It might be that your current office coffee machines have reached max capacity, the reliability of your older machines is now being questioned, or you are wanting to upgrade from the office kettle to a commercial coffee machine for great quality, bean to cup drinks for the team.
Whatever your business’ circumstances, choosing the best office coffee machines requires some serious thought. In this article we’ll be looking at some of the questions you should be asking yourself, and your workforce, to get the perfect office coffee machines.
Knowing your demographic
We talk about knowing your workplace’s demographic a lot, because it’s such a crucial factor in identifying the right solution – having a deep understanding of how your staff interact with coffee machines in the office can be the difference between a hugely popular and successful installation, and implementing a solution that no one uses.
If your business operates in an industrial manufacturing environment or one where there’s a lot of movement, machinery and noise, you’ll have to ensure that any coffee vending machine you consider has the right physical properties to cope with knocks, bangs and greasy gloves.
Floor standing coffee machine manufacturers know how important it is for machines to be durable and reliable, and offer specific machines that are designed to survive well in these fast paced manufacturing environments. You might have to compromise on the aesthetics of a machine, but in most cases where you’re looking for coffee machines in industry, this isn’t something your workforce will be too fussed about.
It’s also worth considering the impact of break times, including lunch breaks, and whether there will be times of especially high demand on machines, as this is likely to have an impact on which coffee machine you choose. Some machines which have bean to cup coffee and fresh espresso options are likely to take longer to vend a drink, leading to queues at machines and unhappy staff. Opting for machines with quicker vend times and soluble coffee can reduce queues and make sure your hard working team have access to quality coffee, quickly.
In office environments, you will have more flexibility to pick between a large range of table top and floorstanding office coffee machines, and the focus is more likely to be on the quality of a drink than the speed of the vends. In settings where brand image and client perception is of high importance, you’d be better opting for bean to cup coffee, potentially with fresh milk capabilities, and even add-ons such as syrup stations.
This leads on to another important factor to consider in your decision making process – drink preferences. It’s fair to say that a couple of decades ago, coffee from a vending machine came in very simple varieties, either with or without milk, and with or without sugar. Since then, the variety of coffee drinks available to Joe Public has broadened significantly, with high street coffee chains offering iced coffee, Frappuccino’s and a range of milk or Espresso based coffees.
We’ve seen consumers in the UK embrace this new found caffeine individualism with open arms, and the impacts of this are now being felt within the workplace. Demand for high quality drinks and the flexibility to choose between two different milks, between coffee beans or instant coffee, and to have syrup shots in drinks from automatic coffee machines, is at an all time high. And it’s not likely to abate any time soon, instead it’s likely to continue to grow, and so knowing exactly what sort of drinks your team like to consume and expect to have available, is paramount.
Trends aside, the legitimate dietary requirements of your team should also be at the top of your list of considerations – lactose intolerance being the single most obvious allergy to bear in mind when selecting a machine. If dairy intolerances or allergies are prevalent in your workspace, you’ve many options including dual milk coffee machines like the Franke SB1200, which avoids cross-contamination between milks and ensures that non-dairy coffee can be safely consumed by consumers.
Likewise, those who follow vegan or vegetarian diets can utilise the flexibility of machines that have multiple internal milk cartridges, one of which can be purposed to hold powdered almond milk as an alternative to dairy.
If you’re unsure which way to turn when it comes to the specification of your office coffee machines, our expert team are available to help you navigate the coffee machine market. Give us a call on 01865 341011 or contact us to speak to one of our experts.
Making great coffee and making the machines last
When you compare the options for purchasing an office coffee machine, you’re likely not just buying the machine but are agreeing for a vending operator to come and take care of the maintenance and management of the machines.
With a fully managed vending service you’ll have an operator regularly visiting your coffee machines to replenish them with coffee beans and soluble ingredients, as well as to clean the internals and externals of the equipment. With this sort of service package you’re also getting support from a team of engineers who will be on hand to fix any faults on your machines through the lifetime of the agreement.
Most coffee vending machine contracts will run for between 3 and 5 years, so once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’re relying on your operating company to do a great job of management and maintenance. All too often this element of the agreement is a lesser consideration and leaves businesses without the support they really need for running great coffee machines.
We can’t stress enough how vital it is to work with a vending operator who will deliver consistently high levels of service, not just for you as a client but your own customers and your staff. You should expect high standards, with your vending operator being able to demonstrate that 70%-75% of service calls are attended within 4 hours, and that the first-time fix rate for any faults is around the 90% mark.
Machine calibration is a very underappreciated and often overlooked part of the process that your vending operator should be confident in undertaking on your new coffee vending machines – the correct calibration will make for a fantastic cup of coffee and should be taken seriously!
Taking the next steps
If you’re reading this article because you want to buy office coffee machines, Connect Vending are here to help you. Our expert team will walk you through all of the above and make sure that the solution we propose is the best possible solution for your business’ needs.
Reach out to our expert Sales team on 01865 341011 or contact us to kick things off. You’re in great hands with Connect.