If you manage a large office park, chances are that mobile vendors—such as food trucks—are a large part of your business. To make their professional and personal lives easier and more productive, tenants today are looking for certain workplace amenities, and mobile vendors are one of them.
For a facilities or property manager, organizing a mobile vendor calendar traditionally required hundreds of phone calls and coordinating requests.
(Photo: Atlanta, GA - Oct. 2014: Customers order meals from a popular food truck during their lunch hour at “Food Truck Thursday.” Credit: Shutterstock)
Now, technology has streamlined the mobile amenity management process, much like electronic work order systems have for managing building systems. As mobile vendor popularity continues to grow, it’s important to be aware of certain best practices.
(Photo: Dallas, TX - June 2014: People visit food trucks downtown. Credit: Shutterstock)
Why Invest in Mobile Vendors?
Becky Hanner, principal at Hanner Commercial Asset Services, likens office parks today to the “wild, wild West.” She says it’s not just food trucks parking at these campuses, but also chiropractors, flower vendors, cellphone and tablet repair vendors, beauty supply businesses, car washes and more.
“Building occupants want to find time for their weekend, so they want to take care of all these errands while they’re at work,” Hanner says.
(Photo credit: Lynne Pfister, Integrated Media Consultant, BUILDINGS)
Mobile vendors have also become an effective marketing tool for owners, she adds. Companies looking to lease might be attracted to a building when they see mobile vendors on the amenities list. Mobile vendors can then attract the talent those companies are looking to hire.
4 Tips for Managing Mobile Vendors
1. Use a scheduling system.
Today’s technology can eliminate the headache of scheduling vendors through phone calls and written requests. Electronic work order and scheduling systems allow facilities and property managers to set up an event calendar, send out invites to their favorite vendors and set up open enrollment for applicants. FMs and PMs ultimately approve who they want on the premises.
“The technology to manage mobile vendors is pioneering how buildings are going to [operate] in the future,” Hanner says.
[Read also: Connected Buildings Save Money, Improve Tenant Experience]
2. Set requirements.
Some electronic and work order systems let you set requirements for vendor applicants, such as proof of valid insurance, a business license, signing some type of agreement, following a list of best practices, etc.
3. Have electrical connections available.
The best places to host mobile vendors on your premises are areas where they’ll have access to electrical connections. This allows them to turn off their generators to reduce noise—which your tenants will appreciate.
4. Encourage tenants to visit.
To make your facility worthwhile for mobile vendors, make an effort to encourage your tenants to take advantage of them. “Make your place the place to be,” Hanner says. She adds that she’s even seen mobile vendors give discounts to building tenants.
BOMA 2019 Panel
Hanner and other industry professionals will share more tips, including safety best practices, at the 2019 BOMA International Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, UT, set for June 22-25. The mobile vendor session will also cover:
- Vendor certification
- Keeping up-to-date insurance certificates
- Best clean-up practices
- Evaluating tenant satisfaction
Tenant amenities are a major driving force behind attracting tenants to your building—and having a schedule of rotating mobile vendors is a sought-after amenity. The vendors will appreciate the business and could potentially make your facility a destination.
[Register Now: 2019 BOMA International Conference & Expo]
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