Free Vending Montgomery Break Rooms

Free Vending in Montgomery Offers Multiple Benefits

Free Vending Montgomery Break Rooms

Everyone needs to feel appreciated, including Montgomery employees. Providing free vending in the workplace break room is just one way to express employee appreciation. While each organization in Montgomery has a different culture, there are several things that create a universal feeling of appreciation and are enjoyed by almost everyone.

How to Show Appreciation

The first one applies specifically to the break room. Ask for your employees’ opinions about which snacks, beverages and fresh food they would like to have available for free vending.

Also connected to the break room, would be to survey everyone about the type of environment or vibe they want in their break room. The right combination of refreshments at no cost plus a welcoming environment is sure to encourage employees to stay on-site when they need to re-hydrate or grab a bite to eat. 

The next three ways to show appreciation don’t have to be connected to the break room, but they can be. Offer employees special treats or meals that aren’t usually available in the break room such as ‘Waffle Wednesday’ or ‘Freshly Baked Cookie Friday.’ Donuts from a favorite bakery or popular pizza are also great options.

In the non-food arena, giving employees who have gone above what was expected extra time off acknowledges their effort and time. Not acknowledging their time and effort can silently convey to everyone that they, the employees and their coworkers, receive no benefit for putting in the extra work.

Another way to express appreciation is to perform random acts of kindness. Everyone has heard the story about one person in line purchasing a coffee for the person behind them. To the person who received the coffee, the experience was a random act of kindness. The same can be done for your Montgomery employees. A simple thank you note or someone’s favorite snack are acts of kindness that show appreciation.

Free Vending Montgomery Break Rooms

Why Show Appreciation

At the surface, expressing appreciation for your Montgomery employees improves engagement, retention and motivation, especially during the holiday season. But dig a bit deeper and see a positive impact on employee work/life balance. 

In a recent article published by O.C. Tanner, “Showing gratitude can increase a person’s wellness, increase better sleep habits, increase metabolism and lessen stress. This directly impacts work results and employee interaction. With employee appreciation, you’re not only boosting performance and engagement, but the employee’s well-being and health.”

Drill down a bit further to the core and find that increased appreciation causes more positive interactions which then has even more positive ripple effects moving outward. That sounds like a good thing for everyone.

While Automatic Food Service can’t perform random acts of kindness directly for your Montgomery employees, we can help you customize the perfect break room. Whether it’s free vending, a micro-market or coffee service, your employees will know that you appreciate all that they do. For more information, please call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.

Fall Refreshments Auburn Break Room

Celebrate Fall Activities in Your Auburn Break Room

Fall Refreshments Auburn Break Room

The break room is the perfect place at work to celebrate fall. If your Auburn employer hasn’t gotten into the fall spirit yet, October 26, 2019 is National Pumpkin Day. In addition to thinking about all the yummy things that can be made with pumpkins, fall is a great time to boost employee moral by encouraging Auburn employees to branch out while having fun and meet colleagues in other departments. 

The following are a few ideas to help everyone welcome fall.

Host a pumpkin decorating or costume contest:  Everyone loves a bit of competition. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to host a costume or pumpkin decorating contest for your Auburn employees. Both ideas work for single-person teams and multi-person teams, but multi-person teams can increase teamwork and morale.

Decorate the office: There are a lot of different ways to decorate the break room or office for fall. Place decorated pumpkins (see pumpkin decorating contest above) or gourd arrangements around the room. Add in potted flower arrangements such as garden mums and tall grasses to bring more of the outdoors in. 

Enjoy hot mulled apple cider: Create an aroma based on a popular fall fruit – apples. Enjoyed cold or warm, apple cider delivers a unique flavor combination that is usually only found during the fall months. For a delicious apple aroma throughout the office, heat mulled apple cider on low in a slow cooker in the break room. Provide cups that are meant for hot liquids and a variety of healthy fall snacks.

