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Coffee Vending


caserri
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Ok guys and gals, I think I am finally going to make the jump into office coffee machines to supplement the few coke machines I have for the winter. My questions are...

What machines do you all recommend? Anyone have any links to some good info? Should I consider the full size machine or a table top model? Give me all your pros and cons!

Steve

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I have mixed emotions about it. The flavored drinks are good but I have not hit on a good plain coffee set up yet. The sales have been disappointing over the summer and I think that it because my coffee is not great. Everyone still drinks morning coffee even in the summer but they don't drink mine.

I have had some problems with the machine itself that I still don't have definitive answers for. It seems to be doing better but that may be because the sales are so low that the problems haven't been showing up. My main problem is that every so often the machine seems to mis-cycle and you only get a very small bit of fluid in the cup. The next time it works fine.

I know there have been other issues with the machine with other operators. I'd like mine to work really well and really hard for a few months so I could say my confidence is where it should be. Right now I am always a little leary of what I will find when I get there.

Ted

 

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  • 5 months later...

I like using the National Hot drink center. Setup and programming are easy and they make a great cup of coffee as well as cappucinno ( mixed fresh in machine). Keep them clean and they will treat you right.

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The National Hot Drink Center machines new will cost appx. $5000 from CMS. If you want a refurbished one, go to http://www.veii.com . They usually have the model # 633 (reg. fresh grind) or model # 637 ( bean grinder, good taste but experience more grinder problems) reasonable. Go to CMS services website and download a setup manual that shows how to program and setup all product mix.

Don't know where to get a starbucks machine cheap, but from what I see it is just a dixie narco 5500 series drop type glass front merchandiser. At the wholesale price of starbucks brand vs. avg. retail ROI will take quite a long time unless starbucks is giving you a machine for free to use their products. This also holds true for the Redbull machines setting everywhere. Product runs out of date before sold. I have never sold enough of these products to justify a dedicated machine for them.

Vendors exchange sells refurb. Dixie narco glassfronts a lot cheaper. They won't have have the fancy decals but you can vend all bottles and cans by using the proper shims. You can also vend fruit drinks, non carb. beverages, flavored water, energy drinks and milk products provided it has a health control. These additional products will enable you to enhance your product mix where the equipment will pay for itself in a reasonable length of time.

AMS also sells a bottle drop machine too.

This is only my opinion and may be a viable option for you. You know what your area will support better than anyone.

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I have seven butlers and have nothing good to say about them.  I have had nothing but troubles and while Andre is a nice guy, he doesn't seem to understand that telling those of us with problems that they are being worked out doesn't make us feel any better about being the guinea pigs.  Save your money and go with pour over coffee with nice cabinets and sweeteners etc...

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  • 1 month later...

I've been browsing the forum and noticed that there wasn't much mention of coffee vending. That is quite different from the UK where most routes are based on coffee vendors with snack and soda machines as extras.

Are there regulations which restrict them in the US or is it just not the right marketplace?

I know they are more complex machines and take a lot more looking after but the margins are much better (here in the UK anyway).

The cost per cup is in the region of 6 pence (about 12cents) and the minimum selling price is 20 pence (40 cents). This is a lot higher margin than snacks or soda.

Is there much coffee vending going on? 

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Steve,

I'm not into coffee yet, but if I were to get into it this is the direction I would go. I went to the Nama convention in Vegas this year and all the coffee service mfg's were there. I  tried alot that was offered but would say the best was the standup Saeco model. This model has the internal water supply and it grinds the beans for each cup of coffee. Now I'm a coffee drinker and I hate I mean hate coffee from a vending machines just because it never tastes right. But with this machine I was blown away the coffee In my opinion stood up to Starbucks.........I know sounds to good to be true but it is the truth. Mfg rep said that if you sell your premium coffee  with a quality bean it would cost about 22 cents per cup. Now the down side is the cost of these machines brand new $4,000+ but I found a guy in Arizona selling models that are two years old same mfg for around $1300.00 in Mint condition. Now the only con about getting into the coffee machine with an internal water supply would be in my opinion the service cycle but I guess that would depend on the location. I know this machine could also be connected to a water line as well. This above machine had a 5 gallon internal tank. Hope this helps.

