December 2021 - 38

I want to see, for example, how I'm
doing with Chips Ahoy, but I'm forgetting
to pull from different sections or
segments, " he continued. " Further, if
I want to analyze one of my customers
and see how they're doing, I didn't
want to have to go to one program to
see how their vending was performing,
another to see how their market is
doing and then a third program to see
how much coffee I'm selling. That's rife
for problems. The Cantaloupe platform
puts everything in one place. "
Until recently, the industry's conventional
practice was to separate
micro market and vending routes,
known as static routing. Today, more
operators are combining the two to
increase efficiencies, a practice called
dynamic routing. For its part, Whitson's
operation is now fully dynamic,
combining not only micro market
and vending service, but also office
coffee and pantry.
" Because everything's under one
platform, we are dynamically scheduling
all routes, " he said. " We no longer
operate dedicated routes, but instead
use the same truck to service vending,
markets and OCS locations.
" Since we're using one platform,
my drivers don't have to understand
two, three, four or five different systems, "
Whitson added. " From a route
optimization standpoint, obviously, it's
allowing me to target a geographic area
much more closely, rather than having
to send three different trucks to touch
three different lines of the business. "
Still more, the Delaware Valley
operation is breaking down its micro
markets into subsections. " Originally,
in vending, the old-school mentality
held that you'd do an entire bank of
vending machines when you stopped
the truck at a location. When dynamic
scheduling started, we began to think,
'Well, I'm only going to service the
snack machine but not the drink
38 Automatic Merchandiser * December 2021
Lauren Whitson, Bradlee's wife, and Don
Bove, below, manage K&R's business
development. While business is booming
in K&R's Delaware Valley market, supply
shortages are impeding the company's
ability to meet demand.
This summer, K&R Vending, which
recently opened a second office in
New Castle, DE, updated its name to
better reflect its increasing involvement
in self-checkout micro markets,
which can offer a wider array of fresh
foods. Vital to the new K&R Market
Fresh is USConnect's Bistro To Go
self-service market brand. K&R, a
founding member of USConnect, has
been a part of the foodservice technology
group for almost a decade.
Headquartered in Greensboro,
NC, USConnect LLC is a nationwide
integrated technology provider that
manages vending, micro markets,
corporate dining, OCS and other
foodservice options over a wireless
network. It's part of GlobalConnect, an
international network of independent
foodservice companies.
" Vending is where we started,
machine.' Then when micro markets
came along, we slipped back into
thinking we would restock an entire
market every time we'd go out to
a location. But now, were stepping
forward by breaking markets up into
sections and choosing which parts of it
need to be filled during a service visit. "
Accordingly, Whitson sends a
driver to a location only to top off
one or two cold drink coolers and/
or a snack section, but nothing else in
that market. As a result, route service
becomes more efficient without
impacting the customer's experience.
" When we started servicing markets,
we had a ton of product. We went
out there with a dozen totes of various
products, running all over a market trying
to fill it, " Whitson recalled. " Now,
our drivers get in and get out to the
next place, and our customers are still
getting a good experience. Without that
kind of efficiency, I don't know how we
would survive the COVID period. "
and I truly believe vending is always
going to be a component of this business,
but we realize where we were
heading, " Whitson said. " But to say
we were just a vending company felt
like we were limiting our scope. The
concept of K&R Market Fresh shows
that all of our offerings - whether
they're being delivered through vending,
markets, pantry or OCS, or new
technologies like smart coolers - are
always going to bring new, fresh and
creative products to our clients. "
In addition to micro markets, pantry
service was a new area into which
K&R was rapidly branching before the
pandemic closed many office locations.
Still, micro markets are currently
experiencing the greatest volume of
growth in K&R's service sphere. Whitson
said that markets now represent
about 70% of the company's revenues.
The company began operating the selfcheckout
stores in 2012.
" USConnect has been crucial to
our business, " Whitson emphasized.

December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021

Editor's Note
Industry News
A True Story
The 2021 Pros to Know Awards
They'll Take it to Go!
Two is Better Than One
K&R Market Fresh
Social Hubs
December 2021 - PCOV1
December 2021 - PCOV2
December 2021 - 1
December 2021 - 2
December 2021 - 3
December 2021 - 4
December 2021 - 5
December 2021 - Editor's Note
December 2021 - 7
December 2021 - Industry News
December 2021 - 9
December 2021 - A True Story
December 2021 - 11
December 2021 - The 2021 Pros to Know Awards
December 2021 - 13
December 2021 - 14
December 2021 - 15
December 2021 - 16
December 2021 - 17
December 2021 - 18
December 2021 - 19
December 2021 - 20
December 2021 - 21
December 2021 - 22
December 2021 - 23
December 2021 - They'll Take it to Go!
December 2021 - 25
December 2021 - 26
December 2021 - 27
December 2021 - 28
December 2021 - 29
December 2021 - Two is Better Than One
December 2021 - 31
December 2021 - 32
December 2021 - 33
December 2021 - 34
December 2021 - 35
December 2021 - K&R Market Fresh
December 2021 - 37
December 2021 - 38
December 2021 - 39
December 2021 - 40
December 2021 - Classifieds
December 2021 - Social Hubs
December 2021 - 43
December 2021 - 44