Q. Tell us a little about Black Tie Services.
A. We are known for our high quality food, which is made fresh every day in our commissary. We’ve been in this business for 25 years and part of USConnect for over a year.
Q. What region do you serve, and what are the local favorites?
A. We work in Maryland, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Western Virginia. The local favorite sandwich is a Hot Corned Beef and Swiss, and the Half & Half—iced tea and lemonade—is also popular.
Q. What makes your company stand out from its local competitors?
A. Our fresh food program puts us out front. No one in our market can offer anything even close to what we offer in fresh food. Our customers tell us that they are impressed with how delicious our salads and fresh sliced meats taste. All of our food is made fresh daily and to order for each machine or micro market. Our Chicken Salad wrap is the most-requested item we produce, along with our first-cut corned beef brisket on rye with Swiss.
Q. What trends do you see emerging in 2014?
A. Cashless vending is where I see the biggest opportunity for growth. We are in the process of upgrading every machine in the field with cashless technology. Our cashless transactions are increasing monthly, and in a few years, I expect that cashless sales will be more than 50% of our revenue. We have always strived to be a leader in new trends and technologies, and we will soon be one of the first all cashless vending companies in the Northeast.
Micro markets are also a growth segment for 2014. Customers love the concept, and sales are being led by our fresh food program. About 35% of our micro market sales are fresh-made food items produced in our kitchen.
Q. Your motto is, “We specialize in service to customers deserving the best.” How do you live up to that motto?
A. This past February, the weather reports were calling for a foot of snow on Monday, and a good customer called my cell on Sunday afternoon. They knew their employees who would be snowed-in Monday morning, and they needed to feed them. Was it possible to have 475 boxed lunches delivered on Monday morning?
I had our commissary build the order, even though I didn’t know if we could get our trucks on the road the next day. On Sunday night at 8:30 pm, one of my dedicated Operations Managers made the delivery. The customer was thrilled and impressed with our level of service. We always try to go above and beyond what is expected of us.
Scott Meskin is the President of Black Tie Services, LLP.