A Micro Market is a revolution in workplace refreshments and can help you to completely transform the way that your workforce not only eats and drinks at work but also interacts and engages with their colleagues and their workplace environment. Offering quick and easy access to healthful, tailored food choices, the opportunities for staff satisfaction are endless – so what are the resounding benefits of choosing a Micro Market for your workplace?

They offer more variety

Everybody has their preferences and favourites when it comes to food, and with a Micro Market, you can cater to everybody’s requirements. The average Micro Market can stock anywhere between 150-400 items. A Micro Market has the advantage of being adaptable and providing unrivaled choice.

employer benefits

Improve workplace satisfaction

A satisfied and happy workforce is one that gets results for the company, and the installation of a Micro Market can help to facilitate this. Employees that know they can access high-quality, healthy meal and snack options at work and sit comfortably somewhere to enjoy them are going to feel wholly more satisfied – and that translates into better results for your company as a whole.

Improve employee health

There is no getting away from the fact that our diet plays a huge part in our health, overall sense of wellbeing and performance at work. A Micro Market provides the opportunity to help to improve diets and encourage employees to eat more healthily with fresh fruit options, diet-conscious snacks and even foods that adhere to different ways of eating such as gluten-free and vegan. If employees feel compelled to improve their diets, it’s likely that their lives, in general, will improve, and that positive attitude can only mean great things for the business.

Open 24/7

This one is really key to what makes a Micro Market such an accessible and progressive option for workplaces today. Core hours and designated breaks are becoming a thing of the past and are being replaced by flexible working hours and a management approach that gives employees more autonomy. With this in mind, it’s important to look for a workplace refreshment solution that can keep up and a Micro Market really can. Employees can access it 24/7, meaning that whether they are working shifts, overtime or have come into the office early to crack on with a lengthy project, they know they’ll be able to sustain themselves and refuel at a time that fits in with their working day.

Reduce extended breaks

Everyone needs a lunch break to refuel, gather their thoughts and relax, but when a person’s lunch break exceeds the time it should, this can slow down projects and stifle momentum. A Micro Market can help to alleviate this problem because employees no longer need to leave the workplace.  An on-site facility also means that employees can make the most of their breaks and enjoy them without having to get in their car to sit in traffic and join queues at the local convenience store.

Ease of payment

When it comes to making payments, cash can be longwinded and can increase waiting times. The Micro Market boasts a contactless self-serve till which is great for efficiency and keeps things easy for the consumers. With R+R Hub there is also the added option to pay via our App, where employees can collect points and be rewarded in the process.

Less hassle than a tuck shop

Does your office have a tuck shop? Though they do pose some benefits, several things are made simpler with the use of a Micro Market.  Generally speaking, it will be cash payment, restocking can be a hassle and there is the drawback of items that aren’t accounted for. In short, a Micro Market is a much smoother option.

Opportunity to create a multi-functional breakout area

What do you want to create with your breakout space? A place for employees to spend time away from their desks? Somewhere for collaboration and team talks? A hub that acts as the focal point of your business and creates a strong brand image? How about all of the above? A Micro Market really can be whatever you want it to be and your breakout area can have several different layers, ensuring that it can perform multiple functions.

A more environmentally-friendly option

Is your business conscious of becoming greener? If you want to help to protect and preserve the planet, a Micro Market can help you to do that, especially if you choose our services. All of the food provided comes in eco-friendly packaging and keeping food waste to a minimum is one of our top priorities, which is why anything that isn’t sold will be donated to a food bank. R+R Hub can also offer the complete refreshment solution, buffets, milk, water, etc, therefore lowering your carbon footprint.

historic vending

The concept at the core of both refreshment solutions is very similar – to feed employees within the workplace in a fast and effective way. Having said that, there are some stark contrasts between a micro market and a vending machine.

Traditionally businesses have relied on vending machines to provide their employees with a snacking option throughout the day but in recent years the micro market has taken precedence thanks to its capacity to provide much more than just quick, easy food.  So, what are the real differences between the micro market model and vending?

The history of the vending machine

historic vending

In modern times it’s easy to take the humble vending machine for granted, but believe it or not they actually have a fairly colourful past. Postcard vending machines were first introduced in the UK in the early 1880s and it wasn’t long before they were commonplace in railway stations all across England. As is the case generally, the US got ahead of the UK and introduced refrigerated vending soda machines in gas stations in the 1930s. Britain lagged behind, with little in the vending industry bar chocolate machines on railway platforms. As things progressed and vending machines offering hot drinks were offered in the workplace, resistance was met from the tea lady, with the role under this name first introduced during the Second World War. Trade unions fought back and as a result automatic vending was not integrated into office life fully until the 1980s. Today vending machines are able to offer a variety of hot and cold drinks and snacks, but has the model become outdated, especially given the fact that people are trying to move away from diets that rely too heavily on traditional types of convenience food?

