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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When to consider a Micro Market Kiosk?
Micro Market Kiosks are becoming ever more popular in employee break rooms, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right fit for everyone.
Things that need to be considered:
A Micro Market Kiosk works best in a closed environment. If a company has outside contractors, delivery people, truckers that have access to the market, they may not understand how the micro-market concept works. We have experienced this where these outsiders think that it is a company benefit provided free of charge and it’s free for the taking. If a client is presented with a thumb drive addressing shortages and the offenders can’t be identified, the micro-market may not last long. This same problem presents itself at companies that have high turnover or have a large temporary workforce. This is also the reason why you will not see a micro-market in airports or other transient areas.
Corporate Food Service & Micro Market Benefits
Why are so many corporate companies and offices choosing to put a micro market into their break room? It’s true, many vending machines may have been replaced in breakrooms, but why – what’s driving this?
The primary reason for this mass conversion is that micro markets deliver an entirely different customer experience. Being able to reach into a cooler for a cold beverage or pick your favorite snack from a shelf certainly embodies the “grab and go” society that we live in. With self-check-out taking place at many retailers, consumers are comfortable checking out at the micro market kiosk and the transactions are actually quicker.
Affordable Office Vending Machine Snack Prices
This is actually a great question and one that we hear from time to time. First, stores try to have a certain number of loss leaders. These are special prices that get a consumer’s attention because they are a great deal. Sometimes these items are even sold at a loss. Well, let me clarify this. They really do not sell vending machine items at a loss because manufacturers give stores special price incentives if the store advertises the manufacturers’ products in the newspapers, etc. With the incentive dollars offsetting the low price for the product, the stores are not really losing money. Office vending machines are a completely different channel and are not eligible for these advertising incentives.
At A.H. Management, we offer reliable and affordable vending machines as well as micro market services for corporate offices and other types of public destinations. Contact a specialist at A.H. Management Group to learn more about our products and services.
Hypothetically, if all service was the same, it would be easy to find micro market vending solutions by just comparing prices on a spreadsheet. This would allow you to commoditize the process and objectively find the most price competitive vendor.
Unfortunately, service is not the same, so simple spreadsheets may help but they certainly don’t paint the full picture. Like any service industry, prices are typically determined by the level of service and the product offerings that a vendor provides. So to evaluate if the vendor is worth their prices, certain questions need to be considered to determine what’s right for your company.