OCS Update: RC Coffee's Robo Café is next best thing to a human barista at the office

July 14, 2021

A convenient authentic espresso experience is where it’s at for RC Coffee, which strives to please the discriminating palates of coffee-lovers with its state-of-the-art self-serve technologies. RCC opened Canada’s first Robo Café in downtown Toronto last summer. The kiosk robotically served premium grade specialty coffees, performing all functions of a human barista.

Editor’s note: As the pandemic winds down and vaccinations become more widespread, Automatic Merchandiser spoke to several leading commercial coffee equipment manufacturers in the OCS space to glean their predictions on a recovery and to learn how their coffee brewing technology can benefit operators and patrons. This article is the fourth in a seven-part series.

RCC said the small footprint Robo Café also is an ideal coffee solution for office buildings. Equipped with dual spouts, the espresso machine can serve multiple beverages in less than two minutes, easily handling high-volume stops. RC can partner with any roaster to create a “micro café” that maintains quality.

This year, RC Coffee is introducing three new Robo Café products. First up is the Robo CaféLight, a slimmed-down version of the original kiosk. It fits through a standard 30” wide doorway. Also new is the Solo Café, a compact self-serve barista solution for offices that offers users specialty coffees from an online menu. Features include a sleek Android box, an unattended Ultra VX payment reader by KioSoft and an Eversys espresso machine. Solo Café users scan a QR code to enter their order and tap a preferred payment option to activate the machine. Lastly, RRC is adding cold brew products to the Robo Café menu.

Boyton Beach, FL-based KioSoft Technologies, an unattended payment solutions developer, is a sister company of Toronto’s RC Coffee.

Despite some elements of the pandemic-induced work-from-home routines remaining, RCC thinks workers will soon be returning to offices in large numbers. A good recovery indicator for RCC is Starbucks, which is reporting a rebound to pre-COVID sales.

“We’re confident that the appetite is there and the shift back to normal is underway,” said RCC marketing manager Adam Lang. “We’re preparing by developing self-serve espresso bar solutions that are easy-to-use, contactless and, most importantly, deliver a barista-level experience via automated technologies. Consumers are shifting behavior to autonomous self-serve systems in the wake of the pandemic.”

Robo Café espresso machines grind whole beans, tamp the fresh grounds and froth milk – everything a human barista does. Thanks to KioSoft’s all-in-one Ultra VX reader, Robo Café accepts such payments as contactless, NFC, debit, credit card, mobile wallets and the RC Coffee app; traditionalists can even insert or swipe.


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