The introduction of the Micro Market model

bespoke design

The idea for the Micro Market was conceived and introduced in 2015 and in the past five years they have replaced lots of vending machines across companies all over the world. The Micro Market is unique in the sense that it looks like a modern convenience store but has some of the functionality of vending and refreshment services. A Micro Market is unattended and can include a fresh bean to cup coffee machine, an open rack display, refrigerator, freezer, and a self-service till.

 

Higher volume of products

While a traditional vending machine might only have the capacity for around 40 products, your average Micro Market is going to be able to stock anywhere between 150-400 products, meaning that employees are going to benefit from much more choice. Because of this, there is much more opportunity for a Micro Market to cater to varying different dietary requirements (gluten-free, vegan etc.).

 

Fresher, more healthful options with a Micro Market

It’s no secret that people are becoming more interested in health and the foods that they consume and for those that are health conscious, a micro market is a great option. Fresh food options are more readily available because the product can be restocked daily, unlike a vending machine that will typically have pre-packaged food. Because of this, a micro market has the advantage of being both convenient and healthy. It’s important that business owners and managers consider the benefits that this can have for their business.  Employees consuming healthier food items and avoiding processed items will likely be able to concentrate on tasks better, will feel better and will subsequently be able to achieve more at work.

 

Layout, space, and sociability

employer benefits

While vending machines tend to be placed in meaningful places in offices, the space around them is rarely maximised to create a social area for employees to relax. The opposite is true for micro markets, which will encompass breakout spaces where people can catch up with colleagues, unwind and even hold informal meetings. Micro markets can be seen as a hub that employees can get together around, whereas a vending machine lacks the same social benefits.

 

Business reputation

There are also the benefits of having attractive shelves and sleek countertops with a Micro Market and the fact that this can give a good outward impression of a business to interested parties. For example, a client-facing business that is often having meetings on their premises will benefit from a Micro Market because it gives the business a progressive, modern appearance and also makes it seem as though the business is one that is invested in health and the quality of life for employees. In contrast to this, offices with a number of vending machines may look outdated.

 

A different kind of self-service

Clearly, there are a number of distinguishable differences between traditional vending machines and a Micro Market. Though the vending machine is a choice that has been around much longer, some might argue that its offering has become outdated in terms of choice, scope and its place in modern working environments. The Micro Market has the benefit of acting as a ‘hub’ within the workplace, creating somewhere not only for employees to refuel but to socialise too. Meetings of all kinds can take place around a Micro Market and it gives businesses the opportunity to convey their forward-thinking nature and commitment to maintaining high levels of morale and wellbeing for their employees.

 

If you would like to find out more please get in touch or give us a call on 01157 845 846

low sugar

If there’s one thing that we know for certain, it’s that sugar is addictive. Whether it’s the kind that you stir into your tea, sprinkle on your pancakes or the stuff that’s hidden in all of your favourite foods and drinks, sugar is something that undeniably keeps us coming back for more. According to Public Health England, adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars each day, which is equivalent to seven sugar cubes. The problem is in the UK sugar-related illnesses are becoming more common and the number of people becoming ill as a result of a poor, sugar-laden diet continues to rise. During Sugar Awareness Week, make a pact to cut out or reduce the amount of sugar in your diet with some of these helpful methods.

Choosing to embark on a low or no-sugar diet plan can have a number of positive effects on your overall health, and these can include:

 

Lower blood pressure – foods with high amounts of added sugar can cause weight gain if eaten regularly, which increases the risk of high blood pressure. When you have high blood pressure your heart has to work much harder and over time this could lead to heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

 

Increased energy – lots of people turn to sugary foods for a pick me up, but there is evidence to suggest that this could actually be counter-productive. For a proper pick me up you’re much better to rely on slow-burning carbs or high protein foods.

 

 

Bettered brainpower – this one is really important in the context of your job or just life in general. We all like to feel as though we are on top of our game at all times, and relying too heavily on sugar could be detrimental when it comes to brain function. Research has revealed that eating too much sugar can affect memory negatively, making it harder for you to retain important information.

 

It can aid weight loss – though overall health is a good motivation for going low sugar, there is, of course, the added benefit of weight loss. A low sugar diet can support this because when you replace refined sugars in your diet with the likes of healthy fats, your insulin remains at a stable level, meaning that fewer calories get stored as fat.

Make a habit of reading food labels

Food Labels

Awareness about the food that you are eating is one of the easiest ways to cut back on sugar and reading food labels is a great place to start. Reading tinned food, convenience food and snack labels will help you to determine how much sugar is in the food that you are purchasing. Be sure to check out what the guidelines say about how much sugar you could consume every day too.

Choose fresh, frozen or tinned fruit (in moderation)

frozen fruit

But if you are opting for the tinned variety, be sure to choose fruit in water or juice as opposed to syrup that is going to be full of sugar. Fruit does still have natural sugars in though, so if you are keen to boost the amount of nutrients in your diet try and opt for veggies instead.

