Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 12


209625199 | Anton Eine | Dreamstime

Tomorrow's Pantry
The road back to office normality could be long, but this convenience
service remains a key employee benefit
By Emily Jed, Contributing Editor


venience service segment in 2018
and 2019, as reported in Automatic
Merchandiser's State of the Indus12

try survey and the National Automatic Merchandising Association's
Industry Census. Clients were sold
on the value of stocking the break-

Automatic Merchandiser * February/March 2021

room with premium refreshments to
attract and retain employees during
the strong economic period with
low unemployment.
As with every segment of the convenience services business, COVID-19
has certainly had an impact on office
coffee and pantry services; perhaps
hitting these two channels hardest.
Tom Steuber is president and
owner of San Leandro, CA-based
Associated Services, a pioneering Bay
Area office coffee and pantry services
provider founded by his parents, Hal
and Diane, in 1972. He has been hit
hard by the pandemic. With most of
the employees of Associated's clients
still working from home, many of the
operation's pantry and coffee services
have ceased for the time being.
Associated Services ran 65 routes,
serving more than 5,000 customers
throughout northern California prepandemic. Pantry service had been a
booming segment, growing at more
than 20% annually since the concept
began in the high-tech Bay Area market, where employers have pulled out
all the stops to attract and retain talent.
But that growth began slowing to
5% to 10% in the fourth quarter of
2019 as the economy began to contract. A few months later, Gov. Gavin
Newsom issued California's stay-athome order on March 19, 2020.
The second-generation operator
recalled the devastating impact of
that order. " The majority of customers stopped buying from us because
they're not in the office., " Steuber
saiod. " We have a large high-tech base
that still has only skeleton crews in
the office at best. "
Thankfully, he added, the exception has been healthcare, biotech and
essential services like banks.
" The vast majority of even the
clients who have strong businesses
still are working from home and
their offices are closed, " Steuber said.
" Of those who are back, new safety



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021

Editor's Note
Industry News
OCS Update
Pandemic Proofing with PPE
Happy Returns
Future Forward
Social Hubs
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - PCOV1
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - PCOV2
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 1
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 2
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 3
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 4
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Editor's Note
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 6
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 7
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Industry News
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 9
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 10
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 11
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - OCS Update
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 13
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Pandemic Proofing with PPE
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 15
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 16
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 17
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Happy Returns
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 19
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 20
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 21
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 22
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 23
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Future Forward
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 25
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 26
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 27
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 28
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 29
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 30
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 31
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 32
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Classifieds
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - Social Hubs
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 35
Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 36