The pandemic has been hard for the office coffee service industry. Sales are down 40% this year, according to the research organization The Freedonia Group.
It is easy to see why. At Poynter, just as an example, we always had two or three pots of free coffee on the burner. Now we are not even allowed in the kitchen and most people are working from home anyway.
There are a couple of factors at work. Some employers see the pandemic as a way to shift the cost of coffee to the workers, so they are moving to coffee vending machines. And there is a health component to this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges employers to block off shared spaces and “replace high-touch communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks, with alternatives such as prepackaged, single-serving items.”