If you work in an office setting, you probably know that coffee is an everyday essential. Tons of professionals in a variety of industries depend on coffee regularly. Nowadays, it’s rare that a workplace doesn’t provide coffee to their employees. That’s why it’s so important for decision-makers to understand the in’s and out’s of an office coffee delivery service. This includes how the cost is determined!
Before diving into cost, you’ll want to think about the particulars of your office environment. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many employees work for your company?
- Are they in the office daily, or do they work remotely?
- Do your employees drink coffee regularly, and if so, how many cups on average?
- Are there any non-coffee drinkers, and what kinds of alternative drink options might you want to offer them?
- What’s your monthly budget?
You may immediately know the answer to some of these questions. For others, it’s okay to estimate. When you’re done thinking these questions through, you’re ready to take a look at how the cost of an office coffee service is determined.
1. Equipment Cost
Luckily, some office coffee service suppliers will include a free coffee machine when you sign up for an ongoing service with a minimum monthly amount. This means that they’ll loan you a machine when you sign a contract that includes paying their “monthly minimum” for x months. Then, when your contract ends, you just return the machine to the supplier.
Other services will require you to either rent or buy your own machine. For instance, if you don’t want to pay the monthly minimum, you can rent a machine for a small monthly rental fee. Depending on the machine you choose, the monthly rental cost will usually be (on average) $30-$50 per month, but can go as high as $100 if you choose a higher quality machine. To learn more about your options, take a look at our coffee machine guide.
Another option is to buy your machine. This is a good option for companies looking to own their machine for a long period of time, and don’t anticipate wanting to switch to a different machine. If you buy, you’re looking at spending $100’s to $1,000’s depending on the type of machine.
2. Coffee Costs
|Pre-ground coffee bags||$20 – $50|
per 24-48 count case
|K-Cups||$35 – $70|
per 42-count case
|Tea bags||$4 – $10|
per 25-100 count case
|Hot Chocolate packets||$10 – $20 |
per box, depending on the size
A majority of your ongoing cost for a coffee service will be from buying coffee. Most suppliers will ship cases of the coffee of your choice to your office monthly. Most workplaces submit a recurring order with the same coffee products each month. If this is of interest to you, your supplier can help you come up with a plan that fits your ideal monthly budget.
Keep in mind that on average, a coffee service typically costs $50 – $125 per employee per year, or about $4.85 – $10.08 per employee per month. There are coffee options that suit both the lower end and higher end of this scale.
Some things to remember: the products you order will have to go hand-in-hand with the machine you decide on. When making a budgeting decision, you’ll want consider both the price of the machine and ongoing coffee and drink shipments. Also remember to consider providing tea, hot chocolate, and other non-coffee selections for non-coffee drinkers!
Some companies like to add “premium” drink products like espresso or cold brew. The cost for these will vary by supplier, so feel free to ask when you connect with them.
Remember that adding supplies to your monthly order is a must with an office coffee service. You’ll want to provide your employees with items like:
- Milk or creamers
These supplies are usually cost-efficient. Small quantity cases (50-250 count) of cups, lids, creamers, stirrers, sugars, and artificial sweeteners will cost an extra $5 – $25 per employee per month, depending on which products you choose. For example, if you want to stock non-dairy creamers, the monthly cost may be slightly higher. Remember to do your math to avoid over- or under-buying. Come up with an approximate number of supplies you’ll need to keep your break room stocked on a monthly basis.
4. Other Factors that Affect Cost
While your regular monthly shipments will likely just include coffee, non-coffee drinks, and supplies, you should factor in additional costs when calculating your budget. Consider the following factors that normally impact overall cost:
The amount you purchase monthly usually relates to how many people work in your office. However, it never hurts to provide more offerings for employees to show appreciation! Of course, the amount of items in each order, such as coffee, drinks, and supplies, will impact your overall cost. Larger companies will pay more monthly for their office coffee service compared to smaller companies. However, keep in mind that many coffee suppliers offer discounts when you buy in bulk.
Brands of Coffee
Different coffee products will cost you different amounts. Are you ordering generic, cost-effective coffee brands? Or do you prefer to offer gourmet coffee brands? Many companies like to provide a variety for their employees. But others may want to stick to cost-effective brands. Keep in mind that whichever brand you choose will either increase or decrease your monthly cost. For instance, a 42-pack of Green Mountain K-Cups can cost less than $30, while a 42-pack of Starbucks K-cups can cost closer to $40-$50.
Single Cup vs. Pot
Nowadays, plenty of people prefer single cup coffee machines because they're so convenient! Each cup of coffee stays hot, and each employee can choose which blend they want. Plus, it's quicker than traditional coffee pots! However, single cup machines typically cost you more overall compared to coffee pots. If you're looking to save money, don't overlook the cost-efficiency of traditional coffee pots.
Most office coffee service suppliers offer different contract lengths. Of course, this will impact your office coffee service cost. For instance, if you sign up for just 6 months, your annual cost will be less overall compared to a 1-year contract. However, most office coffee suppliers offer discounts on longer contracts, so your monthly cost may be cheaper if you sign up for a longer period of time. Make sure you ask your supplier about contract deals they may have.
Is your business located nearby your coffee supplier? Even though a supplier may service your area, keep in mind that delivery may cost more depending on your location. Many coffee suppliers today are national, and have many different locations throughout the country. But it's best to make sure you discuss delivery fees based on location before signing your contract.
Installation and Maintenance
Depending on the type of machine you choose when signing up for the service, you may have to pay an installation fee. High-end machines like bean-to-cup and point-of-use systems usually require professional help. When setting up a coffee filtration system, they’ll come in and connect your water line to the machine. An installation like this will probably cost a one-time fee of around $30-$50.
You also want to think about machine maintenance. Many coffee services will include routine maintenance of your machine. Make sure to ask your supplier about their maintenance plan - if it’s not included with the service, you’ll want to find a maintenance source and factor this cost into your yearly budget.
Remember that many suppliers have a monthly minimum order. This can be around $50-$80 for drinks and supplies. However, your $50 will go a long way! With this budget, you’d be able to order at least one case of coffee and supplies.
Remember at the end of the day, office coffee services cost less than purchasing in-store. You have a certain ongoing price that fits with your budget, and you never have to worry about going shopping for coffee. Plus, it's more convenient!
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