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How Modern Vending Machines and Micro Markets Are Changing the Hospitality Industry for Good

How Modern Vending Machines and Micro Markets Are Changing the Hospitality Industry for Good

The hospitality industry encompasses providing comfort and enjoyment to patrons through lodging, entertainment, and meals. This includes businesses like hotels, resorts, entertainment venues, and event spaces. Hotels have guests with appetites, and they don’t want to wait for food delivery or don’t have the energy to wander out to a restaurant after a long day. Venues for entertainment or events such as industry conferences may not have the space or funds to operate concessions or restaurants on-site. Vending machines and micro markets are the perfect solution for the hospitality industry to meet the needs of guests through food and drink.

What Is a Micro Market, and How Does It Compare to a Vending Machine?

Vending machines are evolving with modern technology, including a wider range of temperature-controlled options and advanced payment methods. Even with those advancements, traditional vending machines have limitations. There’s a limit on the volume and types of products that can be contained, reducing the variety of food and drinks that can be offered. There’s long been a gap between vending machines and full-service convenience stores or restaurants, but the rise of micro markets has helped reduce that.

Micro markets are small areas of a space where there are open shelves and refrigerated units accessible to consumers.

As they are completely customizable in what is stocked, the footprint they cover, and how they are arranged, micro markets provide greater flexibility for a business or facility that wants to offer food and drinks. Micro markets are often found in hotel or convention center lobbies where there is high traffic.

With more area than a typical vending machine, micro markets are capable of holding a broader range of products to choose from. The open space allows for larger items that wouldn’t otherwise fit in a hotel vending machine or would be an awkward shape for the dispenser.

Customers are able to pick up items to inspect them and read labels. This is a huge positive for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions because they can better review what options work with their diet. The freedom to have dry goods, refrigerated foods, cold beverages, and coffee machines all in one space allows the business to better meet the needs of its guests.

Micro markets have the same degree of convenience as vending machines thanks to the self-checkout option. Once they’ve chosen their items, they simply scan and pay without waiting for an employee to check them out. This is perfect for 24/7 situations such as hotels.

Both micro markets and vending machines create a flexible solution to provide food and drink options to anyone in the area without the overhead of a full-service food stand, restaurant, or convenience store. They’re the perfect balance of providing options for refreshments without being overwhelming.

How Can a Micro Market or Vending Machine Help My Hospitality Business?

Hospitality is all about providing comfort and meeting customer needs, and what better way to do that than through food? The problem is that most businesses are stretched thin these days with too few employees for the amount of work that needs to happen. Adding food and drink offerings shouldn’t increase that burden. With vending machines and micro markets, you’re able to have easy access to refreshments and pre-made meals without the overhead of added resources.

Guests at hotels or event facilities will always be looking for ways to feed their hunger and quench their thirst. Traveling, vacationing, and working on the go will fuel hunger and thirst. The inventory of the micro market or vending machine can be tailored to meet the typical clientele frequenting the space. A hotel full of weary work travelers would benefit from a micro market offering quick meals that don’t involve driving somewhere or waiting on delivery. A hotel that usually hosts families with small children may look for a different variety of food and drinks to stock that better suits that audience. The beauty of a micro market or vending machine is that the products can be changed out or customized depending on the needs of the people using it. Micro market vending provides the flexibility to customize and change the options as you wish.

Vending solutions are as beneficial for hospitality employees as they are for patrons. A hotel receptionist can’t leave the front desk often, otherwise they aren’t available to help guests. A vending machine or micro market in the lobby of the hotel gives them convenient snacks and meals while not pulling them away from their workspace. Someone working the hotel desk overnight craving a pick-me-up won’t have to go far to find what they need. Plus, employees are less likely to experience complaints from customers about the lack of food options if there’s a micro market present.

The employees also won’t have to add to their responsibilities—since micro markets provide self-checkout equipment, there’s no need for them to run a register. Even if you have a larger micro market, like in a convention center, you won’t need to hire additional employees to run it. Patrons will be able to scan their selections and pay at the kiosk without adding to your operating expenses. Between that and digital payment options on modern vending machines, there’s practically no staffing required when you add a micro market or vending machines.

Working with a vending service provider further reduces the effort involved in having food and drinks for patrons. The best vending service companies, such as S Vending Solutions, will provide all the equipment, maintain it for you, handle the restocking, and set everything up so you’re on autopilot. No need to add to your list of responsibilities! Even better is the lack of overhead cost—with SVS, you won’t pay any fees for the equipment, inventory, or service.

Benefits of Upgrading to Modern Vending Technology

If you have existing hotel vending machines that have been around for decades, it may be time to upgrade. The convenience and ease of modern vending machines have come a long way! One of the biggest advancements with vending machines is the ability to handle cashless payments. Simply tap or insert a card—no need to have cash on hand. Machines also now come equipped with mobile payment options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. As a business owner, you won’t miss people asking you to break bills for change or dealing with the frustration of a bent dollar bill not being taken by the machine.

Modern machines have a vastly superior inventory capability thanks to refrigeration and freezer options. This is great for hospitality businesses like hotels and motels, as guests will have salads, sandwiches, and microwaveable meal options to choose from without having to find a restaurant. Your patrons will thank you for making something in their day easy. Since your business won’t have to handle any of the preparation or cooking, it won’t increase the burden of work on your employees either.

Another benefit of modern vending machine technology is the improvement of the dispensing systems. Technology such as iVend ensures that the machine delivers the selected product or provides an instant refund if it isn’t dispensed. While products rarely get hung up in newer machines, you’ll never be on the hook for trying to shake the item loose or provide a refund to the purchaser.

What’s the Easiest Way to Get a Modern Vending Machine or Micro Market?

Operating a business is hard work—you don’t want to add to your list of responsibilities. If you want to add some form of vending solution without the additional stress, look to vending service providers like S Vending Solutions.

Vending service entails providing the equipment for you based on the space available and what you’re looking to achieve. It should also include stocking modern vending machines or micro markets, performing routine maintenance and repairs, and managing regular refills of products. With S Vending Solutions, you won’t even have a cost—we provide it all and never charge you a fee. Once you partner with us, we take care of setup and regular servicing, and we are more than happy to meet your requests when it comes to customizing your inventory. We’ve been the premier vending service partner throughout Nashville and the surrounding areas for two decades, and we love helping our customers find the perfect food and drink solution.

S Vending Solutions provides practical, tailored vending solutions for your business. Whether you’re in hospitality or something else entirely, we’re here to help. Start your vending journey from scratch or upgrade your existing vending options—we’re ready to help no matter what. Submit a quick form and you’ll be one step closer to the perfect vending setup for your facility or business.

Steve Caldwell
Steve Caldwell

Steve Caldwell is the owner and CEO of S Vending Solutions. As a former vending equipment salesman and later the National Sales Manager for PBS Vending Services from 2001-2008, Steve learned the industry inside and out. In 2018, Steve started his own vending company and quickly established routes in Nashville, Knoxville, and West Tennessee, expanding from there. As his personal routes grew he decided to sell his company and help new and existing vending operators market their businesses. Steve currently sells both new and used vending equipment and specializes in helping new operators start and grow their vending companies. He has become a certified Service Entity for the USI/Wittern brand of equipment.

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