Celebrate Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

Five Fun Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Your Orlando and Central Florida Break Room

Celebrate Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

Happy employees are 13 percent more productive. With the holiday season approaching, it’s a great time to use the break room to show your Orlando and Central Florida employees how much they are appreciated, which just might increase happiness. 

The ‘traditional’ break room is often an under used space. To reverse that trend and spread cheer and happiness throughout the workplace, consider using the break room as a place for fun, holiday celebrations that will convey employee appreciation. 

Hold a Recipe Contest

Everyone has a favorite dish or two that they look forward to enjoying every November. Instead of only eating that favorite dish at home, offer your Orlando and Central Florida employees an opportunity to share it with everyone via a work sponsored recipe contest. Everyone gets to try the entries and vote on their favorites. The winner enjoys bragging rights as well as a hard-earned prize.   

Organize a Team Activity and Enjoy a Potluck Meal

Depending on the size of your organization or division, sharing a communal meal in the break room can be a fun way to build team or company morale. Each participant takes one piece of paper out of two different containers. The first piece of paper lists a potluck item that they are assigned to bring. The second piece of paper lists an item to donate to a prearranged organization such as a donation for a local food pantry or animal shelter. 

Give Back as a Group or an Individual

Serve your local Orlando and Central Florida community by participating in a volunteer activity as an organization. Organize a canned food drive, serve at a soup kitchen or volunteer at a local fundraiser. There are unlimited possibilities to get involved. If a group activity isn’t practical, make it easy for your employees to give back on their own. Give your employees designated time off to volunteer with an organization or help with a specific project.  

Compete in Festive Games

Encourage your employees to relax and have some fun while celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday by organizing the Thanksgiving-related Olympic games. The following games should bring out the kid in everyone. 

  • Pumpkin Bowling: Instead of a bowling ball, use the roundest pumpkin that can be found. Set up the “pins” (paper towel rolls, water bottles or anything tall and thin) in the parking lot or hallway and bowl away. 
  • Pin the Feather on the Turkey: Just like pin the tail on the donkey, pin the feather on the turkey requires a picture of a turkey on the wall, feathers (or a paper imitation) and a blindfold.
  • Guess How Many: Fill a glass jar with candy corn, skittles or another small, favorite sweet treat and have participants guess how many are in the jar. The winner gets the jar full of sweets for the prize.
  • Mini Pumpkin Hunt: Instead of the traditional Easter egg hunt, plan a mini pumpkin hunt. Whoever finds the most mini pumpkins wins a gift card to a popular restaurant or bakery.
Celebrate Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

Holiday Grams

Another option is to offer to deliver holiday grams as a way for colleagues to say thank you to each other. During a specified period, employees are asked to choose several colleagues that they are thankful for and write a short note. The holiday grams are then delivered to the recipients and shared in a central location like a wall in the break room.  

Lastly, there is one more way Orlando and Central Florida employers can show appreciation for their employees around the holidays and any time of the year – offer a relaxing break room with sought-after snacks and beverages, fresh food and delicious coffee service. Employees truly appreciate that.

For more information about updating your current refreshment menu or customizing a new one, contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.

Healthy Pumpkin Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

4 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin in Orlando and Central Florida

Healthy Pumpkin Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

As the season shifts into the second half of fall, Orlando and Central Florida employees will soon be tasked with deciding between healthy foods and unhealthy ones. National Pumpkin Day (October 26) is a great time to start making healthy choices.

Why National Pumpkin Day? There are two specific reasons—pumpkins are very healthy, and they are everywhere this time of year. From coffees to pies and pastries, there are so many ways to enjoy this seasonal flavor.

Pumpkins are a nutrient-dense food packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin, potassium, fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and several B vitamins. Health benefits range from lowered risks of stomach, throat, pancreas and breast cancers to an improved immune system and increased heart, eye and skin health. 

Instead of almost always eating or drinking pumpkin-flavored favorites made with too much sugar, let’s consider four healthy ways to enjoy all the pumpkin deliciousness.

