Why Japan’s New Vending Machine Gives Officemates Free Drinks

Why Japan’s New Vending Machine Gives Free Drinks If You Order With An Officemate

The buddy system never fails.

Japan displays its forward-thinking abilities yet again with a new breed of vending machines. The beverage maker called Suntory has installed a system within its new vending machines in which free drinks will be given out if two co-workers punch their orders at the same time.

That means, if you order alone, you pay. But if you order with a buddy, both of you get free beverages!

So, how do two people order? At the centre of the vending machine is a pair of card readers. If two office mates place their employee ID cards on the panels at the same time, they’re free to order a beverage each, without spending a single yen. Suntory calls this vending machine the Shacho no Ogori Jihanki, which translates to “Company President’s Treat Vending Machine.”

Also read: Japanese Budget Airline Launches Vending Machines for Plane Tickets

Why the vending machine gives free drinks

True to its name, the vending machine compels the company or employer to cover the expenses of the free beverages. Suntory believes that Japanese employers will be sold on the idea as Japan has always subscribed to the concept of creating better workplaces through incidental communication.

Just like how work trips, after-office drinking parties, and other group activities create happier workplaces and opportunities for everyone to talk, the short trip to the vending machine can be a window for employees to foster better relationships. 

“Ideas and solutions are sometimes born out of small talk, and we hope that this will be a way to facilitate that and create better workplaces and work teams,” says Shin Mori, Suntory’s project head.

Companies can also set the time of day wherein the vending machine can activate its freebie feature. They can also limit the number of free drinks that can be availed per day. 

The first batch of the President’s Vending Machine has already been installed in the Kokuyo company offices, Suntory’s first client for this project. Suntory is expecting to install more of their freebie vending machines in the months to come should the response be positive. 

Also read: Check Out These Japanese Vending Machines Which Blend With the Scenery

We definitely feel a little envious of Japan’s new vending machines. I mean, who doesn’t want to get free drinks alongside a buddy?

All images credited to Suntory | Official YouTube Channel

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.