How do you satisfy the coffee-savvy consumer and produce a healthy bottom line at the same time? The price of coffee is higher today than it has been for nearly thirty years and operators cannot afford to trust this premium-priced coffee to anything less than premium equipment: However, operators need equipment that can perform and at the same time be a value. How are equipment manufacturers responding? They are designing and manufacturing smarter, more affordable equipment that is highly reliable, designed to be environmentally-friendly, and consistently brews a custom cup of coffee that is true to their customer’s brand and meets consumer expectations. Equipment manufacturers realize that coffee drinkers have more choices than ever when it comes to coffee and that they expect a premium cup of coffee not just from their coffee shop but also from their convenience stores, restaurants, hotels, and offices. Equipment manufacturers and operators must partner to satisfy the discerning consumer and generate profit.
When considering an equipment purchase buyers are shopping smarter, looking beyond basic brewing functions, and examining the initial investment required by operators, projected service and maintenance costs, appropriate use of technology, and environmental impact.
The initial cost of a piece of equipment does not accurately reflect the total investment. Additional factors should be considered, including, the projected maintenance and service costs, the warranty offered by the manufacturer, and customer and technical support services. A piece of equipment that seems like a great value initially but later causes extended periods of downtime or requires expensive, non-warranted maintenance quickly becomes a costly investment. As with any major purchase, it’s wise for the buyer to beware and to make sure they are purchasing from a reputable company that manufacturers quality equipment that it stands behind.
Buyers should also take a critical look at the use of technology. The effective use of new and emerging technology in equipment should result in positive, tangible results for the operator. For example, technology that reduces energy consumption, tracks product usage, or “learns” customer recipes would likely result in cost savings, reduced waste, or consistent product flavor profile –all tangible benefits to the operator. The use of technology that does not offer a tangible benefit to the operator is superfluous and only adds cost to the unit.
Additionally, buyers should consider equipment manufacturers’ position on corporate responsibility. Consumers are more globally minded than ever and want to know that the places they patronize are responsible corporate citizens and are choosing vendors who have values that are in line with their own. Equipment manufacturers can exhibit corporate responsibility at their level by making a commitment to continually implement equipment designs and manufacturing processes that reduce the use of natural resources (energy and water) and the production of solid waste. Buyers should talk with equipment manufacturers and learn what they are doing to decrease their environmental impact and respond to government initiatives that are requiring more responsible management of resources.
Grindmaster-Cecilware recently introduced Series 2.0 of its popular PrecisionBrew™ Digital Coffee Brewer line as an answer to operators’ needs. This line of brewers is a solution for operators because it addresses their concerns related to price, programmability, ease-of-use, and environmental impact. PrecisionBrew™ Series 2.0 brewers offer users increased control over important brew variables such as pulse brewing sequence, bypass percentage, low temp/no brew, water temperature, and drip time. Having control over these variables allows the user to achieve the unique flavor profile of their coffee with each brew. Real-time operator feedback was also added. The brewer automatically provides the user with information about the status of the current brew cycle indicating how much time is left in the brew cycle, when the brew basket is dripping, and when the brew cycle is complete. This information is visible from the front of the machine in blue LED lights. Also, in line with the company’s commitment to creating energy efficiency in all product lines, a programmable energy savings feature was added which allows the brewer to go into energy conservation mode after a specified period of inactivity. Several PrecisionBrew™ Series 2.0 models are available to suit operators’ specific needs. Each model includes a stainless steel Shuttle® which will keep freshly brewed coffee hot for hours without additional heat or energy consumption. This is just one example of how equipment manufacturers are responding to operators’ needs and designing smarter.
To answer our initial question, how do you satisfy the coffee-savvy consumer and produce a healthy bottom line? The answer is for buyers to partner with an equipment manufacturer that is in-tune with what consumers are demanding and the challenges that operators are facing. Buyers and equipment manufacturers should be working together to place equipment that represents the perfect blend of performance and profit.