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Keeping Things Trendy

VVS is keeping it “on-trend” for 2020! Knowing it keeps our customers engaged and excited, we invest a lot of time, energy and thought into our marketing calendar. Although we don’t have the time (or space) to lay out our whole calendar here, we hope the following will outline our food vision for 2020!

Weekly Specials

VVS offers 52 weekly specials throughout the year! Check out a couple of our upcoming favorites below and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on what we are offering each week!

Premium Chicken Sandwiches were all the rage in 2019 and will continue to dominate the fast-food and fast-casual restaurant landscape in 2020. Check out VVS’ take on the Premium Chicken Sandwich in February as we offer 4 weeks of Premium Chicken Sandwich specials that include specialty sauces, great toppings and a breaded chicken breast that is out of this world!

Comfort food will always hold a special spot in our hearts and nothing is more comforting than Mac & Cheese! Grown-up Mac & Cheese combines everything you loved as a kid with the tastes you crave as an adult. Mac & Cheeseology features perfectly melted cheese mixed with premium ingredients and sauces. Look for 4 specialty Mac & Cheeseology Bowls offered over 4 weeks during July.

Featured Fridays

We have 12 months of great promotions lined up for our made-to-order Fresh Grill Action Station! From Street Tacos & Philly Steak Sandwiches to an Italian Tour with custom-built pasta dishes, Featured Fridays keeps its menu flexible and aligned with current food trends. Stop by the Fresh Grill every Friday to see what’s trending next!

Celebrate National

2020 is going to be a year of celebrating in all VVS cafeterias with a Celebrate National promotion for every month! Look for great deals and our special twist on donuts during National Donut Day or prepare yourself for how many different ways we can make nachos on National Nacho Day. Celebrate with us in 2020 and experience how we keep our cafeterias fun and exciting!

SUPERFOODS

Our 2020 SUPERFOODS program is built to help educate and offer customers healthy options based on trending ingredients. Each month a new SUPERFOOD is featured including some great options for 2020 that include Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes and Citrus. Look for SUPERFOODS incorporated into our daily menu items and featured on our Farmer’s Basket Salad Bar.

Interested in learning more about our cafeterias? Check us out on Facebook or feel free to call us at 800-662-2924.

Which Option is Right for You?

The right breakroom options can have a direct effect on everything from your employee’s productivity and creativity to your ability to retain and recruit top talent. Let’s dive in and find out what options are right for you!

Dining Service (cafeterias)

Employee Count: 2,000+

Usually reserved for accounts with 2,000+ employees, Dining Service or Cafeterias, offer food options for accounts with employees not allowed to leave campus, do not have the time to leave campus or are looking to offer employees the ultimate in food options. Good cafeterias breed conversation, collaboration and inspire teamwork. Successful companies know that getting employees talking and brainstorming is the cornerstone of great ideas and growth. Centralized, collaborative locations such as cafeterias with warm atmospheres, comfortable seating and energizing food can directly impact a company’s productivity and growth.
Check out our previous post about cafeteria design and its impact on your employees.

Micro Market

Employee Count: 100+

Micro Markets are a great option for businesses not large enough for a cafeteria but looking to offer the same type of options and variety that a cafeteria affords. Micro Markets use cashier-less technology to offer your employees an open market in which to choose food and drink. Without the constraints of traditional vending machines, a Micro Market can offer snacks, drinks and food in all different shapes and sizes. This larger array of products and food options helps to keep employees onsite and engaged.
Read our post on Micro Markets.

Pantry Service

Employee Count: Any Size

You need the upper-hand in employee retention and recruitment! Turnover is costly and today’s employees are looking for companies with benefits. Pantry Service provides an array of snacks, drinks and in some cases pre-packaged food items billed directly to the business each month. In addition to increasing retention, providing free food, drinks and snacks can refresh and revitalize your current staff, which in turn can help to drive productivity. Choose the program that is right for you, fits your budget and helps to accomplish your employee satisfaction goals.
Learn more about Pantry Service.

Coffee Service

Employee Count: Any Size

Can you do anything before your first cup of coffee in the morning? We didn’t think so and neither can your employees. Coffee is the cornerstone of any good breakroom program and if breakroom programs are fuel for your employees, coffee is the main entree AND the side! What do we mean by that? If you offer no other options to your employees, offer coffee! Coffee inspires, fuels and pushes your employees throughout the day. It helps to build conversation and inspiration. It is the main entrée! Have a Micro Market, Cafeteria or Vending program already? Compliment these programs with a side of coffee! Even the best entrees are made better by a great side dish!
Check out how to choose the right coffee for your team.

