Safe Break Room Options in Seattle

Your Seattle Break Room Is More Important Than Ever

Safe Break Room Options in Seattle

The break room can change a Seattle employee’s workplace experience. A well-designed break room that offers popular snacks, beverages, and fresh food is a place for relaxation, spontaneous interaction between colleagues, and creativity as well as a spot to grab a bite to eat or drink. Even though the impact of COVID-19 during the past several months has substantially decreased break room visits, micro-markets and vending machines still have an important role to play as employees return to work.

It’s clear that each Seattle employer will approach reopening their place of business differently and on a timetable that fits their unique organization.

Promoting CDC recommended guidelines for “healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and employees wearing a cloth face covering, as feasible” as well as encouraging social distancing or staying at least 6 feet away from other individuals and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily are just a few new behaviors employers will likely be recommending.

Break rooms with a micro-market or vending machines are also a tool that Seattle employers can use to encourage social distancing and fewer person-to-person interactions among employees. For example,

Safe Break Room Options in Seattle
  • Both micro-markets and vending machines offer cashless or touchless payment options including mobile payments and are great for grab-and-go situations.
  • To use a micro-market, employees will scan their snack or beverage; scan their smartphone or swipe a debit/card; and walk away.
  • To use a vending machine, employees will touch the machine once; scan their smartphone or swipe a debit/card; and walk away.
  • Both micro-markets and vending machines are open 24/7, keeping employees onsite during their workday.
  • Staying on-site instead of going off-site for a bite to eat or beverage helps employees avoid external and less controllable environments.

Employers should also consider the types of snacks, beverages, and fresh food that will be offered. Eating healthy is more important than ever. Healthier ingredients like fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that the human body needs to support the immune system. Bottled water and other healthy beverages keep everything in the body hydrated and moving more efficiently.

But it is also wise to offer traditional options that are “fun” or provide a mental boost such as chocolate and other snacks. Most Seattle employees have been under prolonged stress, and while eating healthy is important, a favorite snack or beverage can provide a bit of an emotional or mental pick-me-up. Offering a balance of traditional and healthy options will help employees find the products they need when they want them.

For more information about our safety practices or upgrading your refreshment menu or break room space to include a micro-market or vending machines, please contact Vista Vending at (253) 592-2843. We look forward to helping you bring your employees back to work.

Break Room Service Providers in Seattle

Break Room Service Providers Lead the Way in Seattle

Break Room Service Providers in Seattle

Workstations, desks, and the break room are just a few of the physical spaces that businesses have to consider as they begin the process of reopening. In addition, Seattle employers are developing new procedures and accommodations to ensure employee safety amidst ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Decisions made regarding the break room should be an important part of the plan.

Last week, members of the refreshment services industry gathered virtually to send a heartfelt and reassuring message to everyone. Shot in isolation from each individual’s home or business, the message is an inspiring 2-minute video. The takeaway is clear: break room service providers everywhere are here to support companies as they transition toward a new work environment.

Break Room Service Providers in Seattle

Vista Vending is responding appropriately and following the state’s COVID-19 re-opening schedules and guidelines as well as adopting stricter health and safety procedures for our employees.

In addition to maintaining social distancing practices, our route drivers are washing their hands or changing into a new pair of gloves before each visit. They are also sanitizing all contact surfaces and high touch areas at the end of every service call. Their goal is to leave Seattle break rooms cleaner than when they arrived. Additionally, we have implemented social distancing policies in our offices and distribution centers and are closely monitoring our employees’ health.

Before COVID-19, break rooms were an important resource, but today, they have become an even more valuable benefit for Seattle employees. Micro-markets and vending machines provide a safer way for employees to access fresh foods, snacks, and beverages. Products available in micro-markets and vending machines are individually wrapped in secure packaging for a quick, grab-and-go experience. Vending machines and micro-markets also offer cashless payment options, limiting contact even further. 

Providing employees with plenty of fresh foods, snacks, and beverages in the break room not only encourages employees to stay on-site but also limits potential exposure to viruses that can occur during off-site trips. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe.

For more information about customizing a refreshment menu or our safety procedures, please contact us at (253) 592-2843.

