Customer Engagement

Why Jackson Brothers of the South Sees Contactless as a Must in 2021

January 12, 2021 | By Elyssa Steiner

Why Jackson Brothers of the South Sees Contactless as a Must in 2021

While 2020 brought on many challenges for the traditional vending industry, it also created new ways at how vend-operators can deliver experiences to consumers. Darwin Bickford, CEO at Jackson Brothers of the South, looked at the glass half full and encouraged his team to explore innovative ways to deliver services to consumers, all via contactless methods. “In 2021, we will be on our way to becoming a fully contactless business for our consumers,” said Bickford.

Contactless Payments in Vending

“One thing the pandemic has proven, is that vending continues to be a mainstay for consumers – delivering contactless experiences to buy traditional products like food and drink,” said Bickford. That is why ensuring that consumers have the ability to pay in every way at its vending machines is important to Jackson Brothers of the South. It has actively implemented cashless over the years, to get nearly 100% of their machines connected with card readers.

Bickford looks at the 3G networks sunset in 2021 and into 2022 as a chance to have the most up-to-date technology at its customers’ fingertips. “We look at the network carrier shutdowns as an opportunity to ensure that our technology is upgraded to not only 4G LTE but is also EMV tap enabled. We want to accept every form of payment a consumer seeks to use; and with the accelerations we have seen in contactless adoption during 2020, we know EMV tap is a must for our business,” states Bickford.  

Contactless payment vending

A Mobile App for Micro Markets

One of the biggest advantages for micro markets, is the ability for consumers to shop hundreds of products, and purchase through a self-checkout kiosk. While consumers become more sensitive to touching physical POS terminals, Jackson Brothers of the South has actively been promoting, and educating its clients on the ability to leverage mobile apps for both payment and checkout experiences with its micro markets. “We’ve seen an increase in consumers not only downloading the app, but also leveraging their market loyalty cards, to both transact and earn rewards at the same time, while shopping in our micro markets,” said Bickford. They’ve also experienced locations asking for additional vending machines to ensure they keep employees a safe distance apart and still deliver the conveniences of food and beverages at work.

Enabling Delivery Services Through Web-Ordering

While vending and micro markets were able to adapt to the pandemic faster, two of the company’s most impacted business segments that struggled the most were delivery and catering. “We leveraged Seed Delivery to offer our clients an easy-to-use webpage for ordering products in bulk,” said Bickford. Jackson Brothers of the South had clients that still needed services but were under strict protocols about letting in outside vendors. With Seed Delivery web-ordering, the Jackson Brother’s team was able to provide clients a place to order products, then pre-kit the products, and deliver to the account’s door – a touchless delivery experience. “Our vision is to continue services like this for clients who seek bulk orders – becoming their one-stop shop for multiple product or service needs,” said Darwin.

Catering Adapts to Curbside-To-Go

“Our biggest transformation had to be in how we prepared and delivered fresh food to our clients via on-site catering,” said Bickford. With locations still seeking freshly prepared meals, Bickford’s team created Curbside-to-Go. In an effort to bounce back the catering business, they extended online ordering for meal orders, directly through their website. This gave them the ability to still operate the catering division, and proved to be a successful way to regain some of the lost revenue on that side of the business.

While some operators have created short-term ways to adapt in 2020, Jackson Brothers of the South views its Curbside-to-Go as a new service offering which it will continue to leverage as part of its business model going forward, creating easy ways for its clients as well as consumers to pre-order online, and receive fresh meals, via contactless delivery.

2021 Outlook for Jackson Brothers of the South:

“It’s all about delivering exceptional customer experiences, every time,” said Bickford. “We don’t want to stop just with contactless payments across our business segments. We will also spend 2021 focusing efforts around streamlining our efficiencies – leveraging our technologies to integrate all aspects into Seed.” This will enable Jackson Brothers of the South to have one central place to view, manage, and adapt to its client needs in real-time. Continued Bickford, “If our people have the right tools at their fingertips, in an efficient and integrated way, they can better serve our customers, and in return, deliver on our promise to provide an exceptional consumer experience.” 

About Jackson Brothers of the South

Jackson Brothers of the South is based out of Missouri and take pride in providing people with the food and beverages they want in the most convenient ways possible. It offers Vending, Micro Markets, Office Coffee, Catering, and Food Service options.


Elyssa Steiner

Chief Marketing Officer

Elyssa has over 10 years in the self-service retail industry and was among the first to be a part of launching the micro market concept into the vending channel. She is passionate about sharing both her knowledge in self-service retail and marketing with industry associations such as NAMA and Frost and Sullivan’s Marketing professionals.

Elyssa Steiner LinkedIn