  • roasted pumpkin seeds: A simple but healthy and delicious snack, roasted pumpkin seeds require just three ingredients; pumpkin seeds, butter or oil, and salt.
  • pumpkin yogurt parfait: Yogurt parfaits are a great snack or mini meal to be enjoyed at any time of the day. Instead of adding fruit to the yogurt and granola, add pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, and enjoy the taste of fall. 
  • pumpkin flavored baked goods: Finding extra time to bake your own can be a serious challenge especially with the upcoming holiday season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy premade ones. Before jumping in, be sure to read the nutrition label and ingredients list so an informed decision can be made. 
  • pumpkin chai latte: A hot beverage on a cool fall day is something to be enjoyed. For a healthier pumpkin chai latter, create your own with chai tea, pumpkin puree, spices and a non-dairy milk like almond milk.
Healthy Pumpkin Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

If beverages or baked goods made with real pumpkin puree don’t sound delicious, try making your own pumpkin spice blend and add it to your favorite hot beverage. Most pumpkin spice blends include ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice or cloves.

Rather than Orlando and Central Florida employees leaving the office to find delicious pumpkin treats, employers have an opportunity to offer healthy flavors including pumpkin to their employees via the break room. A customized refreshment menu with healthy choices and seasonal flavors as well as everyone’s favorites is a great benefit that can also help employees make healthier food decisions. And that is a benefit for everyone, including employers. Employees who are healthier tend to be more creative and productive and take fewer sick days which can lead to an increase in overall productivity. 

The Vending Station is here to help your organization create a break room refreshment menu that includes more healthy choices. For more information about healthy options or any of our other services including micro-markets and office coffee service, please call us at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to speaking with you.

vending machines in orlando and central florida break rooms

Unique Vending Machines Inspire Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

vending machines in orlando and central florida break rooms

References to and the use of vending machines can be found off and on throughout history. The first written record described a machine in 215 BC that dispensed holy water after the user inserted a coin. In 2019 countries across the world have chosen to use vending machines to make sure their customers always have access to the products they want when they want them.

Three interesting examples that can be found in different parts of the U.S. are Barrett’s Smokehouse’s meat vending machine, The Art-o-mat® and The Breadbot.

smoked meat: Ever have a craving for bratwurst, beef brisket or pulled pork, and your favorite smokehouse is closed? A Michigan smokehouse has the solution to your problem. Open 24/7 with almost any barbecued product you can think of, this closely monitored vending machine offers delicious, fresh products that are replaced daily.

art: The Art-o-mat®, a vending machine that sells art, is both a machine that sells a product and a work of art. Using an old cigarette vending machine, artist Clark Whittington modified the machine in order to be able to sell his own art at a local cafe. The idea took off, and now multiple artists sell their work in machines throughout the US.

bread: Enjoy freshly made bread without having to put in all the work. Wilkinson Baking Company developed The Breadbot, a free-standing, mini bakery that takes care of the entire baking process and delivers a variety of delicious options.

vending machines in orlando and central florida break rooms

As with the creators of these vending machines, don’t be afraid to step out of the box when designing your Orlando and Central Florida break room. Approach the process from the perspective of a business determining how they will meet very specific goals. The following objectives are examples that any organization can use to start determining their specific goals.

  • encourage employees to stay on-site when they need a coffee break by offering delicious coffee options; benefit: less time spent away from the office (less time at the office usually means less work accomplished)  
  • offer healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food; benefit: healthy employees have fewer sick days and are more productive
  • create a welcoming space; benefit: chance to decrease stress levels and increase morale

In addition, meeting the previous three goals also creates more opportunities for spontaneous creativity and interactions with colleagues

How will your Orlando and Central Florida organization get creative when determining your break room goals? Whether you know exactly what your break room needs or are starting from scratch, The Vending Station can help. We offer a wide variety of refreshment programs including micro-markets, pantry service, vending machines and office coffee service as well as healthy and traditional snacks, beverages and fresh food. It’s time to take the first step. For more information about any of our services, please call The Vending Station at The Vending Station.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Orlando and Central Florida, Enjoy A New Roast on International Coffee Day

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Have you ever tried a new flavor of coffee and discovered it didn’t taste like you thought it would? If you’ve had that happen, you aren’t alone. The processes of growing the plants, harvesting the beans and turning the beans into delicious beverages are quite complex. There are many different factors that can positively or negatively impact the quality and flavor of coffee. 

