Traditional Coffee Machines vs Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine! Which one is The Best for You and your Business?
No matter the industry you are in, if you are looking to provide quality coffee for your customers and visitors you will probably have asked yourself the question, which coffee vending machine is right for me? Do I go for a bean-to-cup machine or a traditional espresso coffee machine?
Your decision will likely be based on many different aspects of your business. Thinking about things like your budget, the footfall of your venue, your experience and the experience of your staff or end user and the profile of your customer base will really help when trying to figure out which option is the best for you.
Firstly, a quick explanation as to what the different vending machines actually do.
A bean to cup coffee machine is fully automated, other than the push of a button and now days even contactless with just a motion selection. It basically does the work of a grinder, a coffee machine and a barista all in one; grinding the beans on demand for ultimate freshness, tamping the grounds, extracting the coffee, steaming and frothing the milk if necessary and pouring the drink in to the cup.
A traditional espresso style machine is an espresso coffee machine that a trained barista uses to extract coffee from the coffee grounds (that they have created in a coffee grinder), by tamping them into a portafilter and fixing into the group head for the water to pass through (the grounds) and filter out into a receptacle.
You really do not want to stretch yourself too thin in the ambition of getting the best of the best. Stay within your means and really research what you actually need from a coffee vending machine, checking out reviews from other purchasers to see if the product is worth the money.
A bean-to-cup machine is a lower cost than a traditional espresso coffee machine! With a traditional machine, also needing a coffee grinder alongside it to grind the coffee beans (before extracting the coffee in the barista-style coffee machine).
If you would like to find out more about the importance of your coffee grinder when it comes to making delicious, consistent coffee, check out our blog ‘Why Your Coffee Grinder Is More Important Than Your Coffee Machine.’
Considering at what rate you intend on churning out the coffees will help determine whether you need a quick solution, such as a bean-to-cup coffee machine, or a traditional coffee machine, where the drinks will take a little longer to make, unless you have a 3-group machine with two members of staff working on it to keep up with demand.
On the balance, a bean-to-cup machine will only withstand a certain amount of usage per day, before having to be cleaned, have milk replaced or carry out any other maintenance routines. A traditional machine has the ability to make coffees all day long with little maintenance needed throughout the day, other than ensuring the steam wands are clean and free of milk with each use.
To operate a bean-to-cup machine, there is very little experience or skill needed, just a simple how-to demonstration from the installation team or supplier, they should show you how to operate and clean the machine and give you some basic information on how the machine works.
A traditional, espresso machine requires some training both on the coffee machine and the coffee grinder (that it will be used in conjunction with). Look for a supplier that can provide the training for you, unless you are highly experienced and totally comfortable with the machine already.
Another skill that takes some time to master is latte art, this can step your coffee offering up a good few notches, and you may end up cashing in on the benefits of serving up eye-catching, ‘instagrammable’ coffee!
With this in mind, staff retention may have to be considered, the time and cost of training up staff on a regular basis, may outweigh the benefits of using a barista style machine.
Consider the profile of your customers. Are they used to a certain type of machine? Do they expect barista made coffee? Are they leisurely, social visitors, or purposeful customers? Maybe they would delight in the theatre of a traditional coffee machine and pretty latte art, or perhaps they want a quick fix of good quality coffee and be on their way.
The type of coffee machine you decide on may be determined by the location it is intended on being stationed. Firstly, it may be that you have very limited space, in which case a traditional machine may not be the best option and a bean-to-cup machine will fit in nicely with them having a small footprint.
However, if you are keeping the coffee machine front of house with plenty of space, a traditional barista style machine could be a great addition for some dramatic flare, if you have the trained staff to operate it.
With a bean-to-cup machine you may end up having to clean it part way through the day if you have exceeded the maximum volume of drinks the machine is capable of per day, but the high-tech machines of nowadays give you step-by-step instructions on a touchscreen and simply get on with the job once you have added a cleaning tablet and carried out the basic instructions provided.
The cleaning of a traditional machine is easy if you keep up with it regularly, ensuring the steam wands are free of milk after each drink made. While, after each day of coffee making, the detachable components are removed to leave to soak in an appropriate cleaner overnight, and the group heads flushed with cleaning solution, ready for reassembling the next day.
Once you have taken stock of what your business actually needs and can practically provide, hopefully you will have a much better idea of what type of machine to go for.
If you want to hear more about our product and services, contact Refreshment Systems on 0800 169 3686.
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Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do. If they are not achieving their goals then neither are we. Their satisfaction is very important to us and we believe that delivering what our customers want and need, means that we can form a long-lasting partnership.
We got our machines very quickly, installed and working in no time, the aftercare is superb, we have weekly visits from our very entertaining replenishment engineer, nothing is too much trouble and we would highly recommend Refreshment Systems to any new/existing business.
Refreshment Systems are brilliant, I thought getting vending and coffee machines for our company would be complicated and time consuming, I was totally wrong, from the minute I called and spoke with Frazer I felt confident they could supply what we needed.
I would recommend Refreshment Systems to any car dealership that is looking to enhance their customer experience with a high quality drink offering of bean to cup. We have worked with them for a number of years and installed a new machine last year which we could not be happier with.