Food Delivery by Drones

How cool would it be to have a drone deliver your food? Well, this fantasy is becoming a reality! Companies have tested drone deliveries during the past couple of years to find ways to deliver food quickly to customers. Just think of it – drones will be able to deliver food within 20 minutes and restaurants will no longer have to worry about deliveries being delayed in traffic.

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With today’s technology, drones have already carried a wide variety of food including:

  • Pizza
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Alcohol (Beer, champagne, bottle service, etc.)
  • Coca Cola

Check out the video of a Francesco’s Pizza Delivery in Mumbai

The logistics of food delivery has always been difficult for restaurant owners due to the high costs and variable workload, but drones may be the answer restaurants are looking for to solve these problems. Drones need to be able to carry the required amount of weight without a human controller in order to be cost effective. An issue associated with drones is weather capacity. Drones are currently limited to good weather, but as technology improves, companies will continue to solve this issue.

According to Ralf Wenzel, drone technology will be introduced throughout all 24 markets covered by Foodpanda, including Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and Malaysia. Foodpanda will be the first to deliver and Amazon is predicted to follow with consumer products. Google’s goal is to have the commercial business of drone delivery up and running in 2017.

Let us know if you’re excited for your food to be delivered by drones! What’s the first thing you want a drone to bring you?

Coffee Shops Experimenting with Coffee Delivery

Imagine having a hot cup of coffee delivered straight to your work or home. This is soon to become a reality as coffee shops experiment with coffee deliveries. Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are experimenting with on-demand ordering to deliver hot drinks directly to consumers at work or to their front door.

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Starbucks is currently testing two delivery options:

  • Starbucks Green Apron Delivery – Empire State Building tenants and registered guests can order Starbucks coffee online and have it delivered directly to their office. This is a pilot project in the dense urban environment to serve the building’s 12,000 employees. Starbucks prioritizes and delivers the order with 30 minutes. A Starbucks employee will bring the order to the company front desk or reception area to meet the customer.
  • Starbucks Delivery in Seattle – Seattle residents can use the Starbucks iPhone app to get Starbucks delivered by Postmates to any location in town. Delivery is only available in select areas in Seattle, but more cities and platforms are soon to come.

Dunkin’ Donuts has a few opportunities as well:

  • On-the-Go Ordering App – Dunkin’ Donuts Perks customers in Portland, Maine can use this app to sync to their Perks account to skip the line and pick up their orders at the counter or drive-thru. This is not a delivery option, but there is opportunity to use the mobile app for deliveries in the future.
  • DoorDash – Customers living in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. can have their coffee and food delivered to their doors within 45 minutes from 7am-10pm. The company is considering a national rollout for this in the future!

In addition to these large coffee chains, there are many smaller coffee shops that have already started delivering coffee to customers. Coffee delivery will continue to be more popular and available in the future. Coffee shops are still working on developing the perfect way to deliver coffee at the right temperature and time. These companies want to ensure that they maintain their high reputation for great coffee, so if they can master these two obstacles, the future of on-demand coffee delivery is looking bright.

Let us know what you think about coffee delivery options. Which drink will you order for delivery?

Best Ways to Spice Up Your Typical PB&J Sandwich

Do you ever get tired of your typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Are you looking for new, easy lunch ideas for your kids? If you answered yes to either of these questions, check out some easy ways to make your typical peanut butter and jelly more exciting. Some combinations seem unusual, but you might be surprised to find a new favorite to spice up your PB&J sandwich.

  • Peanut butter and pickle sandwich – Peanut butter and pickles may seem like an unusual combination, but the slightly sweet and salty flavors bring out a unique result. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!

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  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich – By adding slices of banana to your peanut butter sandwich, you can easily Bananas are full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, fiber, biotin, and copper, so you are sure to get many more nutrients in this simple meal. For extra flavor, you can add a little honey!

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  • Apple peanut butter sandwich – Cut an apple into horizontal sections then put peanut butter, chocolate chips, and nuts on top. As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is a nutritional and delicious meal that you won’t want to miss out on.

