The Best Coffee Machines for Restaurants

The Best Coffee Machines for Restaurants

Ever wondered which coffee machines are most commonly found in local restaurants around South Africa? We did too, deciding to go on a mission to explore some of the best coffee machines used in restaurants with a high rate of coffee sales. While there are many brands offering products to restaurants, only a few caught our eye as favourites in a range of different hotspots. Let’s first explore the various types of coffee machines found in restaurants as a whole, before moving to the three brands that we found to be standouts in this particular field.

Types of Coffee Machines Found in Restaurants

There are three primary types of coffee machines found in restaurants these days, which all have their own share of benefits and disadvantages, but essentially provide shop owners with a wider selection based on the particular needs of their business.

  • Traditional Coffee Machines are the big silver machines that many people will have grown accustomed to from visiting coffee shops anywhere in the country. Fairly ‘old school’ in approach, with limited features, these are usually used if there is an in-house barista on hand who works around the clock. Price is therefore an important factor to consider here, as these kind of machines require overheads over and above just production of the actual coffee.
  • Automatic Coffee Machines are popular around the world, providing quick, consistent cups of coffee with little input from an actual barista or employee. While this is great for efficiency, and chain restaurants love going this route, there is a certain element of personal touch and care that is lost in the process, so these machines don’t tend to be as popular with coffee shops. It does however still offer a professional option to restaurants that go through busy spells, and it is an added benefit that these machines can use fresh products (like milk, for example) rather than needing to use powders or sachets.
  • On the lower end of the spectrum Vending Coffee Machines are used by smaller businesses. Restaurants offering self service (buffets) thrive with these kinds of machines, as they require only a little bit of maintenance, and no day-to-day management, albeit that quality will not always be as great, providing these machines are mostly supplied with Instant coffee and powdered milk. Something to keep in mind if coffee is central to how you impress your customers.

The Best Coffee Machine Providers for Restaurants

While naturally hard to whittle down, especially considering the various types of machines used in restaurants, there are a few that stood out for us as the most popular options today:

  • Miele offers built-in or countertop coffee machines, as well as a series of competitively priced coffee related products. They call their products “the perfect interplay of components – grinder, brew unit and pump – ensuring a superb coffee experience each time”. The most expensive of the three on our list for sure, but Miele does make up for this by providing a very solid guarantee on their products, which is important to consider, especially if coffee is central to your day-to-day operations.
  • Nestlé’s Coffee Machines are a surprising addition to the list, only because you would think that as a conglomerate their focus is on supplying coffee machines to homes around the world. This does not seem to be the case, and the Milano range, which comes in three different product types, is a premium product we saw in a lot of different restaurants. Their Alegria range is also worth considering, though the downside is that it comes in a less neutral colour, which may not work with the aesthetic of your restaurant. 
  • Jura Coffee Machines tend to fly a little more under the radar, but there was one machine in their range that was particularly popular, namely the XS9, which is an automatic coffee machine that gained popularity in offices, before branching out to restaurants. With a large water tank and an easy-to-use approach, this machine is also more affordable than the others on our list. Aquaspresso has these machines on hand at the best price in South Africa, so pop them a message if you’d like to give it a go.
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