Your Atlanta Vending Service is YOUR Personal Shopper

If you are currently purchasing snacks/beverages for your Atlanta office at a grocery or wholesale store, STOP. You have the right idea but the wrong practice. You think buying in bulk and having it delivered will save you time and money, which it can, but there is still a better way.

The worlds of fashion and vending don’t typically, if ever, collide; however, in this particular case a lot can be gleaned from a particular sector of the fashion industry, that of personal shoppers. According to Washingtonian.com personal shoppers typically range from $100-$250 an hour. Most shoppers start with a consultation over the phone or in person to get a sense of their client’s taste, budget and needs. “Independent stylists often combine this get-to-know you session with a closet clean-out at your home.”

When you buy your snacks from wholesale stores you are left to do all the work (but the delivery) on your own. Which means you:

  • purchase coolers and shelving racks
  • choose (from 100s of items) what you think your employees will enjoy
  • unpack all the product that is dropped at your front office

If you contact your Atlanta vending service they will do all the above for you, in a sense, they will be your personal shopper without the hourly fee. When you contact your Atlanta vendor here is what should happen:

  1. A meeting will be set up to survey what you currently offer and discuss what is and is not working (essentially they’ll clean out your closet).
  2. During this meeting you’ll also discuss what you want out of your particular program. Do you want meal options, an emphasis on healthy items, to stay within a strict budget, etc?
  3. After your vending company has a good idea of what you want/need they can filter thru the 100s of products and create a custom list for you.
  4. You can place an order based on this list or set up a regular delivery without ordering (one less thing to remember each week/month).
  5. When your Atlanta vendor arrives with the product they won’t just drop and go. They’ll refill your coolers and shelves and neatly store excess items in storage. Freeing you and your employees up to focus on what’s important…your business.

You may think this is too good to be true, maybe all the above sounds nice but it’ll cost too much money.

In most cases, product is not much higher in cost then what you would buy from the wholesale store (in some cases it’s even on par or below).  And then when the price of coolers/shelves (placed at no charge by an Atlanta vending company) and the time of staff spent ordering and restocking are factored into the equation, you may find that the benefits of putting your pantry service in the hands of your Atlanta vending service far outweigh the costs.

So stop. Stop doing all the work when someone else will do it for you. Stop being charged to have product dropped off instead of put away. You’ll gain time and energy and be able to start doing the things that matter most to you and your Atlanta business.

Does Your Atlanta Vending Company Offer a Revolutionary Office Coffee Service?

In the early 1900s coffee breaks in the workplace were a novelty and were only first issued by factory owners in an attempt to get their line workers to move faster. Breaks were closely regulated and coffee was heated on kerosene fueled hot plates.

In the early 2000s coffee in the workplace in the city of Atlanta is no longer a novelty but a necessity. Hot plates have been replaced by espresso machines/single cup brewers and employers encourage their employees to take frequent breaks, to make themselves feel at home.

Although the change in heart may be for noble reasons there are also very practical statistics behind the changes. Numerous studies show that:

  • Employees feel more appreciated if coffee is offered free of charge in the work place. Happy employees are loyal employees and loyalty means less turn over and easier hiring.
  • If coffee is offered there is less reason to leave the office which means faster breaks and more productivity.
  • The factory owners were right (to an extent): taking breaks does increase productivity when returning to work.

The evolution of coffee in the workplace from 1900 to 2000 has been extreme. The progression of equipment, the research showing its benefits from an employer perspective and the priority placed on it by employees (by 1950 coffee breaks were written into almost all union contracts) have all gone a long way in establishing coffee as a necessary employee benefit.

In 2012 as coffee has become an office staple in the city of Atlanta, companies need to find other ways to set themselves apart, making sure that the coffee they offer is still a benefit and not a nuisance. Some important things to keep in mind when choosing (or improving) your Atlanta office coffee service:

  • As brewers and coffee selections evolved so did people’s taste buds. Make sure you choose a coffee (either a premium brand or local roaster) that your employees enjoy. If they don’t like the coffee they are likely to pay for the cup they do enjoy even if it means leaving the office.
  • Offer a large variety (including decaf). You don’t want any employee to feel like their preferences are less important than others.
  • Make sure you have a strategic plan for who makes the coffee and cleans the pots (no longer an issue with single cup brewers). As companies make cut backs, employees are already feeling overwhelmed. Throwing the responsibility of cleaning the machine onto their shoulders might be the breaking point.