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  • French toast peanut butter and jelly sandwich – To switch things up, you can make French toast then apply your peanut butter and jelly. If you are making lunch for your kids, this is one you will definitely want to try!

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  • Waffle/pancake peanut butter and jelly sandwich – Another easy recipe is to switch out your bread for waffles or pancakes. This is another one that kids will definitely love!

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  • Peanut butter and Nutella sandwich – For all the chocolate lovers, this sandwich is for you. Put peanut butter and Nutella on your sandwich to add a little sweetness to your meal!

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  • Peanut butter and bacon sandwich – If you love bacon, try this unique combination. You can even add some bananas to the sandwich to make an Elvis sandwich!

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  • Cinnamon raisin peanut butter sandwich – Use cinnamon raisin bread to add a little sweetness to your sandwich. Another alternative is to add some cinnamon and raisins to your peanut butter bread.

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  • Peanut butter, cheese, and grilled bacon sandwich – This is another unique sandwich that you don’t want to miss. This one is called Elvis’ grilled cheese sandwich. With melty cheese and gooey peanut butter, you might be surprised to find a new favorite.

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Let us know below if you’ve tried any of these sandwiches before or if you see any that you want to try!

Exciting K-Cup News!

 

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Picture yourself holding a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter day. The warmth and caffeine are helping you get a jump start on your day. Are you holding a warm drink from your Keurig? If so, you are starting your morning off like many Americans. According to Statista, Keurig Green Mountains was the leading single-sup coffee vendor in the U.S. in 2015 at $1.4 billion dollars. K-Cups allow consumers to make a single serving drink without having to make a whole pot. It’s the perfect solution for coffee drinkers who are on-the-go and looking for a convenient way to get some caffeine to start the day.

The name Keurig actually comes from the Dutch term for excellence. Keurig was founded by coffee lovers so they could make coffee in single servings instead of an entire pot. The K-Pod was introduced in 1998 to brew a perfect cup of coffee in less than a minute. An advantage to the Keurig was that if it was connected to a water line, you didn’t even need to refill it with water. The water temperature is 200 to allow the coffee to release the best flavor. These advantages make it the perfect machine for anyone who wants an individual beverage. With coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot cider, and specialty beverages, K-cups are great for any occasion.

Some of the most popular K-Cup flavors as rated by faveable are listed below. Which ones are your favorites?

  • Green Mountain Kenyan AA K-Cups
  • Barista Prima Coffeehouse House Blend K-Cup
  • Eight O’Clock Coffee Colombian Peaks K-Cup
  • The Original Donut Shop (Regular) Medium Extra Bold K-Cups
  • Grove Square French Vanilla Cappuccino
  • Diedrich Coffee Dark French Roast K-Cups

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Keurig recently had some exciting news! They announced that recyclable pods are now available for your Keurig 2.0 brewer in over 50 beverages in three different pod sizes. By 2020, Keurig claims that 100% of K-Cup pods will be recyclable. Keurig dedicates itself to innovation in all that they do. In order to improve sustainability, the company will design a K-Cup pack with materials that can easily be separated and readily recycled. Keurig is working to ensure that the plastic will consistently make it through the recycling stream. This plastic will help to make the K-Cups fully recyclable! K-Cups have been very successful due to their convenience. In under a minute, you can be out the door, ready to make today great!

Let us know which K-Cup is your favorite!
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4 Ways to Celebrate Leap Day

Leap Day only comes once every four years so be sure to make this day count! Here are four ways to make this the best Leap Day yet.

1. Create a Time Capsule!

Create a time capsule that you cannot open for the next four years until the next Leap Day. Include items that remind you of the present including newspaper or magazine clippings, pictures, event ticket stubs, a list of everything you did to celebrate Leap Day, and anything else that would be fun to see in four years. In addition to making a time capsule, make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in the next four years before the next leap year. You can put a copy of this list in your time capsule so you can see how much you accomplished over the years. By creating a time capsule, you are able to capture the moment and excitement of the uniqueness of Leap Day!

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2. Get Moving and Leap for Leap Day!

