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Stoelting Foodservice, a division of the Vollrath Company, a leading manufacturer of foodservice equipment and smallwares, has been recognized with one of the industry’s most prestigious awards for its newly launched AutoVend system, a frozen soft-serve vending machine that is designed to generate revenue with a significantly lower investment in retail floor space, operations, and staffing.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Kitchen Innovations Awards honor manufacturers for bringing forward-thinking equipment and technologies to market that increase efficiencies and productivity for foodservice operators.
The Stoelting AutoVend System offers frozen soft serve from a vending machine that operates independently in only 18 square-foot of retail space. Stoelting’s AutoVend dispenses two flavors individually or combined as a twist, along with up to four toppings in multiple sizes, and includes one spoon per cup. The ice cream is ready to be consumed within 30 seconds of the items being selected. Plug-and-play ready, the system is operator programmable, linked real time for easy analytics, and sends real time service/maintenance email alerts.
The AutoVend’s control system includes a robust reporting interface dashboard capable of connecting and monitoring the machine through Wi-Fi or cellular 3G/4G at any time. The customizable reporting interface features real-time product inventory management including amount of product sold, trends, and historical data versus real-time information, along with monitoring product temperatures and maintenance frequencies. The dashboard’s optional service management component is capable of sending instant email notifications if a problem is detected and can automatically dispatch technicians through a specific service channel.
The machine can dispense 154 servings before a refill is needed. It can accept cash, credit or debit cards, coupons, or vouchers, and is Near Field Compliant (i.e. Apple Pay). The primary application for these machines are any retail environment that offers up to 24-hour access including colleges, convenience stores, transportation venues, healthcare facilities, business, and industry locations, etc.
The development of the AutoVend machine started in October 2014 and was released to production in September 2015. The machine made its debut in Las Vegas, Nevada at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s OneShow in April 2015. The machine was the only one of its kind at the time. The first vending machine was installed at the University of South Florida last September.
The AutoVend machine joins Stoelting’s expanding product line that uses technology to make frozen treat equipment easier to use, monitor, clean, and own.
The AutoVend machine will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at the 2016 National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show, held from May 21 to 24 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Stoelting will have a second unit on display for the NRA Show in its booth (#4037).