Nearly every business will ask themselves this question as they grow from a startup to a fully fledged SME – do I really need an office coffee machine? As staff numbers swell and the emphasis of employees shifts towards the quality and access to employee benefits, it’s worth exploring the potential of purchasing and installing a commercial coffee machine.
In this article we look at what key benefits there are to introducing office coffee machines, and challenge some of the misconceptions about office coffee.
How do I know that our team will drink coffee in the workplace?
More than 70% of the UK’s population drink multiple cups of coffee on a daily basis, whether that be at a coffee shop, using a home coffee pod machine, or enjoying a freshly brewed bean to cup coffee in the office. Where the UK used to be a nation of tea drinkers in the past, in today’s world coffee is king.
There’s a general rule of thumb that within the workplace, coffee drinking preferences are split into three broad groups. One third of the workforce will drink many cups of coffee a day, another third will drink a cup of coffee maybe once a week, and the final third will never drink from the office coffee machine.
If we generalise, this means there’s a good chance that at least half of your staff will drink a couple of cups of coffee every day – they just might not drink it in your workplace if you haven’t purchased the equipment to accommodate for it. It’s likely they’re picking up a coffee on the way to the office from a high street chain, or are drinking a cold brew that they’ve popped into the office fridge to chill.
It is highly likely that you have a requirement for office coffee, but that your team either haven’t expressed their desire for great quality coffee, or have got into a habit of getting it elsewhere. Either way, there’s no reason to believe that a workplace coffee machine will be a dud if you install it in the office kitchen, or in a meeting room.
What if we don’t have enough people in the office to justify office coffee machines?
It’s true that for a semi-automatic or fully automatic coffee vending machine, you’ll not see the benefit unless you’ve got a minimum number of staff for it to be commercial sensible. If you’ve outgrown the pod machine, this is also a good indicator of your coffee machine needing to be upgraded.
However, the range of capacities for office coffee machines comes from the lowest end of around 30-50 staff on site, all the way up to coping with 200-300 people per day. If you’re having the conversation about whether now is the right time to invest, it means you’re probably at the right size to invest.
As we mentioned in the last section, a lot of companies will buy coffee pod machines as their first foray into the world of office coffee, and these machines are great for startup businesses and those who regularly have less than 10 people on site.
Over time though, the pod machine struggles to keep pace with the needs of workers, and the cost of new pods can become a lot when staff are getting through 25-30 cups a day. The first commercial coffee machine discussion typically comes off the back of the realisation that the poor pod machine can no longer cope.
I don’t know where to start – which office coffee machine is best for us?
You’re not alone! Knowing where to start with your commercial coffee machine journey can be a challenge, especially as there are so many different manufacturers and models out there. Not only this, but knowing how the purchasing or leasing process works can be confusing for first timers.
We would strongly recommend reaching out to a vending company and explaining your situation with them. Companies like Connect have a team of solutions consultants who know everything there is to know about office coffee machines. They’ll ask you for some simple information such as your business location, number of staff on site, and what sort of coffee provisions you’d like to offer.
The best vending suppliers will take your comments away and put together several options to meet your specific requirements, and they’ll make sure not to push a product just because it works best for them as a supplier. At Connect, this is our approach, and we work consultatively to find a solution that fulfils your needs – nothing less.
Can I afford a commercial coffee machine for my workplace?
Cost is not always the biggest consideration when buying a coffee machine, particularly if your business struggles to compete with larger companies when it comes to staff benefits and perks. Having great quality coffee on site, available at low or zero cost, can help you level the playing field with those larger companies without breaking the bank.
That said, your cost needs to be sensible and you need to be sure that it’ll have the desired effect on your workplace. Fortunately there are options from the smallest laRhea Lio 2C (suitable for boardrooms and infrequent use), all the way up to the new Coffetek Neo Q which is a floor standing powerhouse for use in high footfall areas. The costs will obviously vary dramatically between these extremes, but you’re bound to find something that works for your business.
You also have different purchase options when acquiring a coffee machine for the workplace – namely an outright purchase or a lease agreement. If money is no obstacle and you’re happy to take the asset on day one, you’ll want to make an outright purchase. If you’re trying to spread the cost over several years, leasing is the way to go.
Depending on whether you want to fill and clean the machine yourself, or have an expert vending operator take the work on, you’ll need to make space for management costs as well. Again, this depends on the size and complexity of the machine, as well as if it will need to be visited 5 days a week or just once. Speaking to a vending company will help you understand and break down these costs.
Getting the ball rolling on your commercial coffee machine project is straightforward. Drop us a line on 01865 341011 or send us an enquiry here. Our team will reach out to you to discuss your situation and talk you through the process, so there’s nothing to worry about.
We can’t wait to hear from you.