Chattanooga-Based Five Star Food Service Opens 400th Micro-Market

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Eight months ago Chattanooga-based Five Star Food Service became one of the nation’s first independent vending operators to surpass the 300 micro-market threshold. Last week Five Star celebrated the opening of its 400th micro-market at a Jostens production facility in Clarksville. The Jostens installation marks the 133rd micro-market Five Star has opened this fiscal year which ends this month.

Officials said, "Five Star’s secret to success is its people. The unprecedented growth and success is due in large part to its dedicated micro-market organizational structure spanning from the corporate office to the branch level including area managers and route drivers who specialize in merchandising micro-markets."

President and CEO Alan Recher said, “In order to sustain scalability, we made the decision to invest in the infrastructure on the front-end. We recruited the best people, top to bottom, to manage micro-markets and involved all levels of management from the beginning to ensure buy-in and adoption.”.

Headed by Vice President of Micro-Markets, Mark Stephanos, Five Star has a team of 50+ employees solely dedicated to the success of its micro-market business.He said,  “Five Star’s rapid growth to 400 markets in just over four years has been an exciting challenge. Our team of micro-market professionals has done an outstanding job of consistently delivering on our promise of quality service and products to our customers.” .

Growth this significant does not come without a few bumps in the road and lessons learned. Five Star quickly learned the micro-market business was very different from traditional vending and it needed to adapt. “From the onset, we knew this was a retail concept and learned over time from errors made in the planograms,” said Mr. Recher.

Along the way, Five Star has focused on continuous improvement in its processes, products, promotions, and execution. “Our unique approach to choosing the ‘right’ products and promotions for our micro-markets truly differentiates us from our competition,” said Mr. Stephanos.

As the industry grew and became more sophisticated, the available solutions for technology followed suit. It became vital for Five Star to invest in the best technology to keep up with the growth internally as well as the demands end-users were asking for. About 18 months ago, Five Star partnered with 365 Retail Markets to power their micro-market kiosks and backend reporting. “Partnering with 365 was a major switch in the kiosk technology we use. It has proved to be advantageous to our growth and negated many technical issues we encountered early on,” said Mr. Recher.

While Five Star’s core business continues to be traditional vending, senior leadership foresees a future where micro-markets comprise 50 percent or more of the total business. Mr. Recher said, “We see continued growth in the micro-market space. I believe improved technology will play a key role in the future expansion of the industry.”

Five Star Food Service specializes in full-service vending, micro-markets, coffee services, full-service dining, and catering services across Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Founded in 1993, Five Star Food Service has grown to one of the largest privately held operators in the Southeast. Five Star Food Service is a franchise of Canteen Vending.



Springer Mountain Farms Recognizes Chef Rebecca Barron With Celebrate The Chef Award

Chef Rebecca Barron, executive chef of St. John’s Restaurant in Chattanooga, has received the highest honor bestowed by Georgia-based poultry producer Springer Mountain Farms, the Celebrate the Chef Award. The award is presented to a select handful of chefs that demonstrate culinary excellence, consistency in the dining experience and a commitment to the use of fresh and local ingredients. ... (click for more)

Mojo Burrito Opening Ooltewah Location On June 28

Mojo Burrito is opening its new Ooltewah site at Cambridge Square with a grand opening on June 28.   The opening of the store adds more than 20 jobs to the existing 82 positions in their Red Bank, East Brainerd and St. Elmo locations, along with seven administrative positions.     To celebrate the grand opening, Mojo Burrito will be giving out ... (click for more)

5 People Shot On Cowart Street Early Sunday Morning

Five people were shot on Cowart Street early Sunday morning.   At approximately 2:55 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the area of 1400 Cowart Street on reports of multiple people shot. The shooting was near Coyote Jack's where one person was killed and another injured in a shooting in December 2017.   Upon arrival, police found several ... (click for more)

Body Of Robert Townsend, 60, Found In Dumpster On Laura Street

The body of Robert Townsend, 60, was found on Friday in a dumpster on Laura Street.   At approximately  11:19 a.m. , Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a deceased party in the 2500 block of Laura Street. Upon arrival, officers located the body inside the bin.     Violent Crimes Bureau responded to the scene. The decedent was transported to the ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)