While micro markets are one of the new segments Texas-based Healthy Generation Vending (HGV) plans to focus on in the coming year, an even stronger contender is its office coffee service (OCS). “We are doing a huge push on coffee and picking up vending and markets as add-on’s along the way,” said Michael Ray, co-owner of HGV. “We will not do a new market or vending without picking up the OCS as well.”
In its coffee segment, HGV continues to look at how to change the experience for the customer. “The vast majority of our coffee business is frac pack, it’s been around the longest,” said Michael. “However, Starbucks started something that has snowballed. Now I always go in leading with single-cup options.”
One of Michael’s favorite single-cup brewers for its volume, reliability and specialty drink offerings is the Newco line of liquid coffee machines with touchscreens. “We can put in a liquid coffee machine, put an interface on it to make cappuccinos and other specialty drinks and it costs the location less than a dollar a cup,” he said. “It’s a huge benefit to the client because they are already spending money on coffee service, but this lets them create a better experience and get really happy employees for not much more money.”
The benefit of the liquid coffee is that it works well in large facilities, delivering a high volume of coffee, so this is what HGV offers first to locations such as hospitals and distribution centers. “Some of the other single-cup brewers are great, but are not a good method to deliver coffee to a lot of people,” said Michael.
Single-cup and small business
Even in small, 100-employee offices, HGV presents single-cup options first. Michael often suggests converting a 3-pot brewer to a CX-Touch pod machine. “With its LCD screen and ability to make specialty drinks, it is more impressive to the location and doubles their spend,” said Michael. He will bring in a unit for the location to try that includes all the best features, powders and drink styles. He will even bring in extras that employees would normally find in a coffee shop, such as powdered chocolate and whipped cream. “I encourage employees to try it and tell the facility manager or human resources what they like,” said Michael. “After all, the company is trying to make them happy.”
Educating customers in better coffee options has led to an increase in pantry service for HGV. “Now companies will say ‘I know you do coffee, can you do this?’” said Michael.
Pantry service usually includes bringing in something extra that will be offered to employees for free, such as trail mix, protein bars, cookie trays or even whipped cream for coffee drinks. There are times a company has requested seasonal pantry service as well. During high volume times, some clients will ask HGV to bring in fruit trays or food for employees who are working overtime. “Coffee has opened the doors for us,” added Michael. “I see it as the next frontier.”
This article is an edited excerpt from the March 2019 operation profile titled “Changing The Game.”