 

Brian

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Im keen on getting a coffee run up and going. There are lots of opportunities where I live. However, I was wondering what kind of service time it would take up? Like would it be once weekly?..I suppose it would depend upon the site, but I wouldn't wnat to be spending too much time cleaning the machine out or filling it up - especially when there may be 10 others to do the same day.

Any thoughts?

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Hi NZ

It does depend on the size of the machine and the number of drinks it is doing. Coffe vending machines do take time, more time than snack or soda machines, but the rewards are greater, at least they are in the UK.

I would reckon on about 30 minutes to do a small table top machine and about an hour to do a full size one.

The reason it takes longer is the cleaning needed, particularly the drink dispense parts, because the last thing you want is a complaint that somebody was ill from drinking your coffee.

How often you do them will depend on the number of drinks sold. We have one site which does between 1000 and 1500 cups a week. This is serviced twice a week, once is a full clean down and once is a top up and quick clean. This takes about 1 1/2 hours per week excluding travelling time.

I hope this helps 

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My preference is the Hot Drink Center manufactured by Crane National. You can program an automatic brewer rinse and bowl rinse to help keep these areas clean. Wipe down the inside about once a week. Pull the brewer every couple of weeks and clean in a sink. Always keep the cup station and delivery door clean. People buy more from a clean machine. As for the taste, Nationals have user options to increase coffee strength using a longer steep time and increase the amount of creamer and sugar. There are several more great options on these machines that affect the taste of the product. Cappucino is internally mixed in the machine and is so much better than the instant mix. French Vanilla is always a favorite with the ladies. Since everyones personal taste peferences are different, once they define how they like their drink to taste they can always get an indentical cup. These machines also have a reusable filter in the brewer or the option of using a filter paper. I like the paper because of grind filtration but they can cause problems when not attended to properly.I think the key to any coffee machine is keeping the machine clean, keep your grounds bucket and wastewater bucket clean and use quality ingredients. I not bragging but I have had many people to tell me that this is the best vending coffee that they have ever had. While you may not please everyone with machine coffee, if you can win the majority over you will be doing fine. As was said before, profit margins are very good, (COG's less than 25%) with these machines. You can also setup a free winner mode at intevals from 1-999 cups, which people always like.

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Thanks. That information was very helpful! At present my father has one machine in the business he owns and it is very popular with the staff and customers. It isn't intended for money making purposes however.

It's something for me to think about anyway!

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Hi NZ

It's in a factory, break room.

I've no idea how many workers there are but they do go up & down. Just recently they have taken on some more as I saw them being shown round the factory.

The drinks fluctuate depending on what shifts are working. They usually work 24/7 but are very flexible and sometimes they drop a nightshift or a weekend.

 

 

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Man! that is awesome. I hopefully have secured a factory location too. What machine are you using? I am looking at purchasing a Saeco SG200. It only has 150 cups though. It automatically dispenses them. How many times a week do you have to service that coffee machine?

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NZ

I'm using a high capacity Westomatic Riviera machine. It's getting on a bit but still works well. It gas about 800 cup capacity and we service twice a week, Once is a full clean down and once is a top up and quick wipe over.

I don't know the Saeco machine but i have doubts about the150 cup capacity being enough.

When we were operating more than we are now, we used machines with a minimum of 500 cup capacity so we could service once a week. Even the sites that did 200 - 300 cups a week, still got the same machine. It's better to go for over capacity rather than under.

I don't know what the differences in machine prices are in NZ, but I have always used second hand machines that I refurbished myself to keep costs down. On the second hand market, there wasn't much difference in price between machines with 150 or so capacity and ones with 500 capacity, so I went for the higher choice.

We used to assess sites on an average of two cups per day per worker and that worked most of the time with the odd site surprising us and doing much better. 

On a five day week, the 150 cup Saeco would only allow for 30 drinks per day, at two drinks per worker it would be able to cater for 15 workers maximum, to service once per week.

I hope that helps.

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