For Steve Orlando and Troy Geis, experienced operators of ten years who five years ago co-founded Fixturelite, a leading supplier of micro market retail displays, seating and design features, every NAMA Show is a learning experience. 2019 was no exception. “By connecting with so many operators in one place, we have an opportunity to talk with operators about what is trending in the micro market world,” said Geis.
Orlando and Geis point to following trends and attitudes among operators:
Operators are looking beyond fixtures, focusing on design – “This was inevitable – as clients want more than just a row of racking and coolers dropped in place like vending machines,” said Orlando. “If your customer invested in an overall design related to improved workplace culture, they want a breakroom that is a key part of the workspace – a place where employees can feel comfortable, relax, collaborate and recharge. Design sets the tone and operators are starting to understand that. More and more, operators are using the Fixturelite Design Tool to help close deals.”
Special little features make the difference – “Operators are finding that clients are thrilled by special design features like phone charging stations, Parsons Tables and comfortable seating,” said Geis. “Soon to be a part of the Fixturelite product line: Stylish trash and recycling receptacles and indoor greenery and even bocce ball courts!”
“Workspace” is the new buzzword – Orlando said that forward thinking companies are seeing the break room as a critical part of the overall workspace. “That means they have higher expectations regarding lighting, equipment, use of color, furniture, artwork and traffic flow. It also means, in many cases, the client is willing to pay for what they want,” he added.
Rave reviews for Fixturelite’s new security camera – “The enterprise video surveillance system we are now offering to our clients is like nothing else we have seen on the market,” said Orlando. “This system eliminates the need for local servers, firewall equipment and network video recorders - reducing complexity and lowering operating costs. Each camera stores up to 120 days of video footage within the camera and is accessible via the Web.”
More operators looking to Minus Forty; saying “no” to borrowed equipment – “We have been doing business with Minus Forty for years now and there is a simple reason: They manufacture the best cooler and freezer merchandisers on the market,” said Orlando. “Operators are starting to understand that it makes sense to invest in quality. There are added benefits to utilizing stylish and reliable equipment as opposed to dealing with the headaches and poor performance of used coolers or freezers and the clean-up associated with a meltdown.”
The Translucent solution is a great fit for many operators – With over 30 years of foodservice experience, Translucent, led by industry veteran Steve and Patty Closser, is working with an increasing number of operators. “We go in and build a market with a client and they start asking us questions. Ultimately, they realize just how much industry experience we have, which turns into expanded and ongoing consulting support,” said Closser, who is quick to add that his company’s approach is extremely hands on as they help their clients through the micro market installation, technology and set-up process.
“We are hearing nothing but good things about Translucent and how they are doing wonderful things for operators,” said Orlando. “Fixturelite and Translucent work very well together and each time we collaborate on a project, it has been a huge success for the operator.”