The National Coffee Association explains how part of the farming process is complex. “Everything from the variety of the plant, the chemistry of the soil, the weather, the amount of rainfall and sunshine, and even the precise altitude at which the coffee grows can affect the taste of the final product.” 

Add in the roasting process and there are an endless variety of new beverages to try, especially since the number of ways to roast beans is almost as varied as people are different. Celebrate this year’s International Coffee Day on October 1 by encouraging your Orlando and Central Florida employees to try a new roast or two.  It’s also a great way to bring everyone together and boost company morale.

Why roast the beans?

Coffee beans are stored raw or kept green until it’s time to roast them. Once beans are roasted, they need to be used quickly in order to prevent a decrease in quality. Unlike roasted beans, raw beans are spongy to the touch and smell of grass. The roasting process causes raw beans to reach very high temperatures where chemical changes can occur, resulting in brown, crunchy beans with varying degrees of oiliness on the outer shells.

Unfortunately, when it comes to knowing which roast is which, things get a bit more complicated as there are no uniform roasting standards. However, there are four “general” categories that all roasts fall into: light, medium, medium-dark and dark.  

Light Roasts: Light brown in color with no oil on the beans’ outer surface, light roasts are usually used to make milder coffees. Common names: Light, Cinnamon

Medium Roasts: Medium brown in color with a non-oily surface, medium roasts are sweeter and have a more balanced flavor, aroma and acidity than light roasts. Common names: City, American

Medium-Dark Roasts: Rich and dark brown in color, medium-dark roasts have some oil at the surface and a slightly bittersweet aftertaste. While the acidity in this roast decreases, the flavors and aromas increase.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Dark Roasts: Dark brown to slightly charred in color, a dark roast has an oily surface and a bitter flavor but is the least acidic of the four roasts. Common names: Viennese, Italian, and French

Not sure which of the four roasts your Orlando and Central Florida employees prefer? 

Instead of just asking them, make it fun and plan a taste-testing event. Rather than telling everyone which beverage is which roast, keep that information hidden until the end. Ask everyone to rank their preferences and guess which beverage is which roast. Once everyone has had a chance to try everything, announce the winners. Some employees might be surprised to learn which roasts they truly like.

Now that office coffee service (OCS) menu is almost done, don’t forget to include healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food in your Orlando and Central Florida break room menu. For more information about OCS and a variety of additional refreshment services, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. 

pantry service options in Orlando and Central Florida

Pantry Service in Orlando and Central Florida Delivers More

pantry service options in Orlando and Central Florida

What type of refreshment options are available in your Florida break room? Pantry Service? A Micro-Market? Vending Machines? In 2019, it’s very important to offer your employees a variety of snack and beverage choices. For a break room to be an appealing potential new employee benefit and an effective retention tool for current employees, the physical space and refreshment products available must meet both current and up-and-coming and expanding trends.

The trend of snacking while at work is growing, and it will keep spreading as younger generations represent an even bigger part of the workforce. For example, recent studies from Euromonitor, a market research firm, found that Millennials eat 3.05 snacks per day while GenXers consume 2.26 snacks. 

If a Millennial employee works eight hours per day, that means they are likely eating a snack almost every 2.5 hours (without considering lunch). Another way to look at it is how often do those individuals have to go off-site during their workday to find the healthy snack that they are looking for. 

