Micro-market benefits in Orlando

Benefits of a Micro-Market in Orlando

Micro-market benefits in Orlando

Do you wish you could offer your employees something bigger than vending machines in the break room? A micro-market is the perfect solution. It offers a wider range of snacks, beverages, and fresh food in open-front coolers and on free-standing racks. Your break room will become a welcoming space for everyone.

Here are three reasons why you should upgrade your break room with one of our micro-markets.

Flexible Plan of Attack

Each company’s break room needs are different from the time of day employees visit the break room to the room’s layout and physical location. To help meet your needs, we will customize a solution that fits your company.

For example, a neighboring business might be open during regular business hours. But your business might have a second or third shift. It doesn’t matter which shift your Orlando employees work. A micro-market is open 24/7. It’s accessible to all employees, even those who work the second or third shifts.

Do you have a large break room that serves hundreds of employees? Maybe your company is smaller with limited space, or perhaps it’s somewhere in between. We can customize a plan that works for you. For instance, the layout of your open-concept market will be designed based on your physical space and number of employees. Is your company growing? No problem, your micro-market can grow with you.

Micro-market benefits in Orlando

Micro-Market Technology

In today’s changing work environment, technology must adapt to meet new demands. Likewise, technology in the break room must also adapt. Our micro-markets include state-of-the-art tools designed to create a seamless experience for your employees.

An important piece of technology is the self-checkout kiosk. Unlike a store, a micro-market doesn’t need a cashier. The kiosk also offers other features such as a touchless checkout process using mobile payment options. It can also share promotional and rewards programs with users.

Carefully placed security cameras help deter theft and keep an eye on the space. In addition, wireless technology helps us track inventory and equipment status. We use the real-time data to keep everyone’s favorite products in stock. The data also helps us figure out when it’s time to introduce new products.

Snacks and Drinks

The main purpose of a micro-market is to offer great-tasting snacks, beverages, and pre-packaged fresh food. Access to delicious on-site choices means your employees don’t have to go off-site for their lunch or coffee breaks. And, as a result, staying on-site creates many benefits, from unplanned team work to increased output.

Part of our job is to make sure your employees have the options they crave, whether it’s the latest energy drinks or specialty waters, the latest snack trends, or delicious fresh food. But don’t forget the coffee service. With most Orlando adults drinking coffee every day, access to freshly brewed and flavorful coffee or tea is a benefit your employees will love.

For more information about our micro-markets, coffee service, and vending options, please contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.

Snacking in Jacksonville

Snacking in Jacksonville Break Rooms

Snacking in Jacksonville

How does snacking fit into your day? Do snacks replace a meal or help you survive until your next one? Or, maybe they’re an energy boost? What about a reward or something to satisfy a craving? You aren’t alone if your snacks function as just one of those, or if they are all three at the same time. The way consumers plan, choose, and eat food has changed.

To help Jacksonville employees learn about their new vending options and see the value, let’s take a look at the three primary snack needs.

Nutritious Options

  • helps to meet daily caloric needs and to stay hydrated
  • keeps energy levels stable and up
  • helps to manage health and diet
  • stops hunger between meals
  • examples: yogurt, granola bars, whole fruits and vegetables, water, and smoothies

Snacking for Optimization

  • helps to meet mental and physical performance goals
  • offers an energy boost
  • helps with recovery after exertion or a loss of nutrients, fluids, and energy
  • increases mental focus
  • examples: coffee, whole fruits, popcorn, nuts, protein bars, and smoothies

Snacks and Pleasure

  • offers comfort and stops cravings, at least in the short term
  • can be either an indulgence or a reward
  • creates a time to eat different flavors and textures
  • is an opportunity to try new foods
  • examples: cookies, candy, chips, nuts, and flavored milks
Snacking in Jacksonville

Each of these snack needs can function independently or in combination with each other. In most situations, Jacksonville employees don’t realize that they require the snack to be fun even if their goal is nutritional. One way to meet those increasing needs and have a positive impact on your employees is to reconsider the types of snacks and beverages offered in your break room vending machine or micro-market.

