Not-Your-Average Fast Food: Self-Service Micro-Market Fuels ‘Smarter, Faster’ Dining at Amazon Robotics Categories: Corporate Cafeteria (9), Corporate Catering (4), Food Service Case Studies (25), Food Service Management (11), Health & Wellness (13), Self-Checkout Micro Markets (2) Share this story, Choose your platform! To the forward-looking inventors and doers at Amazon Robotics—a Café Services, Massachusetts corporate food service company—inspiration can strike at any time. So can that twinge in the stomach or dip in energy that says it’s time for a quick bite or hydration break. Where do they go to refuel? If the Café Services kitchen is closed for breakfast or lunch, there’s always the convenience of the self-service micro-market in the employee lounge outside the café, right near the Ping-Pong table. Open all day and stocked by Café Services, the market offers a variety of hot and cold beverages, fresh baked goods, snacks, breakfast and lunch foods, and homemade entrees from the kitchen—packaged and labeled for grab-and-go convenience. Café Services Chef/Manager at Amazon Robotics, Tim Robinson, reports that traffic at the micro-market is steady—particularly between 3pm and 6pm when employees need that little extra pick-me-up to sustain them until dinner. Self-Service, Grab-and-Go Dining Caters To Busy Employees Self-service food stations that give busy employees the convenience of eating when and where they want are a growing trend in corporate food service. At Amazon Robotics, a company focused on driving “smarter and faster” services, it’s a business offering that makes sense. The success of grab-and-go dining hinges on appealing to diners’ specific tastes. To the employees that frequent the Café Services micro-market at Amazon Robotics, this means a lot of caffeine and “snacky” foods like popcorn, pretzels and energy-boosting candy items. For the more health conscious, Robinson packages up Café Services FitPicks™ entrees, fresh fruit cups and parfaits. Employees can reheat entrees in the microwave ovens in the mini-kitchen. Or, they can raid the refrigerator for milk to go with cereal. Robinson also gets a lot of requests for vegetarian. When it comes to expressing their likes and dislikes, the employees at Amazon Robotics are forthcoming. “They leave messages for me on the walls in the lounge, which are covered in floor-to-ceiling white boards,”says Robinson. Innovative companies like Amazon Robotics are always looking for new, more creative ways to cater to employees’ needs for flexibility. Says Matt Stone, Café Services Vice President of Business Development, “Self-service dining is a natural extension of the trend to help people work whenever and wherever they’re feeling productive. I see it becoming a bigger part of our offering as millennials move into more positions of power at the companies we serve.” Share this story, Choose your platform! I’ve been born and bred corporate dining and corporate catering from the very beginning of my career in the Silicon Valley and now, since 2001 in the Boston Metro Area. While working my way up through the ranks, all the experience has led up to my current position as the Corporate Executive Chef for Café Services, based out of Manchester, NH. I have the privilege to be able to utilize creativity, research and technology to dream up our company’s new culinary programs and custom menus for corporate cafeteria clients and bring them to life. Café Services supplies the resources to ensure success of our ever-evolving companywide culinary initiatives and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Seeing the success of new programs in the field is my motivation. It’s a win win.