Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Orlando and Central Florida, Did You See the Bacon Vending Machine?

Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Students at Ohio State University proved once again that anything can be sold in a vending machine. In December of 2018, the meat science program at Ohio State and the Ohio Pork Council partnered to sell students packets of ready-to-eat bacon for $1 from a vending machine during finals week.

Unexpectedly successful, the students of the meat science program had to restock the machine four to five times per day just to keep up with demand. The fundraiser sold over 275 pounds of bacon in the eight-day period. 

So, how does a stand-alone machine that sells bacon end up on a college campus? Ohio State senior and part-time employee at the Ohio Pork Council, Meghann Winters, suggested it as a way to promote Ohio pork. Since the concept of offering cooked bacon via a vending machine was unheard of, Winters had to purchase an old vending machine and “baconify” it. 

Retrofitting the machine proved to be a challenging process. Per Winters, “Most vending machines are made for candy bars, not necessarily bacon. We had to make sure the packaging didn’t get caught as it was falling out. We also had to find shelf-friendly bacon.”

Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

While a bacon vending machine is definitely unique, and the bacon delicious, that doesn’t mean “traditional” vending machines are boring. In fact, there are a variety of healthy and traditional snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in Orlando and Central Florida break room vending machines that will satisfy any palate. 

A frequent challenge is drawing attention to the snacks, beverages and fresh food, and encouraging employees to try something new. One way to overcome that hurdle is to host a taste-testing event. Orlando and Central Florida employees are more likely to try something they’ve never consumed if that item is free. A side benefit of satiated and happier employees is often increased morale and increased productivity. That sounds like a win for everyone.

Whether your break room needs a complete overhaul or just a few updates, The Vending Station can help. We offer a variety of refreshment services including sought-after, brand name snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in state-of-the-art vending machines. For more information, please contact The Vending Station at (407) 891-7632.

Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

A Day to Commemorate the Orlando and Central Florida Vending Machine

Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

March 7 is now an important day for Orlando and Central Florida residents who have purchased an item from or worked with a vending machine or the products it delivers. National Vending Day, a day of celebration developed by NAMA, is “a point-in-time to recognize vending and the value it provides to millions of consumers, 24/7/365.”

You might be wondering what type of value the vending industry provides. Vending is found in every community in the U.S., is an essential component of the Convenience Services industry and is a big contributor to the Convenience Services nearly $25 billion economic impact. According to NAMA, the Convenience Services industry provides “140,000 good paying jobs with $7.21 billion in wages, [and] pays $3.5 billion taxes at every level of government.” Add in the wide variety of snacks, beverages and fresh food, and it’s easy to see the value.

As we celebrate the vending industry today and look toward the future, let’s pause and look back at a bit of vending machine history.

The concept of a vending machine has been around for a lot longer than most Orlando and Central Florida residents realize. In fact, the first vending machine was said to have been referenced by the mathematician Hero in 215 BC in Ancient Egypt. In his machine, the user placed a coin in the machine and received holy water. Other important dates include:

1886: U.S. granted several patents for coin-operated dispensers.

1888: Tutti-Frutti gum vending machines were installed in a Orlando and Central Florida subway station.

1946: The first coffee vending machines were invented.

1950: Refrigerated sandwich vending machines expanded the lunch menu.

1960: Dollar bill changers were added to vending banks, and single-cup coffee vending machines were introduced.

1961: Canned soft drink vending machines offered customers a new beverage option.

1972: Glass-front snack machines were introduced.

1985: Credit card / debit card devices for vending machines were introduced.

1987: First hand-held computers that electronically captured vending data were used, and frozen food vending machines were introduced.

1991: Flavored coffees, espresso and cappuccino were introduced in coffee machines.

1993: First remote wireless transmission of data from machines to warehouses occurred.

Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

How will the next 100+ years change the vending industry? What will the break rooms of the late 21st century look like? While we can’t predict what a future Orlando and Central Florida break room will look like, we can make sure that the break room of 2019 meets the needs of today’s employees. In additional to traditional and healthy vending, micro-markets and office coffee service are just a couple of the refreshment options that will help create the ultimate break room today.

For more information about updating your current break room or performing a complete makeover, please contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. Let’s celebrate together!