Healthy Vending Options in Seattle

Healthy Vending Options Help Seattle Employees

Healthy Vending Options in Seattle

Everyone can agree that eating healthy is important, but making it happen every day can be a challenge. According to a recent survey from the American Heart Association and Aramark, a U.S. based food service company, participants expressed that availability of healthy foods (43 percent), “convenience (60%) and taste preference (54%) as having a great deal/quite a bit of impact on choosing an unhealthy lunch.” 

While those numbers aren’t the best, there are two other numbers that are better. “More than 4 in 5 (82%) agree that having healthy food options at work is important to them and more than 2 in 3 (68%) value help from their employer in becoming healthier.” 

Understanding these statistics and taking the next step can help employers determine the best way to provide break room refreshments for their employees. Rather than assuming which products employees would like to have available, employers should survey their employees to find out. Different individuals will have different preferences that develop from a number of factors including upbringing, genetics, culture and individual experiences.

So, what makes a snack better-for-you? The broad definition is a snack that has a high nutritional value or one that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. A popular example is nuts. While nuts are high in calories and fat, they have lots of important nutrients. 

Healthy Vending Options in Seattle

The following are three suggestions for choosing healthier snacks.

  • choose a snack that has between 150 and 250 calories. Always check the portion size on the nutrition label. The portion size and the size of the package are often two different amounts.
  • choose items that have about 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving. Since fiber and protein can create a feeling of fullness, Seattle employees are likely to stay full longer, decreasing the overall amount eaten.
  • avoid snacks that have more than 12 grams of fat per serving. Consuming too many saturated fats can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Whether Seattle employees need an unplanned pick-me-up or didn’t have time to fix something at home to bring to work with them, access to healthy vending machine snacks and beverages is a great option.  It also supports what employees are looking for—convenient and tasty choices and help from their employer to become healthier and access to better-for-you choices at work.

We at Vista Vending believe in supporting the Seattle area by providing a large selection of better-for-you and traditional snacks and beverages in our vending machines. For more information about our vending solutions, micro-market offerings and coffee service, please contact us at (253) 592-2843.

Reducing Stress in Seattle

Reducing Stress in Seattle

Reducing Stress in Seattle

April is National Stress Awareness month. It’s also spring, which means trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the grass is turning green. The signs of new growth in Seattle will soon bring vibrant colors and sweet smells to delight in.

Spending time enjoying nature, whether inside or out, is a healthy activity for Seattle employees. Research has shown that “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.”

Enjoying nature is just one of the many different things that can be done to help reduce stress and create a calmer state of mind. The key is remembering what works and what doesn’t. Below are six suggestions that everyone should consider.

Diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein, and drink lots of hydrating beverages. Not only will you have more energy, but you’ll be able to deal with what the day brings more easily.

Exercise: Keep moving even if it’s only going for a walk or taking a yoga class online. Regular physical activity is necessary to maintain a healthy body, but it can also help relax the muscles and improve one’s mood. 

Reducing Stress in Seattle

Sleep: Getting enough sleep while feeling stressed out can be hard, but not getting enough can make it even tougher. Try to develop a healthy bedtime routine that encourages relaxation and includes turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and spending some time reading or meditating.

Feelings: Whether it’s talking with a trusted friend or family member or writing everything out, expressing what is causing stress is a great way to problem solve and let the brain know that you’ve got this.

Planning and Priorities:  Take some time to think about what is important. From there, set some short-term goals. They might include planning ahead, getting organized or a list of healthy snacks to enjoy. Either way creating order out of what feels chaotic helps the brain to relax.

And finally, smile, laugh and have some fun. Whether it’s a new hobby or an old one, a funny movie or just being silly with family or coworkers, each of these activities is great for one’s mood and overall health.

While we may not be able to help Seattle essential employees exercise or get more sleep, we are here to provide refreshments including healthy snacks and beverages, fresh food and coffee service to their break rooms. Continuing to offer these services to essential employees will help them stay on-site during their workday and keep their focus on their responsibilities. For more information about our current services, please call Vista Vending at (253) 592-2843.

Break Rooms Refuel Seattle

Break Rooms Refuel Seattle Employees

Break Rooms Refuel Seattle

The need for break rooms in Seattle businesses that are fully stocked with healthy and popular refreshment options has recently increased. Whether it’s a great cup of coffee, a sought-after snack or a healthy beverage, access to on-site refreshments has become very important, especially for essential employees.

