Micro market vending is a form of self-service retailing that bridges the gap between a staffed convenience store and an automated vending machine.
Micro markets can be installed in offices, for the use of employees and sometimes customers too. They can also be incorporated into hospitals, schools, leisure centres, shopping centres and other private or public buildings frequented by customers or service users.
But what is micro market vending useful for? What advantages does this model have over traditional vending machines?
The advantages of micro market vending
Broad range of products
Although vending machines have evolved over the years, they are still restricted by design. While simple snacks and drinks can be easily dispensed from a machine, perishable foods, bakery items, hot and cold snacks and frozen items can pose a challenge.
Companies are therefore forced to compromise on the range of products they can offer their staff. In contrast, micro markets can provide many more options due to the combination of reach-in and glass-fronted chillers, shelving units, freezers, microwaves, kiosks and other units available. For foods that require utensils for serving and/or eating, provision can be made for plates, bowls, cutlery, serving tongs, condiments, napkins, etc. Micro markets can also incorporate non-food products, adding extra income streams.
This versatility, makes it easier for companies to meet their employees’ and customers’ preferences and dietary requirements, giving micro markets a broader appeal than vending machines.
Every business premise has a unique footprint. The modular design of micro markets makes them easy to customise for each individual company or organisation. Those with small spaces can opt for a minimal set-up – perhaps one or two refrigerators, a shelving unit and a payment kiosk. Those with a lot of available space can add extra units to maximise the range of products on offer.
The self-service retailing model is clearly very appealing to business owners, hence the popularity of self-service aisles and kiosks in supermarkets. Micro markets are built on the premise of that model, so businesses don’t have to factor in staff costs at all when selling or setting up a micro market.
For an office, hospital, school, shopping centre, etc., the idea of a one off capital investment followed by an affordable re-stocking and maintenance service can be very attractive.
The explosion in contactless payment technology, including chipped cards, NFC and biometrics, has made self-service faster and more reliable than ever. Eliminating the need for staffed kiosks has brought the 24/7 micro market within the budgets of workplaces of all sizes.
By keeping queuing time to a minimum, companies can save valuable work hours, while appealing to the ‘always on the go’ mentality of younger employees.
What is micro market vending from a company culture perspective? Micro markets can help create and maintain a positive culture in several ways.
First, by catering for your employees’ dietary preferences and needs, you will build or enhance your reputation as a caring, considerate employee. That will help you to both attract and retain personnel.
Second, by providing a micro market service in-house, employees are more likely to spend their food breaks sitting down and talking to one another rather than dispersing into the local town or city.
Third, by promoting nutritious food and drink options, you can encourage a healthier workplace which will have a positive effect on mood and energy levels.
Nebrak can meet your micro market needs
What is micro market vending from your perspective? Nebrak would welcome the opportunity to discuss a way forward for your business. With our award-winning expertise in the industry and a turn-key ‘concept to installation’ service, we are convinced you won’t find a better micro market solution.