Vending machines are one thing, but micro markets provide so much more for your employees. Now, in theory, one could argue they're the same. Both offer food and beverages and are self-serve. At the core, the micro market concept is an innovation in vending, something that's existed for decades. But micro markets are an experience. I'll let our micro market customer, Marco's CEO Jeff Gau, explain the benefits of a micro market as he sees it.
Marco's Micro Market
Culture ... and a Bag of Chips
Marco is big on their people, which makes them a great customer of ours - because we too, are big on people. Jeff talked about Marco's footprint. "We're a technology company headquartered in St. Cloud, MN with 53 locations across the upper Midwest. Our roots are grounded in our strong culture." Jeff shared with me how the St. Cloud office is on the fringe of the city, and access to dining options in that geographical area is limited. "A micro market gives people the opportunity to have decent snacks, lunch, and anything else throughout the course of the day. I'm happy to say Marco provides those options right on site."
He added, "Yogurts, sandwiches, even chips - low fat, reduced fat, there's a wide variety. We appreciate the options and view our micro market as an efficiency gain with health conscious options. Not that everything is about productivity at Marco, but if someone doesn't want to leave the premise to eat, or venture out into the elements during the winter, he or she has some dining options here. They have healthy snacks and total meal items."
“Three years ago when we built our new office, Bernick’s brought a lot of things to the table that we really liked. I like that they’re local. So, when we approached the micro market idea, it was natural to turn to Bernick’s on that too,” said Andy Freihammer, a former Marco operations manager. “I also like that they use Short Stop (Custom Catering) which is also local. You know it’s fresh. It’s not food out of Atlanta or someplace.”
Gold Standard Program
Marco's been in business for over 45 years. They didn't get where they are today without the right principles of business. Hear it from Gau's point of view. "We believe in the Gold Standard program. It's a philosophy we've developed for maintaining Marco's culture and family feel as we continue to grow. Here's the foundation of our Gold Standard: We believe best-in-class performance is based on our commitment to a workplace culture that promotes employee engagement, client satisfaction, vendor partnerships, and community support."
How Bernick's Exemplifies Marco's Culture
Building and maintaining strong partnerships with vendors is another essential component of the Marco company culture. Selecting vendors who share values and a commitment to customer satisfaction. When working with vendor partners, Marco ensures they understand what the expectations are. Some integral things related to the Gold Standard for vendors include performance, integrity, and engagement.
Gau said, "What we value about our vendors is when it becomes a non-event. It just happens, and it happens right. It just feels right - and this has been a good relationship. Bernick’s, as a company, they aren’t just a vendor to us. They’re a community citizen just like we are. They’re out doing good stuff in the community and I like that. All things equal, why not do business with a good community citizen?"
Bernick’s is different for three specific reasons – premium service, quality portfolio, and community involvement; all three of these reasons were mentioned by Marco when describing Bernick’s and their micro markets. Our company was founded around principals that kept people at the center of our mission, vision, and values. Our popular brands have loyal customer bases, but we are committed to keeping things local, stocking our micro markets with fresh, seasonal produce grown locally. Community involvement is another reason to partner with Bernick's, we believe healthy communities and healthy companies go hand-in-hand. Bernick's donates five percent of net income to the communities they serve each year, giving back is is a way to acknowledge our support and partnerships.
Bernick's Innovation At Its Finest
Chris Kalla is one of our Vending Specialists. He shed a little light on how innovative and adaptable our vending division at Bernick's has been. And because of it, we're able to offer our customers like Marco the very best in micro market vending solutions. The installation process of micro markets is pretty painless for companies, and Marco was no different. “They are impressive on how fast they install them,” said Freihammer. "Bernick’s handles everything, including the camera, which can be remotely accessed at any time."
“If there are issues with the kiosk, you can call Bernick’s and they will try to troubleshoot right away,” said Marco VP of Operations Scott Roeder.
Setting up a micro market is simple for our customers - and it comes at very little or no cost. Bernick's will conduct:
- Onsite space analysis
- Configuration of equipment
- Replacement of current machines, if applicable, and install new ones
- A run through and setup of account use - all within a day
Interested in how your company culture can benefit from a micro market? Talk to someone on our team today. For more information on micro markets, visit our blogs for a few more resources.