Peapod also performed a study and found that (1) healthy snacks at work boost satisfaction and happiness; (2) 66 percent of employees enjoyed free snacks and were either very happy or extremely happy at work; and (3) almost 83 percent of employees surveyed preferred “having healthy and fresh snack options (e.g., fruit, vegetables, yogurt, low-calorie snacks) provided in the workplace.”

pantry service options in orlando and central florida

Combine the results of those two studies, and it’s easy to see why offering pantry service or free healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food is an easy decision. Pantry service is also a great tool to use to combat mid-afternoon munchies and energy slumps as well as a cost-effective employee benefit especially when compared to other types of employee benefits.

As with other company objectives, choosing a break room refreshment menu should also be a strategic business decision. Take the time to determine the best combination of products for your organization. The results might be surprising. Boost company morale and see an increase in employee interaction, bonding and overall productivity by offering pantry service or free vend in your Florida break room. 

The Vending Station can help customize the perfect refreshment menu and create a welcoming environment for your employees. For more information or to start the collaboration process, please contact us at (407) 891.7632. 

beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

Summer Beverages Delight Orlando and Central Florida

beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

It may almost be the end of summer, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy delicious and hydrating summer beverages. Combine flat or sparkling water with a variety of teas, fruits and sweeteners, and Orlando and Central Florida area residents can enjoy a limitless selection of cool, refreshing beverages. 

The following list includes a few of our favorite choices to be enjoyed over ice or frozen fruit:

  • sparkling honey limeade: sparkling water, fresh lime juice, honey and sugar to taste 
  • pineapple lemonade: fresh pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, water and a bit of sugar
  • peach and strawberry fizz: roasted peaches and strawberries, sparkling water and apple juice
  • blackberry-lime sparkling water: blackberries, lime juice, sugar and sparkling water
  • cucumber-mint water: cucumber, lime, mint and water
  • vanilla-rosemary lemonade: rosemary, lemon juice, vanilla bean, sugar and water
  • ginger and honey sweet tea: black tea, fresh ginger, honey and water 

Everything can be made with flat or sparkling water; well everything except the next beverage.

This last option definitely stands out and makes everything a little more fun. It’s a coconut frappe. Instant coffee is combined with coconut milk, honey and vanilla extract and blended with ice to create a sweet, summery and energy-boosting beverage. Nothing says summer like the flavor of coconuts. 

Whether on vacation, at home or at work, staying hydrated is important for everyone. Becoming dehydrated is always a possibility, especially during the warmer months, and is something Orlando and Central Florida employers and employees need to be aware of. Not having enough water in one’s body can lead to serious medical conditions including swollen feet, headaches and heat stroke. 

beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

Early signs of dehydration to watch out for are thirst, flushed skin, premature fatigue, increased body temperature, faster breathing and pulse rate, increased perception of effort, decreased exercise capacity, and are followed by dizziness, increased weakness and labored breathing with exercise. Orlando and Central Florida employers can support their employees’ hydration year-round by offering a variety of both cold and hot beverages in the break room. 

Elevate your break room benefits by offering healthy snacks and fresh food to go with hydrating and delicious beverages. The Vending Station would like to help your organization support your employees by creating a custom refreshment menu with highly sought-after options. For more information, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. 

break rooms in orlando and central florida

Social Awareness Finds a Place in Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

break rooms in orlando and central florida

Will consumer awareness of food-related topics impact future refreshment menus in Orlando and Central Florida break rooms? The answer is yes; they already have, and they will continue to do so moving forward. All one has to do is look around to see snack and beverage options that are made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are low in added sugar or are locally sourced.

A recent Nielsen study, which asked two important questions, confirmed what many Orlando and Central Florida consumers already knew. Awareness of social issues related to the food and grocery industry plays a role in shopping patterns and will continue to influence shopping behaviors as consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Xers, learn more about different issues.

As of the end of the study, the social issues that ranked the highest in current consumer awareness were buy local (46 percent), GMOs in foods (35 percent) and no added sugar/sugar reduction (33 percent). A quick trip to Orlando and Central Florida break rooms will highlight that snack and beverage manufacturers are already aware that these issues are important to their customers.

