This is for all you pub landlords and breweries – what coffee are you offering your customers, and does the coffee machine itself reinforce your brand?
If you read our recent post, Get the right coffee machine: there’s still time to cash in on the UK’s love affair with coffee, you’ll have spotted that among the growth areas for the coffee industry are pubs. Coffee servings, historically, have increased 18% in British pubs; it seems we can't cope without caffeine these days.
So, are you cashing in on coffee-lovers’ cravings? And which commercial coffee machine is best for pubs?
Choosing the best coffee machine really comes down to your answer to two questions.
What sort of pub are you running?
How busy does it get at the bar?
Let’s look at your pub first. What’s your clientele like? Are you serving restaurant-quality food, traditional pub grub, or pork scratchings, peanuts and three flavours of crisps? In a really simplistic breakdown, there are three types of pubs: gastropubs, typical town or country pubs, and a good old British boozer.
If you’re running a gastropub or a particularly stylish pub or bar in a reasonably affluent area, there’s only one kind of coffee machine for you: a premium espresso machine. It’s what your customers will expect to see. Stylish, sophisticated, and requiring a little bit of barista skill. Hand-crafted coffee is the only way to go if you think your customers are aspirational and seeking out the finer things in life.
At chain pubs and the average pub or bar, you can absolutely still go down the commercial espresso machine route. They’re not too expensive, they look the business behind the bar, and your customers are always going to appreciate good coffee. Equally – and here’s where your customer footfall comes in – a good bean-to-cup coffee machine will serve you well. Each drink takes less time to make, so you’re at less risk of causing a queue at the bar. And these days, the quality of most bean-to-cup machine coffee is so good you’d hardly believe it hadn’t been made by hand. It’s a judgement call – and it’s yours to make.
At a proper British pub, where the focus is your drinks, atmosphere and facilities like a pool table or regular sports games on the big TV, you can go any which way suits your customers best. You know your regulars – what would they prefer? An espresso machine might go down a storm. A bean-to-cup machine with its super-fast, semi-automated servings will definitely tickle the taste buds. And the standard of coffee from one of our instant coffee machines is good enough that only serious coffee drinks will know the difference. And if you think there’s not a huge demand for coffee, the instant stuff lasts longer.
If you’re testing the water for the first time, hiring a commercial coffee machine doesn’t require the up-front investment of buying a machine. And coffee machine rental costs are almost certainly cheaper than you’re expecting…
Just ask your regulars. Because if the market is anything to go by, leasing a coffee machine is going to give your turnover and profits a real kick.