Best Canteen Coffee Machines
Canteen Coffee Machines: Which is the best Coffee machine for your canteen
Choosing the correct coffee machine for any environment can be quite a complex task but one of the trickiest environments to navigate is a canteen type environment. We have made many mistakes in placing the incorrect solution in different canteens in the past but we feel we have learnt from our mistakes and we now believe we know which are the best suited coffee machines for canteen operation.
The three types of canteens
In our experience there are essentially three types of canteens in companies. There are those canteens which are run by an independent operator who leases the canteen from the company with the intention to sell coffee and other food items to the staff members. Then there are canteens where the machines are there on a self-service basis for the staff to use during their tea and lunch breaks and lastly there are a number of pause areas within the company which are essentially “mini canteens” whose purpose is to replace a traditional canteen by allowing staff to congregate in a number of areas around the company as opposed to one central canteen area.
Pause areas are areas within companies (usually not kitchens) where staff members can relax, put their feet up and grab a hot cup of coffee. These are pretty much identical to “mini-canteen” areas. The first thing to ask yourself when kitting out a pause area with a coffee machine is how much traffic will the pause area experience and how capable the users are. Typically pause areas differ to traditional canteens in the sense that the “rush” factor is not there and you can live with a machine taking a little bit longer to make your coffee.
The three best machine options for pause areas are either bean vending machines, instant vending machines or automatic coffee machines. Which option out of these three will best suit you, depends on the following criteria:
1) Automatic coffee machine: Automatic coffee machines are best if you are after the perfect cup of coffee and quality is your most important factor. Automatic coffee machines use only fresh milk and coffee beans and therefore the quality of your coffee is best with an auto
2) Instant vending coffee machine: An instant vending machine is best for a pause area if you are after simplicity and cost saving above all else. Instant vending machines are the most maintenance friendly machines and the cost of instant machines along with their product is the cheapest out of the lot
3) Bean Coffee Vending Machines: Bean coffee vending machines are combinations of the above two options. You get the simplicity of vending but with a quality closer to automatic machines.
If you have a canteen which is essentially a coffee shop within an office then a traditional coffee machine might be your best option. Traditional machines are the hardest to operate and do require a barista but they allow you to produce all the fancy things like latte art and are probably the most impressive of all machines. Also when you are selling coffee, impression is everything and traditional machines, especially in South Africa, are recognised as the best options by customers.
When it comes to self-service coffee machine options, vending machines are usually the best bet for canteens. Automatic machines produce great coffee but they are far more complicated to operate and far slower than vending machines. When it comes to normal canteen operation, speed is the name of the game. The following speeds are the average times it takes to dispense a cup of coffee:
Instant Vending – 9 seconds
Bean Vending – 20 seconds
Automatic – 50 seconds
Canteens are one of the most intense environments for coffee machines as they involve a lot of people wanting to get a lot of coffee in a very short space of time. Nothing makes people more angry then not being able to get their fix so the thing to remember is to prioritise speed and simplicity when it comes to selecting a coffee machine for you canteen.
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