Coffee vending machines are large, expensive pieces of equipment and purchasing one outright is seldom an option. Coffee vending machine rental allows the thrifty business to enjoy the copious benefits, including improving visitor comfort and increasing staff productivity, without a huge outlay in capital.
If you’re looking to rent a coffee vending machine but are unsure where to start, you’ll first need a grounding in the available machines as well as rental and service options. Read on for a detailed overview of coffee vending machine rental choices.
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Coffee Machine Rental: The machines
Coffee machines for rental are available in a variety of sizes to cope with any number of staff or visitors from coin operated machines to 'free vend'. We’ll look at the options in order of increasing size:
- Single serve coffee machines - Sitting on a counter top, these machines produce coffee or tea from single serve sachets and can be used with regular or disposable cups. Typical versions of this kind of machine are the Kenco Singles machines and Flavia Creation machines. Suitable for low volumes, they are generally free vend (i.e. free at point of use) but can be fitted with coin-operation modules. Suitable for up to 50 users.
- Bean-to-cup coffee machines - The gourmet version of counter-top coffee machines which produce coffee in a variety of styles (cappuccino, espresso etc) from freshly ground beans. For use with normal cups, these machines are usually free vend. Again suitable for up to 50 users.
- Table top In-cup vending machines - These machines are usually coin-operated though they can be free-vend or use cashless payment systems (cards, fobs etc). They produce cups of coffee and tea in disposable cups and either sit on a table top or a lockable storage cabinet (where supplies can be stored). They are suitable for up to 200 users depending on the specific machine.
- Free standing coffee vending machines - The larger machines are also usually coin-operated and come in bean-to-cup, freshbrew or in-cup versions. Offering maximum choice and volume they vend into disposable cups and are suitable for 200+ users. As well as dispensing coffee and tea they can also include hot and cold water, carbonated soft drinks and soup options.
How to Rent Coffee Machines
Choices when renting a coffee vending machine vary depending on supplier and the level of your business’s tea and coffee consumption. In general, the more people you’ll be supplying drinks to, the lower your overheads will be. More specifically, the usual options are:
- Straight coffee vending machine rental - You pay a set monthly amount to rent the equipment and pay as you go for supplies and refills. Maintenance and service is usually included in the rental agreement.
- Free loan - The equipment is provided for free when you sign a contract for the ongoing purchase of supplies. Maintenance and service is included. Not normally available to a business with less than 50 users.
- Price per cup - Your rental, maintenance and supplies are covered by a single price per cup, allowing you pay for only what you use. These will be long term contracts with clauses to account for inflation. Cost per cup can be entirely covered by the vending price of coin-operated machines, so that users pay all costs, or the vend price can be subsidised by your company.
- Free/Paid placement - Only usually available to businesses sited in busy public places where several hundred users per day are expected. The vending company will take care of the machine entirely and perhaps even offer to pay you a royalty on the products sold. The royalty option is typical in hospitals and schools.
Coffee Vending Machine Rental: Points to Consider
Always look carefully at a contract for coffee machine rental as the distinction between the different rental methods can sometimes be obscure e.g. if you’ve been quoted a price per cup cost it may not be obvious what your other obligations under the contract are. What provision is made for inflation under a long-term contract? What guarantees does the supplier make about repair times and replacement of broken machines? Will you actually use all the products you’re contracted to purchase or are the estimates too high?
Lastly, check whether the suppliers are members of the Automatic Vending Association and gather as many quotes as possible to ensure you’re getting the best coffee vending machine rental deal.
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