The Vending Station can help update your break room layout and customize your refreshment menu to inspire snacking occasions and meet your employees’ needs. Not only is it good for your Jacksonville employees’ health and well-being, but it’s also good for company morale and productivity.

To learn more about the wide variety of fresh food, snacks, and beverages we offer and our vending, micro-market, and coffee services, please contact us at (407) 891.7632.

Healthy Food Trends Orlando

Healthy Food Trends in Orlando in 2021

Healthy Food Trends Orlando

Employees want access to healthy options. The events of 2020 have made that desire even stronger. Since Orlando employees spend the majority of the day at work, the break room is the ideal place to grab something to eat or drink. Vending machines and micro-markets can offer both healthy and traditional snacks, beverages, and fresh food.  

The start of 2021 will soon be here with new food trends to explore. Here are four that include a variety of healthy ingredients.

Immune Boosting Foods

Citrus, ginger, and garlic are some of the more well-known immune boosting ingredients. While none of these will prevent or cure illnesses, they do help strengthen the immune system. A strong immune system can fight off colds and other infections. Superfoods such as berries, leafy greens (the darker the better), nuts, whole grains, yogurt, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes also help. 

Meals or snacks made with these healthy ingredients don’t have to be complicated. Your Orlando break room menu could include a salad with mixed greens, broccoli and chickpeas, trail mix with dried fruit, and whole grain crackers with or without a nut butter.

Healthy Breakfast

Whether the start of your employees’ day is at 6:00 am or 6:00 pm, choosing something healthy for the first meal of the day makes sure that the day starts off right. Simple and quick options available in the break room could include oatmeal, muffins, granola and yogurt, a breakfast burrito, hard boiled eggs, or a smoothie.

The Next “It” Ingredient

Following in cauliflower’s footsteps, chickpeas are projected to be 2021’s “it” ingredient. Chickpeas are very versatile. Almost anything can be made with them. They are also a great source of protein. Menu options could include baked chickpeas with a variety of spices and flavors, breakfast cereals (which everyone knows can be enjoyed 24/7), chocolate covered chickpeas, and crisps or chips.

Healthy Food Trends Orlando

An Extra Healthy Serving

It’s not always easy to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Instead of worrying about adding an extra serving to a meal, vegetable and fruit-based snacks are an alternative. Jerky made from fruit or vegetables is a new snack option that falls into that category. Flavors range from banana or mango to mushrooms and beets. There really is a flavor for everyone.

And don’t forget about the coffee. It may not be on the 2021 trends list, but it will always be in demand. Discover how easy it is to offer healthy snacks and fresh food in your Orlando break room.

For more information, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to helping you get your break room ready for 2021.

Break room micro-market Jacksonville

The Best Break Room Decision Ever Made in Jacksonville

Break room micro-market Jacksonville

Would you find the following break room space inviting? It’s a room with several long tables and chairs, a refrigerator next to some cabinets, maybe a sink, and a coffee pot that looks as old as the dinosaurs. If you don’t, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, that’s what many break rooms used to look like. Employees had to either go off-site for something to eat or drink or remember to bring something from home.

Today, however, there are a lot of options to choose from. It’s easy to create a welcoming space with everyone’s favorite snacks, fresh food, and drinks. And micro-markets are incredibly versatile.

Break Room Make Over

A micro-market works almost like a small convenience store. There are open racks for shelf-stable products, reach-in coolers and freezers, and a self-checkout kiosk. The accompanying security system allows the micro-market to stay open 24/7—a plus for employees who work the second and third shifts.

Unlike old-school vending machines, employees can pick up and read product labels before buying an item. The information on labels allows employees to do the following:  

  • Check expiration dates
  • Examine ingredient lists and nutritional information
  • Make an informed purchasing decision based on their taste buds and health goals
Break room micro-market Jacksonville

Payment Options

Micro-market kiosks offer several convenient payment methods. Options can include mobile payment apps, stored value cards, and credit/debit cards. The old concern about carrying enough cash is gone. With stored value cards, employees can upload cash or credit (at the kiosk or online) and make purchases like they would with a debit or credit card.

