Mr Lee’s Noodle Kiosks – Vendies Finalist.

Vote Here For The Best Machine Innovation. Noodle Kiosks.

Mr Lee’s Smart, Interactive, Gamified Hot Pot Noodle Kiosks. What vending machine concept could be so exciting, so innovative, so irresistible that one of the world’s largest vending contractors would snap it up even while the first machine was in the prototype stage produced by a newcomer to the vending industry?

Within its first month of operations through the strength of both their products and vending machine, the founder, Damien Lee and his team secured a partnership with catering contractor, Compass Group. In one fell swoop, Mr Lee’s points-of-purchase would potentially be expanded to thousands of locations across the UK. In 2017, Mr Lee’s are looking to begin a pilot program with Elior. Smart Vending Kiosks Mr Lee’s state-of-the-art, smart, interactive Noodle Kiosks provide a piping hot, freshly-made, tasty and healthful pot noodle soup to hungry customers 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week in locations such as universities, hospitals, corporations & military bases, etc.

With a life expectancy of 5-10 years, incorporating cashless payment systems, running costs similar to that of a coffee vending machine and a payback period of 8-12 months, these interactive, smart, “gamified” Noodle Kiosks represent the state-of the-art in digital vending technology. Requiring simple plumbing and electrical connections, these easy-to-install, iPhone-like machines create an engaging, customised user experience tailored to a specific audience, based upon their location and other demographic-related variables. Officially launched in the first quarter of 2017, these iPhone-like machines create an engaging, customised user experience tailored to a specific audience based upon their location and other demographic-related variables. With their 24/7 accessibility, they are set to change the dynamics of the vending industry both in terms of the technical solution they represent and the high-quality, delicious product they deliver. Through the use of new technologies created in cooperation with leading software and hardware experts, the company has developed a modern, secure, Microsoft Azure IoT, cloud-based platform that allows for remote, digital management of the kiosk’s mechanical, financial and reporting functions with the capability of delivering engaging up-to-the-second content to users and passers-by.

The team is led by founder & CEO – Damien Lee, Martyn Dawes – founder & former CEO of Coffee Nation (acquired & re-launched as Costa Express), Martin Verspeak – ex-Compass Group Business Dvlp Mgr, and Per Hovland – Head of Vending Tech & Software Dvlp among others. Considered to be one of the most advanced solutions available, these kiosks are setting a new standard for how consumers experience vended food products; how content & information is delivered to users and how site-specific, demographic information is acquired. The Kiosk boasts qualities like internal hot water injection & a range of unique, cloud-based features that monitor and control all aspects of the system’s hardware, software and operations, including its interface boards, payment systems, cameras, product load status and the ads displayed on its 32″ colour, touchscreen. Product information, prices, images and full-motion video content, can be remotely updated in an instant or at pre-scheduled times. Each machine can have its own particular configuration and any machine or groups of machines can be remotely and simultaneously changed at a given point-in-time, which dramatically simplifies the management of large groups of machines.

Mr Lee’s kiosks’ telemetry provide complete sales information, stock levels and fault reporting so system failures can be detected and rectified quickly and efficiently. In addition, the logistics management system groups the kiosks into routes for re-stock planning and provides complete multimedia vending machine documentation to assist the engineer with repairs and maintenance, including images, documents and training videos. The system’s software provides complete sales reporting and configurable, real-time charts delivered directly to the portal and/or exported to Microsoft Excel and Power BI which creates and delivers, real-time dashboard-based information to any tablet or PC. In addition, this data can be directly-integrated with multiple accounting systems. The Noodle Kiosks can also be logically-grouped into one or more collections for reporting purposes, so sales information can be filtered to show details for specific territories or regions, etc. Their machine places tasty, hot products into the hands of consumers in a more innovative way, which transforms how we perceive convenient food products while creating an engaging user experience instead of a passive one. A limited company from Bournemouth, operating within the ready meals sector, Mr. Lee’s deliver a delicious, natural, more healthful alternative to “junk food-type” food products. Their soups include, the highest-quality, freeze-dried ingredients which makes them richer in nutrients even though they are lower in calories and saturated fats than their competitors’. Among other innovations, they replaced excessive salt with moderate levels of naturally salty lime zest and sugars with tasty honey. A healthy food concept created during the founder’s battle with cancer when he was given only weeks to live, their products were developed with a love of instant noodle soups & the realisation that, despite their popularity, existing instant noodle soup brands were loaded with salts, sugars and other ingredients that made them sometimes tasty but always unsavory from a health perspective.

Noodle KiosksTechnical Details 32” large, colour touchscreen – showing details of product, infomercials, etc. Sophisticated, software communicates full sales history, relays products operator needs for a planned visit. Monitors who interacts with the machine, how long a user spends at the kiosk, their gender, etc. The machine also counts the people who walk by, which means it can measure traffic in area Contactless Payments – ApplePay, QR codes and Payment Cards (plans for PayPal in 2017) Low installation & delivery costs – all that’s needed is hot water.

Environmentally-friendly – Kiosk goes into sleep mode when not being used Unique, premium food product which means relatively low number of sales will cover its cost Kiosk needs standard 13 Amp power, cold water and network connection (Wireless or GSM) Kiosks communicate operational status to alert maintainers of on-site issues

About the author

Yvonne Reynolds-Young

Planet Vending’s MD and Publisher is Yvonne Reynolds-Young. An island of corporate common sense surrounded by oceans of creative madness, Yvonne is the person to call if your intention is to make something happen. (She controls all the diaries and all the money, FYI). She’s also our Social Media Queen, single-handedly responsible for building PVs presence on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter and thereby driving record volumes of traffic onto the site.

‘Customer service is my responsibility and it’s my job to make sure we’re always ahead of deadlines’ she says. ‘My background in big business means I speak the same language as our corporate clients and understand the particular pressures they face when working in the vending arena.’

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