Category • Blog articles

How can a coffee machine make a Facilities Manager’s role easier?

Alex | August 7, 2023 | 7 minute read

The role of office or facilities manager is a challenging one. With lots of tasks and responsibilities to juggle along with balancing budgets, it’s a busy, albeit rewarding career choice. Another part of the job means that office and facilities managers aim to keep the office running smoothly and the team happy. In today’s modern workplace, people put a lot of value on office perks and in particular – office coffee. Very few offices provide low-quality instant coffee made with a kettle. In fact, most businesses have an office coffee machine.

Whilst there are lots of coffee machines to choose from – vending, pod, capsule, filter and so on, we’ve found that most businesses get on best with a bean-to-cup machine. A bean-to-cup machine is as the name suggests. It takes and grinds fresh coffee beans on demand to brew and pour a great tasting, high-quality coffee.

Bean-to-cup machines themselves come in a wide range of makes and models. Some offer dual hoppers so you can provide your team with a choice of coffee beans. Others offer dual milk functionality which helps to cater for your vegan, plant-based, or lactose-intolerant team members. Almost all of them will pour fresh-tasting coffee at the touch of a button in a matter of seconds. And there are even innovative bean-to-cup machines that let you order your coffee through an app so by the time you get to the coffee machine, your cup is there ready and waiting for you!

However, there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with having an office coffee machine. And this responsibility tends to land on office and facilities managers’ shoulders.

Buying a bean-to-cup machine

Sure, you can purchase a bean-to-cup coffee machine outright, but in some cases, this brings some challenges of its own. Firstly buying a machine is costly. Most bean-to-cup machines range in cost from around £3k all the way up to around £15k. Although in many cases you get what you pay for in terms of quality, it’s still a large investment. To justify a large purchase like that may be challenging for a facilities manager to get sign-off on by management. And, as we all know, budgets are tight as costs on rent, energy bills, office supplies and food and drink, amongst other thing, continue to increase.

Another factor to consider is that when you purchase a coffee machine outright, it may or may not come with a service plan. If you have no service plan, this in effect means that once the warranty is up on your machine, you’re on your own. If anything goes wrong, it will be the facilities manager who has to try and organise an engineer to be called out. You may even have to source your own parts to get your machine up and running again. All of this hassle takes time and effort when facilities managers want to focus on doing the important things, like keeping the office running smoothly.

Renting and free loan agreements

So if you are looking to upgrade your office coffee experience but you don’t want to fork out a large sum upfront, your best option would be to either rent or get one on a free loan agreement. Firstly, with both of these options, most office coffee machine suppliers like us at FreshGround will provide you with comprehensive service plan cover.

We offer a standard level of cover with our Essentials Plan, which means we’ll come out if ever you have an issue. You’ll also have a dedicated support team to help you troubleshoot any issues. Alongside this, we offer a top-tier level of service in our Total Care Plan. This pack offers proactive service and support, which helps make sure your office coffee keeps flowing and your team is happy and hydrated.

The team will also help you make any coffee bean or consumable orders and most of our customers have this set up on a monthly basis. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to think about re-ordering as it’s done automatically. Need to update or change an order if your business needs change? Not a problem – we will take care of everything for you.

Hassle-free coffee machines

Of course, renting your machine you’ll just pay a set price per month. We offer contracts from as little as three months, so if you’re a commitment-phobe you can opt-out any time after that. If you need to upgrade or change your machine, the team can help you with that anytime too.

With a free loan agreement, you don’t pay a penny for your machine. Instead, you just sign up for a minimum order of coffee beans and consumables each month. Again with both options, we’ll bill you monthly so you know exactly what you’re paying and there’s no confusion and next to no admin to deal with.

You may also be surprised to learn that you can get a stylish, innovative and high-quality machine installed and running for around £4 – £6 per day. That’s less than what most of your individual team members would spend in the local coffee shop. By providing your team with a barista-style premium coffee experience at work, you’re showing you care about them. You’re also saving them money so they don’t have to buy the fancy coffees on the high street. A bean-to-cup machine can rival the coffee shops in quality and choice. In fact, you can choose from espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, hot chocolates and more.

Cleaning and maintenance

Again, facilities managers will likely be designated to take care of the machine. With today’s modern bean-to-cup machines, cleaning and maintenance are a breeze. Cleaning cycles are almost entirely automatic and just involve pressing a few buttons. We recommend cleaning your machine at the beginning or end of every day. This is because most machines will use milk and so for health and hygiene, you’ll need to clean this daily. We also recommend just wiping over the outer machine to help stop the spread of germs which can lead to illness and ultimately office team members off sick. Both of these things will take just a matter of minutes at the end of the day. Some facilities managers will delegate this small responsibility to other office team members or have a rota for people to take turns.

Like our team at FreshGround, most office coffee providers will offer any training and support if required. Resources like pamphlets, YouTube videos, and of course the support of your dedicated team will help you to navigate any potential issues. However, cleaning and operating the machines is simple, so minimal training is required and anyone can do it.

Most have a digital interface similar to what you have on your mobile phone so you just intuitively press the buttons to set the required action.

Should I upgrade our office coffee service?

There is a lot of value in providing your team with a quality coffee experience at work. People actually appreciate coffee as their number one office perk. Of course, there are many benefits to people enjoying coffee at work. Coffee offers a number of health benefits, plus it can support productivity, creativity and encourage collaboration. Coffee also has a great way of bringing people together.

It helps to support a positive and engaging work culture, so in short, yes we recommend that offices upgrade their office coffee. Of course, it can be an added expense but when you look at the value it adds to your team and culture, we’d ask if you can afford NOT to upgrade your office coffee.

What machine do we need?

With so many bean-to-cup machines on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. There are some key things to consider that include, how many people will use it, what coffee drinks you want to have, how much space you have in your office kitchen, what milks you want and more.

However with all these considerations, we want to make the process for office and facilities managers as simple and seamless as possible, so our friendly team is on hand to help. You can browse our full range of machines online and simply give us a call on 020 7553 7900 for any advice.

Get in touch

Based in London or Manchester? We have a Coffee Experience Centre in the heart of both cities and will happily host a coffee-tasting session for you and your team. This will give you the opportunity to try out a number of different machines and also taste our various coffee beans. We offer free demonstrations either in your office or in our showroom so simply contact us today and we’ll get you started on your FreshGround office coffee journey.