Vending Coffee: the Options for Your Business

For many people, coffee is a workplace necessity. In smaller workplaces, making it with a kettle can be a reasonable option. As staff numbers go up, however, kettles quickly become inconvenient and unsafe. Fortunately, there are vending machines to suit all needs and wants. Here’s a quick guide to choosing one for your business.

To buy or to lease?

You could take into consideration the different aspects of buying or leasing a coffee machine. Or better still, you could just buy a used coffee machine to save you the cost of a new one! Nonetheless, if you buy a coffee vending machine, then you will either have to take care of it yourself or arrange for this to be done. Neither of these is difficult, it’s just a consideration to remember when you’re making your choice.

Free, chargeable or a mixture of both?

For many companies, offering free vending coffee is a basic staff perk. In fact, you could argue that coffee vending machines pay their way in productivity gains. If, however, your budget is really tight, there are chargeable options. Another alternative would be to have a mixture of free and chargeable options. The latter could be premium drinks and snacks.

What payment option(s) will you use?

If you’re going to have chargeable vending machines, then you need to think about payment options. These days, card payment is generally the sensible option. This avoids all the hassle of dealing with cash.

What size machine do you need/want?

Vending machines in public spaces tend to be on the larger side. This is generally a matter of economics. If you’re going to go to the expense and hassle of installing a commercial vending machine, you want to maximize your return. This means that bigger is better. It gives customers the widest possible choice and extends the period between refills.

If, however, you just want a vending machine so that your staff and visitors can get themselves decent coffee quickly and safely, then smaller could be better. In fact, it can often make a lot of sense to have smaller vending machines dotted around an office than to have one supersized vending machine for a whole building, even if it is quick.

How good do you need your coffee to be?

For practical purposes, vending machines come in two main types, bean-to-cup vending machines and regular vending machines. Both types can add milk and sugar; many offer some degree of customizability as to how much is added. They can also both dispense other drinks, such as tea and hot chocolate. Some can also dispense additional items like snacks.

Bean-to-cup vending machines sit between barista-operated coffee machines (aka Espresso coffee machines) and regular vending machines. They have in-built grinders and steamers to produce high-quality coffee at the push of a button. All you’d have to do is fill the machine with some freshly roasted coffee beans, that you can find in bulk on websites similar to Iron & Fire (, and let the machine take care of the rest. This process does, however, take about a minute, which makes them a lot slower than regular vending machines.

Regular vending machines can dispense a decent cup of standard instant coffee literally in seconds. This generally makes them by far the better option for high-footfall areas, where you want to avoid queues. They are also more economical to run, hence, generally better when you are offering hot drinks for free.

Author Bio

Cema Vending are specialists vending machine suppliers and have been for over 15 years. Cema Vending are the place to go for businesses looking for a range of stylish, modern snack, water and coffee vending machines.