The days of being able to serve restaurant customers a below-par cup of coffee are over!

They want a great tasting, beautiful cup of coffee, just like they get from their local specialty coffee shop.

Achieving a perfect coffee relies on many factors from great coffee beans to top staff training, but choosing an easy to use espresso machine that consistently delivers outstanding coffee is the key.

We’ve distilled the process of choosing the perfect commercial coffee machine for your restaurant down into 4 simple steps.  

1. What is your peak coffee volume?

Understanding your peak coffee volume per day and per hour is vital.

Spend a week or two tracking how many coffees you sell each day, but also whether your sales bunch up into a short period, for example over lunch.

Make sure you include your takeaway sales too as these could have a big impact.

Once you have this information you can make an educated decision about how many group heads you’ll need on your machine and the required boiler capacity.

We’ve included some top-level examples below:

  • Up to 150 coffees per day | Max 30 coffees per hour | consider a two group, single-boiler machine
  • 150 – 400 coffees per day | Max 60 coffees per hour | consider a two group, multi-boiler machine
  • 400+ coffees per day | Max 90 coffees per hour | consider a three group, multi-boiler machine

If you’ve not yet opened your restaurant we work on the basis that 10% of restaurant customers will order a coffee to go with their meal, use this as a starting point to begin your calculations.

2. What space, electricity and facilities do you have available on your counter?

Carefully measure out where you want your machine to go, ensuring you have enough space for not only your espresso machine but also your grinder, knock box and space to pour/steam your milk.

Remember during busy periods two staff members may need to use your machine at one time, make sure you allow enough space!

The weight-bearing capacity of you counter is an important variable many restaurants don’t consider, if you choose a larger espresso machine you may need to reinforce your counter.

Your espresso machine manufacturer will be able to advise the weight of their machines and provide guidance on the counter support required.

Understanding the electricity, water supply and drainage you have available in your chosen location is also super important.

The vast majority of commercial espresso machines run off a 32A supply. Espresso machines are designed to run from a 3 bar inline mains water feed so ensure your building has sufficient output.  If this isn’t possible some small machines are setup to run from a traditional 13A socket, but make sure you consider this at the outset as having a commercial supply will give you many more options.

3. What’s the look of your restaurant and do you want to promote a strong coffee offering?

Does your restaurant have a rustic, industrial vibe or a slick white look?  Either way it’s important to consider the design of your restaurant and how your chosen coffee machine will fit into the space.

So many restaurants forget this step and come to regret it later.  Getting it right will tell your customers you have a strong coffee offering without you having to say a word.

Commercial espresso machines don’t have to be a plain stainless-steel box, quality coffee machines come in a whole range of designs and customisations to suit you.  Make this an important criteria from the outset.

4. Is energy efficiency and sustainability important to you?

Research shows 88% of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly and ethical in their daily lives.  If the sustainability of your restaurant isn’t on your radar, it needs to be so you don't get left behind!

Commercial coffee machines are a big piece of kit and it’s fair to say that traditional machines can be incredibly wasteful of energy.  But there are brands out there pushing the boundaries of innovation and focusing on reducing every ounce of unnecessary wastage.

So make sure when purchasing your coffee machine to ask about the energy usage of the machine throughout the extraction and coffee making process. But also when it’s in standby mode.

Focusing on the energy efficiency of your machine will not only showcase to customers your sustainable credentials but it will also save you money and boost your bottom line.

Need more help? Drop us a message and we'll be happy to help.