Vending Outside the Box


The world of vending is expanding beyond the typical machines found in your office break room. Self-checkout (also known as micro markets) is new on the scene and a great way for employers to provide vending solutions in a non-traditional format. Most often found at larger workplace locations, self-checkout markets are growing rapidly with no plans to stop.

The concept of a self-checkout market resembles a small convenience store without a cashier and allows patrons to select snacks, meals and drinks from a variety of racks and coolers. The patrons would then bring purchases to a self-checkout touch screen kiosk. This allows the consumer the convenience to pick up items and check nutrition labels before purchasing them.

These markets also allow for more customization when it comes to products and allow for promotional integration with employer health and wellness programs. In vending, fresh food selections are limited, but fresh is what sells in self-checkout markets. More than 25 percent of micro market sales are from fresh food, which allows for more healthy products to be added. Self-checkout customers were asked what they like most about the new market and a majority, 79.8 percent, like the variety.

It’s like having a convenience store in your own facility; each layout is customizable to the needs of your facility and food preferences. If your company is interested in expanding your vending options, let us know by giving us a call at (888)-795-8363.

Is Diet Soda the True Culprit When it Comes to Health Risks?


The results are in and it looks like diet soda may not be as bad for you as researchers thought. Recent studies suggests there are more factors to consider when trying to link diet sodas to obesity, increased blood pressure and diabetes. Experts still worry about the chemicals present in diet soda and for some there isn’t even a question on whether or not diet soda is worth the risk. “Just get rid of it,” Keri Glassman, R.D.N advises. “It is filled with unhealthy chemicals, including artificial sweeteners, which actually make you crave more calories later.”

Some experts suggest taking a closer look at other bad habits to see if they play more of a role in decreased health than an occasional indulgence in a can of diet soda. Other bad habits might be to blame, if you are a smoker or live an inactive lifestyle, diet soda may not be the true offender.

“Consumers of diet soda who engage in other lifestyle behaviors associated with poor health outcomes are at a greater risk than those who balance their intake of diet soda with other healthful habits,” says Cara Harbstreet, of Street Smart Nutrition as Women’s Health notes. “The variables make it difficult to pinpoint whether diet soda consumption alone is the cause of negative health outcomes, or whether it’s the culmination of a number of factors…I lean towards the latter, since nothing in nutrition or health exists in a vacuum.”

For those looking to cut down on the amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners added to your drinks, consider switching to a seltzer or removing soda from your home but ordering it at a restaurant or bar.

“Choosing to drink (or eat) any one specific item is always a deeply personal choice,” Harbstreet says, “So I pose the question, which is the lesser of two evils?”

We want to hear from you! Do you think diet soda plays a key role in decreased health status? Or should consumers consider other bad habits before blaming diet soda?

Improving Branding Through Vending Management

If you are looking for a convenient way to brand your company to its many visitors, consider adding a vending machine. With vending management, you can add a machine that will help you with your branding efforts, all without the stress and hassle of managing custom vending machinesthe machines yourself. With a branding vending solution, you will create interest and engagement with your customers while meeting a specific need they have.

With the right vending management company, you can create a custom graphics package that puts your company’s logo or slogan directly on the machine. With this, you will not only be meeting a need, but also putting your brand in front of your customers.

With the right vending management, you can even customize the look of the products inside your vending machine. Then, maintaining, stocking and servicing those machines will also be handled by the vending machine management professionals. Simply sit back and enjoy the benefits of a fully managed vending service, including money in your pocket and increased branding for your company.

When you contact a vending management company, discuss the options for placement of your vending machine. Keep it in a central location so customers have access to it and are visually reminded of your brand. Stock it with items they will need while they are at your facility, and watch while customer satisfaction and brand recognition increases.

Quality Control in Vending

When your items do not vend properly, it can not only cost you repeat business. It can result in costly repairs if customers decide to take matters into their own hands to try angry vending machineto get an item that misvends.

In recent news, a man damaged a vending machine by dropping it from a forklift when it failed to dispense the candy bar he’d purchased. In many other cases, customers have shaken machines, tipped them or made other unsafe attempts to get stuck snacks. To maintain a healthy relationship with your customers, craft a good vending management program that includes the following:

  • Regularly clean machines in your vending network to remove sticky residue that can cause items to get stuck.
  • Only place properly sized items in your vending machines. Trying to fit an oversized snack, for instance, can cause bags to get caught up and not vend properly.
  • Test your machines regularly to make sure snacks are vending correctly. This should be checked every time you visit to restock.

Good maintenance helps you preserve your vending services contracts. This sort of conscientiousness is what distinguishes successful vending machine companies.

Cut Costs with Energy Star Vending Machines

vending managementYour 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.

The Importance of Liability Insurance for Vending

vending managementOne 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.

Most Desired Workplace Improvements

Vending Machine ManagementMany 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.

Why Customizing Your Product Offering Matters

Vending SolutionsKeeping 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.

Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise

National Vending has become a Nationally Certified WBE through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council! While National Vending has been a certified WBE at the state level for several years, this new certification gives us the legitimacy to provide services for companies that are concerned with supplier diversity all around the country. Find out more about National Vending’s National Certification in this article from Vending Market Watch!

Being certified by the WBENC validates that a business is 51 percent owned, controlled, managed and operated by a woman or women. The certification also gives women owned business like National Vending the ability to compete for real-time business opportunities provided by WBENC Corporate Members and government agencies. To find out more about certified WBEs and WBENC, check out their website!

Adding Vending Services to Your Building

Vending Machine ManagementIf you have ever looked at an office building, shopping mall or any other public space with vending services and wondered “why doesn’t my building have those?” National Vending is here to help!

Many vending machines and services found in public spaces are contracted through the owner of the property and private vending operators. This system works well because the manager of the facility receives the convenience of vending machines in their space and the vending operators have a space and customers to sell to. The difficult part is managing all of the contracts and making sure that each vending operator is running their machine to its maximum potential and servicing the needs of your visitors.

National Vending is the perfect solution to this problem. By contracting with one company that has an established history of success and that is able to work with you at any time from a single point of contact, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy all the benefits of having industry leading vending services in your building.