On-Site Food Services, A Great Employee Benefit!

In previous blogs, we’ve discussed some excellent office amenities like coffee services, water services, pantry services, micro-markets, sparkling water units, and cold brew, nitro coffee machines. Today, we’re going to discuss one of the top amenities a company can offer their employees – on-site food services.

A.H. Dining Services is a premier food service operator that tailor makes programs to fit its client’s needs. The times of operation, the menu, pricing, payment options, and many other features for on-site food services can be customized to achieve company goals.

What Does a Full-Service Food Management Company Do?

What does a full-service management company do for its clients? Full service, food service operators will assist in the concept, design, and build-out work for your dining area. We secure health permits while maintaining operational health, sanitation, and safe procedures.  We provide and support a team that will offer a high level of professional food service best practices. They will be well trained, friendly, and ready to serve your employees. We use a top-quality supplier network from which we order, receive, and maintain fresh inventory for the operation. Menus are carefully planned and supported by chefs and cooks that have culinary degrees and expertise in cooking. Orderly record-keeping and financial statements are provided each month for client approval. Eco-friendly, green initiatives are coordinated to support and emphasize a reduce, renew, and recycle culture.

Most commonly, food service operations provide breakfast and lunch offerings in the workplace with all the beverages you would find in a restaurant.  They are well-received by management as these in-house services get people to work and keep them there through the course of the day. With such a great value proposition, this benefit will also help to recruit and retain highly sought-after and talented employees.

Maximize Employee Break Time

An employee’s break time can be maximized with either pre-packaged grab-and-go items or customized online orders which are placed ahead of time and prepaid through our app. Online orders can be managed and delivered to various areas in the building or designated cubicles.  Otherwise, items can be easily picked up in the cafeteria or from a secure thermal locker.

Another great benefit of having food service personnel on-site is that they can provide catering for meetings and special events. Custom menus can be created, or Clients can choose from standard options that include entrees, veggie trays, meat and cheese trays, fresh baked cookies, etc. Recently, we began offering individually packaged items as the pandemic created a high demand for added protection.

The Future of Industrial Food Service

The days of the old cafeteria line with an industrial food service look are gone. Traditional food service operations are being refreshed with new, touchless, hybrid layouts. The design and cabinetry are warm, inviting, and stylish to capture a similar ambiance to the most popular retail establishments. This combined with name brand, product offerings like Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ, etc. will make a favorable impression on your employees. Some of the hybrid layouts offer barista bars, delis, and demonstration cooking modules. After the kitchen has closed, the pay stations can be converted to 24-hour, self-check-out kiosks to create a convenience store atmosphere.

An on-site, food service program will make your company stand above the competition. Employees will be happier and more productive. Collaboration is most likely found in an environment where employees can gather and converse around great food and beverages. Contact A.H. to get the process started for this great company benefit.

Where to Shop for Office Break Room Snacks and Supplies

There are many different places for people to order coffee and breakroom supplies – just Google what you are looking for and you will come across an almost infinite number of sites.  You can drill down on products and find their prices, payment options, delivery terms, and more. Finding all the products in your break room, however, may require lengthy research and buying from several different sites.

Two things to remember:
1) time is money (TI$)
2) while products can be commoditized, great service cannot be. More often than not, great service will save you more money than shopping for the lowest prices. Below outlines areas where a full-service provider will save you money:

How to Encourage Employees to Return to Work

Many employees are finding it difficult to return to their workplace after working from home for so long. Working from home may have saved people hours daily just by foregoing the routine of getting ready in the morning and commuting to and from work. Old habits and the time spent going into work were most likely replaced by new habits and the time saved by staying at home.

SINGLE CUP BREWERS: K-CUPS VS PODS VS PACKETS

With so many options for brewing coffee in the workplace, it can be difficult to choose which coffee solution is the best for your office. Traditional drip brewers are still widely used in many break rooms but single-cup machines are a very popular choice as well.

WHY CHOOSE SINGLE-CUP BREWERS?

Traditional drip brewers are an economical way to provide a pot of coffee for employees, but there are some limitations. Most offices only provide one blend of coffee for their drip brewers. Coffee brewed into pots can taste burnt if it sits on the warming plate for a long period of time, and coffee brewed into thermal carafes will eventually cool down, leading to a lukewarm cup of coffee later in the day.

