Automatic_Merchandiser_February-March_2021 - 13

protocols are in place, and they see
more employees staying in as much
as possible throughout the day as
being safer. "
That's where Associated's pantry
service continues to shine, by adapting
to meet safety concerns while providing an array of refreshments to keep
people onsite. One big shift has been
from shared, bulk-dispensed products
to individually prepackaged items and
adding face masks and hand sanitizer
to the mix.
" I talk to lots of customers who
plan to reopen. When that will happen is a moving target, " Steuber said.
" They expect more employees to work
from home with at least some reduced
headcount going forward. "
The convenience services operator
emphasized that widespread vaccination, and achieving herd immunity,
will be critical to reestablishing pantry
and OCS, as will the reopening of
schools in the Bay Area, where K-12
buildings have been closed for the
entire school year.
" It affects parents' ability to work
even if their offices open if their kids
are distance learning, " he noted.
" Companies I speak with intend to
keep OCS and pantry but it's hard
to know what it will look like a year
down the line. It will be a long road
back to figure out what the workplace
of the future will look like, but there
will be lingering impact. "
To bridge the gap, Associated Services created a snack box program.
Its @Work boxes consolidate a location's previous snack program into
personal-sized boxes for employees
to enjoy at their desks and its
@Home boxes are individualized to
employees' preferences and delivered
right to their doors.
Many operators report that
manufacturing has fared better than
other sectors and this has helped
Canteen Lincoln County Vending,
based in Fayetteville, TN, weather

MagicDesk from Pixabay

Of those who are back,
new safety protocols are
in place, and they see
more employees staying
in as much as possible
throughout the day as
being safer. "
Tom Steuber, president and owner
of Associated Services

the pandemic. Founded in 1995,
the six-route operation serves a
largely industrial base with vending
machines, office coffee and water
services and, most recently, pantries.
" Manufacturing sales have
normalized and are even up in some
locations, " reported Lincoln County
Vending operations manager Kevin
Posey. " Vending is doing well. White
collar, OCS, pantry and water are still
struggling to come back. The key is to
adapt to each client's needs. "
The company, which operates
35 micro markets and 600 vending
machines, ventured into the pantry
space in spring 2019 when it gained a

client at a new building that already
had the service at its locations in other
parts of the country.
Posey said the location had 100
employees pre-COVID and many are
now working from home. Still, enough
are onsite to support a pantry well
stocked with chips, candy and beverages, along with yogurt, carrot sticks
and nuts, among other offerings. Like
Associated Services, Lincoln County
Vending has shifted from providing
shared products like bulk milk and
creamers and bulk bins of snacks to
individual packs in response to its
clients' concerns to reduce the spread
of the virus.
While that site remains the company's only pantry account, Posey is
optimistic that as people make their
way back to the workplace, pantry
will grow.
" When I started 20-plus years
ago, we paid locations to have a
vending machine, " he recalled. " With
micro markets, there's no commission and some companies supplement
micro market purchases because
they see the value for their employees. Pantry is all free and we bill the
customer. I see it as the evolution of
the industry, with more focus on the
benefit for the employees. " ■

February/March 2021 *



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