Freshness Comes First

Reach-in coolers can hold almost anything. In addition to cold beverages, they hold FRESH food. Delicious sandwiches, healthy salads, parfaits, wraps, and chopped fruit are a few of the choices that could be offered on your break room menu. Employees will be able to enjoy the benefits without ever having to leave the office.

So, what does all of this mean for your Jacksonville business?

  • Happier and healthier employees
  • A decrease in extended off-site breaks
  • An increase in employee efficiency and productivity

Combine them and discover improved workplace morale and a better bottom line.

Do you want to revolutionize your company’s break room? Choose a micro-market by The Vending Station. We will customize a solution that meets your organization’s needs. From offering fresh and healthy meal options to creating a market design that fits your physical space, we can help. Add office coffee service with freshly made coffee and espresso-based beverages and make the break room even more inviting.

For more information about all our break room services, including office coffee service and vending machines, please call us at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to helping you create the perfect break room destination.

Vending Machines Orlando

Vending Machines Have Value In Orlando

Vending Machines Orlando

What do you think of when you hear the words vending machines? Is it good or bad? Yes, vending machines used to have a bad reputation, but that’s not the case anymore. The vending machines of today are different.

They offer everyone’s favorite snacks and drinks in a variety of packaging and use state-of-the-art technology. Let’s look at how those seemingly unlike features make a difference.

More Sustainable Packaging

Three of the U.S.’s largest beverage companies recently completed the first year of a 10-year project called Every Bottle Back. The project aims to decrease the beverage industry’s plastic footprint. Over the course of the project, each business will work to increase the number of recycled plastic bottles and produce new bottles out of recycled materials.

Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Beverage Association, explained why the project is so vital. “Every Bottle Back is our commitment to reduce our plastic footprint and ensure our plastic bottles don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills.”

To support the beverage industry’s goals, Orlando employers can make small changes around the workplace and help their employees recycle more. For example, employers can make the following changes:

  • Place a recycling bin in the break room and in strategic places around the office or building
  • Make sure that the recycling bins stand out from the garbage cans
  • Think about the size and type of container for each location

Vending Machines Combine Traditional and Better-for-You

Vending machines in Orlando break rooms are easy to access. Break room providers can fill them with almost anything, including chips, cookies, fruit, sandwiches, bottled water, and soda. Whether employees want a quick meal or a snack, there are many choices to pick from. Plus, refrigeration keeps products cold and fresh until employees buy them.  

Employees can buy items at any time of the day, making it a good solution for those who work swing or night shifts. For those employers looking to offer a lower-cost and higher-value benefit to their employees, paying for all or part of the cost is a great option.

Vending Machines Orlando

Technology

State-of-the-art technology isn’t always visible. In fact, most are found inside the machine. They include LED lighting, energy-efficient parts, and touchless or wireless payment options. Employees won’t see the wireless technologies inside a vending machine or at a service provider’s warehouse, but those technologies make a big difference.

Connecting a vending machine via a wireless connection to the break room provider allows them to track real-time inventory levels and sales data. Providers then use the data to gather stock more efficiently and run fewer delivery routes. With fewer routes, providers therefore need to dispatch fewer trucks, reducing emissions.

Are you ready to take your Orlando break room into 2021 with modern vending machines and delicious snacks and beverages? The Vending Station can help. We offer a variety of traditional and healthier snacks and drinks as well as fresh food. Together we can customize the perfect menu for your vending machines or micro-market.

For more information about any of our services, including office coffee service, please contact us at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jacksonville Break Room Modified for 2020

Your Jacksonville Break Room Can Be Modified for 2020

Jacksonville Break Room Modified for 2020

The pandemic of 2020 has affected everything work related including the break room experience. For many Jacksonville businesses, the pre-COVID break room was a multi-purpose space that offered both tangible and intangible employee benefits. It was a gathering space, a workspace, and a place to relax as well as being the hub of all things edible. Workplace culture and company morale could be positively impacted by the experiences that employees had there.

