When you're on the lookout for just the right drinks machine for your workspace, consider these ten points.
- Staff numbers – Is yours a small team or a large office? Get your supplier to advise on the ideal size and type of machine for your company.
- Location – A machine in a breakout area will quickly become a favourite meeting place. But a noisy machine can be distracting in a meeting room and might be better located outside.
- Drinks range – With today’s café culture, coffee’s the big favourite. But you may still have committed tea drinkers in your ranks and some people enjoy the occasional hot chocolate. You could even choose between low-sugar options, chocolates with different levels of cocoa and decaf varieties. Look for the right machine and supplier for the range you want to offer.
- Fresh coffee or instant – For quality, opt for fresh coffee if you can. But if price is critical, a cup of instant coffee typically costs around 7p a cup, compared to around 12p a cup for fresh. If speed is important, an instant coffee machine delivers a drink in 10-15 seconds, while a premium bean to cup machine might take 45.
- Fresh milk or powdered – If you’re keen on fresh milk, you’ll have to factor in regular supplies and refrigeration. But actually today’s granular milks are a world away from old-style powered milks – simply skimmed milk, with nothing added.
- Filling and cleaning – You need someone to fill and clean the machine. Where you site the machine will dictate whether there is mains water nearby or whether it needs to be filled manually. You could opt for a daily or weekly hygiene service.
- Maintenance – Good office drinks suppliers will offer regular servicing by trained engineers and an emergency breakdown service, to ensure you’re never without your machine for long.
- Free or not free? – Your drinks will always be cheaper than café prices and you can choose how staff pay for them. If your budget allows, free drinks are hugely valued. Alternatively, why not provide a machine for free drinks alongside a coin-operated machine that freshly grinds the beans for every cup?
- Future proofing – Your contract with the drinks provider is likely to run for three to five years. What will your staffing levels look like then? When you’re choosing a machine, make sure it will still meet your needs in year five.
- Finance – Check out the finance options available from your chosen supplier, to get the best deal for your company.
For further information, check out our eguide, which explains the important factors you need to consider when sourcing the right drinks machines for your office: