It looks like US ‘Grab N Go’ Vending Will Be ‘The Next Big Thing’ as Specialist Vending unveils revolutionary hot/cold food vendor at Hotelympia
Specialist Vending has unveiled the UK’s first fully integrated hot/cold food and drink vendor at this year’s Hotelympia. Promoting it as ‘ideal for forecourts, hotels or grab n go facilities’, the unique ‘Eat-Wave’ vending system allows a wide range of pre-packed foods and calorie-controlled dishes to be heated and then dispensed alongside a range of complementary snacks and drinks, to provide a complete meal solution from a single machine. The company claims it will be ‘perfect for any food-on-the-go location, as well as busy offices and staff restaurants.’
The EatWave machine’s glass-fronted chilled cabinet allows up to 60 items to be stocked in any arrangement. Selected items that require heating fall onto a conveyor at the base of the cabinet, on which they are fed to a unique, patented dual-door microwave that quickly heats each product to the prescribed temperature. On completing the heating cycle, the items fall through to a conventional vending machine customer collection tray. Chilled items such as drinks or snacks simply pass through the microwave unit without being heated.
“Having the microwave unit within the machine eliminates machine abuse which is a common problem with external units. The development of this new, compact commercial microwave therefore minimises down-time and improves revenue generating potential as complete hot food meal deals can be presented in a single, small footprint unit,” says Bert Wallace, Business Development Director at Specialist Vending. “The vendor can be telemetry-linked for round the clock operational and performance monitoring.”
The comany also presented at Hotelympia the 365 SmartShop MicroMarket , a 24/7 unmanned self-checkout MicroMarket that can offer fresh food and beverage alternatives to vending in the workplace.
MicroMarkets are apparently ‘a growing phenomenon in the United States where they are rapidly revolutionising workplace catering’. The leading 365 Smartshop utilises the latest payment, monitoring and EPOS technologies to provide staff with 24/7 access to a full selection of food and drinks including fresh fruit and healthy salads.
Mirroring a conventional supermarket, items are stored in chilled cabinets or on shelving racks. Users self-scan their items at the SmartShop checkout station where they can choose their method of payment: credit or account card, or via biometrics using a thumbprint recognition system which adds the cost to the user’s individual account. For security, CCTV monitors the whole SmartShop.
“The 365 system demonstrates just how far automated retail has moved from the tired and stigmatised conventional vending model,” says Bert Wallace, co-founder of Specialist Vending. “The provision of complete healthy meal options within an environment that’s dynamic and stimulating opens a wealth of opportunities to improve staff wellbeing and to create new communication and promotional ideas that will add value to category management programmes.”
“We think there is a huge opportunity in the UK for MicroMarkets “ says Joe Hessling, CEO and founder of 365Retailmarkets “and 365 is very excited to be at the forefront. Partnering the expertise of Specialist Vending with the technology and service 365 has become famous for in the US, is sure to make the launch a huge success.”