When it comes to your coffee service, going with the least expensive usually costs more. We explain why going with a more robust coffee service package can save you money and improve employee perceptions.
Look, we get it. Most people expect employers to offer at least a basic coffee service, and many employers think that starting with a “basic” beverage program will be sufficient to meet employee expectations. Staff will have the convenience of being able to grab a cup of coffee to enjoy on break, at their desk or workstation at the lowest price point for the employer.
Indeed, most new clients want to dip their toes in the water, as it were, by choosing the least expensive coffee service package available, with only one type of coffee offered. But what we have learned over time – what we can almost guarantee – is that an employer will end up spending less if they invest a little more up front in order to implement a more robust beverage service.
The American Love Affair with Coffee
According to the National Coffee Association’s National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) research, well over half of American adults over the age of 18 (64 percent) drink coffee every day, three 9 oz cups a day on average. Another 30 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally.
Among the 150 million American adults who drink coffee every day, 35 percent prefer plain black coffee while 65 percent add a sweetener or some type of milk or cream. 30 million U.S. adults drink specialty coffee beverages every day, such as:
- Frozen or iced coffees
- Cold brew coffee
- Cappuccinos – and the list goes on
Not surprisingly, most coffee is consumed during breakfast hours (65 percent) with an additional 30 percent being consumed between meals and 5 percent with lunch or dinner meals. While not the highest per capita, America is the leading consumer of coffee in the world:
- 400 million cups of coffee are consumed in the United States every day
- On average, 250 specialty coffee drinks are sold per day at any drive-through coffee / espresso business
- 31 percent of espresso-based drinks are sold by independent coffee shops
- 63 percent of employees working outside the home have access to coffee in the workplace
While there is virtually no difference in the amount of coffee consumed by men vs. women coffee drinkers, more women said drinking coffee was a good way to relax while men were more likely to say that coffee makes them more productive.
With Coffee Service, Less Costs More
A comparison of two office coffee service scenarios demonstrates why diversifying your organization’s spend across a larger selection of products results in cost savings and why it also appeals to (and better-satisfies) a larger segment of your employees.
Scenario One: Office A with Basic Coffee Service
Office A asked us to implement an office coffee service with one coffee pot style machine and one coffee selection. For $40, they get 40 pots worth of ground coffee and disposable cups. Our inventory controls show that Office A is going through a lot more product than anticipated, including both coffee and cups.
What they did not expect is that “Joe,” who arrives for work each day on the early side and usually makes the first pot of coffee for the day finds the standard pack a little weak for his taste. When Joe makes coffee, he uses a pack and a half to two packs worth of coffee grounds, nearly doubling the cost per pot.
When “Susie” arrives a little while later and starts preparing for a client meeting, she finds the coffee too strong for her taste. She dumps the half pot left over from when Joe made coffee earlier and makes another pot of coffee using the standard amount. And since there are no sleeves, both Joe and Susie (and many other employees) end up using two cups every time they get a cup of coffee to insulate their hands from the steaming beverage.
So now every morning we have increased the overall cost per pot of coffee significantly, and we have not provided a product that makes our employees happy.
Scenario Two: Office B with Expanded Coffee Service
When we sat down with Office B, they initially asked for the basic coffee package as well. We asked them to consider an expanded package, explaining that even though it seems more expensive, it will in reality cost less over time. Although they were concerned about the prospect of having to constantly replenish more expensive products, they agreed to see how the program would work if they chose the $60 case, which includes three types of coffee, disposable coffee cups and sleeves equivalent to the same 40 pots of coffee ordered by Office A.
Now “Joe” can make a stronger blend first thing in the morning and “Susie” can make the next pot with a milder, universally appealing blend. All employees can use a sleeve – which costs far less than a second cup – to protect their hands from feeling uncomfortable when holding hot coffee.
Employees are using both the less expensive and more expensive products based on personal preferences. Office B only needs to replenish those products which are being used. We make ordering adjustments based on consumption, so there is no risk of being overstocked and employees always have access to the products they want.
An Office Coffee Program Built to Please
Is your company located in the Pacific Northwest along the westside’s I-5 / I-405 corridor anywhere from Everett, Washington to Eugene, Oregon? If you are considering subscribing to a managed coffee service for the first time, we would be happy to show you options that will satisfy the wants and needs of your staff as well as your budget.
We will take on the tasks of projecting consumption, stocking and replenishing products and supplies, measuring and tracking costs, and servicing equipment with three goals in mind:
- We want to help you save money.