Leap Day is a great day to get moving. One fun way is to take a dance class or go out dancing with friends. You can also sign up for a Leap Day 5k or 10k. Being active has so many health benefits and there are ways that it can be very fun. Take advantage of the fact that Leap Day only comes once every four years and make this day count to be the start of an active lifestyle. Leap for joy!

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3. Leap into a New Activity

Do you ever feel like you need an excuse to try something new? If so, let Leap Day be your excuse to do something spontaneous. Organize a game day with friends to play your favorite games or host a “Leap Day” movie party. Take advantage of this extra day to cross something off your bucket list, try a new activity, or do something exciting and out of the ordinary.

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4. Celebrate Leap Day Birthdays!

If you have any friends or family members with a Leap Day birthday, celebrate their birthday with their Leap Day age. For example, you can celebrate an adult’s birthday by going to Skyzone, playing laser tag, or roller skating. This is a fun way to break out of the norm and add some laughter into the day. Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce stress, so make this an exciting and fun day.

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Let us know how you are celebrating Leap Day!

Healthy Vending Trends

Many food trends come and go, but one thing that has stayed consistent is that people like healthy foods. Vending machines are continuing to offer healthier options in order to meet consumer demand. Vending Market Watch said, “More than a quarter of Americans (30%) claim to usually only snack on healthy foods and almost half (45%) of those consumers claim that nutritional value is the most important factor in the foods they eat.” Consumers prefer having healthier choices so those vending machines that offer better snacks are more likely to succeed.

Vending machines have come a long way over the years. In the past vending machines were often thought of for only selling candy, soda, snacks, and other indulgent foods. Today, society is so fast paced that people are always looking for a quick and healthy snack, so vending machines are offering healthier options. Consumers should take a few minutes to look at the vending machine to make the healthiest choices.

Schools are especially trying to offer healthier products in order to offer nutritious options for students. Some vending machines are refrigerated to sell sandwiches, quick meals, fruit, and vegetables. Other healthier vending options include nuts and popcorn. Although there are healthier options available today, there are still many indulgent options that are high in fat, sugar, salt, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. When looking to make a purchase, find items that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, or other nutritional benefits.

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Companies can help employees make better snack choices at the vending machine by:

  • Putting signs or stickers by the healthier items to make them more noticeable
  • Subsidizing the cost of healthier products to encourage employees to purchase healthy items over unhealthy items
  • Having taste test events with employees to allow everyone to try the healthier options
  • Providing educational nutritional programs for employees about healthy snack choices
  • Working with the vending company to increase the number of healthy choices available

Cornell University researchers proved that junk food is not causing the obesity epidemic, but it is the fact that people are overeating. With this in mind, it is okay to indulge yourself to a treat once in a while as long as you do so in moderation. Vending companies will continue to add healthier options to their vending machines so be sure to choose products that meet your nutritional needs, but be sure to treat yourself once in a while.

Let us know what healthy products you would like to see in vending machines!

 

Are Your Vending Machines ADA Compliant?

 

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In July 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new regulations that require ADA compliance for vending machines. These requirements aimed to make vending machines more accessible to people with disabilities, and the prominent industry track group, the National Automatic Merchandising Assoc. (NAMA), strongly supports the goals of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). What does this mean to you? Here are just a few things that you need to know:

  • New ADA guidelines went in effect March 15, 2012 and are applicable to:
    • Public entities such as state or local government and any of its departments, agencies or instrumentalities
    • Private entities that operate public accommodations such as retail, hotels, hospitals, recreational facilities and schools
    • Safe harbor rules may apply; You do not have to replace existing vending machines with new ADA compliant machines unless the location undergoes alterations or the vending machines are removed, re-installed and/or upgraded
  • Operating parts such as the coin/bill acceptor and product delivery box must be no higher than 48” and no less than 15” from the floor
  • One of each type of vending machine must comply (i.e., one beverage, one snack, etc.)
  • Courts may award monetary damages and impose penalties of up to $55,000 for a first violationADA Compliancy

Please consult legal counsel on how the ADA rules affect your facility or contact us if you have any further questions!

