Go for lunch in a coffee shop in your local town centre, and you’ll notice that more and more schoolchildren are choosing to spend lunch money on coffee – especially sixth formers. Is it time to lease a coffee machine for your school?
Leasing coffee machines for universities and colleges is pretty much a no-brainer. Among its other benefits, caffeine is a boost to concentration and memory, and sure to be popular among students.
If you’re catering for a school, your instinctive response may be ‘No’ – but hold on. It’s true that children shouldn’t have too much caffeine, but a daily amount of 2.5mg per kg of body weight is considered perfectly safe for children and adolescents*. And providing your own, more affordable, coffee and soft drinks at school could give you back some control over the amount of caffeine your pupils are drinking.
Because the average mug of coffee gives 140mg of coffee, while a medium Starbucks Pike Place comes in at almost double that: 260mg**. And there’s nothing to stop you stocking your coffee machine solely with decaffeinated coffee, of course.
At a time when school funding is somewhat precarious, leasing a coffee machine – just like having a vending machine dispensing healthy snacks – could put a little bit of money back into school or college coffers. After all, if kids are going to spend their pocket or lunch money anyway, it gives you the chance to offer healthier options at a subsidised rate – saving kids and their parents some money and, at the same time, raising invaluable funds for educational or pastoral projects.
If you want to offer coffee with caffeine, rather than purely decaff coffee in your machine, it’s worth thinking about machine placement. A single coffee would take the average mid-teenager up to or over their recommended daily limit (as you’ll see from our chart below). So, placing self-service coffee machines in school sixth form common rooms puts them out of reach of smaller children whose caffeine intake should be lower, but you could choose the dining rooms or reception areas for self-service machines stocked with decaff only.
Of course, health and safety come first. You don’t want to get into hot water over accidents on school property. So before introducing coffee machines for pupils, it’s worth setting some ground rules…
And then there’s the convenience factor for staff, too. Rather than making do with terrible instant coffee, or sending someone on a run into town to fetch multiple drinks at great expense, why not lease a bean-to-cup machine for the school staffroom or in different college and university faculties? Top-notch coffee, tea and hot chocolate on tap, at a subsidised price which benefits your team and your bank balance. It’s worth running a poll among your teaching and support staff to find out your typical uptake, so you can identify the most cost-effective coffee machine to rent.
Weight ratio to recommended maximum caffeine for kids
6st / 38kg = 95mg caffeine daily
7st / 44kg = 110mg caffeine daily
8st / 50kg = 125mg caffeine daily
10st / 63kg = 157.5mg caffeine daily