Aramark And Fixturelite Partner To Create Cutting Edge Market

June 30, 2020

After two years of planning and over one year of collaboration with Fixturelite, Aramark has launched a branded micro market that allows clients to add a personalized touch. The market is turning heads and getting rave reviews in North American workplaces.

The goal: A consistent look, feel and brand

“This project was part of a journey to provide a seamless customer experience in all lines of our business,” said Bridgett Schlick, AVP of Marketing for Refreshment Services at Aramark.

“We wanted to create one design for our micro market business, while at the same time making improvements to the overall look of the market,” said Hillary Higgins, Marketing Manager at Aramark who specializes in micro markets.

Research and answers

Before the design process started, Aramark conducted extensive research with their micro market clients to identify their priorities. Higgins said Aramark learned that clients wanted an upgraded look and feel in their markets and that personalization was important to clients and end users. “Giving their market a name that means something to them makes it more valuable to them — the market is more imbedded to their culture,” she said.

Enter Fixturelite

Once the dual objective was clear, branding with personalization, Aramark turned the concept over to a design firm. “The design agency put together a beautiful rendition of the market and I asked Fixturelite, can you make this design come alive?” said Higgins.

“We were so appreciative that Aramark had the confidence to rely on Fixturelite for this important project,” said Steve Orlando, an experienced operator of 10 years who co-founded Fixturelite, the leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment, graphics and design solutions. “We knew that the development of this branded market for Aramark would require people, resources, materials and some creative thinking to create something that would be quite special, unique and impactful.”

Branding and personalization

“Working with Fixturelite, we developed the parameters of personalization, how the client could put their own touch on the market without changing the overall look and materials,” said Higgins. “On one area, a wood planked sign goes at the top center of the market — where we allow the client to customize the color and the wording within that branded nameplate.” She added that this feature helped deliver the upscale market that Aramark’s clients wanted, while adding the important personalization concept.

The unveiling

“There was a lot of thought leadership involved on the Aramark side and hours of productive collaboration, including weekly meetings,” said Troy Geis, CEO and Co-Founder of Fixturelite.

“It came to fruition last October and we got to see the market in person,” said Higgins. It’s one thing to create a market on paper, and Fixturelite succeeded in not only bringing our design to life, but also making it executable by our operators. “There was an incredible amount of detail involved and they were spectacular to work with throughout the entire process.”

Key features of the market

“We added a number of architectural features and materials that you don’t typically see in a micro market,” Orlando noted. In addition to the personalized signage element, those features include:

·      New lower grill covers, designed around Minus Forty Technologies equipment, for a built-in look. 

·       Additional soffits at the top and sides of the market — that is what the branded nameplate rests on. This stacked design at the top of the market creates an elevated 3D look.

·       New look pay station which draws attention to the kiosk, all enclosed with a covered top. 

·       Pendant lights with Edison lightbulbs for an updated and upscale look. 

·       Back wall area has a natural wood look.

·       Lattice cut framework at the top of the market where the pendant lights emerge.

·       LED lighting under each shelf in the snack cabinet, in conjunction with black shelving and a black interior, allowing for the focus to be on the product selection.

·       Perfectly placed pricing on each shelf for a total retail experience. 

Steve Closser of Translucent, the industry’s leading micro market consultant, was quite impressed with the look of the market. “It is a very cool market, that really 'wows' customers. It really has a multi-dimensional, 3D look,” he said.

Attractive and functional

Closser reported that in installation field tests, despite all the special features, the market was easy to install, just like every other Fixturelite market. “Fixturelite took the branded concept that Aramark created and turned it into modular fixtures that could quickly, easily and repeatedly be assembled in workplaces,” noted Closser.

“It is one thing working with an agency that designs something that looks good and it is another thing to work with people like Steve and Troy who were able to make it look good and be functional,” said Schlick. “The fact that they were able to do both made a big difference. They thought about all the important details from an operator standpoint that we might not have thought of.”

A competitive advantage

For Aramark, the new market gives them an immediate competitive advantage, a benefit that is not lost on Kirsten Finneran, Aramark’s Director of Business Development/National Accounts. “Creating a look across the board within all of our business channels gives us a competitive advantage. No matter where someone goes in the country, within the same company, they will see the same concept, just customized specifically for the client. It’s a repeatable, expandable concept and it is very unique to be offering that nationally,” said Finneran.

Aramark plans to have over 100 of the new markets rolled out by the end of 2020.

In many ways, good timing

“From all of the conversations I have been having with clients as they reopen, many are looking to up the amenity level. They want the employees to know they are being cared for as they come back into the office,” said Schlick. “Market design is critical. For those coming back to work the office is becoming a destination. The micro market needs to be shoppable, needs to look new and different. It needs to be a visual sign that the company cares about me and that I don’t need to leave the building to venture out for what I need.”

Finneran points out one of the best features of the new market. “It brings together popular concepts that make you feel good in the space,” she said. “It’s also fun for the client to be able to personalize the market.”

That is something we can all use in today’s workplace — a fun space where people feel good.

Industry consultant Bob Tullio ( is a content specialist who advises operators in the convenience services industry on how to build a successful business from the ground up. As he is a recognized industry expert in business development and sales, NAMA hired him to write and narrate the new online course, “Selling Convenience Services,” which is now available. Use discount code B2B10 for an instant discount and for free access to upcoming Q & A Webinars from Tullio in the coming months. Here is a free sample of the course.