Coffee Vending Machines: Hire or Buy

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Coffee Vending Machine: A Convenient Solution for Your Business

Most people love coffee, and few can resist a whole work day without at least one or two cups. With a coffee vending machine in your workplace you will always have fresh coffee and other hot drinks available for employees and customers.

Having a coffee machine in the workplace is not only an efficient solution because it is quick and easy, but it will increase your employees’ productivity, their satisfaction with their job and it will give them the opportunity to network among colleagues.

Prices of Coffee Vending Machines

When choosing a coffee vending machine, you have three options: renting, leasing or buying one. The price of a hot drinks vending machine can vary depending on several factors. The main ones to consider are size and quality. Prices for large or high-end coffee vending machines are naturally higher than prices for low-end or smaller units.

Renting, Leasing, Purchasing Prices
Size Rent Lease Buy
Low -end/Small £5 - £8.50 /week £9.99 - £12.50 /month £900 - £1.500
Medium £8.50 - £12.50 /week £12.50 - £15.50 /month £1.400 - £1700 
High-end/Large £12.50 - £20 / week  £15.50 - £25 /month Up to £5.000


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The market offers a wide selection of commercial vending machines, from small units that may brew a handful of simple coffees, to large floor standing units that can dispense other beverages like tea, hot chocolate, and even soup.Office coffee machines can cater to different needs within the office environment and their prices can vary according to size, output capacity, brand and other features

Read About Coffee Vending Machines

Rent, Buy or Lease a Coffee Vending Machine
4 Factors Affecting The Price of Coffee Vending Machines
How To Choose The Right Coffee Vending Machine?
Types of Hot Drinks Vending Machines
Coffee Machine Water Filters
Coffee Vending Machine Maintenance And Installation

Rent, Buy or Lease a Coffee Vending Machine

Rent, buy or lease? That is the question. Each of these options has its advantages but, depending on the specific needs of your business, one of them will be better for you. The main differences among the three types of contract are:

  • Who retains ownership of the coffee vending machine;
  • Payment conditions;
  • Responsibilities of the parties.

1. Renting a Vending Machine 

If you hire a coffee vending machine, ownership will be retained by the supplier and you will typically pay a weekly amount for a shorter period of time. A rental agreement is usually quite flexible, and the responsibilities that weigh on the renter are significantly smaller than in other cases. If a limited budget is making it difficult for you to buy a commercial coffee vending machine, renting one might be the right solution for you.

In fact, there are some perks with hiring a coffee vending machine that you would not enjoy with a purchase or a lease. A rental agreement is a few months to a few years long and it does not bind you to purchase the coffee vending machine at the end. Therefore, it allows you to try several models and to upgrade your coffee machine very easily. There are suppliers that tailor the vending machine to fit specific needs of the customer. These tend to be the best coffee vending machines seeing as they perfectly fit the user.

2. Leasing a Vending Machine 

With a lease, instead, you have the option of acquiring ownership of the coffee machine at the end of the contract and you will pay a monthly amount for a longer period of time (usually 3-5 years). In this case, clear terms will be included in the contract on possible restrictions for use and the conditions of service from the supplier.

3. Buying a Vending Machine

Purchasing a coffee vending machine might sound like the most simple and straightforward option, because you will make a one time payment and acquire the property right away. However, if you buy the vending machine, all responsibility for maintenance, refilling and upkeep will be on you.

Payment, Ownership and Responsibilities
  Payment Ownership Responsibilities
Rent Week or monthly Of supplier Mostly on supplier
Lease Monthly - for longer time (3-5 years)  Of supplier during the lease, with option to acquire in the end Shared as agreed
Buy One time Of buyer On buyer
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4 Factors Affecting The Price of Coffee Vending Machines

Here are the main factors that will influence the price of your coffee vending machine, whether you decide to rent, lease or buy it. 

1. Size of The Coffee Vending Machine

The size of the machine is the next thing to decide, based on the needs of your business. Depending on the number of employees and the number of coffees they will need every day, you can choose from different sizes of coffee vending machines: from a small, table-top unit to a bigger, floor standing unit.

2. The Range of Beverages Your Unit Should Dispense

A coffee machine that can only brew a handful of simple coffee varieties will have a lower hiring price than one that can dispense fancy hot drinks like latte, cappuccino, mocha, hot chocolate or even soup.

3. The Brand of Your Coffee Machine

You may also have preferences regarding the supplier of the coffee machine: if you choose a machine from a well known brand like Selecta, Nestle or Lavazza, you might end up paying a higher price than with other brands, but you will also enjoy the guarantees that come with these reliable brand names.

4. Added Features to Your Coffee Vending Machine Rental

If you need additional features in the machine, some suppliers will be able to customise vending machines for you, and this too will reflect in their rental cost. Moreover, the level of service or the added services you may require will affect the price, for example refilling of the vending machine can be agreed separately and included in the price of the machine.

How To Choose The Right Coffee Vending Machine?

Once you have made the decision about the type of contract you would like to have for your coffee machine, it can be hard to know which coffee vending machine one is best for your workplace. It is important to know your options in order to find the best coffee machine for your business needs and your budget.

 There are several types of coffee vending machines and they have different features that can determine your choice.

Espresso coffee vending machine types

Types of Hot Drinks Vending Machines

The main types of coffee vending machines you can find on the market are: table top units, floor standing units, in-cup machines and bean-to-cup vending machines.

1) Table Top Coffee Machines

These machines are smaller, have a relatively low capacity, and can stand on a table or a counter. These machines can deliver up to 8 products, such as coffee, hot chocolate, and hot water. They have the smallest capacity and can deliver up to 30 cups before needing to be refilled. Therefore, they can cater to small- or medium-sized offices.

2) Floor Standing Machines

They are bigger in size, they have a greater cup-per-day capacity and wider selection of beverages. They can deliver at least 10 different types of hot beverages and have a capacity of up to 600 drinks per day, depending on whether they are plumbed or tanked.Therefore, they can cater to larger offices with a high number of employees and/or customers.

3) In-cup Vending Machines

These machines provide coffee in cups, they have the largest capacity and can brew up to 1200 cups per day. Therefore, they can cater to larger businesses or institutions that need hundreds of cups of hot drinks every day.

4) Bean-to-cup Coffee Vending Machines

They are equipped with a coffee beans container and a grinder. These machines brewe coffee of a higher quality because they use freshly ground beans. They can vary in size and capacity and generally cost more than instant coffee machines, which use instant coffee, as the name suggests.

Coffee Machine Water Filters

Some machines have an incorporated water filter. The choice to hire a coffee machine with a water filter depends on the type of water in your area. Coffee is mainly made of water, so it is important that the water that goes in your coffee machine is not contaminated, chlorinated, too high in calcium or magnesium. If that is the case and you are not using a water filter for your coffee vending machine, your coffee will have a bad taste and the machine will calcify very quickly.

While larger machines can have a built-in water filter, smaller machines may not have this feature and will require an external water filter, if needed. Below is a table of water hardness. You should check the hardness of the water in your area before buying a coffee vending machine.

Indicating the Hardness of Water
Hardness Grains per Gallon (gpg) Parts per Million (ppm) or mg/l
Soft <1.0 <17.0 
Slightly Hard   1.0-3.5 17.1-60 
Moderately Hard  3.5-7.0 60-120 
Hard  7.0-10.5  120-180
Very Hard   >10.5  >180


Assortment of Hot Drinks

Each type of coffee vending machine can have a larger or smaller assortment of hot drinks. The most simple counter top unit will only dispense brew coffee, for example, while the most advance in-cup vending machine might have a selection of ten or more different products. Depending on your budget and you needs, you might want to choose a more or less ample selection for your coffee vending machine.

What Are Cup Dispensers Used for?

Many floor standing coffee vending machines are equipped with paper cup dispensers. If you want to cater coffee to a large number of employees then this will be a useful feature to have. However, businesses that make coffee for customers or clients while using a tabletop or capsule coffee machine might not want to serve coffee in paper cups and may prefer porcelain cups.

However, businesses that make coffee for customers or clients while using a tabletop or capsule coffee machine will want to use more presentable porcelain cups. Another consideration when choosing a machine is whether you are looking for a machine that integrates sugar, milk, or cream into the drink making process, or whether you would like to provide these coffee additions alongside the machine with the cups and stirrers.

Is "Coffee to Go" a Good alternative?

Some floor standing coffee vending machines deliver coffee to go, in separate retail sized cups with sip lids. These units work great for small businesses, libraries, kiosks, universities, and rest stops. Some of these machines have a touchscreen option making it user friendly while providing multiple beverage options to the customer.They can also come with the option of setting a price for the dispensed coffee, and require almost no maintenance.

How Long Do You Have to Wait for Your Coffee?

All models are capable of delivering coffee in less than one minute. Machines that use pre- ground coffee, such as capsule units, can deliver coffee in 40 seconds. Floor standing coffee vending machines will, most likely, deliver coffee in one full minute. Instant coffee vending machines can deliver your hot beverage in just about 9 seconds, which is very useful in offices where you want to save time on coffee breaks.

Payment Options for Coffee Vending Machines

Coffee vending machines suppliers offer different payment systems. The machine can be cash or cashless. If it is cash and coin-operated unit, sometimes the rental agreement will provide that you get to keep the money that is inserted in the machine.If you are using the coffee and/or tea vending machine in a commercial space, then coin operated makes better sense, whereas cashless systems could be used in offices.

Cash cards and keys are a convenient option for office settings, as they do not require handling inconvenient amounts of cash. They allow, for example, for the employer to determine a certain amount of free coffee for their employees and keep track of the consumption. More modern models, besides accepting credit cards, also allow mobile payment systems.

Office coffee machine work installation

Coffee Vending Machine Maintenance And Installation

When renting or leasing a coffee vending machine, the supplier often offers the possibility to include installation, maintenance, and refilling services in the agreement for a convenient price or for free. Delivery and installation are typically included in the rental agreement, as well as a minimum level of service. Moreover, refilling of coffee, sugar, milk and chocolate can be included in the contract. Cleaning and descaling services can be offered by the supplier, included in the price or agreed separately.

Many tea and coffee vending machine suppliers offer a 24-hour customer service phone line in order to resolve any minor issues as quickly as possible. Whether it is to empty coffee grounds, fill ingredients, descale, or repair a machine, suppliers will be there for you when you need it. Smaller vending machines have built-in cleaning system with easy-to-follow procedures, and are relatively low maintenance. Larger machines will need to be serviced by the supplier to maintain the machine. It is essential to check the warranty period and post sale services offered by the supplier.

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