The Best Decision You Ever Made That Didn’t Cost You a Thing in Orlando

For years vending machines have been loved by break rooms 365-kiosk-1everywhere. They offer convenience, provide delicious/healthy snacks and allow a snack/meal break when restaurants and stores may be closed or too far away to access during an allotted break time. However, in these same years, vending machines have been loved to be hated. Products get stuck, change doesn’t dispense, dollar bills (no matter how many times you flatten them) won’t read and in some scenarios products (when they do vend) come through the hatch expired.
In short vending machines are just that: machines. And machines are not perfect. But what if there was a system that was closer to perfect? One that prohibited lost money and stuck product? One that offered even fresher food and guaranteed that customers never had to purchase an outdated product again?
Micro Markets are that system.
A Micro Market operates as a mini convenience store in break rooms in place of typical vending machines. With open shelving for shelf stable products, reach in coolers and freezers and a self-checkout kiosk, customers (your employees) can hold their product before they ever purchase it. Which means in addition to being guaranteed they will receive what they purchased they can also:
• Check expiration dates
• Examine nutritional information (allowing the opportunity to make an informed purchasing decision for their taste buds and their health)
365Lounge_0175What about money?
Micro Markets use stored value cards, credit cards and finger print recognition to make payment as convenient as possible for your employees. With their stored value cards, employees can upload cash or credit (at the kiosk or online) to make a purchase. The card stores the balance, which means no change is given back (eliminating the coin mechanism which is responsible for roughly 90% of all vending related service calls).
And for freshness?
Those reach in coolers, in addition to beverages; hold FRESH food beautiful brunette holding apples apples(not frozen to defrosted, but fresh). Delicious sandwiches, salads, burritos, yogurts, parfaits, wraps, fruit, etc. are now readily accessible to your employees without ever having to leave the office.
So what does all of this mean for your business?
• Happier/healthier employees
• Reduction of extended off site employee breaks
• Improvement of employee efficiency
Which in turn increases your company’s bottom line as happy employees will produce better results.
Want to revolutionize your company’s break room with a micro market of your own? Call your local Orlando vendor Blindster Refreshments today at 407-730-6629 and ask what requirements need to be met to qualify for a micro market at your place of business. And when you speak to them make sure to ask about promotions they offer within their markets to increase customer satisfaction (one more thing that will contribute to a happier work place).

Tea Trending with Younger Generations in Orlando and Central Florida

According to the Tea Association of the USA Inc. tea is the most teawidely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all US households. Furthermore, approximately 4 in 5 consumers drink tea, with Millennials being the most likely (87% of all Millennials drink tea).
As tea consumption continues to grow (up 20% from 2000 to 2014) coffee consumption has steadily declined. In 1946 the average American drank 46 gallons of coffee a year and in 2013 the average American drank 23 gallons, showing a 50% decrease in consumption.
Although various factors have contributed to this, one major variable seems to carry the most weight: age.
Research suggests that 70% of the over 65 crowd prefer drinking coffee to tea, whereas Millennials are divided down the middle with 42% preferring coffee and 42% equally preferring tea.
So why are Millennials drawn to this leaf steeped beverage?
Although no one knows for certain a popular opinion suggests that growing health awareness is a key contributing factor to teas’ increased popularity (especially with the younger generation).
Some of teas most notable health benefits include:
• Reduced risk of stroke and heart disease (3 or more cups of black tea day)
• Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease (over 2 cups of green tea a day)
• Reduced cholesterol (5 cups of black tea a day)
• Reduced risk of certain cancers
• Helps prevent neurological decline
• Improves muscle mass and boosts bone-building markers, helping reduce the risk of osteoporosis
And since natural teal contains no sodium, fat, carbonation or sugar, it’s virtually calorie free, which makes it a great aid in weight management and overall good health.
What does all of this mean for your break room beverage program?
1. Although coffee is a vital part of the work day and a great employee benefit at your Orlando office, you may be ostracizing a large percentage of your population (especially if you employee a majority of Millennials) if you aren’t also offering premium teas ntral Florida Vending Service, with your favorite coffees.
2. Because approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is iced (with green tea growing in popularity at a much higher rate than black tea) it’s important to make sure your cold beverage program (i.e. vending machines, pantry service or micro market) contain both unsweetened black and green tea options.
Reach a larger percentage of your work place population and contribute to overall employee wellness by making sure to include both hot and cold teas in your Orlando and Central Florida break room beverage program. Not sure where to begin? Contact your premier Orlando and Central Florida vending provider, Blindster Refreshments at 407-730-6629 and we’ll be happy to discuss ways to improve on your current beverage program.
For more information on the health benefits associated with tea consumption visit teausa.com.

