Blogs We Love: VendingMarketWatch.com 10 Reasons Micro Markets are better than Cafeterias!

Here’s another blog we love!  We hope you love it too … 

10 Reasons Why a Micro Market is Better than a CafeteriaMarket vs. Cafeteria

By VendingMarketWatch.com

1. It’s Employee Paid. Offering food and drinks to employees is a powerful benefit for companies looking to attract and retain good quality workers. However, food budgets can be hard to prove return on investment for in some areas. The retiring of the foodservice decision maker or an uncertain corporate climate can affect cafeterias, cafes and pantry service. The new person or board might feel the money would be better spent elsewhere. Conversely, because the capital outlay by the location for a micro market is zero, it is less affected by budgets and executives.

2. It’s Grab and Go. At work, people are searching for quick, convenient eating options. There is more snacking and fewer sit down meals during a workday, which means micro markets are a great option. The service is 24-7, giving everyone the flexibility to snack when they need an energy boost and everything is prepackaged for easy shopping of ingredients.

3. It’s Fewer Upfront Costs. Cafeterias require a number of additional upfront costs including grills, washing stations, food temperature logs, walk-in coolers, etc. Micro markets are much simpler, with a comparatively low upfront equipment cost. A micro market needs a few coolers, shelving, a kiosk and internet connection. Any add-ons can be discussed with the location and purchased by them to add that positive employee experience they want to create in the space.

4. It Allows Bulk Buying. Since micro markets use so many prepackaged products that can be used in vending and other markets, it increases the volume of items operators order, allowing them to get better pricing from the suppliers. A great purchasing manager can also work to take advantage of special offers and rebates. This can enable micro market operators to tie in better-priced products to on-site promotions that will drive sales at each location.

5. It Offers Cost Balance. While fresh food is a key component of both cafeterias and micro markets, cafeterias rely more heavily on their food offerings. Food means waste and a smaller margin. Micro markets, on the other hand, allow operators to provide a good mix of food options and shelf-stable products, such as bagged breakfast items and treats. Micro markets can even include non-edibles options that employees crave, such as small electronics or smartphone chargers.

6. It Serves A Wider Range Of Locations. Unlike cafeterias that require a few hundred employees on site, a micro market can be successful with between 100 to 200. It’s a much more flexible option with what type of checkout is available, including full, freestanding kiosks to small, tablet-based checkout that can be placed on a counter next to a small shelf and cooler combo. Micro markets also work in a broad range of businesses from manufacturing to offices.

7. It Requires No Additional Staff Onsite. Having a cafeteria means having staff on site. From cooks to cashiers, it’s more people to hire, train and manage. Comparatively, a micro market requires a route driver and support staff, people who are already on the payroll at an operation. There is no staff required to keep it open, yet a micro market offers more hours of operation to the employees making it a worthwhile benefit.

8. It Includes Supported Marketing Efforts.Consumers love getting a deal, especially when it’s a product they enjoy eating. With new features being added by micro market suppliers, promotions, special pricing, and loyalty programs are easier than ever to schedule. Many micro markets have built-in programs operators can simply turn on and off. Others have special relationships with suppliers for great partnerships. Either way, micro markets make marketing easier and more engaging with customer-focused apps and interactive touchscreens.

9. It Means No Waiting In Line. Everything is made ahead of time and prepackaged, eliminating lines of people waiting to order or for their items to be cooked. Micro market customers can just browse the selections and make a purchase. Many even offer mobile checkout apps to eliminate

the queue at the kiosk. It also encourages repeat business during the day. After all, it’s much more inviting to purchase a pack of gum in the afternoon if you know it will be a quick checkout than waiting in line for the cashier to ring up other employees.

10. It Requires A Smaller Footprint. Unlike cafes and cafeterias that need food prep and storage areas, micro markets are all about product display and sales. The configuration, number of coolers, kiosk placement, type of shelving and even how the equipment is powered is flexible. It’s a solution that adapts to locations large or small much more easily than a foodservice solution. It’s scalable as well – a solution that can grow with a company.

 

Kudos Automatic Merchandiser and VendingMarketWatch.com, we agree! Micro markets have a lot of great components that cafeterias alone don’t have!

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What Coffee Brewer is right for you?

Half-full? Half-empty? These options will help your cup ‘runneth over’! 

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There are a lot of options on the market for micro market operators, and it’s easy to pick based on just one piece of information … BUT don’t get trapped by picking the lowest cost or the highest retail price point! Just because something is the lowest price often times doesn’t mean it’s the best value.  Let’s take a look!