Fall Refreshments Auburn Break Room

Offer fall flavored creamers: Pumpkin season brings out a desire for flavors that aren’t usually consumed year-round. Whether it’s cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, there are a lot of fall flavored coffee creamers, such as pumpkin spice, gingerbread, cinnamon vanilla bean, that can brighten your Auburn’s employees’ day. Don’t forget to offer a selection of non-dairy fall coffee creamers for those employees who do not consume dairy.

Support your community: Whether it’s a 5k or something longer, give back to your local community by sponsoring an employee team. For those employees who can’t or don’t want to run the race, there are other ways to be involved. Gather a group of coworkers to cheer on the participants and to meet the runners at the finish line or encourage employees to sign up to help with registration or to work at a water station. 

Not sure if your Auburn break room is ready for all the pumpkins that will soon be arriving? Automatic Food Service can help update your entire break room or customize your refreshment menu with sought-after snacks, beverages and coffee. For more information, please call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. 

Office Coffee Service in Auburn

Auburn, It’s time to celebrate coffee!

Office Coffee Service in Auburn

October 1 is International Coffee Day, a day celebrated around the world. Each year, the International Coffee Organization, the founder of the holiday, recognizes a different part of the coffee industry. This year, the holiday is focused on the farmers who produce the beans. Farmers go through six different stages before the beans are sent to market: 

  1. picking the cherries (what a coffee bean is called when it’s still on the tree); 
  2. washing to remove the outer skin of the cherry; 
  3. drying the beans; 
  4. grading the beans based on size, where and at what altitude they were grown and how they were prepared and picked; 
  5. roasting; and 
  6. cupping or assessing coffee according to sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel, balance and flavor.

Once the beans make it to Auburn break rooms, choosing the right type of brewer becomes the next step. It is important to understand which types of brewers should be used for different types of beverages and the number of employees. 

There are four types of brewers that are primarily used in break rooms: automatic brewers, drip brewers, single-serve machines and bean-to-cup brewers. 

Automatic Brewers: Never run out of freshly made, hot coffee with an automatic machine. Connected to an incoming water line, an automatic brewer can brew either a single pot or multiple pots at one time. Automatic brewers are built to handle high levels of daily traffic.   

Drip/Pourover Brewers: Built similarly to automatic brewers, drip or pourover brewers can handle high amounts of daily traffic. The key difference is that drip brewers are not connected to an incoming water line. The user is responsible for adding water to the machine each time a new pot is brewed. 

Office Coffee Service in Auburn

Single-Serve Machines: This type of brewer can meet a different set of needs when compared to the previous two brewers. A single-serve machine requires less physical space in a break room and can cater to employees who have very different coffee preferences, but it works better in areas with less traffic. 

Bean-to-cup Machines: A bean-to-cup machine uses a built-in grinder to deliver freshly ground and brewed coffee. As with traditional single-serve machines, only one cup can be brewed at a time, but Auburn employees have the option to make a variety of espresso-based, specialty beverages.

There’s one other thing to remember when choosing a brewer. It’s important to understand the steps involved to keep your machine in top shape. Not only will regular maintenance extend the life of the machine, but it will impact the taste of everyone’s coffee. 

But don’t worry, Automatic Food Service can help your facility/office manager choose the best brewer for your organization, perform required maintenance and create a customized refreshment menu that meets everyone’s snack and beverage needs. We offer a variety of office coffee service, micro-market and vending service solutions for your Auburn break room. 

For more information, please call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to celebrating International Coffee Day with you.

Vending Options in Montgomery

Vending Industry Shines at NAMA Show

NAMA logo

Last week, leaders in the Montgomery vending industry joined their counterparts nationwide in attending the annual NAMA show in Las Vegas. Their goal was to explore new trends, technology, and products to bring to their customers. The show is an annual tradition sponsored by the National Automatic Merchandising Association, a group representing the $25 billion convenience service industry in the United States. 