Snacking around the World

The variety of snacks you can get just by walking into your average grocery store can be pretty mesmerizing. You can get chips that come in a plethora of flavors; you can get pretzels (sweet or salty); you can get candy or chocolate bars; you can get cookies or crackers; you can get nuts or seeds, and the list really goes on endlessly. In the US, chips and cookies are the staple snack, but around the world, palates and flavors differ entirely.

We brought in some unusual snacks from around the world to the office and had everyone give them a try. Then we had everyone guess which country the snacks originated from. It was a blast seeing everyone’s amusement with the kinds of snacks we laid out. Here’s what went down.

We managed to get some of the snacks from local ethnic markets in Des Moines, but had to order the rest online because they were too difficult to find.

Boxes from Amazon

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First up, they tried some Dela Rosa, a sweet marzipan peanut candy from Mexico. They came individually packed in little round pieces, and it was a powdery consistency that pretty much broke once we opened the little wrappers. No one could guess where this was from, but we definitely weren’t expecting that level of sweetness from it.

De La Rosa box De La Rosa open box

Next, everyone had a go at TimTams. I think these were the safest looking food on the table, and everyone just loved them. We even had people asking for seconds. This Australian chocolate cookie snack is a definite must-try :) They are available on Amazon in the US!

Tim Tam Tim Tam Open

These little burgers are the cutest thing you’ll ever eat, AND they are delicious! At first, they seemed a little curious, but when everyone had one, we were very much immediate fans of Every Burger! This Japanese snack is actually a rich chocolate sandwiched between mini wheat cookies. Who else would come up with little chocolate burger snacks, other than the Japanese :)

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Dried cuttlefish is actually a pretty typical Asian snack, especially in China. It is very much just plain dried cuttlefish, and it has quite a sweet tang. Unfortunately. it also packs in a heavy fishy smell that had everyone on their feet before trying a tiny piece of this. As it turns out, most Americans probably will have a hard time overcoming that smell long enough to enjoy this interesting snack, although there were one or two people at the office who actually enjoyed this one!

Dried Cuttle Fish Dried Cuttle Fish packaging

These squid-flavored peanuts are common on Korea (although this packet is from Japan). They seemed a little peculiar at first, but everyone seemed to enjoy them. In fact, they were really addictive and the bag was gone before we could get proper pictures of the little squid-peanut balls :)

Roasted Squid-flavored Peanuts

Next on the menu, Muruku from India! This was the easiest to guess which country it came from, and everyone got it right. It has a distinct spice and curry taste and is a common savory, crunchy snack in India. Definitely a simple, but flavor-packed snack to try if you ever get the chance !

Muruku Muruku pieces

This last snack is a fun walk down memory lane for 90s kids in Malaysia and Singapore. No one got this guess right, but they were very much amused with its ramen-ness.

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That was a real fun activity to have in the office. What other interesting snacks have you tried from around the world? Let us know, and maybe we’ll try them in the next round :)

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8 Valentine’s Day Ideas that Both of You Will Appreciate

