The Little and Large of Coffee Machines for the Workplace.

Go big or go small? When it comes to selecting the right workplace coffee machine for your workspace, there are so many options to look at that it’s very hard to know where to start. And it’s not just a discussion of whether your workplace has the space to squeeze in a bigger machine – even the largest workspaces might be better off with several smaller machines.

In today’s article, we look at some of the different coffee machines for the workplace available to businesses and delve into the factors you should consider when picking the best machine for your organisation.

Going large with floor standing hot drinks machines

It’s highly likely that when you think of hot drinks vending machines, you think of big black metal boxes with a drinks vend area and a button or touchscreen selection area to choose drinks with. When we talk about these huge machines, we’re talking about floor standing machines, and they’re real workhorses when it comes to producing a high quantity of coffee, tea and hot chocolate without skipping a beat.

Floor standing coffee machines are typically found in areas or buildings within a business’ premises which see substantial footfall from employees, or from a combination of employees, visitors and customers. It’s not unusual for these machines to be operating in settings where staff are on shift patterns, as they offer consistency and reliability to large numbers of staff without needing replenishing regularly.

At Connect, we work with leading suppliers of floor standing vending machines, such as Coffetek, Crane and Evoca. These machines are some of the best in the industry and are engineered to an extremely high standard, making it easier and more straightforward to operate and maintain them. The Coffetek Neo can hold 550 cups, 1kg of instant coffee, 1.4kg of coffee beans and 2.5kg of instant milk, making it a behemoth of the coffee vending space, and allowing the machine to vend upwards of 500 cups of coffee in certain configurations.

Aside from their excellent capacity, floorstanding coffee machines are also a great option for settings where there’s likely to be lots of movement of people and/or equipment around a space, such as warehouses, manufacturing floors and busy corridors. They’re built to be durable, withstand heavy usage and not need regular topping up or maintenance, which are all great qualities for busy areas or those where having the machine open would cause inconvenience to those working in the space.

So, large, floor standing coffee vending machines for the office have their place, but what about those spaces where there either isn’t space for this form factor, or where the focus is more on vending at a high quality than high quantity?

Keeping it compact with tabletop office coffee machines

Small tabletop coffee machines are a fantastic option for those spaces where room is at a premium, but businesses are not willing to compromise on quality for coffee and other hot drinks – even the smallest, lowest budget machines can now brew great quality coffee without breaking the bank.

Typically suited for offices, front offices and other client facing settings, tabletop coffee machines are more flexible, but have much lower capacities than their larger floor standing counterparts. They can range from single bean or instant machines such as the Coffetek Vitro X1, through to dual bean, dual milk machines such as the Franke SB1200.

Table top machines can be as small as 650mm in height and 305mm in width, so are ideal for office kitchen worktops or boardroom cupboard tops where they can be either plumbed in or delivered with a water tank. Smaller machines like these can manage up to 60 cups per day. Larger machines in this table top range are still manageable within smaller premises or those with lower footfall, being capable of upto 250 cups a day and still fitting snugly into a tight space.

Tabletop machines tend to offer far greater flexibility and range in drinks but will need more  regular operator involvement to keep the grout bins empty and the raw ingredients stocked. In lower footfall offices or workplaces, this is not often an issue, but demonstrates one of the main reasons why choosing a larger machine may be more suitable for some businesses.

Balancing capacity with availability and accessibility

It’s easy to assume that larger capacity coffee machines for the workplace will automatically be the best fit for larger premises or organisations, and it can be true, but it’s just as important to understand the availability of coffee machines for staff and how easy and convenient they are to access.

For example, a team of 200 working in a manufacturing environment may consider a large floorstanding machine to be an ideal solution, and may opt to purchase a couple of these machines for two different working areas. However, with operations that run 24 hours a day, shift workers are likely to be taking breaks at the same time in their droves, and 40 staff queuing at a single machine takes up valuable downtime and can lead staff to become frustrated.

It is worth considering a different setup for these types of workplaces, with two or more smaller machines offering similar capacities as a single, larger coffee machine, but allowing twice as many drinks to be dispensed at any one time. This also reduces the burden on each machine and may increase the longevity of key components inside the machines.

Likewise, if a single large machine is put on site, staff may have to travel a long way to be able to get a drink, and with short breaks are far less likely to see it as worth the journey. By splitting the hot drinks provision into smaller machines and placing them strategically in breakout areas that are a shorter distance for staff to reach, may increase engagement and drink throughput.

Looking for your perfect coffee machine for the office?

This is just a flavour of some of the important considerations that need to be made when looking at coffee machines for the workplace, and you may still be wondering where to start.

Our sales consultants are on hand to help you navigate the different options and find a solution that meets all your requirements, and we won’t push a hot drinks machine for the office that we don’t believe will work perfectly in your setting.

Why not reach out to us and see how we can support you with your requirements by giving us a call on 01865 341011 or by contacting us. We would love to hear from you.