Coffee vending machines

Whether for offices, large buildings or business centres or for public places such as administrations, hospitals, etc. Vending coffee machines are a common sight that we are used to meeting all the time.

The concept is simple: for large volumes of services, it is much more practical to rent a vending coffee maker than to buy a coffee maker in property and have to keep an eye on it every little time. For this reason, coffee vending is a growing trend in many professional sectors.

Renting coffee vending machines works very simply: the coffee vending machines belong to a company that rents them, and at the same time also sells the consumables (if needed): cups, spoons or plastics for stirring coffee, sugar, etc. This is a bit on demand.

The coffee vending machine is obviously not owned by the company or office where it is located. It is the property of the vending company that sells it. The collection, if there are any (because there are also free coffee vending machines, for companies that are very generous with their employees), is collected by the vending company periodically, normally every week. In the same visit, it is usually used to refill the machine with coffee or with the products that are needed.

For practical purposes, these machines work as if they were automatic coffee makers with a coin purse. The user inserts the necessary coins and only has to press a button to obtain the desired coffee preparation in seconds.

All the profit goes to the vending company, which logically also has to pay for the maintenance of the coffee machine and any breakdowns or problems that may arise in return. In exchange, the office or building that orders one of these machines makes sure that it can offer its customers or workers a comfortable, quality and cheap coffee service (because coffee in this type of coffee vending machine can cost you around 50-60 cents sometimes).

In this respect, vending coffee makers are not very different from other types of vending machines, such as those for soft drinks and cold drinks cans, snacks, meals, etc.

Naturally, we will focus our article on coffee vending machines exclusively.

Coffee vending machines have functions that you would not normally find in a home coffee maker, such as being able to choose each drink at the touch of a button or to determine the amount of sugar you want in your drink from the keyboard.

Normally they work with coffee beans and milk powder to produce all the drinks in their catalogue (the catalogue of preparations of a certain vending machine is more or less wide depending on the price and quality of the coffee), but in recent years vending machines with pods have also become very popular.

In pod coffee vending machines, the vending company also markets the pods. In this case, it is usually easier to calculate the final price of the contract, depending on the number of pods you want to buy.

How does coffee machine rental work?

In the world of coffee maker rental for businesses, the options are very diverse. For example:

  • Contract the installation and maintenance of the coffee maker in exchange for a fixed monthly fee.
  • Buy the vending coffee machine (as if it were a normal one) and install it yourself in the office, and then hire the coffee services and consumables from the company itself as you need them. This may be a cheaper option in the long term, but you should make sure that the initial guarantee and support service will cover your needs.
  • Hybrid alternatives. For example, in the following example we see an advertisement for a coffee vending machine, which has a certain retail price (in this case, £1150 + VAT). However, the vending company offers you the machine for free if you contract the first 2700 coffee services from them. As is almost always the case, in the end in this type of business the companies earn more money in the long run from the recurring sales of the consumables, than from the initial sale of the coffee machine. When people talk about free business coffee makers, they really mean “free” in quotes, because they are referring to this business model.

Note: This photograph illustrates a specific promotion by way of example. It should not be taken as a reference or as a valid offer at the time of reading these lines.

Coffee vending machines: prices

Coffee vending machine rental is very common for one-off events lasting a certain number of days, such as trade fairs, conferences or television shoots. In these cases, the vending company usually proposes rates per consumption; that is: the rent is cheaper the more capsules or services are consumed. This is logical because we have already said that where the expense is really made, and there is a profit margin in the consumables, and not so much in the coffee makers.

In this case of vending coffee machine rentals for a few days, a guarantee deposit is also usually applied, which is no more than an amount of money advanced to cover possible damage to the coffee machine. This initial deposit is returned to the customer when the coffee machine rental ends, as long as the machine is in perfect condition.

This being the case, an example of an estimate for a vending coffee machine rental can be

  • £50 per coffee machine.
  • 15-day rental rate: £20 for less than 100 services, £10 for between 100 and 200 services, or free if more than 200 coffee services are contracted.

Obviously, this is just an example, and the amounts will depend on the make and model of the coffee vending machine chosen, but at the outset, it may help us to understand how coffee vending machine rental works.

Saeco vending

Office vending coffee machine rental

If you don’t want to buy one of the typical business coffee machines in your office, the easiest option is to rent a coffee machine. In this sense, you can go to one of the vending companies that operate in your city (there are many local businesses dedicated to this sector), or also check the options of coffee machines for offices that the big coffee companies have in their catalogue.

For example, both Saeco and Lavazza are two manufacturers that, in addition to leading the domestic coffee maker sector in Europe, also successfully work in the vending area.

Saeco, in particular, has a whole line of coffee machines focused on this purpose. Previously it was called Saeco Vending, and now it is Saeco Pro. But the idea is the same: office coffee machines that can withstand several dozens of daily services without maintenance and that can be adapted to all needs.

Lavazza also has a powerful line of coffee vending machines. In this case, there are three different models, ranging from smaller to larger capacity, which the Italian company offers for vending on the condition that a series of minimum monthly consumptions are met.

For example, the Colibri model can be used from 400 services per month, the Brio, which would be the intermediate model, is offered from 600 drinks per month, and the largest model (Lavazza Kiko) can only be used with a minimum of 900 services per month.

It’s just a matter of calculating how many drinks you can make in the office and choosing the model best suited to your needs. Lavazza Vending takes care of everything else.

All Lavazza Vending coffee machines use the Lavazza Blue capsule system.

lavazza brio vending

Many companies offer (for sale or rent) small vending machines, which are ideal as coffee machines for businesses or offices with few employees. Not the whole professional sector will be aimed at bars and cafés, will it?

Coffee machine rental for bars

These are often confusing concepts: renting a coffee machine for the catering trade has nothing to do with vending. The coffee machines that a bar, or a coffee shop, needs cannot work like vending machines simply because the customer expects a professional, and not a machine, to prepare his coffee.

You can find out more about professional coffee machines for the hotel and catering industry in the post we published on this website.

Although coffee machines for bars are not vending machines, as they can also be rented, we are going to clarify in this space some of the advantages of renting as opposed to buying a coffee machine for the hotel and catering industry.

  • Bar coffee machines are very expensive, usually costing several thousand pounds. Renting them for a down payment means that you don’t have to pay that large initial outlay, which is unbearable for many small start-up businesses.
  • Normally, the contract for renting a coffee machine for bars already includes maintenance. If there are breakdowns or repairs to be made, the company that rents the machine will take care of everything. If you choose to buy, you will have to pay for the repair yourself.
  • Renting allows you to change the model and renew coffee machines that are being updated, with greater flexibility than if you decide to buy the machine for your business.