See our Comparison Chart Here: http://bit.ly/2yT76wW

  1. Your standard cup brewer (Any single-serve machine)
    The positives: low-cost investment, low maintenance, popular products.
    The negatives: This brewer is the same as many household single-serve brewers. Low originality can lose you a large percentage of sales, short life-span, a high cost of product = low-profit margins.
    Where do we recommend?: We recommend using these machines as a trial coffee solution or in very small office settings. 
  2.  The medium level coffee brewer (Our favorite is Newco)
    The positives: medium-cost investment, very low cost of products, high-quality output, and the highest profit margins. 
    The negatives: increased maintenance and the cost of entry can be daunting for a first timer.
    Where do we recommend using it?: We recommend using these in medium to large markets, and even small markets with high coffee consumption. These are the top-rated employer-paid OCS solution coffee makers as chosen by your peers! Overall, this is a great machine for any market setting!
  3. The high-level coffee brewer (We use Bravilor Bonamat, straight from our European operators to you!)
    The positive: Quality, quality quality.
    The negatives: High cost of entry, involved maintenance.
    Where do we recommend using it?: We recommend this option anywhere you have discerning coffee drinkers. It’s great for both medium and large markets and can definitely keep up with volume output. You can schedule maintenance alerts and the machine does a lot of the work for you. This coffee maker has top-notch quality coffee and specialty coffee products. If you’re competing with local coffee houses, this is the way to go! You can price your products under the expensive chains but still, make a great profit margin!

Bottom-line: There are a lot of great options and any one of them might be right for you. Make sure you think about your clients, your locations, your business owner, the long-term, and your schedule before you make the choice that is right for you. AND if you need help … we’re here for you! 

Need to know more?
Want to chat with our staff? 
Want to get started right away?

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32M Microchips Employees Company-Wide

Three Square Market will become the first U.S. company to provide implanted microchip technology to their employees.
Chip Implant to be used by 32M
Chip Implant to be used by 32M

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – July 20, 2017 – PRLog — Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.  This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped.  32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.

RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.

A micro market, also known as a break room market, has become a staple in the U.S. with over 20,000 locations and growing.  While in existence for over a decade in the American workplace, the international community began to embrace this only a few years ago.  A micro market is a mini convenience store located right in the employee break room using a self-checkout kiosk, similar to what is found at many major retailers.  Businesses see multiple benefits when adding a micro market to their location, such as increased employee morale and productivity. 32M entered this growing industry over four years ago and is rapidly growing in market share and believes this technology will help it continue this trajectory.

“We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals.  Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.” commented 32M CEO, Todd Westby.

“When working with our operators over in Europe, we came across a company of chipped employees at BioHax International and the concept of using RFID with micro markets quickly grew,” commented 32M VP of International Sales, Tony Danna.  “We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines. As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants” added Mr. Westby.

“The international market place is wide-open and we believe that the future trajectory of total market share is going to be driven by who captures this arena first,” said 32M COO Patrick McMullan.  “Europe is far more advanced in mobile and chip technology usage than the U.S. and we are thrilled with the growth opportunity this enhancement will bring to us.  Thanks to our market partners in Sweden, we met this innovative company and look forward to working with them to take our market share to another level.”

32M is envisioning this technology to help it grow its other self-checkout businesses.  “We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout / self-service applications that we are now deploying which include convenience stores and fitness centers,” added Mr. McMullan.

Employees will be chipped at the 32M inaugural “chip party” hosted at their headquarters in River Falls, WI on August 1, 2017.

32M based in River Falls, WI, is considered a leader in micro market technology.  With its’ patented technology and industry-leading smart phone application and inventory intelligence, 32M has grown to over 2,000 kiosks in operation in nearly 20 different countries plus it operates over 6,000 kiosks in its’ corrections industry business, TurnKey Corrections. For more information on 32M visit http://www.32Market.com or http://www.BreakRoomRehab.com or follow them on Twitter, @32Market, on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn by typing in 32Market.

BioHax International is a company based in Sweden on the forefront of implanted chip technology. Osterland was recently a guest speaker on the TED Talks. Visit http://www.BioHaxSweden.com for additional information.

32M is inviting the press to attended and partake in the event on August 1st, 2017 at 11 AM CST in River Falls, WI for more information please contact 32M directly.

Why 32M? Because PCI …

Why 32M? Well to be honest on this topic we could go on for days … But we won’t!
Here is one major reason why you should choose 32M:

Your transactions are safe with us!

Something we are super proud of is the time and effort we have put in to hold the highest level of PCI and PA-DSS certification in the industry.
That’s right the HIGHEST LEVEL! 

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What do PCI and PA-DSS mean? 

