Choosing the perfect coffee machine for your bar or pub

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The coffee market is booming, with some 55 million cups being consumed daily across the country, and with UK consumers becoming more health conscious, it may prove beneficial to have non-alcoholic options available to satisfy every type of customer.

However, offering them a poor-quality product will no longer cut it. Now, consumers expect to find good quality coffee wherever they are, including bars and pubs, which is why investing in the right machine for your business is important.

This depends on many factors including the number of coffees consumed on average each day, the type of establishment you operate, and whether you wish to rent, lease or buy the machine.

We discuss several points to consider when choosing a coffee machine for your bar.

The type of bar or pub do you operate

Taking a look at your establishment and the type of customer it attracts will help you first decide whether investing in a coffee machine is worthwhile, and what type of machine is suitable. Is your bar a high-end one which serves restaurant-quality food? Or is it a local boozer with just snacks on the menu?

For sophisticated bars and stylish pubs, you might want to think about purchasing a barista-style coffee machine. Not only do these look attractive and produce the best quality coffee, but customers will love the attention to detail given in every hand-crafted cup, since barista skills are required to operate it.

That being said, you do not have to feel obliged to splash out on a big, fancy machine, especially if you are not going to use it as often as the beer taps. In chain bars or pubs, a commercial bean-to-cup coffee machine should suffice. With these, the quality is still there, but no barista training is necessary to operate it. This means that drinks can be made quickly and easily, so there is a lower risk of a queue forming at the bar. Fully-automatic bean-to-cups can do everything at the click of a button, which means they are useful for establishments which know the bulk of their customers will be ordering other beverages, freeing up more time to pour pints or serve food.

If your operate a small local bar, in which coffee is much less of a demand and you know your customers probably aren’t serious coffee drinkers, then perhaps an instant or filter machine will be suitable. These are low-maintenance and allow you to quickly serve people, without the added hassle that may come with the more advanced machines.

Likewise, for small bars that wish to experiment with coffee for the first time, capsule machines could work well. These require no skill to operate, are low-maintenance and are easy to clean at the end of the day. But, they are still able to produce good quality coffee. However, it’s important to note that capsule pods are rather expensive to purchase and the plastic is often difficult to recycle.

Average coffee drinkers per day

The average number of coffee orders per day is one of the key factors which will determine the type of machine you wish to invest in. This is because certain machines are built to accommodate mass consumption, whereas others are better for lower consumption rates.

In bars or pubs, you are likely to find that coffee is one of the lesser-ordered beverages on the menu, in which case, a lower-volume machine might be best. With a wide-range of coffee machines to choose from, making a decision can be somewhat daunting, so it’s best to speak to a supplier, who can guide you on which is best for your business based on estimated (or known) daily coffee orders.

Deciding whether to rent, lease or buy a machine

If you are just testing the waters with introducing coffee into your bar, then you will be pleased to learn that the vast majority of commercial coffee machine suppliers do not require a full, up-front investment to purchase. Instead, you can agree on a fixed rental or lease term, offering greater flexibility and peace of mind.

With recent research suggesting that 44% of customers will not return to a pub if they are served a bad coffee, it’s important to get it right. People have simply come to expect high-quality coffee, and many will seek out the nearest establishment in which they know they will be able to receive it, whether that be a coffee shop, bar or a restaurant. For bar owners to meet these demands, they need to ensure that the quality they are providing will meet the standards that avid coffee drinkers have come to want.

If you are overwhelmed by information or still unsure of the machine to rent, lease or buy, you can discuss your needs with a reputable supplier, who will be able to guide you on the type which is right for your business.

So, whether it is a fancy barista-style espresso machine, an automatic bean-to-cup, or simply a pod or instant machine – as long as it has the ability to make a fantastic cup of coffee, it will continue to drive revenue into your bar business.

Logic Vending is a UK supplier of commercial coffee machines for businesses of all types and sizes.

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