There are many excellent reasons why a company would choose to provide coffee for its employees, customers and clients, but can you really save money using a coffee service? When you count in all of the costs associated with providing coffee for your business, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out just how cost-effective it can be to use a coffee service for your office coffee needs. Take a look at some of the obvious, and not so obvious, cost benefits of using a coffee service as opposed to providing the same coffee and machine on your own.
The Cost of the Coffee Machine
When considering the cost of the coffee machine, be sure to evaluate your officeís needs in terms of cups of coffee served per day. If youíre making more than two or three pots of coffee a day for your office or company, chances are that a coffee maker designed for use in a home kitchen just wonít do. While you may not need a coffee machine designed for restaurant or coffee shop use, you do need one that will handle higher traffic than the typical kitchen coffee maker or youíll be replacing the coffee machine every few months. A coffee maker that can handle the typical office or business traffic will easily cost you upwards of $150-$200, while a top-of-the-line coffee machine or a coffee vending machine can easily run into the thousands of dollars.
By contrast, most office coffee service companies provide a high quality, professional coffee maker for free as long as you contract to buy a minimum amount of coffee and supplies through their service.
The Cost of Coffee through an Office Coffee Service
Office coffee service companies tend to buy their materials from coffee suppliers in large quantities. These companies are usually able to get a discounted price for the coffee that they buy. In general, you wonít pay more for coffee bought through an office coffee service than you would if you bought the coffee at your local supermarket or through a coffee subscription service. There are, however, many other ways that youíll see savings when you buy coffee through a coffee service.
- Coffee ordered from a coffee service is delivered directly to your office on a pre-determined schedule. That means that no one has to spend time shopping for coffee and no one has to run out in the middle of the day to buy coffee because youíve run out.
- Generally, the coffee service will deliver coffee packaged in pre-measured pouches just right for making one pot of coffee. That helps you control the amount of coffee thatís used per pot, potentially saving you money on every pot of coffee.
- If you choose a single serve coffee system, your potential savings are even greater. Because your employees will be making coffee to order, one cup at a time, you wonít be pouring old coffee down the drain because itís become undrinkable.
In addition to the savings youíll get by choosing a coffee service, youíll also be serving better coffee. You wonít be brewing up ground coffee thatís gone stale in the can or the bag because your coffee will be in vacuum packed pouches or cups until just before you brew it.
Save Money on Supplies and Equipment through an Office Coffee Service
Your coffee supplier will also offer a range of coffee making equipment and supplies to mix with your coffee. That means that you wonít be paying supermarket prices for cream, milk, sugar and creamer for office use. Similar to the coffee, youíll be able to purchase office coffee supplies through your coffee service in individual serving packets, which is both more sanitary and more economical. You wonít be throwing away cream or milk thatís gone bad in the refrigerator, or running down to the store to pick up another quart of milk before a big meeting.
Those supplies also include napkins, coffee cups and stirrers. Disposable coffee supplies are optional, of course, but could be an enormous boon if you regularly serve coffee to clients or customers.
Save Money on Repairs, Service and Replacement
One expense thatís not often counted when youíre calculating the cost of providing coffee at the office is the cost of maintenance. A coffee machine requires regular maintenance and cleaning in order to continue making good coffee. A broken coffee carafe often means buying a new coffee maker because it can be difficult to replace the carafe with the right size.
When you use an office coffee service, your service provider takes on the responsibility for maintaining and servicing your machine on a regular schedule. If your coffee machine malfunctions, the coffee service will replace or repair it, often within 24 hours so that youíre not left without a functioning coffee machine for your employees and customers. Depending on your contract with the coffee service, those replacements may be at no cost to you, or at a very nominal cost.
An office coffee service isnít right for every office, but if your company provides coffee for employees or for customers and clients, itís an option well worth exploring. If youíre considering using an office coffee service, the points above can help you make a realistic analysis of your possible savings.
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Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about the office environment and ways to improve productivity such as utilizing an office coffee service.
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