Vending

Employee Count: 100+

Micro Markets have had a big impact on breakroom culture but Vending still has a role to play. Accounts with breakrooms that may be accessible by the public, have large contractor populations or are just not yet comfortable with the open market concept, vending will always be there. Vending can offer employees great snack, drink and food options and when complimented with a full coffee program, provide well-rounded options for any account. When making important decisions about your employee’s welfare, work with a company that does it all. From Micro Markets, Coffee and Vending to full-service Cafeterias and Pantries, VVS does it all. Give us a call today for a FREE assessment of your breakroom options.

SUPERFOODS: Tea

Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Atkins, Calorie Deficit… healthy means so many different things to so many different people that it begins to get hard figuring out how best to reach your employees when it comes to healthy options. Our SUPERFOODS program is built to help educate and offer customers healthy options without the limitations that specific macro guidelines create, allowing us to reach a larger audience. This month during October we featured Hot Teas in our cafeterias along with educational materials that highlighted the health benefits of drinking Tea.

Tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, contains less caffeine than coffee and has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke in those who drink it regularly. We encouraged our customers to replace a cup of coffee with Hot Tea by placing the educational materials and Hot Tea options at our coffee stations. Check out our list of monthly featured SUPERFOODS below.

  • January – Leafy Greens
  • February – Yogurt
  • March – Fish
  • April – Citrus
  • May – Mushrooms
  • June – Berries
  • July – Sweet Potato
  • August – Tomato
  • September – Beets
  • October – Tea
  • November – Kale
  • December – Apples

The Low-Down on Curry

Looking for the low-down on Curry? We have you covered! Queue the wikipedia definition of curry in 3.. 2.. 1..

“Curry (plural curries) is a variety of dishes originating in the Indian subcontinent that use a complex combination of spices or herbs, usually including ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chilies. Curry is generally prepared in a sauce.”

Did that clear it all up? We didn’t think so 😊 In essence, Curry is not necessarily a specific dish or ingredient but a variety of dishes summed up by certain characteristics. Curries may contain fish, meat or vegetables, or be a combination of all three. The spices used to make Curry can vary by region, religion or even by family preference. Sometimes it’s just about how you like it more so than how you make it. Curries can be wet or dry with dry leaving significant amounts of spices coated onto ingredients while wet Curries contain sauces or gravies. Sometimes the best way to learn about something is to dive right in – check out our top 3 do-it-at-home Curry recipes!

#1 – Curry Chicken from Delish.com

Recipe Link: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a54696/easy-indian-chicken-curry-recipe/

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basmati rice or naan, for serving
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add chicken and sear until no pink remains, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Add spices and cook until very fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in heavy cream, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until chicken pieces are cooked through and tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve over rice or with naan, garnished with cilantro.

#2 – Easy Thai Red Curry from DamnDelicious.net

Recipe Link: https://damndelicious.net/2018/02/25/easy-thai-red-curry/

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch broccolini, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  • Heat canola oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken, shallots and garlic to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in red curry paste and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in broccolini until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in green onions, cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve immediately with rice.

#3 – Indian Shrimp Curry from Skinnytaste.com

Recipe Link: https://www.skinnytaste.com/indian-shrimp-curry/

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • cilantro and chili peppers for garnish

Directions:

  • Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil on high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute on each side then remove the shrimp from the pan.
  • Add the remaining teaspoon of the canola oil to the skillet with the onions.
  • Cook the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, curry powder, chili powder, salt and garlic.
  • Stir well, letting cook for 30 seconds then add in the tomato sauce and combine.
  • Add in the coconut milk and shrimp to the pan and stir well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and chili peppers if desired.

Top 10 Burger Topping Combos

Burger, cheese, bun, ketchup… repeat. Want to be the Grill Master? Then it’s time to break out of the boring burger routine and start getting creative with your toppings! Grilling isn’t all about the meat; the right combination of toppings can turn a boring burger into a top-notch classic. Check out our Top 10 Burger Combos and start getting creative!

