Getting Started in MicroMarkets

Since hitting the marketplace in 2012, MicroMarket adoption and revenue have increased steadily with no signs of slowing down. The open market, fresh food offerings, and convenient technology have taken MicroMarkets from a costly investment to a sound, money-making venture and necessity for Operators looking towards the future. Your MicroMarket provider can help guide you towards selecting the best locations to open your new markets. However, we’ve compiled a short list of priority items to cover before you sign a contract with a host location. 

1. Check state regulations

You’ll want to be aware of any licensing requirements and tax implications. Talk to the state vending associations. To date, the Food and Drug Administration has not created a defined classification for MicroMarkets and regulations vary from state to state. NAMA is an excellent resource to tap into when navigating the terrain. Be prepared to discuss:

  1. Local health codes and if health permits or food handling cards are required.
  2. Inspections.
  3. Food quality control, including temp sensors, disposal of expired foods and staff training.

2. Scope out the competition

Visit the local Chamber of Commerce’s website to find out what other food options are available in the area. A location that is in close proximity to fast food restaurants and convenience stores may yield lower sales than a location that is more isolated.

3. Scour the terrain

MicroMarkets may not be the best fit for every location. Sit down with the host location and go over the checklist:

  • Employee size – For a full-size MicroMarket, the location should have 150 or more employees. Any less and you’d want to consider stocking more snacks and less fresh foods to avoid spoilage or putting in a nanomarket™ instead.
  • Break times – MicroMarkets are more attractive in blue-collar environments. The shortened break intervals, i.e. 2-15 minute breaks and a 30-minute break will encourage employees to stay on campus instead of venturing out for food. 
  • Physical space – Does the location have a suitable breakroom space? Contacting a company that specializes in MicroMarket fixtures such as Fixturelite for consultation would be a good idea.

MicroMarkets are definitely an investment with the potential for a high return. However, it is important not to enter into this market without a plan. By doing your due diligence, you can avoid pitfalls and deliver a superior product to your customers.