Micro markets have been growing in popularity in the recent years, and I think it’s safe to safe to say that they are here to stay. In case you don’t know what a micro market is, it’s essentially an unattended retail store—you have most likely seen them in businesses, hotels or airports as a way to cut down on labor cost and offer more convenience and choice to customers.

Recently, micro markets have been getting placed in more and more businesses for employees to utilize. One of the big benefits of a micro market is the ability to increase your number of selections, and up the quality of the product. This is due to coolers and freezers being used instead of vending machines, they allow the operator to provide options like fresh fruit, cold wraps, and things like smoothies and yogurt. Basically, all the food that an employee would most likely want on their break is now available in their building and they no longer need to leave the office. With more people staying in the office for breaks, the micro market becomes a space for employees to gather and helps to promote their wellness.

One of the big concerns I have seen when it comes to micro markets is the opportunity for theft. However, technology is advancing so quickly that there are now multiple different options to protect yourself. Coolers have smart locks that do not open until the product is purchased, there is weighted shelf technology to know exactly what a customer is taking, and of course, camera systems are highly recommended. A lot of people have had success with setting up cameras and monitors in the market, so customers know that they are being recorded. Also, if your micro market is placed inside of a business, talk to the owners and make sure that they are willing to hold their employees accountable as well—most people prefer their job over a free bag of Skittles!

Overall, micro markets offer easy access and convenience to customers and operators. With touch-free payment systems, operators are able to check on their market from a phone or computer and customers can pay with the click of a button. Personally, I am much more likely to use a micro market over a vending machine, the selection is always better, and I don’t run the risk of my snack getting stuck in a machine. Obviously, not every location is meant for a micro market, but if you have the capacity and the business to support it, then it’s definitely worth checking out your options.

To see the micro market equipment that AVS Companies offers, click here.