  1. Western: hickory smoked bacon, diced brisket, sweet BBQ sauce, fried onion strings, and cheddar cheese.
  2. BAJA: guacamole, pico de gallo, chipotle ranch & swiss cheese.
  3. Green Chili: burger patty, shredded pork, diced green chilis, chipotle mayo & pepper jack cheese.
  4. Flamethrower: jalapenos, sriracha sauce, mayo & pepper jack cheese.
  5. Fat Elvis Burger: Peanut butter, caramelized banana, honey, cheddar cheese, and bacon.
  6. Breakfast Burger: ciabatta bun, romaine lettuce, tomato slices, red onion, cheddar cheese, bacon, fried egg, mayo, and avocado slices.
  7. Italian Burger: sautéed red & green peppers, sautéed onions, spaghetti sauce, toasted ravioli, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and pesto mayo.
  8. Buffalo Blue Cheese Burger: blue cheese crumbles, diced celery, hot sauce, mayo, caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato.
  9. Cowboy Burger: burger pattie, shredded pork, coleslaw, onion rings & bourbon BBQ sauce.
  10. Iowa Burger: fresh whole kernel corn, crumbled blue cheese, sweet pickle relish, and cheddar cheese.

*Clink, Let’s Talk Drinks!

Coke or Pepsi? At one time it was so simple, now fast-forward to a world with seemingly endless drink options from bubble teas to natural botanical beverages, waters with flavor enhancers and Kombucha (kuh m boo-chuh)…Kombucha? With so many options to keep track of how do you decide if your employees are getting what they want? We’ve done the research; we have the answer and here’s the scoop:

Top of the Tops

To better understand what is available on the market today, check out the top 10 categories of bottled beverages put together by experts at BevNology.

  1. Soft drinks and carbonated beverages – The usual suspects from all the big industry names, including fruit sodas, malt beverages and carbonated herbal drinks
  2. Energy drinks – Includes caffeine-infused energy boosters
  3. Dairy, soy and other drinks – Derived from a range of traditional and non-traditional sources, such as nut milks, plants, and soy proteins
  4. Natural beverages – Sodas, teas, herbals, and botanicals, naturally fermented or produced with minimal artificial ingredients
  5. Waters – Fortified water, most often with flavors, minerals, or vitamins
  6. Juice and juice beverages – Fresh and shelf-stable juices made from fruit, vegetables or some combination of the two
  7. Coffee and tea – Look for new bean and leaf varieties, ready-to-drink offerings, technology innovations, and new flavor combos
  8. Sports beverages – Drinks tailored to professional athletes and weekend warriors, often containing supplemental vitamins and minerals
  9. Functional beverages – Beverages that offer substantial health benefits, to the degree that they may even serve as meal replacements
  10. New age beverages – Herb- or juice-based drinks, as well as iced and cold brew coffees and teas

(Source: canteen.com, our parent company)

The Breakdown!

Now that we have an understanding of what’s available and what’s popular, lets figure out how much of each you should be offering your employees! To make your life simple, check out these handy-dandy cheat sheets put together by our parent company Canteen.

White Collar
Higher Education
Healthcare
Blue Collar
Call Centers

We Got Your Back!

You have help! Give us a call and we will break down the numbers for you, provide you with a comprehensive plan and make sure that the products we provide meet the flavor profile of your employees. Through state-of-the-art technology and software, we will continue to make adjustments to your site’s beverage portfolio. Call us today for a free site survey and assessment of your beverage services.

Mixing it up! Find the right coffee for your team!

Too dark, not dark enough… too strong, not strong enough! How do you please the team when so many different people have so many different tastes? You have come to the right place! Let us give you a quick breakdown of coffee basics and how to best choose the flavors and tastes to keep your crew happy.

Coffee Beans

The two most common coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans have a sweeter taste with higher acidity and Robusta beans have a stronger taste with twice the caffeine. Arabica beans are commonly considered the superior bean and lead to a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee. Once a roaster has the bean, they bring out the flavor through a variety of roasts.

Roasts

Let’s keep it simple:

  • Light roasts are lightest in color, have no oil on the surface, and might have a fruity or cinnamon taste that makes them good for drinking black.
  • Medium roasts, the most common in the U.S., are slightly sweeter than light roasts and have a more balanced level of acidity and bitterness.
  • Medium-dark roasts have a slightly oilier surface and are more bitter than acidic. Here you’ll find “city roasts” that have more bitterness than acidity and “full city roasts” that are more full-bodied and bitter.
  • Dark roasts are the most full-bodied, have an oily surface, and are the most bitter of the roasts. You’ll taste less of the original flavor of the bean and more of the roasting process with these. That makes them a good choice for adding milk products. This is also where the bolder French or Italian roasts fall, including espresso.

