Vending Track / Thursday / December 15, 2022 / 2:00 PM

Hot New Vending Technology: Improving Operational Efficiency and the Customer Experience

Technology providers keep rolling out new capabilities, but which of these innovations – such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, biometric identity verification, machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, cryptocurrency – has proven to boost efficiency and improve customer experience in a cost efficient manner for convenience services operations?

A panel of experts weighs in.


Jeremy Cauble | Director of Strategic Innovation | Canteen
Jeremy Cauble is focused on leveraging the latest technology to create new ways to delight customers and provide insightful data to clients through unattended retail stores. With a background in marketing and over 10 years of experience in the industry, he has seen how quickly technology, customer preferences and client expectations change and evolve, especially during the last two years, which is why he emphasizes continuous learning, active listening, unrelenting exploration, and an open mind to see beyond an innovation’s face value and discover all the underlying possibilities for how it can be used within daily business operations.
Charles Lee | Founder & CEO / Advisor | Palmetto Superfoods / ROBOjuice
Charles Lee started Palmetto Superfoods in 2018. Palmetto is a Build your own acai bowl & superfood smoothies concept. With his Brazilian born partners Amanda and Thais Moreira who are the creators of the most authentic and delicious açaí, Charles helped introduce healthy California flare in superfoods to compliment their açaí, and brought on a QSR format that focuses on technology innovation to dominate the market and expedite growth, while maintaining profitability. Throughout his time growing Palmetto Superfoods, Charles fueled the technology side by implementing online ordering and operations during their initial launch in 2019. This helped prepare the company during COVID-19 and achieve a successful 2020. That same year, Charles also implemented a self-ordering system touch screen kiosk station by partnering with KIOS. In 2022, Charles and Palmetto Superfoods invested in tech startup, ROBOjuice and beta launched the very first robot making acai bowl & smoothie kiosk.
Drew Patterson | Regional Account Manager | Zink Foodservice
Drew Patterson has been in the culinary field for over 30 years with experience ranging from private county clubs, corporate restaurants and healthcare. He has participated in and won multiple contests on a local and national level. Drew currently holds an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s Degree in food and beverage management. Drew has helped lead teams and has personally participated in The Ohio State Fair, FCCLA, Prostart, ACF Presidents Gala, ACF golf outing, ACF Clambake, Kids in the Kitchen, Skills USA, Taste to Remember, Taste the Future. Drew also currently serves on the board of directors for The Columbus ACF Chapter, Chefs Food advisory committee, Ohio School Nutrition Association and the Association of Healthcare Foodservice. Drew was most recently awarded Columbus Ohio’s “Chef of the Year” award for 2016. Drew is currently a Regional Accounts Manager for Zink Foodservice in Columbus, Ohio focusing on Healthcare and Education facilities.
Jeff Ping | Operations Excellence Manager | Aramark Refreshments
As an Operations Excellence Manager for Aramark Refreshments, Jeff Ping is responsible for driving operational efficiencies for vending and micro markets, as well as strategic partnerships with third party vendors across the US. He is integral in identifying impactful ways to leverage innovation and technology to deliver value and experience to both internal teams and external customers. In his 13 years with Aramark Jeff has held positions of increasing responsibility in both field operations and operational leadership for Aramark Refreshments. Jeff has been recognized as one of Aramark’s Route Sales Manager of the Year. Jeff resides in Cleveland, OH with his wife Patricia and son Killian.

Ravi Venkatesan | CEO | Cantaloupe, Inc.
Ravi Venkatesan was appointed Chief Technology Officer in December of 2020. He is responsible for leadership of the company’s architecture, development, network operations and product teams. A proven technology leader with extensive expertise in product development, information systems, software development and program management, Ravi brings more than 20 years of experience in driving innovative change within technology environments. Previously, he was Head of Innovation at Bakkt. He held the dual roles of Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer at Bridge2 Solutions, preceding its sale to ICE, the parent company of Bakkt. Prior to his position at Bakkt, he was the Vice President of Information Technology Strategy and Delivery at Cbeyond.
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