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Thirsty work

Aside from café areas, FMs need to provide hot and cold drinks within teapoints and breakout areas, and this is where automatic coffee dispensers which sit alongside hot and cold drinking water fountains are growing in popularity. Automatic coffee dispensers are also a sensible choice for smaller businesses which want a step up from a vending machine or the basic kettle and instant coffee approach.

Head of Sales for FreshGround, Scott Barnes, says when it comes to choosing a machine virtually none of their orders are based on cost. “We’ve done surveys and found that the two primary drivers are consistency followed by taste.

“There are three critical questions an FM should consider. First, what kind of culture are you trying to create – a functional culture? Expressive culture? That will lead us to suggest the most appropriate style. Second, it’s about the emotive side. Are you buying a machine to make people feel good about the organisation or just to tick a box? And third, there is flexibility – because if you have some kind of machine, you will likely have some kind of contract. Do you prefer fixed pricing and a set term? Do you want something with virtually no contract, or something involving capital investment – there are a lot of different takes on that, and it’s ultimately what works for the company.”

He also warns against acquiring coffee machine dispensers as a basic one-off purchase, as the biggest headache for the FM will be maintaining the machine. “The [coffee] experience doesn’t happen in five minutes but over years,” he says. “And the alignment of these two things can’t be achieved by choosing the cheapest over the internet.

“We’re in the industry of client care, and more and more FMs are embracing the fact that staff are internal clients. Human beings are social animals, and coffee and other drinks are a facilitator of that human piece, so even if the way we interact at work has changed we still at heart want a ‘coffee moment’.”


1 ‘Do small differences in hydration status affect mood and mental performance?’ D Benton D and HA Young, Nutrition Reviews 73 (2015)

2 European Food Safety Authority. Dietary Reference Values for Nutrients Summary Report. Vol 14 (2017)

3 www.wellcertified.com/certification/v1/

4 One Poll sample of 2,000 workers, 24 October 2018

5 www.areaworks.com/coffee-and-casual-seating-beat-wacky-workplace-novelties/

6 Jacobs Douwe Egberts research, 2017

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