The second part of the study, which food/grocery companies need to pay attention to, asked participants, who were currently aware of a topic, how interested were they in learning more about that issue. Topics that ranked the highest were pesticide/herbicide use in food production (66 percent), food waste in grocery stores (58 percent) and at home (57 percent) and products free from artificial ingredients (57 percent).

When combining current issues with potential new issues, three areas emerge: 

  • which (chemicals, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial ingredients, etc.) are used to grow crops, raise animals and/or make/cook/bake snacks, food and beverages
  • buy local
  • combat all types of food waste
break rooms options in orlando and central florida

Taking these three areas back to Orlando and Central Florida break rooms, employers need to be aware of which issues are most important to their employees. If snacks, cold beverages, coffee or fresh food do not meet employees’ needs, those employees will go off-site to find what they need. And that is a loss for Orlando and Central Florida companies. 

Employees who visit on-site break rooms for snacks or meals are likely to be more productive and have more opportunities to have spontaneous interactions with coworkers which can lead to less stress and increased creativity. Now that sounds like a win for everyone.

The Vending Station excels at customizing break room menus that employees are excited about and works to ensure that menus change as employees’ preferences change. For more information about updating your current vending, micro-market or pantry service break room menu or customizing a new one, contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. 

healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Five Healthy Habits to Incorporate Into Your Orlando and Central Florida Workday

healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Making healthy choices at work is much easier today than it used to be thanks to a much larger variety of better-for-you choices available in the break room. A recent report by Oh My Green, a concierge-style provider of healthy food and wellness services, supports the idea as their report showed that their clients were willing to switch to healthy snacks, beverages and food if healthy options were available.

Additional snacking patterns appeared over the duration of the analysis including fruit as the number one healthy snacking choice and the frequency of unhealthy snacking declining. With unhealthy consumption decreasing, healthy consumption increased as more healthy choices became available, even when there was a variety of options in the break room available.

In addition to choosing healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food from your break room micro-market or pantry service, there are four other healthy habits to incorporate into your workday.

  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea: Take the time to relax and chat with colleagues while drinking your beverage and enjoy the accompanying energy boost that follows a short while later. If consuming caffeine isn’t an option, don’t worry; enjoy a decaf coffee or tea instead. You’ll still be able to relax and talk with colleagues while enjoying your beverage.
  • Go for a walk: Exercise is important for many reasons including your performance during the workday. Walking or other types of movement increases blood flow, boosts certain hormones and reduces stress. Spending time outside whether it’s sunny or cloudy also helps the mind and body relax.  
  • Drink enough water: Staying hydrated is crucial for one’s physical and mental health. Dehydration causes many negative responses including a decrease in alertness, memory and productivity; all of which negatively impacts getting things done. Healthy options include regular bottled water, sparkling water or flavored carbonated water.  
  • Reduce stress: Everyone experiences stress. Some stress is beneficial, but too much is harmful. The challenge is figuring out where the line is between beneficial and too much as everyone’s line is in a different place. Several ways to decrease stress include taking several deep breaths, listening to music or looking at images or pictures that bring happiness.
healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Whether Orlando and Central Florida employees realize it or not, making simple choices can greatly impact their day, for both the better and the worse. Employers can help guide their employees toward good habits by highlighting healthy choices that are available in their micro-market or pantry service and creating break room spaces that encourage collaboration and relaxation.

For more information about updating your refreshment menu or completely redesigning your break room, The Vending Station can help. Please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632 to take the first step.

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Coffee and Blueberries are a Pair in Orlando and Central Florida

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Coffee and blueberries in the same mug aren’t usually thought of as a delicious combination enjoyed during a morning or afternoon break at work. However, in honor of National Blueberry Month, let’s explore how Orlando and Central Florida employees can enjoy the flavor of blueberries with their favorite coffee or espresso-based beverage.