Before March of 2020, Jacksonville break rooms were used in many ways including:

  • buffet-style lunches
  • free bagels or donuts—something that gets everyone excited in the morning
  • birthday celebrations with cakes and cookies
  • on-site café-style coffee menus
  • catered working lunches
  • communal kitchens with snacks and beverages
  • community breakfasts
  • free snacks, beverages, and fresh food
  • potluck meals and other holiday celebrations
  • fresh food and coffee options—encouraging employees to stay on-site and increasing productivity

While many traditional ways of doing things are on hold, at least for now, it doesn’t mean employers and employees are left without options. There are still many ways that employers can safely provide snacks, fresh food, cold beverages, and coffee options that will boost morale and continue to decrease the need to go off-site.

Prepackaged Everything

Rather than offering free donuts in the morning, snacks in bulk, or a shared potluck meal, fresh food and snacks should be prepackaged. Choices such as individually wrapped muffins or donuts, prepackaged mixed nuts, and a prepared salad or sandwich are great options. Fortunately, many employers already have systems in place to provide those types of refreshments.  

Additionally, all the products in vending machines and most of the products available in micro-markets are prepackaged. For those products that weren’t prepackaged before March 2020, there are now solutions available and changes that can be made to overcome this obstacle. Employers need to work with their refreshment provider to customize a solution for their specific situation.  

Jacksonville Break Room Modified for 2020

Safety Protocols

Implementing a variety of safety precautions connected directly to the break room can not only decrease exposure, but it can also help support company culture. Jacksonville employees who feel that their employer cares about their health and well-being are more likely to be invested in their job and be more productive.

In addition to prepackaged options, break room safety protocols can include directions for picking up or touching items in multiple situations such as using hand sanitizer before touching a kiosk or vending machine or using a paper towel as a barrier when opening a cooler in a micro-market. Extra signs with messages such as “if you touch it, please take it” can help remind everyone to limit the number of items they touch.

Does your Jacksonville break room check off all the boxes? Sorting out the different ways to modify it can be time consuming. The Vending Station can help you figure out the answers, so it meets today’s needs and has the potential to meet tomorrows. We offer customized refreshment menus that will fit your current needs and will work with you to adapt your break room as your employees’ needs change. For more information about our range of services, please call us at (407) 891.7632.

Demand for Coffee in Orlando

Demand for Coffee Keeps Growing in Orlando

Demand for Coffee in Orlando

The effects of COVID-19 continue to impact the break room experience. But even with all the changes, one thing has remained constant: the demand for coffee. Orlando employees still look to their favorite caffeinated beverage for energy boosts and improved focus and productivity. Employers also continue to see office coffee service (OCS) as a tool to keep employees on-site during the workday, both increasing employee productivity and reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Unlike pre-COVID OCS, which encouraged employees to gather in-person for spontaneous collaboration and workplace morale, today’s OCS also needs to support the workplace community while safely offering the same variety of customizable and delicious beverages. Individually packaged lighteners, or creamers, and coffee and tea flavor boosts can help create delicious hot beverages, workplace morale, and a safer break room environment.

Traditional creamers are usually made with dairy and come in popular flavors such as Original, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Caramel Macchiato as well as seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice, Peppermint Mocha, and Mint Truffle. Plant-based creamers, a 2020 top trend, are often made with almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Newcomers to the plant-based category include oat milk and hemp milk. Surprisingly, Datassential, a research firm, found that “more than half of today’s creamer users add plant-based milk or creamer to their coffee.”

Demand for Coffee in Orlando

Single-serve flavor or spice packets also offer Orlando employees a different way to safely customize their coffee or tea. Options include individual spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or turmeric and combinations such as chai blends and pumpkin spice. In addition to creating a delicious beverage, these spices also offer health benefits. Turmeric, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties while cinnamon has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties.

In addition to offering a variety of popular coffee flavorings, OCS providers need to be proactive when it comes to explaining workplace safety measures and product alternatives. For example, at a specific Orlando organization, single-serve products may be a better option while at another, individually packaged items aren’t feasible, and bulk must be used. Employees at both locations need clear and specific instructions about how to safely use the products available to them.

Successful collaboration between employers and refreshment providers has the potential to create flexible break room spaces that are welcoming and safe and offer the snacks, hot and cold beverages, and fresh food that employees want.

