Call To Action: Nominate Your Route Drivers

June 25, 2015

Many vending operators have expressed how hard it is to find and retain great route drivers. Men and women who come to work in the early morning and stay late into the afternoon; who show up on time and don’t cut corners; those route drivers who are reliable and good with their customers; the men and women who find solutions to route inefficiencies and are the face of vending.

We’ve written on the importance of highlighting your route drivers before, but I thought it would be a good idea to remind you once again in light of some events over the last few weeks. Unfortunately we have seen in the news stories of route drivers who abuse their role in a vending operation. This week we reported on a route driver in the South who had been arrested for pocketing money. Lots of money.

But why highlight the bad when there is so much good?

Route Driver of the Year award

If you’re not aware, Automatic Merchandiser highlights four great route drivers each year (one per quarter). At the end of that year we select one overall yearly winner. It’s called the Route Driver of the Year award, sponsored by Mondelez International. I have the pleasure of reading each and every nomination and sitting on a panel that chooses the quarterly and overall winners. I’ve got to say that it’s one of the best parts of my job. Customers, general managers and vending operators alike all send in nominations for the best of the best: the men and women who turn route driving from just a “job” into a career.

Last month we highlighted Dean Lott, a route driver for Five Star Food Service. Dean is a great route driver. He takes the time to get to know each location’s contacts, he saves the company around $3,000 each year with suggestions to routes and even keeps his own route book and Excel doc on each location. You should check out his entire profile if you haven’t already.


I challenge each of you to think of your own best, hardest-working route driver. Do they deserve to be recognized? The answer is yes. Even if you have nominated your route driver before and he or she didn’t win, I encourage you to nominate them again. Do you have several great route drivers? We accept multiple nominations from the same company as well.

Our third quarter Route Driver of the Year award is coming up in September; will you nominate your great route drivers?

Nominate here.

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