There are two ways to enjoy a cup of coffee with hints of blueberry. The first is to add blueberry flavoring or syrup, and the second is to enjoy a beverage made from Harrar beans.

Blueberry Flavoring can be added at one of two different stages during the coffee creation process. The first options occur immediately after the beans have been roasted. While the beans are still hot, blueberry flavoring is added as a coating to the outside of the beans to create a layer of flavor. The beans are then sold to consumers. After the beans are ground and later brewed, the blueberry flavor, which was on the outside of the beans, mixes with the ground coffee and creates a blueberry-flavored beverage.

The second way to add blueberry flavor is to purchase or prepare blueberry syrup and add it to a freshly brewed cup of Joe. With this option, Orlando and Central Florida consumers can decide how little or much they want to add. If making the syrup from scratch, only three ingredients – fresh blueberries, water and sugar – and sometime are needed. 

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Harrar coffee beans, the other option, are from the Oromia region of Ethiopia and are one of the oldest types of bean still in production. Grown on small farms at elevations between 4600 feet and 6500 feet, the beans are dry processed, which means they are harvested and processed by hand and then dried in the sun. The end result is a bold and complex coffee with notes of blueberries as well as apricots and a hint of jasmine. 

If the traditionally flavored types are preferred by your Orlando and Central Florida employees, there are a lot of options available from French-vanilla and hazelnut to different roasting processes and types of beans. And that doesn’t include the all of the espresso-based beverages that can be made with those beans. Make it easier on your employees to find their favorite beverage during the workday with office coffee service (OCS).

OCS lets your Orlando and Central Florida employees know that you value them. In return, energized and hydrated employees are more creative and productive. It’s a win for everyone. For more information about our OCS options, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to customizing a solution that fits your organization’s specific needs.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

2019 Coffee Trends in Orlando and Central Florida

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee is important, especially to the 63 percent of American adults and Orlando and Central Florida individuals who drink it daily in 2019. The reason why it is important will vary based on the individual, but there is one overarching theme that has impacted the industry as a whole. 

Consumers’ values, especially toward coffee and where it comes from, have changed. Not only are Orlando and Central Florida consumers more aware of what they are drinking but they also consider sustainability, grower/roaster transparency and wellness benefits when choosing their beverages. The results of the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) newest report, 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT), reflects these ongoing changes.

To better understand three of the top trends included in the NCDT report, it’s important to first define the categories or terms that the NCA uses in the report.

Traditional – Not Gourmet: “not brewed from premium whole bean or ground varieties”

Traditional – Gourmet: “brewed from “premium varieties””  

Gourmet Beverages: includes two distinct sub-categories (1) espresso-based beverages, and (2) non-espresso-based beverages (ex. cold brew)

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Three of the top trends in 2019 are

  • The percentage of gourmet beverages consumed by Americans the previous day increased to 61 percent. Drilling down a level, espresso-based beverages increased to 24 percent while non-espresso-based beverages increased to 11 percent. Traditional – gourmet decreased by 1 percent to 15 percent.
  • More often than in previous years, coffee and espresso-based beverages today are being prepared out of the home and enjoyed after the traditional breakfast hour. This shift in consumer behavior is reflected by the 6 percent decrease since 2012 of survey participants who brewed their coffee at home, and the 5 percent increase by those who enjoyed a coffee or espresso-based beverage made outside of the home.
  • For those in the under-40 demographic, 80 percent of survey participants were aware that cold brew is an option. 89 percent were also aware of ready-to-drink (RTD) choices. The increased awareness of cold brew and RTD beverages offers manufacturers an opportunity for innovation, whether in preparation methods or types of ingredients.

Do your Orlando and Central Florida employees feel the same way about their office coffee service (OCS) options? The Vending Station offers an extensive OCS and can help your organization customize the best solution for your employees from coffee and tea to cold beverages, healthy options or fresh food. To learn more or schedule a product sampling, please contact us at (407) 891.7632.