Lunch Break Houdini in Orlando

NPR reports that the American lunch break is disappearing. With Businesswoman in cubicle using laptop and eating saladlonger work hours, the standard 9-5 is a thing of the past and so is going out to lunch.
Research suggests that the internal need to feel available to employers/co-workers at all times is a key reason why only 1 in 5 Americans are leaving the office for a midday meal.
And although you may think this dedication to career would be good for Orlando business, recent studies are suggesting that the opposite may be true. That in fact staying longer at your desk, without a break, may decreases productivity and hurt the bottom line.

Continental BreakfastWhy?
According to Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, who studies workplace psychology, “we know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment…so staying inside in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It’s also detrimental to doing the rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha’ moment.”
Studies also suggest that taking time off in the middle of the day to eat, walk or take a coffee break with coworkers can create a culture of community within the workplace, creating happier more productive employees.
Not sure what to do with this information? Here are a couple of suggestions to make break time, productive time for your company:
1. Create a safe environment for breaks to take place in a Man With Saladcommunity setting. In her interview on Here & Now, a show produced on NPR, Elsbach suggests setting up an online forum where you say, ‘OK, these are the different activities we’re doing. There’s one group that’s going to meet and eat sack lunch outside. There’s another group that’s going to go for a walk around the local environment. There’s another group that’s going to go to a favorite restaurant.’ And so you create community around it, and you’re not doing it by yourself and being seen as the odd person out. … You need to get the top managers to be part of this community of taking time off in the middle of the day to eat lunch, to go for a walk, to have a coffee break. They need to be included in the community and model that behavior for the rest of the workforce.
2. Rejuvenate your break room. Although a walk outside can be beneficial, too much of a good thing can in fact be a bad thing when short breaks turn in to extended time away from the office. Create a sense of community by creating a better break space. Fit your break room with games (ping pong, foosball, pin ball, etc.), comfortable lounges, quality coffee (the most affordable employee benefit with the biggest perceived value), and healthy snacks and beverages in your vending machines (or better yet, offered for free as an additional benefit). And if possible bring some of the outdoors inside with potted plants, big windows or natural scenery wall murals.
Regardless of what you decide to do, encourage your employees to get away from their desks – whether that’s a walk around the block or a ping pong tournament in your break room is up to you.
If you do decide to makeover your Orlando break room, give us a call. One of our team members will be happy to discuss how our coffee, traditional and free vend services can help increase your company’s bottom line by getting employees away from their desks, but not for too long.  Call Blindster Refreshments today at 407-730-6629.

Blindster Refreshments Offers the Solution to Buying Products in Bulk at Your Orlando Office

Throughout Orlando there are all kinds of ways to save money in Concerned Phone Callyour daily life. For instance you could:

  • Eat rice and beans for every meal
  • Leave your car at home and walk the 10 miles to work
  • Only shower once a week
  • Never send another text message or connect to the web on your phone
  • Purchase your snacks and beverages from a bulk store

You may think the last bullet point is out of place but the truth is that it’s just as pointless as the rest. Rice and beans may save money but eventually you’ll want variety and a well balanced diet. You could walk 10 miles to your Orlando office but the amount of time lost would cost more than your cost of gas. Well…you get the point.

Purchasing from bulk stores may seem like a convenient way to save money but the truth is in the long run the cost is greater than your savings. What do you lose?

  • Variety of snacking and beverage options, including healthier items
  • Employee time – employees who were hired to focus on key aspects of your Orlando business now are wasting valuable time ordering and stocking products
  • Employee safety – heavy cases of soda can result in workman’s comp claims

Say goodbye to lost time and wages and hello to convenience by purchasing your snacks and beverages from Blindster Refreshments in Orlando instead. What you’ll gain:

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  • Large variety of snacks including organics, vegan and gluten-free options
  • Time – Blindster Refreshments can work with you on customizing a menu specific to your needs. Snack racks and coolers will be refilled automatically, saving you on time ordering and stocking
  • Fewer workmen’s comp claims – let our trained drivers throughout Orlando assume the risks of heavy lifting
  • Free snack racks and reach in coolers

With our competitive pricing you have so much to gain and nothing to lose. Call Blindster Refreshments today at (407) 730-6629 to discuss the ways we can save you time, money and energy while keeping your employees fed, healthy and happy.

