Unstable Economy? Refreshments Please!

If youre like me, the talk among politicians, economists and talking heads about the debt, the debt limit and the deficit is anti climactic. Its hard to believe any more wind can be sucked out of our economy. Does anyone believe we were on a road to recovery before the debt limit came to a head?At this time of the year, the Automatic Merchandiser editorial staff is winding down its interviews with operators on the state of the refreshment services business. We certainly havent heard much talk about recovery.The times have been rough, but as veterans of any people business, people in our business have learned to adapt. Our specific mission is helping others adapt as well. Our industry members are beyond being fazed by economic news. Theyve taken their hits. Theyve adjusted their budgets and business plans. At this point, they either know what their customers want from them or theyve lost most of their customers.As for our customers, most stopped expecting a dramatic turnaround for their businesses some time ago. The economic missteps of the last three years seem to be beyond the comprehension of those they might have once relied on.If, as refreshment service operators, we have done our jobs well, our customers have also learned that they and their employees need our services more than before in order to weather the current and pending economic storms.Those of us with the right instincts recognize the need to bond with customers. As opposed to putting them on autopilot while attempting to find new customers. This is as simple as offering the unexpected gift, the recognition of someones customer anniversary or a birthday email.Few industries have as many opportunities to brighten the atmosphere of the work place as refreshment services.That is why we exist.