Vending machines are an ideal way to provide a quick snack or small meal to employees, students and others, and modern vending solutions offer more options than ever so you can satisfy lots of tastes. But they still don’t offer as many solutions as a café service. Because they have so many people – with so many different food preferences – offices and schools are especially good sites for a combination of vending machines and café services.
Think about it: Both employees and students spend long hours on site; having a variety of meal options, including more comprehensive café options, is a great way to increase customer loyalty as well as your vending profits.
National Vending works with local operators across the country to provide café services for businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes. That kind of flexibility means we can help you make sure café areas are always stocked with the fresh, delicious options your customers like the most.
When it’s time to review your vending machine management program, consider adding café services to increase revenues and improve loyalty. No matter what combination of services you’re interested in, we can help you tailor a program to meet your needs and those of your customers.
Coffee and tea continue to be popular office vending services in almost every workplace.
Snack bars are also growing in popularity as quick snacks and complete meals. Vending machine companies benefit from understanding these trends as they stock machines and plan growth.
Demand for Versatile and Convenient Options
Employees appreciate the versatility and convenience bars provide. In addition to fitting easily into a purse, briefcase or desk drawer, bars can be eaten quickly between meetings or projects.
Desire for Healthy Snack and Meal Foods
Healthy snacks and meals fuel productivity and help consumers meet personal health goals. Many snack bars contain healthy ingredients like nuts and fruit, and up to 18 percent of vending services snack bars include high fiber claims. These healthy ingredients propel snack bar sales and meet consumers’ needs.
Increase in Employee Productivity
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 2013 employee productivity rose 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter because of increased worker output and hours worked. Snack bars play a role in this productivity as up to 40 percent of workers eat lunch at their desk and many others use bars to manage hunger and forgo breaks during long work days.
Snack bar sales grow each year by as much as 15 percent. A vending network benefits from understanding and taking advantage of this workplace trend when deciding which items to stock.
Hot and iced coffees increase productivity, health and happiness in the office. Now, stocking coffee for employees and clients is easier than ever. Increased crop yields and lowered prices make coffee an increasingly profitable option for office vending services.
Increased Crop Yields
Because global yields are on the rise for the fourth year in a row, excess coffee inventory is expected to reach 36.33 million bags or close to 8.8 billion pounds. That is the highest surplus since 2009. Brazil alone will produce 49.2 million bags, and the Asian surplus will most likely peak at 6.04 million bags.
While inventories rise, coffee prices fall for the third straight year. The average Arabica price per pound sits close to $1.107. That’s a 54 percent drop since 2010. At 27.95 cents per pound, Robusta prices are the lowest since October 2008.
Vending Services See Increased Profits
These high coffee inventories and low prices contribute to an affordable and plentiful coffee supply for consumers. Setting National Vending coffee makers and hot beverage dispensers in offices and other public locations is more profitable now that ever. From providing hot comfort on cold days to serving refreshing iced options, vending service sales wake up thanks to coffee.
Your vending network is supposed to help earn you money, not waste your money, so finding ways to cut costs while maintaining great service and customer satisfaction is a critical part of your vending management plan. One of the best ways to cut costs: Upgrade your machines to more energy-efficient models. Just a single Energy Star-certified vending machine could save you as much as $150 per year in utility costs, multiply that by the number of machines you have and you’ll see how quickly those cost savings can add up.
But just because they save energy and money, that doesn’t mean they underperform older machines. New and rebuilt machines that bear the Energy Star symbol use more efficient designs and components, including energy-conserving compressors, fans and lighting systems to provide the same top-quality temperature control and visibility as non-Energy Star models, but at a lower cost.
What’s more, Energy Star machines are 50% more energy-efficient than standard vending machines. That’s good for the planet, and it’s also good for customer relations. When your vending machine management plan incorporates machines displaying the Energy Star certification symbol, your customers know you care about the environment and the world we live in, and that can go a long way toward building customer loyalty – and your overall bottom line.
One of the requirements that many people seeking a vending service do not think about is making sure your service of choice carries adequate liability insurance. However, managing your company’s risks and potential liabilities is an important part of vending machine management.
When you allow a vending network to do business on your premises, you can be held liable for injuries caused by those machines. Large machines can tip and hurt someone; in a matter of seconds, you can become liable for thousands in medical costs and other damages. Any asset your company owns is at risk if your vending service is not properly insured.
National Vending is fully insured to protect you and your business. We take our commitment to our customers seriously; our vending management company carries full liability insurance. It is just one of the many services that sets us apart. Call us today to learn about how we can be of service to your business. From covering details like insurance and energy-savings to ensuring that our machines carry the snacks you prefer, we put your business first.
From the first mug of the day to an afternoon pick-me-up, coffee boosts productivity in the office. Recent studies also suggest that this aromatic beverage provides numerous health benefits, making it the perfect addition to office vending services.
