With so much choice, complicated leases and array of coffee options we take a look at the things to check that will help you to ask all the right questions before you finalise your new office coffee provider.
1. Have you seen the coffee machine and do you like the coffee?
It's essential that you get a chance to see the coffee machine in action before finalising your purchase to ensure that it fulfils all your requirements and is easy to use. You should also have a tasting of the coffee your provider offers to make sure you're happy with the quality and taste.
2. Are you comfortable with the daily cleaning of the machine?
With any coffee machine that handles fresh coffee there is an element of daily cleaning. A lot of machines on offer started out life designed for the HORECA market and are better suited to skilled professional hands. Another area to be careful is the type of milk; a machine with fresh milk can take more time to clean. Are you set up or prepared to handle this? We provide both fresh milk and granulated milk options to help you make an informed choice win which is the most suitable fit for your business.
3. Have you seen any feedback from the coffee provider's existing clients?
If a coffee provider doesn't make client testimonials available on their website, it could be a red flag that their service isn't quite up to scratch. Look for a provider that uses an independent online review company - such as Trustpilot or Feefo - to showcase client feedback, and take the time to really investigate what people have to say about them. You could also check out their social media pages to get an idea of their customer satisfaction.
4. Are you buying or signing a lease for the coffee machine? What happens if you want to upgrade?
Leasing is often an affordable option because it eliminates the need for a big initial investment in the machine, but it usually means you pay a little more overall than you would if you were to buy the machine outright. Leasing and hire Agreements also tend to involve agreements in regards to coffee supplies and machine servicing and maintenance. Plus, unlike leases, hire plans frequently often cater for methods for upgrading your machine if your needs change and should you require something larger or newer a few years down the line. With all these complex factors to consider, you need to understand exactly what type of agreement you're going into when choosing a coffee provider.
5. Does the supplier provide the service or is it outsourced somewhere else?
If a supplier does outsource the service, you might want to get more details about the company that will actually be maintaining your machine to check that they're reputable and reliable. Some businesses may prefer the peace of mind that comes with working with a supplier that provides a complete service without outsourcing because they don't have to worry about dealing with third party companies that they don't know and they don't have a direct relationship with.
6. Does the cost include maintenance (descaling visits, checking the grinder, changing the filter)?
With bean to cup coffee machines you don't want to be left with unexpected extra costs and time spent that come with essential maintenance of your machine, so be sure to find out exactly which maintenance services are included and you are comfortable with what you have to do.
7. How long is the machine warranty for and how much does it cost when things break?
It's common for coffee machines to include a warranty, but you need to check exactly which parts are covered and for how long. You'll also need to have a rough idea of the costs involved in repairs when the warranty expires.
8. What is the call out service response guarantee?
If your coffee machine breaks down, you don't want to be waiting any longer than necessary for it to be repaired. Be sure to ask your provider how long the response time is for call outs and what the first time fix policy is and if they can guarantee that you'll get a response within a maximum time period. There's little use of a same day response if you have a furious coffee demanding coffee whilst you wait for parts.
9. Is there a first fix guarantee or will you have to wait days for parts?
In an ideal world, you want your coffee machine to be fixed the first time an engineer visits. Unfortunately, if they don't have the necessary parts on hand, you'll have to wait even longer for repairs. To eliminate this inconvenience, suppliers might offer a first fix guarantee, which means the engineers will have all the necessary parts on hand to get the machine up and running as soon as they've identified the problem. If a first fix guaranteed isn't offered, ask how long you can expect to wait for replacement parts.
10. Will your provider support you through different coffees during the agreement?
You might not want to be tied to the same types of coffee for the duration of your agreement, so make sure your contract is flexible to allow you to choose a range of drink types whenever you want.