Staying healthy is also important. While all fruits and vegetables offer great nutrients and vitamins, the go to vitamin for an immune system boost is Vitamin C. And a popular source for Vitamin C is orange juice. Orange growers in the U.S. usually see an increase in demand for orange juice every year during cold and flu season, but this year, it appears that the demand for orange juice will be ongoing.

Mike Sparks, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, recently explained that “orange juice is the most nutrient dense juice in the marketplace. Chuck-full, of course, with Vitamin C. There’s no question in my mind, there’s going to be a run on orange juice.”

Another beverage that can help keep the body healthy is water. Staying hydrated not only helps remove toxins from the body, but it also helps the muscles and joints to work better, keeps the body cool and supports the functions of many other systems.  

Break Rooms Refuel Seattle

Dehydration, on the other hand, can negatively influence the outcome of different parts of an employee’s day without them realizing it. For example, workplace productivity can be negatively impacted by dehydration because of a decrease in cognitive abilities, reduction in concentration and alertness, and slower reaction times, both mentally and physically.

The good news is that there are many different ways to offer hydrating beverages in Seattle break rooms. Cold beverage options might include bottled water, filtered water, sparkling water (flavored or plain), iced tea and sports beverages. A hot beverage menu might include tea or coffee, which not only hydrates but offers a caffeine boost. 

Break rooms should also offer something to eat with all of the beverage options. Whether it’s fresh food, a healthy snack or a traditional snack or treat, there should be a variety of choices in the break room that support both physical health and morale. (Everyone needs a special treat every now and then.)

Seattle employees’ needs have shifted because of the coronavirus. Vista Vending is here to assist essential employers during this difficult time by providing snacks, fresh food and beverages that will help recharge essential employees. For more information, please contact us at (253) 592-2843.

Caffeinated Tea Options in Seattle

Tea Lovers in Seattle, Let’s Celebrate Caffeine

Caffeinated Tea Options in Seattle

While tea has long been known to be a healthy beverage because of the antioxidants in the leaves, Seattle employees can now enjoy their tea without worrying too much about the amount of caffeine. In fact, adults can add up to 400 mg/day of caffeine into their daily diet according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

March is Caffeine Awareness Month, and with more than three-quarters of the U.S. population starting their day with some sort of caffeine, let’s take a deeper look at everyone’s favorite energy boost–caffeine. In addition to coffee and tea, caffeine can be found in energy drinks, soda, smoothies, bars, chocolate and gum. 

What is caffeine?

A very simple answer is caffeine is a stimulant that excites or activates the central nervous system. The results of that stimulation can vary widely as caffeine’s effects are based on each Seattle individual’s sensitivities, age, weight, medical history, and tolerances. Even though there are negative side effects from consuming too much caffeine (raised blood pressure, insomnia, indigestion, headaches and migraines, and increased anxiety), there are also several benefits.

For example, caffeine has been linked to enhanced alertness and memory, improved athletic performance, elevated mood, increased metabolism as well as a decrease in pain sensitivity for those with chronic pain. If the caffeine comes from coffee or tea, there are even more health benefits.

Does this beverage contain caffeine?

Knowing if a favorite coffee, tea or other cold beverage contains caffeine is important, but can sometimes be challenging to determine. The best thing for Seattle individuals to do is check the ingredients’ list. If the word “caffeine” is included, then there is synthetic caffeine, like in soda or energy drinks. If there is a type of plant like cocoa beans, kola nuts or green or black tea, then the caffeine comes from a natural source.

Caffeinated Tea Options in Seattle

How much caffeine is in tea?

As with coffee, the answer to this question depends on a few factors including the type and how it’s prepared. Even though black, green and white teas come from the same plant, the differences in oxidation, brewing times and water temperature play a large role. For example, hotter water and longer steep times creates a stronger beverage. 

Add in Matcha green tea, yerba mate, herbal teas and decaffeinated options and the number of potential answers grows. The following measurements highlight the variations of caffeine in one 8-oz cup tea.

