Get ready to meet the new vending machine. In the not so distant future, vending machines will communicate with consumers through an application (app) on their smartphone that includes artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The app will learn the Chicago customer’s preferences in order to improve and personalize the experience. Customers will also be notified via the app about future promotions and new ways to use the app such as placing a single order for multiple beverages.
While this technology is not available everywhere, most vending machines use other recently developed technology to improve the Chicago customer experience. Gone are the days when coins were needed to purchase a snack or beverage from a vending machine. Today, credit cards and debit cards can be used on almost all machines to make cashless payments over wireless technology. Many locations also offer the option of making mobile payments on a smartphone via Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Wireless technology also offers additional benefits for both the consumer and the vending provider. Because of the constant wireless connection, real-time sales data moves between the vending machine and the vendor helping control inventory, track products, and forecast product demand.
New technology has also positively impacted the environment. Vending machines that meet Energy Star ratings cost less to operate and use less overall energy. Installing light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs further decreases energy consumption and energy costs. Unlike most lighting that turns off when not in use, lighting in vending equipment remains on. Compared to other types of light bulbs in vending machines, LED light bulbs emit light in a specific direction without substantial loss of light, and emit less overall heat. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.”
Delivering vending machine snacks and beverages to office break rooms in Chicago has also been positively impacted by environmentally-friendly technology. There are fewer and lighter trucks on the road because real-time sales data and inventory tracking provide more accurate information about the products that need to be delivered. When combined with changes in vehicle emissions’ requirements, the trucks that are on the road use fewer natural resources and produce fewer vehicle emissions.
Overall, new technologies have had a positive impact. How have new technologies improved your Chicago employees’ experiences in the office break room? Whether you want to install vending machines that have up-to-date technologies for the first time, or if you need to upgrade your current machines, we can help. Call Commercial Food Systems at 708.430.1500 for more information.