8 Valentine's Day Ideas

  1. Breakfast in Bed
    How often does anyone get to enjoy breakfast in bed? Not very often! But this is a great opportunity to impress him/her. Here are a few Valentine’s Breakfast ideas.
    Breakfast in Bed
  2. Surprise Him/Her with A Decorated Room!
    Surprises don’t have to be all out there, even small gestures, like decorating his/her room is as sweet as ever. And you don’t need to spend much on all the pink deco in the stores that you see, just make some yourself! Boost your imagination with these DIY Decor Ideas.
    Decorate their Room
  3. Make a Homemade Valentine’s Card
    Cards, flowers and chocolates hike up in prices over Valentine’s week. Although they are classic Valentine’s Day gifts, nothing shows how much you care more than a homemade card from the heart. Check out these simple card ideas to make beautiful cards with what you have at home.
    Make a homemade card
  4. Go for a Picnic
    Most people plan ahead for days and weeks for Valentines dinner, but most overlook lunch. Why not plan a picnic for lunch and be creative with your location choice! If it’s nice out, head to a park or to the zoo! If it’s rainy or too cold, you could even have a picnic indoors! Here are a few ideas for you if you need some inspiration for outdoor picnics or indoor picnics.
    Go for a picnic
  5. Spend the Afternoon Making Gifts for Each Other
    Instead of buying expensive presents for each other, how about spending the afternoon showing off your creativity and also getting to spend time with your significant other? It’ll be fun! Need some inspiration for crafty gifts? Click here.
    Make gifts for one another
  6. Cook a Wholesome Dinner Together
    It can be really difficult to get reservations for dinner on Valentine’s Day, and eating out can get pretty pricey too. This year, stay home and cook dinner together! That way, you both have more options and it’s a lot more fun than waiting for someone else to cook your food. Don’t cook very often? That’s okay! Check out this YouTube Playlist or this Recipe Menu for more ideas.
    Cook dinner together
  7. Take a Stroll Under the Stars
    Now that dinner is over, don’t go straight home; head outside for a walk under the pretty stars with your significant other! It’s good to walk a little after meals AND it’s definitely going to be a romantic time well spent together :)Take a stroll at night
  8. Send a Care Package
    In a long distance relationship or busy throughout some period on Valentine’s Day? Send over a care package to show them how much you love and miss them! You could pick & choose one from the options there are online OR you could make one on your own! Here are some Care Package ideas.
    Send a care package

That’s our list! You also need to check out this really cool Coke Valentine’s Vending Machine which only appears to couples :)

HAVE A WONDERFUL VALENTINES DAY :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Apple Pay Anyone?

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After the release of the iPhone 6, one of Apple’s most talked-about new features is Apple Pay. There has been a lot of buzz in the market regarding the new application for our phones, and we thought it’d be a worthy topic to discuss.

Did you know though, that these wireless payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet are not the first of their kind? The Nokia Communicator, released in 1996, could be considered one of the first smartphones in the world. The Finns were actually the first people to use these Communicators to wirelessly make payments at vending and parking machines. Basically what they would do was send a text message to a particular machine and the payment would be billed to their service provider later.

Nokia Communicator Series

So what about Apple Pay – how does that work? The setup is fairly simple; you can add credit/debit cards to your Passbook application by keying the details in manually, or by taking a photo of your card itself. Once your card has been verified, Apple Pay is then ready to be used in stores and even for in-app purchases. In participating stores, all you need to do at checkout is select the card you want to use and hold your iPhone over the NFC (near-filed communication) system with your finger (registered with Touch ID) over the home button. Voila! Then when a payment is complete, you will be notified by a beep, vibration and a check mark on your screen. Check out this video from Walgreens to see how it works:

Seems simple doesn’t it? But of course, with everything there are its individual benefits and drawbacks. Let’s talk about a few of them that we’ve been noticing in reviews all across the Internet.

Apple Pay Pros & Cons

Benefits:

  • It’s simple and easy to use. It acts as an all-in-one application where all your cards are stored and all you need to do is hold your phone out to make payments in stores with NFC systems at their checkout stations
  • You can even make app and in-app purchases with it
  • Apple Pay uses “tokenization” in storing card information, which is a security feature that allows each credit card’s number to be substituted with a different ID number for every transaction. This ID is the information that merchant’s receive on their point-of-sale systems when customers make payments.
  • To make payments using Apple pay, you require Touch ID (fingerprint verification)

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Lack of participation of merchants. Sure there are a ton of merchants that already accept Apply Pay, but there are still a ton more that need to adopt to idea
  • Only certain credit cards work with Apple Pay, and you might need the latest Apple devices for it to actually work
  • The ‘Find My iPhone’ feature can be used to quickly suspend payments from your phone, but in order for that to work, the phone must be receiving cellular or Wi-Fi signals, which means if phone is switched off, you won’t be able to do it
  • It is definitely convenient, but it can also be a security drawback of how simple it is to take a photo of your credit card to add it to your Passbook

What do you think of Apple Pay? Let us know if you’ve tried it out and how you like it :)