A Brief Overview of Coin Operated Coffee Machines

A Brief Overview of Coin Operated Coffee Machines

While automatic coffee machines are all the range in businesses across the world, one must not forget the “old faithful” so often seen in breakfast buffets at hotels or at entrance halls to conferences in large auditoriums. Coin operated machines offer a “quick fix” coffee solution regardless of location or event, providing a range of options like flat white, caffe latte and macchiato at the touch of a button. Let’s delve a little deeper into these products to see if they are still relevant as we move in 2020, keeping in mind how fast technological advancements are bringing about change within the industry itself. 

What is a Coin Operated Coffee Machine?

Coin operated coffee machines are essentially coffee vending machines, which take money (coins or notes) and supply an instant cup of coffee in return. These machines are renowned for their uncomplicated nature, their general ease of use, and also because they are traditionally more affordable than a fully functioning automatic coffee machine you would find in a restaurant. Popularised in the 1990’s, these machines have solidified themselves as a powerhouse in the industry, resisting technological changes but ultimately helping to shape how home coffee machines are designed and executed. Engineers have learned a lot from how these machines are used, and which are the most popular products, in their quest to provide better machines for consumers at home. 

The Benefits of Coin Operated Machines

As a whole, coin operated machines cost less to operate, as they don’t require a hands-on approach (like a full-time employee) to operate the machine. From a maintenance perspective you do need someone, but for a breakfast buffet at a hotel, you most likely will only need to fill it up and clean it once before use, and then after the service has been closed. These machines also provide consistency in their products, leaving little room for human error, especially when it comes to providing more than just a cup of instant coffee. A coin operated machine should be hailed for its ease of use and maintenance, and because it can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if your business is not primarily focused on selling coffee to consumers. 

The Shortfall to Consider

On the flipside, it’s important to keep in mind that a coin operated machine might not always provide the best product for the consumer. As many of these machines use powdered milk, you have to account for the fact that you’re generally supplying a lower end beverage, compared to something made with real milk. There is also the fact that the interaction between consumer and machine is largely impersonal. Your business has an opportunity to engage with a consumer when you have a hands-on barista, but with a coin operated machine this simply isn’t a possibility. In compromising quality, you also leave little to no impression on the consumer when using one of these machines. Depending on your business model, and how important human interaction is to its success, you may want to explore all options before making a purchasing decision. 

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