Source: canteen.com

Putting it all Together

Now that you understand a bit about beans and roasts, let’s find a good balance for your team. We recommend spreading out the flavor profile to reach everyone’s tastes. Check out this guide, provided by our parent company Canteen, that will give you a great starting point for keeping your crew happy: Download Free Guide.

Have a Tasting!

Last but not least – HAVE A TASTING! Nothing shows you care more about your employees then getting their opinion first hand. Reach out to VVS today and we can provide a free tasting for you and your team! Put the guess work aside and let us create a flavor profile that fits your budget and satisfies your employees. Call us today – 800.662.2924.

Why Provide Pantry Service?

From employee retention and recruiting to inspiring creativity and productivity, Pantry Service can help your business be successful. Providing the right mix of food, drinks and snacks in your employee break area can help to drive your bottom line.

Employee Retention & Recruiting

You need the upper-hand in employee retention and recruitment! Turnover is costly and todays employees are looking for companies with benefits. Create a breakroom that becomes the center piece of your new hire tour and shows your current staff you care. Set your company apart from the competition by providing corporate paid food, snacks and beverages in a well-designed break area.

Inspire Creativity

The right mix of energizing snacks and drinks can light the fuse of your employee’s creativity! Boring meeting rooms are becoming a thing of the past. Great ideas and profitable plans are created when employees come together and share ideas. Offer the right mix of food and drink options that will bring your employees together.

Create a Relaxed Culture & Improve Productivity

Keeping employee morale up can be a constant battle. Let us help you win by creating a relaxed atmosphere at your place of work. When employees take a break, they need a release from the daily repetitiveness that can be created through everyday tasks associated with their jobs. Providing food, drinks and snacks can refresh and revitalize your staff which in turn can help to drive productivity.

Still on the fence? Give us a call today and we can help you decide if VVS Canteen Pantry Service is right for you and your team!

Micro Market Advantages vs Traditional Vending

A Micro Market is an innovative solution that offers your employees an open market in which to choose food and drink. What advantages do Micro Markets hold over traditional vending?

Variety

Keep everybody happy by offering your employees more options! Without the constraints of traditional vending machines, a Micro Market can offer snacks, drinks and food in all different shapes and sizes. Micro Markets also offer a larger array of products giving everybody something they are looking for!

Cashless Technology

No more fumbling for change or searching for that last dollar. Our Micro Markets offer cashless technology that give your employees options! From credit & debit cards to paying with your fingerprint, we make it easy to purchase what you need.

Healthy Options & Readily Available Nutritional Information

From healthy fruits and salads to protein bars and low-calorie snack packs, Micro Markets provide additional space for healthy options. Customers also have the ability to check full nutritional info on any item in the Market by simply picking it up and reviewing the label. Research has shown that informed shoppers tend to make healthier choices.

The Low Maintenance Option

No more stuck spirals or hung products! Find your favorite snack on the shelf and your favorite drink from the cooler and make your way to the checkout. Less moving parts = less maintenance calls!

No More Clunky Machines

Micro Markets are built to be pleasing to the eye and fit any location available. From breakrooms to lobbies, our professionals can help you pick a branding style that will complement your space. For more info on breakroom design, read our story on Creating Great Spaces.

Still not sure if a Micro Market is right for your business? Give us a call for a free assessment and our professionals can help you make the right decision.

Is your breakroom missing something?

Here it is! The list of essential items for your breakroom! Are you missing something?

Condiments

Ketchup, mustard and mayo! A great sandwich can be ruined without the right ingredients! The little things are noticed by your employees and their break can quickly go from stunner to bummer without the right offerings.

Coffee & Teas

We all know how important coffee is in the workplace but don’t forget about the tea! Tea is quickly becoming one of the most popular drinks in the nation and is the second most popular beverage in the world! Employees who don’t drink coffee will thank you for the option!

Healthy Snacks & Water

Keep your employees healthy! The importance of filtered water and fruit cannot be underestimated. Studies have shown that when healthy options are available employees are more likely to make better-for-you decisions.

Utensils

Nothing ruins a good salad like eating it with your hands! Forks, knives and spoons are a must.

Cleaning Supplies

If you provide it, they will clean it! Paper towels, wipes, hand sanitizer and disinfecting spray are all a good idea. Keep it clean!

Need help sourcing any of the above? Give us a call, we will bring it right to your breakroom!

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