No amount of signs, meetings or rotas can ever make the office kitchen perfect, or sometimes even just pleasant. However, when you get it right, vending machines remove arguments, hassle, disruption and even cost. In fact, the benefits that can be enjoyed from outsourcing your drinks vending machine may come as somewhat of a surprise.
Work environment benefits
Firstly, consider the environment in which you work. If you work in a busy office, it doesn't take long before the dirty coffee cups start stacking up in the kitchen and the spilt sugar, milk and water start to cover the work surfaces. No-one wants to work in an unclean space, in fact some people may even be put off using the facilities altogether. A messy kitchen is not exactly professional looking for visitors and clients either.
Modern drinks vending machines will not only provide a cleaner, more pleasant working environment, but also reduce the time and cost of cleaning up the mess at the end of the day. Less mess also means less risk. Health and safety in the workplace should be of paramount concern to employers. Do yourself and your staff a favour, de-clutter your workspace and offer your staff a better choice and quality of drink. This can only lead to a reduction in complaints about the facilities available and the state of the kitchen!
Of course outsourcing your vending machine will not only benefit the space in which you work, but most importantly the people who work in it. Vending machines offer a wide range and choice of hot or cold drinks and soups, and stock all the major brands that most people would choose to drink at home. There is also the option to vary the product offering depending on the season or the general requirement from the workforce. Vending machines now offer an alternative range of healthier drinks, which makes for brighter and more productive staff.
A major benefit of outsourcing drinks vending facilities is the reliability and consistency of the drinks supplied. Vending machines consistently supply that perfect drink, guaranteeing consumer satisfaction even for the most discerning tea or coffee drinker. You'll also get your drink at the perfect temperature - never too hot or too cold.
There are many different types of vending machines available, all are simple and easy to use and are often operated by pressing a single button. You can also opt for other options such as key or coin operated machines, depending on whether you will require your staff to pay for the drinks or not.
You may find that your supplier will run occasional competitions or offer prizes to promote new products or services - this is of course at no extra cost to the customer, but of great value to the user.
You may not have considered the financial benefits of using vending facilities, but the potential savings could be substantial. If an average member of staff drinks between five and ten hot or cold drinks every day, this can equate to anything up to an hour spent just making drinks! Vending machines are quick and easy to use, saving precious time wasted in the kitchen. This downtime has serious impacts on the productivity of your workforce, and lets face it, we all have better things to do with our time.
Vending machines can also replace the need for water coolers, which will save you the extra expenditure of separate purchase, hire or operating costs. You will also reap the financial benefits of not having to provide the coffee, tea, milk, sugar, etc.
Drinks from vending machines are an affordable option for most companies with many providers offering a variety of purchase or rental solutions. You may even be able to negotiate the use of a drinks vending machine free of charge, depending on the volume and type of usage.
Once your machine is installed you can normally chose from a variety of service options. You could opt for a fully managed service where everything is done for you. Alternatively, if you are happy for a member of staff to clean, empty and restock your machine, then all you'll need to do is re-order the stock, or request technical support as and when required.
As you would expect, drinks vending machines are fairly maintenance and hassle free. Of course any standard maintenance that does need to be done, will be done onsite and with minimal disruption. If there is a problem with a machine, this can normally be quickly resolved over the phone with the support of a technical help desk. Some companies also offer a guaranteed rapid response time, so any problems you do have can be quickly resolved with minimal disruption. However, modern vending machines are extremely reliable so you shouldn't experience any problems.
Environmentally-friendly / sustainability in drinks vending
When choosing your drinks vending machine, you should be aware of their environmental impact and opt for a system that offers recyclable raw materials and packaging.
In addition to the physical environment, more and more people are becoming aware of and supportive of 'Fairtrade' issues. Try and source a company that has a genuine ethical approach to its producers, suppliers, customers, employees and the environment.
Buyers Checklist for drinks vending - Your Buying Criteria - The Questions to ask:
Small company: 30-50 personnel
Want to combat kitchen mess and health and safety concerns. Many have discovered that they can actually save money via vending. Almost all want to manage drinks themselves and are driven by relieving the burden / distraction for administrators.
Medium company: 50-250 personnel
Generally they face the same issues identified by their smaller counterparts or their existing vending machine is unsatisfactory in terms of drinks quality and/or reliability.
Enterprise: 250+ personnel
The driver here is to achieve a quality level that is acceptable to a discerning employee base but that still offers the most efficient, low maintenance operation.