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is the set of rules established by the Payment Card Industry to protect cardholder information. PA-DSS was implemented in an effort to provide the definitive data standard for software vendors that develop payment applications. The standard aims to prevent developed payment applications for third parties from storing prohibited secure data including magnetic stripeCVV2, or PIN. In that process, the standard also dictates that software vendors develop payment applications that are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Do small businesses need to be PCI Compliant?

PCI applies to all merchants who process credit or debit card transactions regardless of the size or number of transactions. Merchants must be able to demonstrate PCI compliance across all IT systems that store, transmit, or track cardholder data.

What’s the benefit of being PCI Compliant?

By making sure your business is PCI Compliant, you protect your customers’ personal data from breaches, prevent against unscheduled business downtime and ensure that customers trust your brand.

You also protect your business from paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and fees that can include:
• Investigation of your point-of-sale (POS) system
• Non-compliance fines with VISA and MasterCard
• Reimbursement for purchases made using stolen cards
• Replacement for stolen credit cards
• Higher transaction fees from your bank

Want to learn more about 32M and what we can do for you?
Call our reliable sales staff below!

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Three Square MEALS & MORE!

Micro markets change more than just the atmosphere of the location where employees get their breakfast, lunch or snacks. Yes, micro markets expand the number of products that are available to employees at a location and even change out the type/size/quality/etc. of the products that can be stocked.

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In traditional vending, an operator is stuck using a planogram that is created based on products that will fit together to maximize the space available in their specific vending machine. As you can imagine this can severely limit your product options!

Micro markets create opportunities unseen in traditional vending:

  • Take-Home Dinners
  • Fresh Foods
    (check out tryhealthbinge.com’s  gourmet-to-go meals for inspiration)
  • Larger Products (laundry detergent, windshield washer fluid, etc.)
  • Non-Food Products
  • OTC Medications

On average a micro market attracts 18% more visits per day and an average of 1.2 sales per day per visit, as compared with .7 sales in vending areas. Of course, this varies by location. BUT …

Take these numbers to an even higher level by introducing aspects to your micro market that are not even possible with traditional vending.

  • Customize your market experience to your customer demographic
  • Add popular products like take-home dinners
  • Seasonal products like ice scrapers, hand warmers, sunscreen, etc.
  • Holiday based products: gift cards, greeting cards, candies, etc.

At 32M, we’ve been providing options for non-food product sales and encouraging our operators to see the success of these add-on items since day 1.  Learn more about the options we can help you stock here: Ahead of the Trend Non-Food Sales.

From over the counter medications and laundry/hygiene items (think hairspray, combs, toothpaste, floss, deodorant) to electronic accessories such as charging banks to device specific accessories and cords.

Have you ever been “up a creek” without your iPhone/Android charging cord?
Yup, us too! Trust us, it’s a common issue and therefore a commonly purchased item!

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Quality and Quantity - Balance Concept

The trend of Quality AND Quantity is the next big piece of micro market success. Quality and quantity are normally a this vs. that situation.  Not anymore! Customers want the best of both worlds which means balancing quality and quantity.  Lucky for you, 32M backs up their operators with a smarter system that recommends appropriate product par levels and product adjustments based on your customers’ buying patterns!

Essentially, customers want a lot of variety to choose from as well as products that make their lives easier, BUT they also want those products to be quality.  We’ll paint you a picture … you walk into your workplace micro market, you find a high-quality fresh salad or sandwich and a new flavored water product you want to try for lunch. Delicious and meets your nutritional needs! On your way to the kiosk to check out you notice a charging cord for your phone on sale and think that would be great to have because you forgot to plug your phone in last night. And as you are checking out you see that there is a great deal on take-home lasagna roll-ups and think about taking that home for dinner, that way you don’t have to run to the store after work! Awesome! 

Not only did that employee find things that made their day better, but made their life easier; And the operator made additional sales that with traditional vending they never would have had the chance to get.

What would you rather have?

vending-machine-snacks-mdthis? or THIS!1012

vending-machine-410x290this? or THIS!food_shot_1

linethis? or THIS!Family Having A Meal Together At Home

Micro markets … they’re more than just lunch.
Think Three Square Market for your Three Square Meals a day, and so much more!

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And Everything In Between!

In Your Face … Nutritional Facts

Maybe you saw our press release?!

Another industry-first feature under our belt, check out our newest add-on, Nutritional Fact information displaying directly on the kiosk.  nutrition-2

This new feature is just one of many new features to be released between now and the NAMA OneShow in April 2017. With industry requirements moving towards complete transparency regarding nutritional information, Three Square Market pushed the envelope to apply this advancement well before regulatory demand.  The addition of a Calorie Consumption feature, to be added in 2017, the wellness initiative options with 32M are top notch.
The 32M nutrition information will be a seamless upgrade for all operators globally, going out in the latest software update.  New markets opened in December will see this advancement from day one.
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Have questions? Want to learn more? 32Market.com

Are you being watched?! Or are you watching?!