Advancements in vending machines, coffee service, micro-markets, and pantry services were on display. Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to learn about them and connect with other industry members. Some of the world’s most popular brands were represented. They were complimented by new showings from fledgling entrepreneurs. Over 100 new exhibitors joined the show this year, and overall the show welcomed over 360 exhibitors and 4,500 members. 

A total of 125 new products premiered at the show, and it is clear that healthy snacks and beverages continue to be a key growth category. The show’s Better For You Pavilion featured a collection of healthier items, and healthy products as a whole occupied its largest space ever at the show. Visitors discovered new items that continue to increase the appeal of healthier food options.  

Advancements in technology were also on display at the show. New and easier ways of processing digital payments that keep pace with consumer’s desire for quick, cashless payment at vending machines and in micro-markets were presented. Innovative systems that optimize up-to-the-minute sales data, maximize delivery route efficiencies, and minimize out-of-stock occurrences were also revealed. 

The NAMA Show also featured a large number of educational speakers who are experts in their fields. Speaker Neil Swindale discussed marketing strategies that will help vending providers thrive in our quickly evolving digital age. Neil is the owner of VendCentral, a top marketing agency for the vending industry, and an expert in customer lead generation and engagement. 

With the vending industry constantly changing, keeping up with the latest technology and best practices is a great way for Automatic Food Service to ensure that we are up-to-date with what is going on and provide the best products and services to you, our clients. We offer complete vending solutions to businesses and organizations in Montgomery. Contact us at (334) 264.7336 for more information and a free consultation.

Vending Options in Montgomery

Montgomery, Celebrate National Vending Day Every Day

Vending Options in Montgomery

March 7, 2019 was NAMA’s inaugural celebration of National Vending Day, a special day set aside to recognize those who make, sell and enjoy vending machines and the products they offer. Whether we realize it or not, the vending industry has played a role in our lives at one point or another, from the vending machines in a break room to the highway rest stop and everywhere in between. In fact, the impact of the Convenience Services industry, which the vending industry is part of, is larger than most of us realize and has had an economic impact of close to $25 billion. Now, that is something worth celebrating.

Instead of waiting until March 7, 2020 for the next celebration, celebrate vending machines and your Montgomery employees every day. Consumers know what they want to eat or drink, and they know when they want it. Help them understand that their break room snack, beverage and food vending machines are a great on-site resource.

Below are a few suggestions that can spark employee excitement and share information about the delicious products that are available.

Taste-testing Event

It’s no surprise that humans are known for avoiding change, and that includes trying a new healthy snack or beverage. New flavors or textures can be daunting especially when it comes to spending money. Encourage your Montgomery employees to enjoy new flavors and textures by offering a taste-testing event. Whether it’s once a month or once a quarter, it’s a great opportunity for your employees to experience something new, and you can learn which products are more likely to sell.

Trivia Competition

A little friendly competition is fun, and it can increase camaraderie and morale. Consider hosting a special event like a vending trivia competition with vending-related prizes. There are a lot of interesting facts about vending machines out there. Here are a couple questions to get you started.

When did the first reference to a vending machine occur? (answer: 215 BC by Hero of Alexandria, an engineer and mathematician in first-century Roman Egypt. He created a machine that accepted a coin and dispensed holy water.)

When did the U.S. Post Office start using stamp vending machines? (answer: 1905)

Vending Options in Montgomery

On-site Events

Host an on-site event celebrating your employees. As part of the celebration include product discounts or food and beverage giveaways and programs where employees can earn currency for products available in the break room. Everyone likes to get something for free or at a discounted price, even in the break room.

The Break Room

Spruce up your Montgomery break room or the space where your vending machines are located. Bright, cheery, welcoming spaces are more likely to attract employees than the bleak, gray break rooms of yesterday. If possible, include several separate seating areas that encourage spontaneous conversation, collaboration or a moment of relaxation.

