As one of Australia’s leading providers of office coffee services, we felt it was important to help Australians understand what to look for. Potential clients often ask us what variables should they be comparing their shortlist against. So here goes…
Focus on the in-cup quality
You need to find an Office Coffee Service (OCS) provider that is prepared to sit with you, the coffee and a qualified machine technician until you have landed on the right set up.
The perfect setup with the right machine and experts on hand will give you the in-cup profile you are looking for.
“I am a big believer in that if you are going to do coffee in the office – do it well, or don’t do it all.”
Taking a middle of the road approach to office coffee delivers an experience that employees grow to dislike. Conversely, if the presentation and quality is something that your employees and visitors truly enjoy, a simple coffee becomes a positive experience that is valuable.
If you can’t find someone who is prepared to work with you until the in-cup experience is something you are proud to serve in your workplace, then it may be best to not offer coffee at all.
Does your in-cup quality reflect the quality of your business?
Choose a specialist not generalist
The companies that offer ‘office coffee’ all come at it from a different angle or ‘sell’. Some have roasting at the heart of their businesses, some are equipment-focused and others focus on consumables like fruit or milk.
What is really important is that your provider has service in their DNA. They want to find the BEST solution for you, with the experience and ongoing service as their key passion.
Be wary of large organisations that have a dedicated division where coffee is just a small part of what they do overall – as they’re often designed to shift more beans or coffee pods, sell more equipment or improve profitability on low margin consumables.
Office coffee is hard enough to get right for customers when it’s all you do. Find someone who is passionate about their quality and service above everything else.
“You want someone who focuses on what happens after the machine gets to site and your coffee drinkers’ experience.”
Is your provider a specialist?
Find a provider that controls all elements of the service
Does your provider directly control, own and employ all the necessary variables to guarantee a continuously good experience each and every day?
Office coffee is a continuous experience offered to employees and clients on behalf of the company.
It’s a personal experience for everyone. Hence the emotion around the subject.
As a customer you need to be sure that your provider controls all the elements of the service.
For example, ensure that they;
- have their own company-employed technicians
- have their own company-employed valets and support team
- hold all their own coffee machine parts
- run their own help desk that is serviced by Australian staff
- own and run their own fleet of vans and drivers for deliveries
All this should be in place, not just at a single head office, but across Australia – where you do business. Your provider should be able to come to you at your premises and taste the coffee – as only then can the best coffee experience be delivered.
If your provider has this level of control, you can be confident that you can provide this level of assurance to the drinkers in your workplace.
Ask your provider if they control, own and employ all the necessary variables to guarantee your experience every day?
Choose a ‘Socially Responsible’ business
We feel you should choose a provider that has options for you to make a positive contribution to society.
The only byproduct of ‘coffee bean’ to cup coffee is coffee grounds, which are 100% organic and can be removed from your office and put to use in gardens.
If you’re using a provider who offers pods, there’s a huge waste problem.
The Guardian.com released a staggering statistic that 12,600 tonnes of aluminium end up in landfill annually – enough for 60 Statues of Liberty [Read Article]
Choose a provider that opens up opportunities for you to make a positive impact on people and society.
They should be able to share the origin story and show you how the bean to cup is ethical and a positive experience for all producers. This is referred to as “traceability” in the industry.
Your provider should be able to connect your coffee spend to support local communities in your area and across Australia.
Ask yourself if your provider aligns with your company’s social responsibility position and if it does, share this with your coffee drinkers.
Choose someone with transparent pricing
Over the course of the life of a coffee machine at least 30% of the total cost will be spent on maintaining them. This doesn’t include the call outs for parts and labour that are a result of poor cleaning.
Whilst a deal may look good upfront, these costs can really start to mount up if they aren’t included upfront.
If your provider sends you an invoice every time the machine breaks, that’s not good news for you (but it works for them).Even with a good provider who has the best of intentions, this is a relationship that will be under strain at some point.
Find a provider that is prepared to commit to fixed-cost, proactive maintenance, servicing and parts as part of the agreement. It might seem more expensive, but you’ll end up spending less – and you have certainty every month on what your spend is and assurance that your machine is always running.
Ask yourself what you really end up spending when you include maintenance costs, parts and labour charges on the machines.