Benefits of Energy Star Vending Machines in Orlando

Star Light, Star Bright
First Star I See Tonight
I wish I May
I wish I Might
Have a Lower Energy, Cost Saving, Eco Friendly Bill Tonight

EnergyStarLogoEvery wish on the first star, every penny thrown into a fountain, every wish bone broken, may have come back void but if the above poem is your heart’s desire you don’t need a fairy godmother or pixie dust to make it come true. You just need Energy Star.

In Orlando Energy Star beverage vending machines are either new or refurbished machines that incorporate more efficient compressors, fan motors and lighting systems than older models. These machines are just as visible and keep beverages just as cold as older models but do so with 50% more efficiency.

In addition these vending machines come with a low power mode toggle_freshthat allows them to operate with lower energy lighting/refrigeration during times of inactivity.

Efficient compressors, fan motors, lighting systems and a low power mode all result in one thing: a dream come true. On average vending machines worthy of the Energy Star have saved building owners 1,700 kWh a year, which is roughly $150.

If you would like more information on the benefits of Energy Star machines visit www.energystar.gov or talk to your Orlando vending service about making the switch. Call Blindster Refreshments today at (407) 730-6629  for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

The Transformation of the Coffee Vending Machine in the Central Florida Area

2015’s Top 5 Amazing Pairings (according to this writer):HDC2
1. Peanut butter and chocolate
2. Sunday afternoons and naps
3. Journey and karaoke night
4. Popcorn and Junior Mints
5. Vending machines and coffee
In past years #5 might not have made the cut but in recent years coffee gurus have gone to great lengths to overcome the negative stigmas associated with vending coffee and in 2015 should consider their efforts a success.
In 1960 the first vending coffee was introduced one freeze dried cup at a time to the market. It looked more like muddy water than coffee and after being tasted left its consumer wishing it was muddy water.
Although less than desirable it did suit a need, swing shifts and hospitals were grateful, to an extent, everywhere as coffee was now available at all hours.
Girl holding paper coffee cupAt this time a popular company was also marketing its instant coffee as a key to a happy marriage. A wife was only as good as her coffee and with instant coffee she was able to make the perfect cup each time.
In 2015 both men and women need their coffee at the workplace and at home. And just as gender roles have progressed, so have the qualifications for a good cup of coffee. Freeze dried just won’t do.
In 1971 Starbucks opened its first store. And in recent years, along with other key roasters and manufacturers, has transformed the role of coffee in America, including vending machines.
Today’s vending machines still make “instant” cups of coffee in that you can have a cup in 30 seconds or less. But now coffee vending machines in the Central Florida area are equipped to grind beans fresh for each cup “ordered.” Consumers can now pick their brew strength (mud not an option) and have more options than simply powdered cream and sugar including espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, etc. In some machines fresh cream is even offered in place of powder.
In addition to modern machinery, Orlando’s vendors are also being coffeebeans sackmore selective in the beans they choose. It is more common than ever to see a coffee vending machine labeled with a popular roasters name including Seattle’s Best (owned by Starbucks), Tully’s and Wolfgang Puck.
If you have been weary of placing a coffee machine at your facility in Orlando and Central Florida because of past stigmas, give them another try. The combination of premium beans and intricate equipment may make you feel like there is a barista hidden inside.
However, a vending machine is only as good as its vendor allows it to be.
Intricate equipment can be complicated and requires calibration knowledge. The combination of ground beans, water, cream and sugar can get messy. Make sure you pair yourself with a vendor who knows the equipment and will take the time to maintain it properly. Don’t be afraid to question their knowledge or ask for a cleaning schedule.
First impressions are hard to overcome but vending coffee has truly changed its character. It still might not make your top 5 list but it’s got a good chance at your top 10! Call Blindster Refreshments today at (407) 730-6629  for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

Orlando Vending Companies Offering Healthy Options in Grammar Schools

It seems as though in Orlando new ads are coming out every day iStock_000004501197XSmallthat highlight the negative affects sugary drinks, like soda, have on children. And although the convenience stores across the street from school campuses can sell soda, vending machines are being targeted as a leading cause of childhood obesity. Orlando Vendors are made to look like a villain, where candy and sugary drinks are kryptonite to America’s young.

