines need re-stocking. I hold stock at home and re-order through Provender as required, so knowing in advance where I need to go and what I need to take minimises time and effort, and maximises returns. 

‘Some sites sell so much they need servicing five days a week (even seven, in peak season). It keeps you fit, and it’s a simple process so I can get someone else to do that part if Brian and I want to be off somewhere.

‘There have been changes in what we stock, too, with healthier items and meal replacements like tuna and crackers, or noodles, becoming popular. Provender is very responsive to trends and negotiates good deals, so our machines can give people a meal rather than just a snack. Providing what people want increases sales.’

Lots of interest

Carolyn says that she had lots of interest in the business, ‘But in the end it was a good friend, Valerie Kent, who has become the new owner. She was tired of the nine-to-five drag, and when I told her I was selling she jumped up and said, “I’ve got first dibs on this!” So I’m spending the next month taking her round the customer sites we service regularly. She’s picking it up fast – she’s already acquired two extra sites.’

Philip admits he’s really sorry to see Carolyn sell. ‘She’s a top performer and a great example of how to use the Provender system effectively. When she put her business on the market, the interest was immediate – buyers recognise a good thing when they see it! But Carolyn will always be part of the Provender family. In fact, she’s staying around to help mentor new franchisees in how to make the most of the opportunity.

‘Provender is currently in a growth phase and has new opportunities available in many parts of the country. Established businesses also come up from time to time as people like Carolyn retire to enjoy the fruits of their labours. The investment level is from $100,000 to $200,000.

‘As Carolyn’s story shows, Provender offers the ideal opportunity to generate semi-passive income from a very positive cash-flow business. It’s home-based, you can work when you choose and grow the business to whatever level you choose. Give me a ring to find out more.’   

See this advertorial on page 19 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 32 Issue 4

Contact details for Provender

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Funding info

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