Lastly, consider revamping your current vending machine services or adding new ones to your break room. Automatic Food Services can help you create a customized menu with the right combination of products for your Montgomery employees. If you’re looking for additional refreshment services such as office coffee service, micro-markets or pantry service, we can do that too. For more information, call Automatic Food Services at (334) 264.7336.

Coffee Service in Auburn

Office Coffee Service Boosts Productivity in Auburn

Coffee Service in Auburn

“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” is a phrase almost all Auburn employees have heard at least once at the beginning of the workday. Whether an individual needs the caffeine to finish waking up or to just mentally prepare for the day ahead, coffee plays an important role for more than 64 percent of American adults. With the increasing number of coffee drinkers, employers have an opportunity to harness the effects of caffeine by turning it into a productivity tool. As David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com expressed, “companies need to provide higher-quality coffee and related benefits as part of broader employee retention and loyalty strategies that ultimately help enhance employee productivity.”

Why Coffee?

With more than half (68 percent) of at-work coffee drinkers drinking coffee that is made or dispensed in the office break room, there is an opportunity to positively impact the majority of Auburn employees. Offering a sought-after selection of beans and roasts and other hot beverages will also encourage employees to get to the office in the morning and keep them onsite during the workday.

Increased Productivity

It is well established that the caffeine decreases fatigue, provides a mental boost, and improves, memory, reaction times, and concentration. Each of these benefits positively impacts an individual’s productivity, but recent research by the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis has found that caffeine also has a positive impact on a group’s performance. Groups that have consumed coffee were more willing to work and generated a higher number of topic relevant statements. Coffee breaks also contribute to an increase in networking and spontaneous idea generation among groups of individuals.

Coffee Service in Auburn

Plan of Action

Step 1: Offer options in your Auburn break room that can compete with coffee purchased or made outside of the office. Be aware that employees value quality and flavor, but are often disappointed when it comes to at-work choices.

Step 2: Invest in higher-quality options. Packaged Facts recommends offering only “two varieties that communicate clear distinctions that matter to the target audience could make most employees happy while keeping product assortment manageable.”

Step 3: Don’t forget to offer your employees a variety of sweeteners and creamers and a selection of healthy snacks and meals to enjoy with their cup of Joe.

Step 4: Contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336 to customize your office coffee service or to add healthy snacks and beverages via a break room micro-market or vending machines — your employees will enjoy the added benefit.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Montgomery

Emerging Snack and Beverage Trends in Montgomery

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Montgomery

Changing snack and beverage trends in Montgomery are impacting everyone from small, local companies to the largest snack food distributor. To be successful in the long run, both big and small companies need to understand what consumers are looking for.

Meals

Rather than eating three meals per day, more consumers are looking for ways to enjoy six to eight smaller meals or snacks each day. While the nutritional needs of Montgomery employees have not changed, how they get those nutrients has. This means that each “mini-meal” consumed while at work needs to be nutritionally solid.

Healthy snack and beverage options need to provide the right type of nutrition to meet those nutritional needs, but in smaller quantities. One way to do that is to offer snacks and beverages with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that will get them to their next consumption occasion.

Plant-based Snacks

While Montgomery consumers are gravitating toward snacks with high protein and fibrous plant ingredients, many other consumers are not. Historically, “healthy” plant-based snacks lacked flavor and had unusual textures. Dr. Christine Cioffe, senior vice president of PepsiCo Sustainability and Global Snacks R&D explained it best when she said, “People might change their behavior for something with a functional benefit, but overtime will fall off if it’s not flavorful.” Today, there are many delicious plant-based snacks available.

Determining which plant-based snack and beverage products to offer in the office break room might sound overwhelming, but here are two approaches depending on the situation.

  • Survey employees about which plant-based products they already enjoy outside of work.
  • For new products and especially when people are suspicious about the taste, encourage employees to try new products by creating a trial run period for products at no cost. Then survey everyone to learn which snacks are the most popular.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Montgomery

Organic, Non-GMO, and Socially Good Practices

Consumers want transparency about a number of things from the origins of their prepackaged snacks to how companies are accountable for their environmental footprints and the health of their consumers.