- We want your company to have the best program possible.
- We want you to see us as a trusted partner who has your entire organization’s best interests at heart.
Why buy products employees alter right out of the gate? Why stock inadequate supplies that force people to modify how they use them or double up on their consumption? Put our decades of experience to work.
We will partner with you to explore coffee service options that fit within your budget while still providing a better value for your company and employees. Once implemented, we will continue to suggest improvements to help you get the most value from your coffee subscription program based on how employees or customers utilize this amenity.
No longer will you merely be providing a commodity that employees view as sub-par. Instead, with an improved coffee program, employees will perceive that you have invested in amenities that provides them with more personalized, thoughtful choices.
Get started today with a free, no-obligation consultation and find out how a managed coffee service can save your business time and money now and in the long term.
If you are already an Evergreen Refreshments customer and you want to know how to improve or maximize the benefits you receive from your outsourced coffee service, we are ready to help you expand and modify your program. Reach out to your service technician or our headquarters and we will take a fresh look at your organizational needs.
What Types of Coffee are Available?
Without question, the coffee landscape in America is loaded with options. According to the same National Coffee Association data cited earlier, Americans said they consumed these beverages within the past day:
Evergreen Refreshments offers more than 50 types and flavors of coffee from an ever-growing list of coffee, tea and beverage options including the most popular brands such as Starbucks, Tully’s, Pete’s and more. Here are a few of our most requested and replenished options:
In addition, we offer dozens of different sweeteners and teas you can use to expand your coffee service to please the most people possible in your organization.
You may also prefer to have more equipment choices, such as single cup brewers, bean to cup brewers, espresso machines, iced coffee and other options that run the full gamut of coffee choices. Asking your employees to complete a survey can help you discover what types of coffee, tea and other beverages would be desirable to have in a coffee subscription service.
We also offer multi-station solutions that reflect coffee and beverage consumption in larger organizations, where different types of equipment and products might be more suited to one audience or another. Examples of this might include installation of single serving, bean to cup or specialty coffee machines to service the needs of high-profile customers and larger container solutions to serve areas where many employees take their breaks or meals at one time.
And don’t worry, if these lists seem overwhelming, you can be confident in knowing that your Evergreen Refreshments coffee service representative has the expertise to help you come up with the most appropriate package based on your budget, needs and wants.
The more choices you can offer employees, the more likely they are to see this service as a true employee benefit, beyond just a cup of coffee. You can also speak to your company’s values by “going green” whether that is opting for responsibly grown and sourced coffee or choosing compostable cups, stirrers, napkins, and other service items.
You can make this perk as convenient as possible by including cups, sleeves, stirrers, silverware, and other accoutrements as part of your package. As with the actual products (coffees, teas, etc.) we will stock, replenish, track, and help you manage the costs of these service items to ensure you are purchasing only what you need.
If your coffee service is available to customers or clients, these same perceptions can be improved by offering a more robust hot and cold beverage program. By investing in these simple but popular employee and customer amenities, you are demonstrating the truth behind your customer service and employee slogans.
Coffee Service and COVID-19
In the wake of COVID-19 and how it has impacted every workplace in the country, our staff are fully equipped and trained to service your facility to minimize the risk of transmission of any germs, bacteria or viruses, including the Coronavirus (or COVID-19). We can also suggest improvements for your break room, cafeteria, and other areas where your coffee or beverage program is located to help minimize the spread of germs and make your workplace safer.
Implementing a coffee service now can even be one of the solutions you undertake to make your facility safer for employees, customers, clients, vendors, and other guests. Your Evergreen Refreshments representative and service technicians are fully:
- Equipped with appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) and cleaning supplies
- Trained in recommended procedures to ensure cleanliness of equipment and surfaces
- Able to offer contact-less service to your facility in stocking and replenishing inventories and servicing equipment
This training extends not only throughout our coffee and beverage service programs but to micro markets, office and workplace pantry and vending services as well. We would be happy to meet with you virtually or at your facility in order to assess the needs of your organization and propose coffee and beverage services, micro market, pantry service or vending solutions that most ideally suit the needs of your company.
American Coffee 2020 Consumption Infographic
Source: National Coffee Data Trends 2020 – National Coffee Association
Evergreen Refreshments, formerly operating under Evergreen Vending and Northwest Coffee Services, is one of the largest providers of coffee services in Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Tumwater and surrounding areas in the Pacific Northwest.