Why OCS Is So Important

Sept. 20, 2019

I recently read an article about the “barista of the future.” Sci-fi geeks, take note, because it allegedly involves a “robot barista” capable of mixing an infinite combination of beverages at an insanely fast pace. Sounds cool, but for those of us who are still waiting for our hoverboards (thanks, Back To the Future Part II), it’s hard to imagine a modern-day Johnny 5 (thanks, Short Circuit) serving us coffee in our offices every morning, but perhaps it’s not that far off? 

Now that you know what my favorite movies are, I’d like to weigh in on why I think office coffee service is so important. As you know, I’m still newish to the industry, but I fondly recall the offices I worked at where I had access to fresh, thoughtfully selected coffee products. I can’t tell you how much it improved my mornings, knowing that a delicious cup of hot coffee prepared exactly the way I wanted it — the darkest roast possible with almond milk and just a touch of raw sugar — would help kick-start my day. I felt that my employer valued me and my contribution to the company. I appreciated that I didn’t have to stop for coffee on the way to work or leave the office building to get my caffeine fix during the mid-morning slump

As OCS providers, you have the opportunity to make your customers feel that way every day, and that’s a powerful thing. Unemployment is low, and companies are focused on attracting and retaining qualified employees. That good cup of coffee feels like the most valuable thing in the world most mornings. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t start my day with a cup of coffee, and according to the National Coffee Association, 63 percent of Americans feel the same way, consuming coffee on a daily basis.

In our annual State of the Office Coffee Service Industry report, we’ll share the latest statistics and trends affecting OCS, informed by operators like you. We also dug a little deeper on what flavors and creamers are popular in OCS right now, and it appears that variety is not only the spice of life, but essential in coffee service.

Lastly, I’d like to share an anecdote to reinforce why office coffee service is essential. I’ve been working from Berlin for the past month, and my temporary office is a charming co-working space in Kreuzberg. On my first day, I discovered that I’d have to make the coffee myself, using an elaborate espresso machine that almost looked too pretty to touch. But I was jet-lagged and needed coffee, so I attempted it.

Instead of getting a picture-perfect cup of espresso, I watched in horror as muddy liquid spouted all over the counter. I tried to stop the espresso fire hose with one hand (note: it’s very hot) and attempted to turn off the machine (where is the “off ” button, anyway?) with the other.

I subsequently received a full espresso-making tutorial and am happy to report that there have been no incidents since. On a related note, I’m now looking forward to meeting that robot barista.