If you are looking to improve your current service in Atlanta and surrounding areas but not sure of the steps you should take call your local Atlanta vendor. They can help you with coffee samplings and show you even more data on the benefits of a quality coffee in your work place.

Man has evolved, coffee as an industry has evolved, your business has evolved, and your office coffee service should reflect that.

Is Your Atlanta Vending Company Fully Licensed?

There are over 40,000 different licensing jurisdictions in the United States. To put that number into perspective, if there was a jurisdiction for every mile from the North Pole to the South Pole you would walk around the world twice before visiting them all.

To make matters more complicated each of these jurisdictions set their own standards as to the licensing they require from businesses; standards that can vary from every county in the state of Georgia.  Because of these complications this blog will not discuss the specific licensing required of your Atlanta vending company but rather the importance of having a properly licensed vendor within the city of Atlanta.

That being said there are some licenses in Atlanta that are standard. These include:

  • Federal tax ID
  • State tax ID/resale permit
  • County licenses

Some of these you may be familiar with in your own place of business, which is one of the reasons you should care if your vending company in Atlanta is licensed; it seems only fair that if you pay your taxes, so should they. However, more importantly then the profit the government makes off of businesses or the sense of what’s “fair” are the other two intertwined reasons why licensing exits:

 

  1. Licensing keeps businesses accountable for their actions
  2. Licensing holds businesses to health and safety codes

You want to work with an Atlanta vendor who is accountable. Honesty is a character definition and it stands to reason that if a company is honest with the government there is a higher chance they’ll be honest with you about their service and commissions you garnish off their machines.

Furthermore, vending offers a variety of food. If you walk into a restaurant or a grocery store you expect them to abide by certain sanitary codes. You want those establishments to be rodent and bug free, to use clean equipment, etc. By choosing an Atlanta vending company who is properly licensed you are ensuring that they are being held accountable for the way they handle your food.

Here are some things that inspectors look for:

  • Food is kept off the floor
  • There are no signs of unwanted creatures
  • Refrigerated and frozen products are properly stored

When choosing your vending service in the Atlanta area make sure they are fully licensed, for your health, for your safety, for your peace of mind, and maybe even your budget.

The Transformation of the Coffee Vending Machine in the Atlanta Area

2012’s Top 5 Amazing Pairings (according to this writer):

  1. Peanut butter and chocolate
  2. Sunday afternoons and naps
  3. Journey and karaoke night
  4. Popcorn and Junior Mints
  5. Vending machines and coffee

In past years #5 might not have made the cut but in recent years coffee gurus have gone to great lengths to overcome the negative stigmas associated with vending coffee and in 2012 should consider their efforts a success.

In 1960 the first vending coffee was introduced one freeze dried cup at a time to the market. It looked  more like muddy water than coffee and after being tasted left its consumer wishing it was muddy water.

Although less than desirable it did suit a need, swing shifts and hospitals were grateful, to an extent, everywhere as coffee was now available at all hours.

At this time a popular company was also marketing its instant coffee as a key to a happy marriage. A wife was only as good as her coffee and with instant coffee she was able to make the perfect cup each time.

In 2012 both men and women need their coffee at the workplace and at home. And just as gender roles have progressed so have the qualifications for a good cup of coffee. Freeze dried just won’t do.

In 1971 Starbucks opened its first store. And in recent years, along with other key roasters and manufacturers, has transformed the role of coffee in America, including vending machines.

Today’s vending machines still make “instant” cups of coffee in that you can have a cup in 30 seconds or less. But now machines in the Atlanta area are equipped to grind beans fresh for each cup “ordered.” Consumers can now pick their brew strength (mud not an option) and have more options than simply powdered cream and sugar including espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, etc. In some machines fresh cream is even offered in place of powder.

In addition to modern machinery Atlanta vendor’s are also being more selective in the beans they choose. It is more common than ever to see a machine labeled with a popular roasters name including Seattle’s Best (owned by Starbucks), Tully’s and Wolfgang Puck.

