According to the OCS State Of The Industry report published by Automatic Merchandiser over a third, 38.6 percent, of OCS operators named bean-to-cup single cup brewing technology as the brewer which will increase sales revenue the most in their area. Along with that, operators indicated they consider their relationship with the customer and the economic benefits before placing this type of brewer.
When placing a bean-to-cup brewer the amount of involvement an end-user has with the equipment increases, including refilling bean canisters, refilling soluble canisters, prompting automatic flushing and on occasion removing some parts for a good manual rinse. How does one overcome these challenges in practice? Here are some tips our operators use.
1. Assign someone who will be responsible at the end-user location
Convince the customer to take personal ownership of the unit by assigning at least one, but ideally two, people at the location who will be responsible for day to day upkeep. Explain this is both vital to the machine performance (and your asset) but maybe even more important to the user - to maintain the highest in-cup quality. One good analogy is to communicate to your customer to treat the machine like your coffee mug. You would clean and rinse your coffee mug daily, wouldn’t you?
2. Manual and training
Most equipment manufactures will provide a more basic cleaning manual which addresses most common day to day cleaning requirements in between visits from the operator. It is advisable to leave a print-out at the customers site of this manual. At installation, you can use this document as a little training class; (i) have the user flush a machine, (ii) take off a brew chamber, (iii) clean a mixing chamber, until they feel comfortable with performing these tasks. Most machines offer a simple on-screen flushing reminder or simple access to an icon to perform a flush and you cannot over-flush a machine. More flushing never hurts.
Modern machines will log the cleaning cycles performed, so train your route personnel to check this the first couple visits and check how often a machine has been rinsed and address this accordingly with your customer. At high usage locations consider programming some levels of ‘protection,’ where you have a machine block all dispensing if it has not been flushed after X amount of brews.
Treat the person you’ve assigned to be responsible for the unit to a small gift around the holidays. Think of a nice selection of coffees from a local roaster, a personalized mug, gift certificate or something to share around the office. Make sure they feel involved in being part of the great coffee experience you and they are offering to that location. After all, that high-end coffee experience is what makes bean-to-cup such a fast moving train and will guarantee the value-add of an operator no Amazon or retailer can offer.