  • black teas: 47 mg to 90 mg 
  • green teas: 20 mg to 45 mg 
  • white teas: 6 mg 60 mg 
  • matcha: 70 mg 
  • yerba mate: 85 mg 
  • herbal teas: up to 12 mg
  • decaffeinated teas: less than 3 mg

Break Room Beverages

What types of hot, caffeinated beverages do your Seattle employees look for during their workday? Can they find them on-site? With a daily bank of up to 400 mg of caffeine for each employee, that’s three to five 8-oz cups of coffee or even more tea every day. Offering free coffee and tea in the break room is a great way to express your appreciation. Add snacks, cold beverages and fresh food, and employees will be more likely to visit the break room instead of going off-site.

For more information about upgrading your current refreshment menu or customizing a new one, please call Vista Vending at (253) 592-2843.

Sustainable Snacks in Seattle

Finding Sustainable Snacks in Seattle

Sustainable Snacks in Seattle

How much do Seattle consumers really know about the snacks and beverages they consume? Some attributes like price, convenience and taste are relatively easy to determine, but whether an item was produced in an environmentally sustainable way is a lot harder to figure out.

In addition to taste (86 percent), price (68 percent) and convenience (57 percent), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey determined that sustainability (54 percent) is an important factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision. 

Unfortunately, those 54 percent of participants have different interpretations about what makes a product environmentally sustainable, creating some confusion. The following list includes the top six interpretations of environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable Snacks in Seattle
  • locally produced products: 51 percent 
  • products labeled as sustainably produced: 47 percent 
  • products labeled as non-GMO/not bio-engineered: 47 percent  
  • products labeled as organic: 44 percent
  • products that have recyclable packaging: 41 percent
  • products that have minimal packaging: 35 percent

With 63 percent of the survey participants also agreeing that it is hard to know if a product is environmentally sustainable, the confusion about the definition of environmentally sustainable makes sense. But a definition does exist. According to the U.N.’s Brundtland Commission on sustainable development, “sustainable development [meets] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

To determine if snacks or beverages are sustainable look for the following certifications: USDA Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, Fair Trade USA Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Another approach is to learn about a brand and the specific types of ingredients that brand uses. If an employee trusts a brand and is familiar with the types of ingredients that a brand uses, they are more likely to purchase that brand’s snacks and beverages. 

Seattle employers can help ensure that environmentally sustainable products are available for their employees by including micro-markets or vending machines with healthy options, a variety of coffees and sustainable paper products in their break room. Vista Vending makes that even easier for local businesses by offering a variety of healthy snacks, beverages, fresh food and delicious coffees. For more information about our menu, please call us at (253) 592-2843. 

Healthy Options in Seattle

Encourage Healthy Lunch Habits at Seattle Businesses

Healthy Options in Seattle

How healthy is your heart? February may be best known for Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month, a time for Seattle individuals to reconsider their diet and exercise habits and the impact those habits have on the health of their heart.

Making good food choices is an important component of developing a healthy lifestyle but expecting to make good food choices all the time is unrealistic. Seattle individuals should instead be aware of the overall picture or pattern of their diet.

What does that mean? It’s being aware of the different types of snacks, food and beverages that are consumed. Is an individual eating a variety of nutritious foods from the different food groups? Are the portion sizes appropriate? It’s also noticing which circumstances like stress, fatigue or eating with friends trigger different types of eating patterns including unhealthy ones.

Lunch time is another event that can impact future food decisions that will be made throughout the rest of the day. A recent survey from the American Heart Association (AHA) and Aramark, a food service company, found that “more than three quarters of those surveyed say they’re more likely to make healthier decisions at other times of the day if they eat healthy at lunch.”

While those numbers are great news for the health of those surveyed, the likelihood that employees will actually eat a healthy lunch is much lower. The same survey also found that “56 percent of employed Americans who typically eat lunch during work struggle to make that meal healthy.” Seattle employers have just been presented with an opportunity to step in and make a difference in the types of snacks, fresh food and beverages available in the break room.

Healthy Options in Seattle

Two additional results from the AHA and Aramark study show that employees are looking for a bit of help; 82 percent of participants believe access to healthy options at work is important, and 68 percent appreciate their employer’s help in becoming healthier. Creating opportunities for regular exercise during the workday is another approach employers can take to help their Seattle employees become healthier.

Regular exercise not only helps maintain or lose weight, it also improves cardiovascular or heart health. If offering a gym membership or an onsite gym isn’t a realistic employee benefit, there are other ways employees can increase their physical activity during the workday. Taking a walk at lunch, parking further away from the building, using the stairs instead of the elevator and holding walking meetings are just a few ways employees can add a bit more movement to their day.