Creating a Snack Station in the Office

Office snack programs have changed through the years. Over ten years ago, Vending used to be the standard approach to offering snacks to employees. It is neatly contained in a box and you could subsidize the pricing in order to offer your employees reduced prices. We still have many customers that like this solution as vending itself has evolved. Vending machines accept credit cards, wallet payments or cash, and there are several apps currently entering the market that will allow for touchless transactions. Products offered in vending machines now have the calorie count printed on the front of the package. Additionally,  prepaid cards can be used to discount the price while generating loyalty points that convert to cash. Through our GlobalConnect solution, we also offer many product promotions – Buy four and get the fifth one free.

Setting Up Your Office Coffee Station

An office’s coffee program has the ability to inflate morale and help communicate a company’s culture by showing appreciation for its employees. It is reasonable to say that the decisions required to set up an office coffee program are important and need careful discernment. Many of the following items need to be considered:

  • What type of coffee machine best suits your office? 
  • Do you have the appropriate amount of space, power, and water in your breakroom? 
  • Does your office like a particular coffee or does it prefer a variety of blends?
  • What type of allied products (creamer, sweeteners, teas, cups, plates, etc.) will your office provide?
  • What is your office’s coffee service budget?
  • What services are provided by the service company and which of them do they charge extra for?
  • Who will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the coffee brewers? 
  • How will the supplies be replenished – will one of your employees order the products or will the coffee service company handle the inventory?
  • Does your company have a green initiative?

As you can see, there is much thought and preparation that goes into choosing an office coffee service program; however, all these collective decisions make your company’s coffee program successful, tailor-made for your employees. Let’s walk through each of the questions above to help you through this process.

Apps for Office Vending & Break Rooms in 2021

It has been a wild 2020, to say the least. Many of today’s socially acceptable mannerisms were not prevalent or even around a year ago. To name several, we are now social distancing, wearing masks, zooming, self-quarantining, and touching elbows to greet one another. With so many changes come new solutions and ideas. 

As many essential workers have been at the office and remote personnel begin to return to work, what new challenges will the workplace face?  How will people socialize, collaborate, and take breaks together? At work, it’s important to not only take the right steps to prevent the spread of COVID for individuals, but also for work groups. Sending an entire workgroup home has the potential to shut down a company.

For the sake of this article, let’s focus on the break room. Many break rooms are small and have different touch points. Some people will use this area to make a quick cup of coffee, while others might spend their entire lunch break there.

How Do I Get Pepsi or Coca-Cola into My Break Room?

The battle between blue versus red is not only found in politics but has also had a long-standing history between the two iconic soda brands, Pepsi and Coca-Cola. These two beverage companies have been competing for well over 100 years as they were founded in 1893 and 1886 respectively. Pepsi was created in a drug store and was originally called Brad’s Drink. Coke was created by a Pharmacist who initially named the drink Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. Obviously, some rebranding and marketing was necessary to help both of these start-up companies.

In 1975, Pepsi launched The Pepsi Challenge and through blind taste testing, consumers chose which cola they preferred – Pepsi or Coke. Consumers’ tastes seemed to be shifting more towards Pepsi’s sweeter taste, so in 1985 Coke reacted by launching New Coke which was later renamed Coke 2 in 1992. 

New Coke’s sweeter formula failed, and consumers wanted their original Coke back. Coke reintroduced it, and that is why it received its new name – the name we call it today, Coca-Cola Classic. 

WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE VENDING AND MICRO MARKET COMPANY?

Vending and Micro Market Companies vary in the services they provide. A.H. Management Group, however, demonstrates below what our “full service” is and why this makes us a market leader.

Our definition of full-service means total and complete service. A.H. buys the equipment and provides service for this equipment at no direct cost to our client. The service provided includes route delivery service to fill and clean the machines; technical service to repair malfunctions; Installation service for delivery, placement, and equipment connection; and Customer Service Representatives to ensure that our services exceed our customers’ expectations. We also pay for local licenses, state sales tax, home rule sales taxes, and health inspections if required. 

Free Snacks in the Workplace

It should not come as a surprise that free snacks at work make people happier while attracting top talent. People love free things and become more collaborative when some of their most basic needs are met. 

Food is one of the best ice breakers. Generally speaking, people like to talk about different foods or like to spend time with others while they are eating. Basic break room conversations help employees find common ground, develop camaraderie and teamwork in the workplace.