A snack vending machines, which are used to distribute food at convenience stores and other businesses, have been installed in the city’s CBD, with the city council keen to see whether they can boost footfall and boost tourism.
The new vending machines are being installed at locations including the popular Bibble Snacks and Fodmap shops in Darlinghurst and the nearby CBD Food Mart, with a second site to be built at the corner of King Street and Kingsford Smith Street.
The machines were also part of the plans to build the CBD Food Centre, which is being funded by the government’s new low-income housing program.
The centre, which opened in October, is expected to increase footfall for shoppers and restaurants by up to 5 per cent and create more than 700 jobs, the council said.
“The new machines are part of a wider strategy to attract more footfall to the CBD, including to our parks, and to increase local business,” Mayor Andrew Stokes said.
“It is great to see such innovative new technologies that will help boost foot traffic, but more importantly, to attract businesses to our city.”
The machines have been a success and have reduced foot traffic at the food court by up and down Kingsford Street, according to staff at the businesses.
The machine at King Street will now be operated by a person in a wheelchair, and staff at Bibble said it would be a challenge to get the machine in place.
“We’re a bit disappointed because we were really looking forward to seeing it here,” owner Tanya Young said.
Bibble has also invested in a mobile food vending machine for residents in the surrounding areas, but the council has yet to confirm whether the vending machines will be used in the CBD.