Employees who choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and lean proteins and increase physical activity often have less stress, more energy and improved confidence. Now that sounds like a benefit for everyone.

For more information about updating or redesigning your micro-market, pantry service or vending machine refreshment menu to include healthier options, please call Vista Vending at (253) 592-2843. We look forward to working with you.

Healthy Snacks in Seattle

Snacks in Seattle Get a Health Boost

Healthy Snacks in Seattle

Choosing healthy snacks is becoming easier for Seattle employers and students thanks to a new initiative by the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), a group of 12 leading global food and beverage companies.

According to a recent IFBA press release, the organization “is determined to innovate and optimize the composition of members’ products in order to help contribute to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) goal of eliminating industrially produced trans-fat (iTFA) from the global food supply by 2023.”

In other words, snacks and beverages, especially those made by IFBA companies, should have less artificial trans fats in them and be a lot healthier for Seattle consumers. 

What are trans fats, and why are they unhealthy?

Trans fats come in two forms: naturally occurring and artificial. Naturally occurring trans fats come from some animals, are found in smaller quantities and have been found to be beneficial. Artificial trans fats, on the other hand, are the result of a chemical process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils creating a solid product and are very unhealthy. 

Because artificial trans fats are inexpensive to produce, have a longer shelf life than other fats and add a desirable taste and texture, they have historically been used as an ingredient in a wide variety of processed foods such as pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies and crackers.

Healthy Snacks in Seattle

Consuming artificial trans fats increases Seattle individuals’ risk of developing heart disease and having a stroke because the artificial trans fats raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Artificial trans fats are also linked to long-term inflammation, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. 

Healthier Choices

For heart health, the American Heart Association suggests enjoying a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, poultry and fish. When freshly prepared food is not available such as in many Seattle break rooms, processed snacks made with unhydrogenated oil including canola, safflower, sunflower and olive oil are a great option. 

Vista Vending, a full-service break room refreshment company, would like to provide your business with a micro-market or vending machines full of delicious and healthy fresh food, snacks (with healthy fats) and beverages. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please contact us at (253) 592-2843.

Healthy Options in Seattle

Seattle, Build a Healthy Lifestyle One Step at a Time

Healthy Options in Seattle

Staying healthy usually means something different to everyone whether it’s eating a certain way or participating in a favorite physical activity. As 2020 gets into full swing, let’s consider a super important but often forgotten organ that plays a huge role in everyone’s health – the lungs.

When a Seattle individual’s lungs don’t work properly, it can impact their health, and as a result, there can be a negative impact on all parts of their life including their job. One way to keep the lungs healthy is to exercise.

Exercise

The American Lung Association, a nonprofit organization that works to improve lung health and prevent lung disease, sponsors an annual event that not only helps raise funds for the organization but also highlights the importance of exercise for lung health. It’s called the Fight For Air Climb, and it honors National Take the Stairs Day.

During the stair-climbing event, participants, from running and fitness enthusiasts to people of all abilities, take the stairs instead of the elevator to get to the top floor in the event. Often, the buildings used for Fight For Air Climb are tall skyscrapers with many flights of stairs.

If attending an event like the Fight for Air Climb isn’t an option for Seattle employees, there are other ways to add small steps of exercise into one’s day such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the door, going on a walk during a lunch break and taking a stretch break during the workday. Regular exercise has other benefits as well. It boosts energy levels, improves muscle strength and increases the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

Healthy Options in Seattle

Diet

The type of food and beverages that a Seattle employee consumes can also have an impact on lung health. In addition to improving productivity and alertness, staying hydrated keeps the lungs working more effectively by thinning out linings located in the lungs. 

Portion size is another factor that can affect how well the lungs work. Not only can consistently eating portions that are too big cause weight gain, but they can also cause the stomach to be too full, decreasing the amount of space that the lungs have to expand. Healthy options to consider adding to one’s diet include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

Consuming water and other hydrating beverages plus healthy snacks provides a lot of benefits that many individuals never need to consider. In 2020, Seattle employers have an opportunity to help their employees make healthier decisions by considering the types of snacks, beverages and fresh food that are offered in the break room. 

For more information about updating your refreshment menu to include healthier options, please contact Vista Vending at (253) 592-2843.