Here’s a great blog posted by Mondelez International,
“3 Unique ways to use micro market video surveillance beyond fighting theft.”
Really makes us wonder … who’s watching us?!

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Here’s the blog: (P.S. It features a few of our favorite operators!)

3 UNIQUE WAYS TO USE MICRO MARKET VIDEO SURVEILLANCE BEYOND FIGHTING THEFT

Video cameras in micro markets are commonplace. In the unattended retail space, video cameras act to dissuade employees from dishonestly taking product. They are also beneficial for micro market operators when it becomes known that employees are misusing the concept. When shrinkage begins to increase above a normal level of 1 to 2 percent in micro markets, operators use video surveillance to find perpetrators.

But can video surveillance be used for more than just simply catching would-be thieves? While the answer isn’t as simple as it appears, some operators report that they do indeed use their video surveillance in unique ways.

• REENERGIZE THE MARKET THROUGH MERCHANDISING

Video surveillance can be used to look at micro market merchandising and analyze whether or not layout is working. On a quarterly basis, pay close attention to the pattern of movement where customers are stopping and looking at items in different markets. By learning where your consumers move in the market, it’s likely you’ll find issues with product placement and layout. Try rotating items to keep a fresh look in the market and pinpoint where ‘dead product’ is located.

John Ward, president of Serenity Market Vending in Rockford, IL, uses video surveillance to refresh his micro markets and recommends that operators rotate slow movers out and wait one month to bring them back. “This causes customers to take notice when the products return and they have a renewed interest in the items,” he said.

The next time you’re watching a video for theft, look closely at the places your customers are spending the least amount of time and take a moment to evaluate ways to increase traffic in those areas. Be sure to include a sign in your market, too that informs customers that there are cameras.

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• CHECK COMPLIANCE AND OPERATION

Video surveillance can also be used to ensure the market is operating as expected. Five Star Food Service, located in Chattanooga, TN, uses one of its full-time loss prevention employees to look at video in its markets to check on compliance, execution and ensuring that all cameras and DVR’s are operating correctly.

The company developed a weekly remote compliance report that’s used to check if the markets are stocked correctly, placements of products are correct, and promotional information is in place. Additionally, the company routinely looks at the cameras and placements of cameras to ensure they are working correctly. “You would be surprised how many need to be replaced or repaired,” said Mark P. Stephanos, vice president, micro markets at Five Star. “[The report] has really assisted us with ensuring there is another set of eyes in the markets on a more frequent basis.”

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• FIND FOOD TAMPERING

Food tampering in micro markets is a topic that has gained the attention of health department officials in the U.S. With no person present in a micro market, how will operators protect people from situations that may compromise food safety? NAMA, the association representing the $25 billion U.S. convenience services industry, is arguing that surveillance can be used as a way to find and prosecute any food tampering.

If a health official begins to question the safety of food items in a micro market, discuss that the markets are monitored via video surveillance 24/7. It’s also worth mentioning the levels of theft in your micro market. Larry Eils, NAMA’s health and safety knowledge source partner, told VendingMarketWatch.com, “If theft is under control, then tampering will be under control, too. That’s the argument we [NAMA] will likely take with the FDA.”

A GREAT TOOL TO USE

Video surveillance does not come without its fair share of issues, however. Sometimes the technology isn’t always up to snuff. Video footage often goes through the internet connection and pulls from the bandwidth of the connection which can slow performance down if the connection is not good at a site. The cost of good video footage can be a deterrence, too.

Plus, it takes a lot of time for operators to watch video footage — time that could be spent focusing on a proper micro market planogram, getting new products or putting a loyalty program together. In the end, though, operators should be watching their micro markets on a routine basis and using video surveillance could be one way to do this without physically traveling to the market itself.

It’s a tool that operators already own and that can be used in a variety of ways. Successful operators have reported using data from video surveillance to help drive planning on space to sales, redesign payment areas with more impulse space, and add more incremental equipment and new merchandisers that pull away from the wall.

When installing micro market security, think about how you can utilize the data it’s collecting and place the equipment in areas that will allow you a visual of the entire market. Think outside the box and use surveillance for more than fighting theft.

Three Square Market has even more ways that you can use your surveillance data thoughtfully and quickly! Give us a call to learn more!

Here is one of our favorite examples … and it’s a good laugh!

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