Miniaturisation and the introduction of chip-card payment modules mean that coffee vending machines no longer need to be as big as a common American fridge.
However, depending on the number of servings needed within a company, traditional floor standing units or in-cup vending machines may still remain a more convenient, and economical solution in the long run.
Here’s a discussion about the pros and cons of each type of machine, and matching lists of manufacturers.
Types of coffee vending machines
From smallest to largest, coffee vending machines fall into four categories: coffee pod machines, counter-top machines, floor standing units and in-cup vending machines.
Coffee pod machines
Today’s favourite at home, these machines have made their way to offices as they are very conveniently small and offer the quality of single-serving coffee, with a quality approaching that of espresso machines.
They can only deliver up to 100 servings before they need a refill.
Price per cup is the highest among all four categories, so if you use these as vending machines and intend to turn a profit out of the operation, you’ll have to bill a relatively steep price for the cup of coffee. These machines can almost never be leased.
Also called table-top machines, the can be placed on tables or counters. Such machines have the lowest capacity and can only deliver coffee, hot chocolate, tea and hot water.
Floor standing units
These bulky, heavy-duty units may provide many different products such as soups or cold drinks. The usual capacity is around 800 drinks per day, and they can be either plumbed or tanked. They represent the most economical solution in the long run, with the lowest cost per cup. Cups themselves will represent an additional expense, but these machines are usually leased within the scope of a full service, consumables, accessories and service plan.
In-cup coffee-vending machines
In-cup coffee-vending machines, as the name suggests, deliver both the contains... and the container. The biggest machines can serve up to 1500 cups a day - but the quality of the drink is sometimes sub-par.
These are the most commonly seen machines in large institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, libraries...
Manufacturers or coffee vending machines
Coffee pod machines
Well-known consumer brand now provide discrete business-oriented coffee vending machines:
- Lavazza among others
Coffee makers but also specialist brands compete in this coffee machine market:
Floor standing units and in-cup coffee vending machines
Manufacturers of these two kinds of machines are usually the same brands:
- Automatic Products,