A popular radio/television ad says the following:

“You do so many things to protect [your children], but there is one thing that can hurt them that you may never have realized. Many sugary drinks can contain 16 or more teaspoons of sugar. Too much sugar can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. So try some healthier options, after all they’re sweet enough already.”

High school students eating in the school cafeteriaThe thing is this: vendors agree. Orlando Vendors also have children and want them to grow up to be healthy adults.

Back in the day large beverage companies and the revenue brought in by their product on school campuses in the city of Orlando was enough to fund score boards. Today as new studies arise you may not see a Pepsi sponsored score board but you may see an Aquafina (the brand of water Pepsi distributes) sponsored board. In other words the vending industry will mold itself to fit the needs of its consumers.

On grammar school campuses throughout the city of Orlando you School buscan find vending machines dedicated to 100% healthy items. Your local Orlando vending company can help create a program based on their healthy choices or they can work to create a program based on your guidelines.

As the need for healthy vending in Orlando continues to rise organizations dedicated solely to the purpose of healthy eating for children on school campuses are beginning to emerge. These organizations are not competition but aids, blazing a clear cut trail on what healthy vending machines should look like.

If you are looking to start/revise your school’s vending services in Orlando and want to go healthy but are unsure where to begin talk to your Orlando vending company. If you’d like to brush up on some of the popular guidelines for healthy alternatives before you make the call here are some of the basics:

Elementary school class outside

The most popular guideline for a healthy alternative snack follow the 35-10-35 principle where snacks have no more than:

  • 35% of total calories from fat
  • 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • 35% of total product weight from sugar

Many Orlando grammar schools are taking it a step further and suggest the following limitations:

  • No fried anything
  • No artificial flavors
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • No artificial ingredients

Call Blindster Refreshments today at  (407) 730-6629 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

Does Your Orlando Vending Company Offer a Revolutionary Office Coffee Service?

In the early 1900s coffee breaks in the workplace were a novelty Coffee breakand were only first issued by factory owners in an attempt to get their line workers to move faster. Breaks were closely regulated and coffee was heated on kerosene fueled hot plates.

In the early 2000s coffee in the workplace in the city of Orlando is no longer a novelty but a necessity. Hot plates have been replaced by espresso machines/single cup brewers and employers encourage their employees to take frequent breaks, to make themselves feel at home.

Although the change in heart may be for noble reasons there are also very practical statistics behind the changes. Numerous studies show that:

  • Employees feel more appreciated if coffee is offered free of charge in the work place. Happy employees are loyal employees and loyalty means less turn over and easier hiring.
  • If coffee is offered there is less reason to leave the office which means faster breaks and more productivity.
  • The factory owners were right (to an extent): taking breaks does increase productivity when returning to work.

CoffeeThe evolution of coffee in the workplace from 1900 to 2000 has been extreme. The progression of equipment, the research showing its benefits from an employer perspective and the priority placed on it by employees (by 1950 coffee breaks were written into almost all union contracts) have all gone a long way in establishing coffee as a necessary employee benefit.

In 2012 as coffee has become an office staple in the city of Orlando, companies need to find other ways to set themselves apart, making sure that the coffee they offer is still a benefit and not a nuisance. Some important things to keep in mind when choosing (or improving) your Orlando office coffee service:

  • As brewers and coffee selections evolved so did people’s taste buds. Make sure you choose a coffee (either a premium brand or local roaster) that your employees enjoy. If they don’t like the coffee they are likely to pay for the cup they do enjoy even if it means leaving the office.
  • Offer a large variety (including decaf). You don’t want any employee to feel like their preferences are less important than others.
  • Make sure you have a strategic plan for who makes the coffee K_Kup_Brewer_RC400and cleans the pots (no longer an issue with single cup brewers). As companies make cut backs, employees are already feeling overwhelmed. Throwing the responsibility of cleaning the machine onto their shoulders might be the breaking point.

If you are looking to improve your current service in Orlando and surrounding areas but not sure of the steps you should take call your local Orlando vending service. They can help you with coffee samplings and show you even more data on the benefits of a quality coffee in your work place.

