The Service Factor
Hypothetically, if all service was the same, it would be easy to choose a vendor by just comparing prices on a spreadsheet. This would allow you to commoditize the process and objectively find the most price competitive vendor.
Unfortunately, service is not the same, so simple spreadsheets may help but they certainly don’t paint the full picture. Like any service industry, prices are typically determined by the level of service and the product offerings that a vendor provides. So to evaluate if the vendor is worth their prices, certain questions need to be considered to determine what’s right for your company.
Below are some questions that you should ask when looking for the vendor that’s best suited to serve you and your employees:
- Does the vendor offer delicious and fresh foods through a dynamic menu?
- Is the food home-made, creative and reflecting the newest trends, i.e. breakfast, vegetarian, wraps, etc.?
- Are there procedures in place that ensure fresh products: warehouse rotation; refrigeration; and slow moving items replaced with new items?
- Are they attentive to your location’s demographics and employee requests?
- Do they offer a great tasting cup of coffee made from fresh grounds/ beans?
- Do they provide organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-free products?
- How knowledgeable are their service technicians; what is their average tenure in the industry; and what kind of technical support do they have in pace?
- Do their service personnel wear uniforms; attend continuing education classes; go through prescreening and random drug testing?
- Do they make their service fit your operation or are they trying to fit your operation into the way they provide their service?
- Do they train their service personnel in how to provide friendly and professional service?
- Are the customer service representatives proactive, good listeners and attentive to your needs?
Latest equipment and technology:
- Are all payment forms available for your employees including credit/ debit card readers that offer NFC for Android, Apple and Samsung pay?
- Do they offer employee recognition programs such as vending coupons, charity contributions, or rewards programs?
- Do they offer the latest vending machines with maximum variety and the best dependability? Do these machines have interactive screens with a shopping cart experience?
- Are they proficient with Micro Markets that offer the most reliable and secure transactions, promotions, reward points, charity, and a card that works across the full width of the cafeteria’s services: vending, food services, micro markets, and pantry services?
- Do they have a wide variety of single cup brewers for you to choose from?
- Are they a complete breakroom specialist offering you a one-stop-shop convenience? Other services would include catering, coffee services, water services, food services, pantry services?
- What is their Corporate Mission Statement and slogan? Is it customer-centric?
- Are they a green company with a small carbon footprint using alternative fuels; LED lighting; paper/plastic/cardboard/metal recycling; dynamic scheduling; or food recycling to food banks?
- Are they actively involved in their industry to ensure they are following best practices and are compliant with all rules and regulations?
- A.H. believes these are all important questions to ask. They will flush out whether or not the service provider is a good fit for your company. When you invite a service company into your facility, you are partnering with who they are; how they operate; and what they believe.