Case Study

American Food & Vending scales quickly with Prisma SASE.

In brief


American Food and Vending
American Dining Creations



Products and services

Food and beverage refreshment service

Organization Size



United States


Unreliable platform for managing security and network infrastructure led to business interruptions and lack of confidence in technology.


  • Prisma® SD-WAN enables agility, onboarding new locations quickly.
  • Prisma® Access with GlobalProtect® provides ZTNA 2.0 security for a remote workforce.
  • Next-Generation Firewalls block cyberthreats.

    • 12 month deployment Completed for 400 locations
    • 50% faster Configuration and provisioning of new sites
    • Reduced maintenance Troubleshooting incidents reduced from a few per week to a few per year
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Founded in 1940, American Food & Vending transforms corporate break rooms into self-service micro-markets offering food, snacks, and beverages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s the parent company to American Dining Creations, which operates corporate cafés and provides dining options for businesses, factories, K-12 schools, colleges, and museums. The company serves customers in more than 25 states and is growing rapidly.

American Food & Vending differentiates itself from competitors through technology. Customers can conveniently place advance orders using the company’s mobile app or, in its micro-markets, can scan selected items and go. The company’s proprietary point-of-sale (POS) system and proprietary mobile app, Chowit, accept the latest payment solutions, like digital wallets.

For American Food & Vending, providing excellent—and secure—customer experiences is of paramount importance. Some of its customers are in the defense space and expect American Food & Vending to have security measures in place that are as rigid as their industry’s.

The company turned to Palo Alto Networks to help it better manage and protect its network, customers, and employees while supporting ambitious growth plans.

American Food & Vending


We had a big concern whether the new branch device security changes were implemented across the board. We weren’t confident with our previous vendor.

— Jonathan Thompson, Director of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, American Food & Vending


Legacy platform caused downtime

As American Food & Vending grew, its lean IT team struggled to maintain network infrastructure. The previous vendor provided a centralized management platform that repeatedly proved unreliable. The problem became more noticeable as the company grew from 100 sites in 2012 to more than 1,200 locations today.

Pushing out changes to the branch devices frustrated the IT team. “Some branch devices wouldn’t receive the updates. It was driving the network team crazy,” says Jonathan Thompson, Director of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity at American Food & Vending. “We frequently needed to configure devices individually, which was time-consuming and stressful. We had a big concern whether new branch device security changes were being implemented across the board. We weren’t confident with our previous vendor.”

The security update issues decreased uptime at some kiosks, creating data and accounting challenges.

Many of American Food & Vending’s remote locations operate on segments of client networks. This means that changes in firewall settings needed to be done on both the American Food & Vending side and the client side. Getting changes approved and implemented on clients’ branch devices could take weeks or even months. Routing all of the internet through American Food & Vending’s data center would create bandwidth concerns as well as more redundancy and complexity for the networking team.

Around 2021, American Food & Vending’s IT team began planning to switch security vendors and upgrade the company’s infrastructure. The team also saw an opportunity to replace its legacy VPN and provide more robust security to company employees who work remotely


Rapid growth requires a solution that can scale

American Food & Vending needed a centralized management platform that would allow it to easily push out changes to hundreds of branch devices simultaneously. Centralized logging—not provided by the previous vendor—was critical to identify and troubleshoot issues.

The company also needed a solution to protect a highly mobile workforce, whether they worked from one of the company’s offices or at home.

Most importantly, American Food & Vending required a solution that could scale and keep up with its swift pace of growth. “We’re opening five to 10 new locations a week,” Thompson notes. “We were looking for a solution that would be dependable and easy to manage on such a large scale with so many physical devices.”


Peak performance calls for a SASE leader

Palo Alto Networks stood out as a leader and innovator in networking and security technologies, and American Food & Vending chose Prisma SASE to provide best-in-class security and networking for its headquarters and branch locations. Prisma SD-WAN improved performance and scalability, and Prisma Access with GlobalProtect provided ZTNA 2.0 security to protect the company’s remote workforce. This affords the IT team more flexibility for determining which apps and services it makes available to employees.

Deployment began in November 2022 and is still underway. “Just three members of our network team deployed 400 Prisma SD-WAN Instant-On Network (ION) devices to locations scattered throughout the country in only 12 months,” Thompson reports.

The network team configures the devices in-house at headquarters near Syracuse, New York, then ships them as part of the kiosks. On-site maintenance crews bring the kiosks online with a streamlined plug-and-play setup.

It took the IT team only six weeks to become proficient in preparing and configuring the SD-WAN devices. Palo Alto Networks provided support when needed early on during deployment, ensuring that American Food & Vending configured the devices in accordance with security best practices.


Just three members of our network team deployed 400 Prisma SD-WAN Instant-On Network devices to locations scattered throughout the country in only 12 months.

— Jonathan Thompson, Director of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, American Food & Vending


Company grows with Prisma solutions

“Palo Alto Networks SASE solutions have supported the extraordinary growth of this company while improving our overall security posture,” says Jamie Condon, Vice President of Technology at American Food & Vending. “Our company has grown substantially without increasing the size of the IT network team. Our team has achieved our goal of installing three new locations a day.”

American Food & Vending can install kiosks at new locations not only faster, but also more reliably and securely. By funneling all traffic through Prisma Access, the company now has centralized control over the entire network without placing extra burden on its data center. The company no longer needs to rely on customers to implement policy changes locally.

Automation amplifies employee satisfaction

Prisma SD-WAN provides simplified operations. With Auto VPN, the IT team no longer has to configure VPN settings manually. Routing configurations are automatically generated between gateway devices and branch devices. This cuts initial configuration time in half.

Self-remediation of broken VPNs has reduced time spent troubleshooting. The team went from troubleshooting a few branch devices per week down to only a few the entire last year.

“We’ve been working on implementing new hardware,” Thompson says. “It’s much easier to troubleshoot issues with all logs and configurations in one place.” Centralized logging collects all logged events across the network in real time and creates an archive.

The solution contributes to higher employee satisfaction and retention. “Our network team is spending significantly less time, especially outside of normal working hours, trying to catch up on branch device changes and reconfigurations. It’s helped their work-life balance a lot.”

Advanced security brings confidence

Now, employee devices are protected with advanced ZTNA 2.0 security no matter where they work. “Prisma Access with GlobalProtect is really nice for our mobile workforce,” Thompson explains. “The solution gives employees a lot more protection on their local devices when they aren’t at one of our offices.”

The company is also confident that sensitive data is secure. “We always seek best-in-class security solutions. We serve Fortune 500 clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including defense, medical research, manufacturing, and technology. They expect us to have the best technology and cybersecurity solutions implemented. Palo Alto Networks SASE took our cybersecurity posture to the next level,” Condon confirms.

Company remains nimble and future-focused

American Food & Vending has gained agility with the implementation of Prisma SASE. “We’re always looking to launch new services for our customers and roll out technologies to improve existing services,” Thompson states. “Palo Alto Networks solutions make us more flexible.”


We’re always looking to launch new services for our customers and roll out technologies to improve existing services. Palo Alto Networks solutions make us more flexible.

— Jonathan Thompson, Director of Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, American Food & Vending

Poised to innovate with reduced risk

American Food & Vending is able to maintain its position as a leader in digital innovation by implementing Palo Alto Networks solutions.

The company is expanding its use of Next-Generation Firewalls across its network, including by installing PA-1430 firewalls in its data center. The company also plans to maximize the potential of Cortex® to detect and block threats. Partnering with Palo Alto Networks enables American Food & Vending to retain and increase its competitive advantage. The company can demonstrate that it takes security seriously. And it can more quickly respond to new business opportunities.

Find out more about how Palo Alto Networks’ best-in-class solutions can improve networking and security for your organization. Additional information is here.