Helping Montgomery employees understand both the big picture and the little picture is important. For the little picture, provide information about what each term means, why it is relevant, and where to look for information on each product. Explaining why companies need to invest in socially good business practices and how it benefits the consumer is a great place to start understanding the big picture.

How is your business helping Montgomery employees meet their snacking goals? Consider removing the extra noise and offer healthy snacks and beverages in your break room vending machine. We’ve done the hard work and made sure that all-natural and organic snacks and beverages are available.

For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your location, contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.

Healthy Break Room Snacks and Beverages in Auburn

Consider Natural Sugar Alternatives in Your Auburn Snacks and Beverages

Healthy Break Room Snacks and Beverages in Auburn

Being aware of the type and amount of sugar in snacks and beverages is important. The number of Auburn residents coping with health related problems connected to sugar has increased over the years. Katherine Allmandinger, manager of strategic insights at Nielsen Health & Wellness, shared that “one in five households has a diabetic member who is either pre-type I or II.” And diabetes and obesity are just two of the many issues.

Since many Auburn consumers are leary of marketing claims regarding sugar, reading the nutrition and ingredient labels on the snacks and beverages they plan to purchase is becoming standard practice. The challenge for many consumers is knowing which sugar alternative to choose. Artificial sweeteners, while low in calories, are made from ingredients that are known to be harmful. A healthier alternative are natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, honey, and agave.

Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is a small sub-tropical melon from Asia that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. The easiest way to enjoy the sweetness of monk fruit is to use the extract or sweetener. Unlike other fruit, the monk fruit gets its sweetness from naturally occuring antioxidants instead of naturally occuring sugars. This difference is why monk fruit does not affect blood sugar. In addition to not impacting blood sugar levels, monk fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, combats infection, and fights fatigue.

Honey

Honey is a sugary sweet liquid produced by honeybees. A natural sweetener, honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in snacks and beverages. But be careful, honey is sweeter than sugar so you’ll need less of it to get the same sweetness. As with monk fruit, honey has multiple health benefits. Honey boosts energy; contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium; has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties; and has trace amounts of more than 15 amino acids.

Healthy Break Room Snacks and Beverages in Auburn

Agave

Agave is a succulent plant native to the southern United States that is transformed into dark and light agave nectars or syrups. The lighter nectar has a mild flavor while the darker nectar has a stronger flavor that has been said to be close to the flavor of  maple syrup. Just like monk fruit, agave nectar is low on the glycemic index and doesn’t cause a sugar rush and unhealthy blood sugar spike. Antibacterial properties, an improved immune system, and increased bone mineral density are just a few of the other health benefits of agave nectar.

Which sweetener would your Auburn employees like to see in their healthy snacks and beverages? A great way to provide a variety of healthy options and give your employees’ finances a boost is to include reduced or zero cost healthy vending machines in your office break room. Automatic Food Service can help you customize the perfect selection of snacks and beverages to meet your employees’ sweet and salty needs. Call us at (334) 264.7336 for more information.

Healthy Snack Options in Montgomery

Healthy Snack Alternatives in Montgomery

Healthy Snack Options in Montgomery

Are you ever in the mood for a snack that is salty and crunchy, but want it to be a healthy choice? If you are, there are a lot of new healthy options available that were on exhibit at the 2018 NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) Show. Attending vending operators sought out better-for-you products that could help Montgomery employees meet their health and wellness goals.

In addition to chips made from wheat alternatives and vegetables, there were several other themes that appeared. Low or no-sugar beverages, energy drinks, and beverages made with superfood ingredients such as matcha, naturally occurring antioxidants, and protein topped the list. But, let’s go back to that craving for a salty and crunchy snack.

Instead of only finding the traditional potato chip in your Montgomery office break room vending machine, there are now chips made with brown rice, quinoa, hummus, and lentils. Each one of those ingredients offers a different flavor as well as the following health benefits.   