Cut out sugary drinks

Low Sugar Drinks

It’s easy to consume a lot of sugar when you are constantly sipping on fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Instead, opt for fruit infused water, herbal teas or sugar-free versions of your favourite drinks.

Replace sugary sauces

Herbs

Some meals are greatly enhanced with the help of syrups, sauces and dips, but these aren’t good news if you are trying to cut down on sugar. If you’re big on flavour, swap all of these items out for spices instead. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and chilli flakes are all great for adding heat and flavour to dishes that are otherwise bland.

Focus on whole foods

Whole grains, oats, flax, poppy, wheatgerm, granola, sunflower seeds.

Processed foods are the enemy when you are adopting a low sugar lifestyle, so instead try and create meals using predominantly whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, lean meats, fish and nuts and seeds.

Opt for low sugar alternatives

When you are just embarking on a low sugar diet, it’s completely natural to experience cravings, so it’s important to be aware of the foods that you can eat to reduce these. Some good options include berries, dark chocolate and plain yoghurt with fruit. Fruit is an interesting one though, and lots of people do try and avoid it when they are on a low sugar diet. The fruits that you are best to choose include strawberries, peaches and blackberries.

Here at R+R Hub, we understand that it’s key to keep your workforce happy, engaged and refreshed. Click here to check out some of the workplace refreshment options that we have on offer.

If you’d like to hear about how we can help improve your offices’ sugar consumptions, please get in touch or give us a call on 01157 845 846

Refreshment Hub

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated during the working day. It aids concentration, wards off headaches and ensures that you get the best results for your team. There are plenty of different drinks that people sip on throughout the day and on their lunch break, but what are the benefits of each?

KOMBUCHA

KOMBUCHA

The new buzz in the world of health and wellbeing. Kombucha is a fermented, sweetened green or black tea that people are guzzling down for its supposed health benefits. The drink has been being consumed for thousands of years and contains lots of antioxidants, making it ideal for those keen to benefits from a ‘cleanse’. Amazingly, it is thought that sipping on this drink can help to protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease; do you need any more reason to start drinking it.

COFFEE

When your energy is declining, sometimes reaching for a coffee is the only option. Coffee has been linked to increased metabolic activity, meaning sipping on it throughout the day could help you to burn off your lunch and snacks (along with exercise of course). Drinking coffee can also be incredibly social, especially if other people in your company enjoy it too. Be sure to offer up drinks and your employees will definitely return the favour!

WATER

water

When you’re really thirsty, nothing is as satisfying as a glass of ice-cold water. It’s great for quenching thirst and can also help to flush body waste, regulate body temperature and maintain blood pressure. If you want to boost your usual glass of h20, even more, add in some sliced lemon, which is a great source of vitamin c and will help to freshen your breath.

HERBAL TEA

herbal tea

If you’re having a stressful day, why not reach for a mug of herbal tea? With many being known for inducing relaxation and calming stress and anxiety. They can also help to boost your immune system and are really good for skin health. Some examples of herbal tea include chamomile, ginger, hibiscus, and peppermint, with each kind boasting a variety of different properties and benefits:

Chamomile

Packed full of antioxidants that can help to lower the risks associated with serious diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Ginger

If you’re ill or feel sick ginger tea is a great choice for settling your stomach and it can also help to reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.

Hibiscus

If you are frequently stressed at work and worry about how this is impacting your health, you may be best to sip on some hibiscus tea, known for lowering blood pressure.

Peppermint

Known for its calming properties and can help to alleviate stress while promoting a sense of calm. It can also aid with weight loss and may help to improve digestion.

If you’d like to know what workplace refreshment options we have available with our micro-markets, why not get in touch today?

DRINKS TO AVOID (AND WHY)

Energy Drinks

Now you know the drinks that you should be sipping on during the tea break, it’s time to consider the beverages that you may be best to avoid altogether:

Fizzy drinks

We all know that sugar-laden fizzy drinks aren’t good for our health, but what are the real drawbacks of reaching for them during your lunch break? Well, research has suggested that fizzy drinks actually alter the protein levels in our brains which can lead to hyperactivity. Though you need energy when you have a long afternoon ahead of you, that kind might not be beneficial. Drinks with large amounts of sugar can also lead to spikes in your blood sugar, but everything that goes up must come down!

Energy drinks

Lots of people reach for energy drinks when they are flagging during a long day but there are actually a multitude of reasons that you should avoid sipping on energy drinks. They may come in appealing flavours and packages, but that doesn’t mean they are good for you. In fact, the high levels of caffeine that the drinks contain can lead to high blood pressure and heart rate. Other ingredients in the drinks can cause abnormal heart rhythms, which in some people can lead to increased anxiety.

If you’re interested in how one of our micro-markets could help improve the moral of your staff through a wide choice of drinks, then please get in touch or check out more of the benefits of an R+R Hub micro-market here

keeping it fresh
HALLOWEEN
breakout
Desk Covered In Food