The Vending Station is here to help Orlando employers who have employees already back at work and those employers who are figuring out how to bring their employees back. In addition to offering an extensive and customizable refreshment menu, we follow well-established safety protocols to ensure the safety of your employees and ours. For more information about our services and safety policies and procedures, please reach out to us at (407) 891.7632.

Snacks or Candy in Jacksonville

Snacks or Candy – Which One Is the Answer Jacksonville?

Snacks or Candy in Jacksonville

What is a piece of gum? It can’t be eaten like traditional snacks or candy, even though it’s definitely edible. It can be chewed at any time of the day, but there are many places where it isn’t allowed. One thing is true: it’s been around for a really long time. In fact, humans have been chewing it in one form or another for over 10,000 years. 

The oldest known sample—a 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum made from bark tar that had tooth imprints in it—was found in Kierikki, Finland by a British archaeology student in 2007. Bark tar from the birch tree was used as an antiseptic and chewed to treat oral gum infections by the Neolithic people located in present day Scandinavia.

It’s also been found in other cultures around the world. Here are a few interesting facts about the history of chewing gum:

  • Mastiche, chewed by the Greeks, is the sap from the mastiche tree.
  • Tsiclte, chewed by the ancient Mayans, is the sap from the sapodilla tree.
  • Spruce sap was chewed by Native Americans from New England.
  • “The State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum”, the first commercially produced gum, was sold by John B. Curtis, an American businessman, in 1848. 
  • Around 1850, gum made from paraffin wax surpassed spruce gum in popularity.
  • The first chewing gum patent was filed on December 28, 1869 by William Semple. 

Today, chewing gum come in many shapes and flavors with over 45 brands, and even more flavors, of gum available in the U.S. According to a survey done by the National Consumer Survey (NCS) in 2018, about 175 million people in the U.S. used chewing gum. in 2020, the U.S. gum market is projected to account for over 27 percent of the global chewing gum market.

Snacks or Candy in Jacksonville

There are two primary types of chewing gum: functional chewing gum (gum with a purpose) and bubble gum (the gum Jacksonville residents chew for fun). Bubble gum is designed to inflate or create bubbles whereas functional chewing gum has a specific purpose such as oral health and weight management (curb cravings and improve digestion). Studies also show chewing gum also helps improve memory, reduce stress, and increase alertness.

Whether Jacksonville employees chew gum for enjoyment, to freshen their breath, or for a memory boost, access to gum is important for many individuals especially throughout their workday. Employers can make it easier to purchase gum and encourage employees to stay on-site during the workday by including gum with the snacks and candy in the break room vending machines or micro-market.

Employees who go off-site for snacks, fresh food, and coffee tend to take longer breaks. Not only does individual output go down, but overall productivity also decreases. Designing a break room menu that includes a mix of traditional and healthy snacks, fresh food, and all types of beverages is a benefit that often has a higher value to employees than its actual cost to the employer.

The Vending Station can help your Jacksonville business create a customized menu that is appealing to everyone. For more information about our micro-market, vending, and office coffee services, please contact us at (407) 891.7632.

Healthy Options in Orlando Break Room

What Healthy Options Does Your Orlando Break Room Offer?

Healthy Options in Orlando Break Room

Healthy employees are likely to be more engaged and productive at work. Given the extra stress everyone is experiencing today, and the negative impact stress can have on health, Orlando employers have an opportunity to offer their employees an extra benefit—healthy snacks and beverages in the break room. An extra bonus for employers is that this benefit delivers bigger returns than the upfront costs.

An important vitamin that is found in many healthy options is vitamin C. While most individuals think only of the common cold when vitamin C is mentioned, vitamin C offers many other health benefits. As with other antioxidants, vitamin C protects the body’s cells against the effects of free radicals, which play a role in combating heart disease and cancer.

Recent research also found that consuming vitamin C can help maintain muscle mass as a person ages, something that all Orlando employees should be aware of. According to the results, Dr. Richard Hayhoe from the University of East Anglia (UEA)’s Norwich Medical School explained, “people with the highest amounts of vitamin C in their diet or blood had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass, compared to those with the lowest amounts.” For an average adult, the current daily value recommendation for vitamin C is 90 mg.

So which foods contain the most vitamin C?