Man has evolved, coffee as an industry has evolved, your business has evolved, and your office coffee service should reflect that. Call Blindster Refreshments today at (407) 730-6629 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

Your Orlando Vending Service is YOUR Personal Shopper

If you are currently purchasing snacks/beverages for your Orlando Concerned Phone Calloffice at a grocery or

wholesale store, STOP. You have the right idea but the wrong practice. You think buying in bulk and having it delivered will save you time and money, which it can, but there is still a better way.

The worlds of fashion and vending don’t typically, if ever, collide; however, in this particular case a lot can be gleaned from a particular sector of the fashion industry, that of personal shoppers. According to Washingtonian.com personal shoppers typically range from $100-$250 an hour. Most shoppers start with a consultation over the phone or in person to get a sense of their client’s taste, budget and needs. “Independent stylists often combine this get-to-know you session with a closet clean-out at your home.”

When you buy your snacks from wholesale stores you are left to do all the work (but the delivery) on your own. Which means you:

  • purchase coolers and shelving racks
  • choose (from 100s of items) what you think your employees will enjoy
  • unpack all the product that is dropped at your front office

healthycollageIf you contact your Orlando vending service they will do all the above for you, in a sense, they will be your personal shopper without the hourly fee. When you contact your Orlando vendor here is what should happen:

  1. A meeting will be set up to survey what you currently offer and discuss what is not working (essentially they’ll clean out your closet).
  2. During this meeting you’ll also discuss what you want out of your particular program. Do you want meal options, an emphasis on healthy items, to stay within a strict budget, etc?
  3. After your vending company has a good idea of what you want/need they can filter thru the 100s of products and create a custom list for you.
  4. You can place an order based on this list or set up a regular delivery without ordering (one less thing to remember each week/month).
  5. When your Orlando vendor arrives with the product they won’t just drop and go. They’ll refill your coolers and shelves and neatly store excess items in storage. Freeing you and your employees up to focus on what’s important…your business.

iStock_000011476998XSmallYou may think this is too good to be true, maybe all the above sounds nice but it’ll cost too much money.

In most cases, product is not much higher in cost then what you would buy from the wholesale store (in some cases it’s even on par or below).  And then when the price of coolers/shelves (placed at no charge by an Orlando vending company) and the time of staff spent ordering and restocking are factored into the equation, you may find that the benefits of putting your pantry service in the hands of your Orlando vending service far outweigh the costs.

So stop. Stop doing all the work when someone else will do it for you. Stop being charged to have product dropped off instead of put away. You’ll gain time and energy and be able to start doing the things that matter most to you and your Orlando business. Call Blindster Refreshments  today at (407) 730-6629 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

Racing to Victory Lane

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In the 2014 Nascar season Kevin Harvick claimed the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Chevrolet won the manufacturer’s championship and Kyle Larson was named Rookie of the Year but none of these people/companies are why over 2,000 fans lined up at Victory Lane. Instead, it was a vending machine, a social vending machine dispensing free prizes, which was the source of all the excitement.
Sponsored by AAA & developed by Brightline Interactive in partnership with Aquarius Sports and Entertainment, the vending machines challenged fans’ knowledge of the sport they love by asking them 3 racing related questions. Fans submitted their answers via a touchscreen, along with their email address and in turn received a free at random prize ranging from AAA branded flags to exclusive pit passes.
When commenting on the success of their vending machine, AAA and Brightline both had interesting insights that may help you as you consider your company’s direction for 2015.
“It’s such a simple concept, but one that really elevates fan engagement to another level. Rather than just distributing free gear to fans, the vending machine urged participation within a completely branded environment.” – Matthew Haas, Director of Marketing and Advertising for AAA Mid-Atlantic
“Nascar fans are some of the most passionate fans in sports. The Social Vending machine really tapped into their passion for racing by challenging them with racing trivia, but in doing so rewarding them with fun prizes. It created a unique experience for them to share and in the process amplified AAA’s brand exposure.” – Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of Brightline
What then are these insights?
As you consider reaching new customers and increasing brand awareness for your company this coming year remember to:
• Keep it Simple
• Entice Customers for their Participation – a branded flag might not be that exciting but the chance to win exclusive pit passes definitely ups the ante
• Tap into Your Customers’ Passion – find out what inspires them and then use that to draw attention to your brand
Best of luck in all of your 2015 endeavors!

Looking for a complete break room service for your Orlando office? Call Blindster Refreshments today at 407-730-6629 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs.