With an average of 95 million cups of coffee being consumed daily within the UK, it is easy to see why so many bars, hotels and restaurants have started investing in coffee vending machines in order to keep their customers happy.
Renting, leasing, or purchasing one of these advanced machines has many benefits, including being cost-effective, flexible and, above all, having the ability to produce excellent, barista-worthy cups of coffee at the push of a button! However, with so many on the market, it can be difficult deciding which type is best for your business.
Here, we discuss several key points to consider before investing in a coffee machine for your establishment.
Before you decide to invest in a vending machine, it is important to identify the types of beverages you wish to serve. The intended location of your machine, coupled with the types of customers being served, will help you determine this.
For instance, if you wish to place the machine in a self-serving breakfast buffet in a hotel, then perhaps a fully-automatic, touch-screen machine, which is capable of making coffee for guests almost instantly, will suffice.
Alternatively, if you run an upscale hotel or restaurant in which people order coffee from a menu, then a manned, barista-style machine may be more suitable. Barista machines are attractive and can produce high-quality, hand-crafted beverages. However, these require staff and skills to operate, so it is important to think about whether this is right for your business.
The average number of people who will be consuming coffee within your location per day is another significant point to consider, since some machines are designed to handle mass consumption, whilst others are built will low rates of consumption in mind.
If you run a bar or pub, you might find that coffee is ordered far less frequently than alcoholic beverages. As such, lower-volume machines would be better placed. On the contrary, in big hotels with high guest turnover, a vending machine that is capable of outputting a large number of drinks each day would be more appropriate.
It is wise to approach a reputable supplier with an approximate figure of daily coffee drinkers, and then allow them to recommend suitable machines for your establishment.
Coffee machines vary in terms of the levels of maintenance they require. Some machines must be manually cleaned on a daily basis, whilst others have auto-cleaning mechanisms built in. It is, therefore, a good idea to contemplate the time and resources available within your business for machine maintenance.
With regard to repairs and upgrades, most well-known suppliers will be able to include this as part of their rental or leasing package.
Ease of use
This is another factor that will depend upon the staff and resources you have at your disposal. There is simply no point investing in an expensive, state-of-the-art machine if you do not have enough staff available or employees that understand how to use it.
Many machines are straightforward and easy to use, particularly the semi or fully-automatic types, which can produce beverages in just a few short steps. The most hi-tech of these now come with digital displays and touch-screens, which means that staff or customers can make their own coffee without needing assistance.
On the other hand, there are certain coffee machines that require basic technical training or barista skills to work.
If you are thinking of renting, leasing or buying a coffee vending machine for your hospitality business, speak to Vending Sense on 0808 196 9609 to discuss your requirements.