Brown Rice

  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: manganese, antioxidants, lecithin, magnesium, and selenium
  • Benefits: helps convert food into energy, protects from free radicals, digests slowly which keeps blood sugar levels stable during digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties

Quinoa

  • High-Quality Protein
  • High in Fiber
  • Gluten-Free
  • Contains: nine essential amino acids, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, calcium, vitamin E, and multiple antioxidants
  • Benefits: super nutritious, works well to control blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and contains anti-inflammatory properties

Healthy Snack Options in Montgomery

Hummus

  • Made with mashed chickpea, tahini, oil, lemon juice, and garlic
  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: protein, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, isoflavones (antioxidants), minerals, and vegetable-based iron
  • Benefits: helps maintain blood sugar levels; decreases risk of some cancers; lowers bad cholesterol; decreases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes; and reduces likelihood of blood clots

Lentils

  • High-quality Protein
  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: magnesium, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B1
  • Benefits: strengthens and repairs muscles; battles fatigue, stress, and mood swings; prevents heart disease and lowers cholesterol; improves blood circulation; aids in and slows digestion; maintains blood sugar levels; and reduces the risk of some cancers

With so many healthy crunchy snack options, your Montgomery employees can choose what they think tastes best. Don’t forget to offer them healthy beverages such as bottled water, iced tea, and carbonated mineral water to enjoy with their snack. To learn more about providing healthy snack and beverage options, call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to hearing from you.

Break Room Technology in Auburn

Look Out for New Technology in Auburn

Break Room Technology in Auburn

Have you ever thought about which technology you might see in the future in your Auburn office break room? Many of those new technologies are likely to first be found in quick service restaurants and grocery stores. They include interactive kiosks, robotsas (a cross between a robot and a baristas), and unattended retail technology or vending machines that sell unique products. The following is a list of technology that is either in use today or will be soon.    

Coffee Robot: It’s exactly what it sounds like. The unattended coffee distribution system or robot barista makes a variety of customizable beverages. Customers order their favorite caffeinated beverages from a smartphone app or a nearby tablet, and pick up their beverage from the robot. If you’re lucky enough to be in Austin, TX or San Francisco, CA, then you can try one for yourself.

Robotic Kitchen Restaurant: A new restaurant has recently opened in Boston, MA that is unlike any other. Customers use a touch screen to choose an entree on the menu, add additional ingredients, and remove unwanted ones. The robot then gathers the ingredients, cooks them in a hot pan, and passes the cooked food on to a human who adds some garnish and labels the bowl—all in under three minutes.   

Pizza Robot: This one is also exactly what it sounds like although there are currently several different types across the country. Whether the robot assists restaurant employees with making the pizza or is part of cooking the pizza and bringing it to you, it’s all about creating a delicious pizza pie as quickly as possible.

Break Room Technology in Auburn

Robotic Burger Flipper:  Still one of a kind, this robot in California can flip burgers twice as fast as a human. The robot continues to learn by using feedback loops from its co-workers as well as from its own mistakes. But, there are still a few kinks to work out as this robot works too fast for its human counterparts.  

Ice Cream Self-Serve Robot: It’s an ice cream/frozen yogurt shop that makes customizable treats in a vending machine with a robotic arm. While it’s not available yet, it will soon be easier to enjoy a sweet treat especially when grocery shopping.

Unique robots aren’t the only innovative technology that might appear in a break room. Many Auburn break rooms already use cutting-edge technology such as ENERGY STARⓇ certified vending machines, high-efficiency micro-market coolers and freezers, LED lighting, wireless technology, and mobile payment systems. What’s in your Auburn break room?

Whether you’d like to update your current vending machines or micro-market technology, Automatic Food Service can help. We can also help customize the right mix of snacks, food, and beverages to fit your Auburn employees’ needs. Call us at (334) 264.7336 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.