Improved Heart Health
While coffee intake causes a temporary increase in heart rate, the beverage improves blood flow and blood vessel performance. Harvard also found a link between drinking two cups a day and reduced heart disease.
Improved Brain Function
Studies have found that drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and caffeinated versions protect the brain from developing dementia.
Improved Overall Health
Moderate coffee intake provided by vending services prolongs a person’s life. Drinking coffee has been shown to reduce type 2 diabetes and liver, uterine and prostate cancer.
Every coffee drinker in the office will feel happier thanks to the dopamine and serotonin boost the caffeine provides. The beverage also lowers the risk of depression.
With these health benefits, successful vending solutions should include a coffee machine from National Vending. Creamy lattes, dark espressos, sweet cappuccino and plain black coffees increase productivity and health of employees while providing financial returns for vending machine owners.
Next to a paycheck, the quickest way to an employee’s heart is through the stomach, and having food options that satisfy your workers is a great way to boost both morale and productivity. Two of the most popular on-site food service options are self-checkout micro markets and full service cafeterias, and both vending services have their benefits and disadvantages.
Self-checkout micro markets use less staff, which means fewer management headaches, lower costs and often, less paperwork. Employees may find this type of vending service a faster, more convenient option than having to wait in line at a full-service cafeteria.
Café food service typically provides employees with more hot food options and the changing menu can make it a popular choice for employees who might otherwise go off-site for meals. A full-service cafeteria with an eating area also provides a place for employee interactions and relaxation, both of which can boost mood during an otherwise busy workday.
The ideal solution: If you have the space for it, consider adding both options. National Vending offers an array of vending services including cafeteria and self-service micro market options as well as coffee service, making it easy to develop a comprehensive vending network designed to appeal to the widest variety of tastes.
Many studies have shown that feeling happy and relaxed at work leads directly to improved performance and productivity. Want some ideas for your own workplace? National Vending has a few to get you started:
- Take advantage of natural light. Moving desks and cubicles to maximize exposure to outside light can help elevate mood and increase performance. Establishing an outdoor area with picnic tables or other seating allows employees to enjoy the outdoors and soak up some natural rays during lunch or break times.
- Add some color and texture. There’s no reason for walls or corridors to be drab. Adding colorful graphics with paint or posters and incorporating different textures like cork, wood or natural materials adds warmth to the workspace and helps employees feel more relaxed and less stressed.
- Make the break room inviting. Show your employees you value their contribution by providing a bright and comfortable place to eat or relax during breaks. Offering comfortable seating, colorful paint or accessories and adequate lighting makes break rooms brighter and friendlier.
- Don’t forget food. Many dietary studies have shown that the human mind and body work best when supplied with multiple small meals or snacks throughout the day rather than just three larger meals. Adding on-site coffee service or a vending services area stocked with a variety of snacks keeps employees sated and focused. Make it even more convenient for employees by offering onsite café food service so they can enjoy a delicious lunch without having to go out.
Keeping the body and mind fueled during work hours improves focus and elevates mood, benefits that translate directly into higher production (and a healthier bottom line). Likewise, keeping the metabolism chugging along at a steady rate helps employees avoid the dips in mood and periods of fatigue that often occur during the long hours of the afternoon.
While adding healthy alternatives is an important part of any vending plan, one of the best ways to make sure your vending system helps build employee loyalty and improve production and creativity is to offer snacks and vending services that your employees actually want. Few things let an employee know they’re valued like asking for suggestions – and then following through on those suggestions. Providing snacks that your employees request is a great way to show you’re listening and responsive.
To avoid requests for snacks or other products that aren’t readily available or just can’t be provided through a vending system, National Vending recommends offering a list of products you know are available and asking employees to rate them in order of preference. Another tip: Offer new products on a regular basis and ask for employees to rate them – would they like the item to become a regular offering?
By using it as a tool for building employee morale instead of simply considering it a vehicle for snacks,your vending system can help you improve employee loyalty and satisfaction, and can help your company achieve new levels of productivity.
Photo from FoxNews.com
An Atlanta-based car dealer, Carvana,has turned a few heads with the opening of their latest retail option. Consumers looking to purchase a certified used vehicle now have the option of browsing, selecting and paying for their new vehicle at a vending machine.
The new “machine” is located in Atlanta and achieves the main goal of Carvana by cutting out the dealership and salespeople. Carvana says that their people-less car selling translates to at least $1,500 of savings on each vehicle. The location features three separate bays, or garages, that hold a wide selection of cars that users can get access to in two different ways. First, if you use Carvana’s main service and purchase your vehicle online, you can pick it up at this new vending machine. Secondly, there are fully digital screens at each bay that will display the inventory currently available at that location. Purchasing a vehicle from this machine means you can drive away in your new vehicle without ever having to speak to a salesperson.
National Vending knows that the rise in self-service shopping is growing in popularity and vending services play an important role in creating physical retail and interaction locations for online businesses.