If you have been weary of placing a coffee machine at your facility in the city of Atlanta or surrounding area because of past stigmas, give them another try. The combination of premium beans and intricate equipment may make you feel like there is a barista hidden inside.

However, a vending machine is only as good as it’s vendor allows it to be.

Intricate equipment can be complicated and requires calibration knowledge. The combination of ground beans, water, cream and sugar can get messy. Make sure you pair yourself with a vendor who knows the equipment and will take the time to maintain it properly. Don’t be afraid to question their knowledge or ask for a cleaning schedule.

First impressions are hard to overcome but vending coffee has truly changed its character. It still might not make your top 5 list but its got a good chance at top 10.

Is Your Atlanta Vending Service Insured?

Riddle: What do your car, house and vendor have in common?

Answer: They should all be insured.

Vending service in the Atlanta area can be a great convenience to you and your employees when things go right; the machines are well stocked and working correctly. But what happens when things don’t go right: a machine shuts down and leaks on your linoleum, the install crew applies a little too much force and now there is a hole in your door or the person who restocks your machines gets injured after slipping on someone’s spilled milk in the break room?

Although these things happen rarely, they do happen.  Vending machines can break and people make mistakes and that’s why it’s important to make sure you choose an Atlanta vendor who is prepared for the day that things don’t go as planned, when things don’t go right.

When you drive you ideally keep a certificate of insurance in your car. Very rarely do you need to touch that certificate unless you are moving it out of the way to grab a napkin or a favorite CD but in the off chance that you do need it, it’s there.

To some extent you put trust in all other drivers that they have done the same, so that if your paths ever collide, as you are reaching into your glove box they are too. If you’ve ever found yourself in the situation where you are the only one reaching, you know the sinking feeling of the entire responsibility landing on your shoulders and all the money leaving your bank account.

Unfortunately you can’t control who you meet on the road but you can control who you allow in your building. Your company is properly insured and therefore you should not expect less from your Atlanta vending service.

In the off chance that something does go wrong, make sure you have paired yourself with a vendor in the Atlanta region who will be reaching for their piece of paper, who takes responsibility for their accidents.

Your Atlanta Vending Company should have:

  • Workman’s Comp.
  • Auto Insurance
  • Building Insurance (This type of insurance should include a “business package” that covers your vendor’s facility as well as an umbrella coverage for damage done where machines are placed. In many cases your Atlanta vending service should be able to supply you with a copy of this certificate specifying that you are included under the umbrella).

Quality Vending Service in the Atlanta Area

“You get what you pay for” is a commonly held notion in today’s society. A notion that’s subscribed to when justifying that expensive hand bag, when purchasing a car or even choosing to dine out at a fancy restaurant over a fast food joint. It’s assumed that if something is more expensive then it has a higher level of quality.

If the above is true then why do we hold our Atlanta vendors to a different standard, often picking an Atlanta vending machine operator solely on the lowest price? You may be thinking, “It’s obvious why. Because a Snicker’s Bar is a Snicker’s Bar; if the product is the same then why not choose based on price?”

This reasoning, although natural is also very faulty. When choosing a vendor in the Atlanta area to best meet the needs of your facility, it is the things not as obvious as a price tag that matter most.

Dependable vendors hold themselves to delivery schedules, have multiple routes, a warehouse to store product and product options to cater to your specific needs. They respond quickly to service calls and supply their customers with modern equipment. They have insurance to set everyone’s mind at ease.

Dependable vendors know the truth behind the saying; you do get what you pay for. Well compensated employees, insured vehicles and machines, technology to keep track of accounts so that no one slips thru the cracks; all of these things add up in the ledger but they all equate to better service.

In other words, the next time you shop for a vendor within the Atlanta area, look at the price but then look beyond the dollar sign. Be curious and ask why the prices are what they are. Below are some questions that might make you think before “saving” that 5 cents.

  • How many routes do you operate?
  • Do you have a central warehouse?
  • Are your machines insured?
  • Do you carry workman’s comp?
  • Do you have a full time mechanic?
  • How do you keep track of product?
  • Can I choose my vending selections?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What route management technology do you use?