Which coffee machine would best suit your business

Which coffee machine would best suit your business

If you run a cafe, coffee house, tea shop or mobile catering business, then a good quality coffee machine is a must. But how do you decide which model to invest in from the vast array on offer in the market place? The trick is to establish your business needs and pick the right model accordingly - rather than being swayed by persuasive marketing!


The importance of a good coffee machine

Whether you are serving Americano, regular coffee, espresso, cappuccino, cafe au lait or exotic flavoured coffees, you need to ensure that the resulting drink is of top quality, standard presentation and meets your customers` exacting needs. People do go out of their way nowadays to drink at the places serving the best coffee and a poor cup will turn them away from your business - sometimes for good!


This means investing in a commercial grade coffee machine, with the right maintenance contract in place, to ensure that it functions to its maximum potential for your business flow. Without the tools for the trade, your business will not be able to flourish. Consider yourself how irritating it is to wait in a queue during your lunch break for a hot drink and you`ll realise why customer service and timely fulfilment will be key to the success of your operation!


What type of model to choose?

There is a wide range on the market and your choice will need to be based on where you will locate the machine, the number of customers you are likely to have at peak volume and the range of drinks that you plan to sell. Traditional espresso machines tend not to be used in high demand environments, as each espresso can take between 30 - 120 seconds to make. However, these machines are ideal for steady flow and regular demand, such as in restaurants where coffee is served after dinner. Other coffee machines come in varieties that offer manual, semi-automatic or automatic operation and different head sizes, depending on how many drinks you will need to produce at one time. You may wish to invest in a commercial grade milk frother - unless part of your service offer includes hand-finished coffees - and an integrated machine tends to work best for continuity of flow and operation. Consider whether the machine will be visible from front of house, or located out of the customer`s view to consider how important aesthetics will be to your decision.


Choosing the manufacturer

Pick a manufacturer that specialises within the industry and has plenty of recommendations. Look for sensible prices, but remember that you will tend to get what you pay for - and you need to invest in quality materials and appliances for your business, to avoid denting revenues if you experience downtime. Make sure that you buy a comprehensive maintenance and servicing contract, with an out of hours facility and callout time for any emergencies. This can be as important a purchase as the machine itself and will help to manage your business risks.


A manufacturer that also comes to provide training to your staff on operation, cleaning and health and safety is also advised, as the machine will need to be carefully maintained to stay within warranty and to last for as long as possible within your business. Start your research at caffesociety.co.uk and speak to others in the industry for further advice and guidance. Product reviews are a great place to start, as is the specialist industry press, networking groups and commercial catering membership societies which can provide extra offers and special prices through collective purchasing arrangements.