Converting from Traditional Vending to Micro Markets: What, Why, and How

Companies all over Florida have been converting from traditional vending to micro markets, including several of our customers across the state. In fact, a recent press release described this and other trends we’re seeing in the market.

Why Convert Your Vending Machines to a Micro Market

Why are so many companies making the switch? There are several advantages of micro markets, including:

  • Greater variety of selections, especially of fresh and healthy choices
  • Better productivity and collaboration among employees
  • Friendlier, homier approach to onsite dining

When there are few lunch options available near your office, and traditional vending machines aren’t able to provide enough product selection for full meals, a micro market is a great way to offer onsite meals without the expense of a full cafeteria.

How to Transition to a Micro Market

Getting started with a micro market is simpler than you might think. You’ll need:

  • A location: it’s best for this to be a designated employee area, away from public traffic, such as your breakroom
  • A power supply for coolers, freezers, and the self-serve checkout kiosk
  • Access to the internet

Additionally, think about choosing a location that is central and convenient for your employees to encourage usage.

Top 5 Tips for Switching to a Micro Market

Having worked with employers all over Florida to make the switch from traditional vending to micro markets, here are Florida Fresh’s top five suggestions for a successful transition:

1. Get employee input.

Ask your team about their preferences to help determine what selection of products to offer. This can be accomplished with a simple survey. But remember, if you ask for their input, they will expect to see that you’ve taken it into consideration.

2. Consider offering rewards and freebies.

To encourage usage and drive greater engagement, many employers give their staff a certain number of credits to be used towards products in the market, whether as a one-time promotion or a monthly benefit. Also consider offering access to a loyalty rewards program, such as USConnectMe, which gives staff points for every purchase that they can redeem for additional products.

3. Customize your micro market.

Whether it’s your space, your desired layout, or your preferred product selections, make sure you’re working with a provider like Florida Fresh that lets you fully customize your micro market to suit your needs.

4. Remember it’s not either/or.

Some companies choose to offer both traditional vending and a micro market, depending on the layout and needs of your workplace. For example, a centralized employee breakroom is a great location for a market, while smaller, decentralized gathering areas scattered throughout a large campus may be better served by vending machines.

5. Communicate about the upgrade.

Bring it full circle with your employees, letting them know about the details and benefits of your new micro market, any rewards programs or free items you’re offering, and how you took their input into consideration. Open communication is a great way to maximize adoption and make the most of your investment.

A healthy vending program called FitPick can also help your team make healthier snack choices. The program uses dietary guidelines from organizations like the American Heart Association to label food and beverage options with a special sticker indicating it’s a better-for-you choice than traditionally vended products. Learn more about FitPick and how it works.

At Florida Fresh, we have a great deal of experience helping companies upgrade their vending to modern micro markets – and we’d be happy to consult with you to design the best solution for your business. Feel free to get in touch with us.