Route Driver Quarterly winner

In his spare time, this customer service pro is a champion barbecue chef

Mike White celebrates his 20th year with Canteen Vending Services Inc. in East Peoria, Ill. this year, and he still looks forward to his job every day. “I really enjoy all the interaction” with customers, said the veteran route driver.

White won the third quarterly competition for the 2010 Automatic Merchandiser 7th Annual Route Driver of the Year Award sponsored by Kraft Vending & OCS.

White presently services the candy/snack and hot beverage machines for a high volume location. Another driver handles the soda and cold food machines.

White joined Canteen after his father told him about an opening at the company. White was working as a cabinet finisher when he found out about the Canteen route position. His father was a supervisor at a manufacturing plant that was serviced by Canteen. Soon, White was servicing vending machines at the plant where his father worked.

“It was a pretty interesting job,” said White.

White has become so adept at all aspects of servicing machines that he acts as a trainer for new drivers. His route supervisor, Marty Howard, noted that White places comment cards on all of his machines.

White is also an award winning barbecue chef, traveling the Central U.S. to participate in barbecue contests.

One of the biggest changes White has witnessed over the years has been the introduction of handhelds to the route, which he welcomes. “It just saves so much paperwork,” he said.

White notices that his candy/snack sales are increasing as more young people enter the work force. He has also noticed that beverage tastes have become a lot more diverse over the years.

White was nominated for the honor by his route supervisor, Marty Howard. Drivers are selected based on a numerical score in the following areas: years as a driver, number of machines serviced, miles traveled, accidents and citations, days missed, speed, thoroughness, customer compliments, truck condition, empty spirals and sales.

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