While kale ranks at the top for vitamin C as well as for many other nutrients, let’s take a look at some other popular fruits and vegetables that also have a good amount of vitamin C. (Side note: yes, tomatoes and avocados are technically fruits, but for this list, let’s place them with the vegetables.)

Fruits (per 100 g)

  • Kiwi = 93 mg
  • Papaya = 61 mg
  • Strawberries = 59 mg
  • Oranges = 53 mg
  • Pineapple = 48 mg
  • Cantaloupe = 37
  • Mango = 36 mg
  • Apricots = 10 mg
Healthy Options in Orlando Break Room

Vegetables (per 100 g)

  • Red bell pepper = 128 mg
  • Green bell pepper = 80 mg
  • Broccoli = 89 mg
  • Snow peas = 60 mg
  • Peas = 40 mg
  • Snap beans = 12 mg
  • Tomatoes = 14 mg
  • Avocado = 10 mg

While it may seem that many of the fruits and vegetables listed above wouldn’t be found in the break room, think again. Fresh food options such as fruit salads, whole pieces of fruit, green salads with a variety of vegetables, sandwiches topped with tomatoes, and fruit/vegetables juices are readily available in micro-markets and fresh food and beverage vending machines. Many prepackaged products including granola bars, breakfast cereals, protein bars, and even some salty snacks contain vitamin C. The key is to read the nutrition label. Vitamin C may be hiding in a place you don’t expect to find it.

Can your Orlando employees find the healthy fresh foods, snacks, and beverages they want when they visit your break room? If not, call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632 to learn more about our healthy break room options.

Coffee Trends in Jacksonville

Five Coffee Trends to Enjoy in Jacksonville

Coffee Trends in Jacksonville

2020 has been a whirlwind with a lot of changes. Thankfully, the coffee industry continues to deliver a variety of delicious beverages that can help create a moment of peace and enjoyment for Jacksonville employees. Let’s take a look at five coffee trends that will boost any break room experience.

Specialty Coffee

Roasters big and small have continued to help grow this trend. They offer special or premium brands and products that deliver a unique experience to their customers. So, what makes specialty coffee special? According to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), specialty coffee is “defined by the quality of the product, whether green bean, roasted bean or prepared beverage and by the quality of life that coffee can deliver to all of those involved in its cultivation, preparation and degustation. [It is] a coffee that delivers satisfaction on all counts and adds value to the lives and livelihoods of all involved.”

Cold Brew

While this refreshing cold beverage has been around for about five years, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. In fact, 80 percent of industry leaders surveyed as part of research performed by the Allegra World Coffee Portal USA found that cold brew was the fastest growing beverage in coffee shops. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a coffee drink, it’s now considered a must on any menu.

Sustainability

As with many other snacks and beverages, consumers want to know more about the origin of their coffee. Where did the beans come from, who grew the beans, and how were the beans roasted? But sustainability isn’t only about the beans. It’s also about the other products that are used to enjoy one’s favorite caffeinated beverage. Can a reusable mug be used? What about the straws? Are the paper supplies made from recycled products or are they compostable?

Coffee Trends in Jacksonville

Non-Dairy Alternatives

Traditional non-dairy options like almond milk continue to be very popular. However, there is a new option that has made a bit splash―oat milk. According to a Café Pulse report, sales of oat milk have jumped by a whopping 425 percent since 2017. A great alternative to nut milks, oat milk is made from steel-cut oats that have been soaked in water, blended, and strained through a cheesecloth. Like raw oats, the dairy-free beverage offers some fiber, protein, and important vitamins.

Decaffeinated Options

Lastly, let’s not forget about the decaf. This may be a bit surprising, but 2020 has seen multiple roasters add decaf to their offerings. The quality of many decaf options has vastly improved recently as consumer demand for the beverage increased. Millennials and Gen Z, especially, have contributed to the shift as they look to decrease the amount of caffeine they are ingesting.

Whether you’d like to add all these trends or just a couple to your Jacksonville break room, The Vending Station can help. We offer full-service OCS as well as vending and micro-market services that can be customized to fit your unique break room needs. For more information about all our refreshment options, please call us at (407) 891.7632.