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Gourmet Butler


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Grumpy asked me to start a new thread on this so here it is.


First an apology to Jay-Son Vending. I did'n't see your request for information until after the contest had closed and Grumpy had already posted the link. (Thanks Grumpy)

The Gourmet Butler is a  machine that makes coffee, cappucino, latte, hot chocolate and dispenses hot water.

I was a member at vendingtalk.com when I first heard about it. At that time I wasn't really interested in getting into coffee bur I read about it with interest. About six months later one of the other members who lived about twenty miles from and who was running 6-7 of them contacted me. He had a location that was outside the area he was servicing that wanted a combo machine. He knew I had one idle at the time. He offered me the location but said they wanted a Butler. We went together and bought two from a fellow in Texas and I started my first foray into coffee.

I like the flavored drinks it produced but I was never happy with coffee. It always tasted like insatnt (which it is) to me even though it was said to produce good coffee. To be fair I never used the coffee recomended by the developer of the machine because I couldn't find it locally and to buy it from him required too large a purchase.

The machine never produced the sales I wanted at the location. (side note: when I put it on free vend for a trial I went through 200 cups in three days for 27 people. Similar numbers were achieved when I left it on free vend by mistake once.) It generally sold 20-40 cups per week. By the nature of coffee, you must service and clean the equipment frequently. The manufacturer said daily, but the fellow behind the Gourmet Butler said every hundred cups I believe. He also felt I was wasting my time with an account that bought so little. I left it there for a year because

 a) I had it

B) I didn't want to pull it because it was part of ther deal to get the account and the combo sales were good.

The biggest problem I had with the machine was that every so often it would dispense a quarter of an inch of fluid. The next vend would be perfect. The machine had only been on the market a couple of years and I was never able to find out why this happened and how to fix it. There were a few theories, all of which required me to spend non-refundable money on parts to try and see if it would work.  In the meantime even though I had set up a float to immediately reimburse anyone who lost monety and left it with the secretary, the people there were not happy. Rather than risk losing the account I retired the coffee machine.




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Thanks Ted,

Did you replace it with another coffee machine like a saeco 7p, or a pour over? My understanding is that coffee vending can be lucrative, and we know Canadians love their coffee. Of course the advice I got was to keep it simple like pour overs, but more people are liking the flavoured hot drinks/coffee.

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I haven't replaced it at all yet. If I do I would probably go with pour over. I would sell them the product and swap the machine periodically so I could take the machine out and service it. I am at a stage where I am trying to avoid being tied to servicing every day. 

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My understanding is 7p's do not need everyday service, weekly for quick clean bi-weekly teardown clean. Pour overs are the best method though, sell them coffe and all of thier other needs, no real service required until it breaks. (they should be able to clean it them selfs simple wipe down each day) If they use filtered or bottle water not much need for running the rod through them either.

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