We spend every day advising companies on the best coffee machines and service options for their business environments. There are many different options available from buying a coffee machine through to coffee machine rentals, and we take decision makers through a process of determining what might make the best sense for them. You can also read more about this in our article on how to choose an office coffee machine.
To do this in a transparent way, one of the tools we offer our customers is a simple Microsoft Excel sheet that sets out the key decisions and the costs associated with them. It requires just 11 inputs (input data into the yellow cells) to tell you what your office coffee service might cost you each month!
You can download this office coffee machine costing calculator here.
Let us take a look at how easy it is for you to use it for your own business and to choose between the different office coffee machine options.
Complete the “Office Dynamics” section by filling in how many staff you have, how many cups a day you think they might each drink and how many days you operate per month. Typically you will see about 2 cups of coffee per staff member per day on average as some will not be at work, some don’t drink coffee and of course some will drink 3 or 4 cups a day. We will use this to calculate the average number of cups that might get consumed in a month.
We need to determine what each cup of coffee will cost from an ingredient usage perspective. So in the “Costs and Choices” section, start by deciding what type of milk you prefer to use (there are two choices: powder and liquid, and each has their own advantages and disadvantages which you can read about in our “How to Choose an Office Coffee Machine” article. Coffee vending machines will typically use powdered milk while super automatic coffee machines (like a Jura or Mythos) will use fresh milk.
One other big choice to make is whether you will use disposable cups which are easier to manage because they do not need washing and drying, but which cost more over time than a porcelain cup or mug that can be washed and re-used.
You will also need to add in the costs of each consumable and here you can use your supplier or a Google search to get the information needed.
With all this information in place, the calculator will automatically calculate what each cup of coffee will cost. From experience we know the typical ratio of black coffee to white coffee and the typical usage of sugar in coffee, and the calculator will use this to cover the mix of different coffee drinks that your staff are likely to make.
With the costs per cup and the number of cups your staff are likely to consume, we can estimate your monthly consumable costs.
Since you need a coffee machine, or if you have more than 25 staff, coffee machines, to make the coffee, the next step involves determining what these might cost each month to run. Here you have another decision to make: do you buy coffee machines, or do you rent coffee machines for office use?
Again you can look at our article “Should I Buy or Rent a Coffee Machine“and the office coffee machine cost calculator will then use your choice to calculate costs.
So if you were to buy a coffee machine, which we assume is depreciated over 36 months (a useful life for a hard-working office coffee machine), then we take the cost and divide that over 36 months to get a monthly cost. You will need to maintain it, and as a rule of thumb, this will usually work out at around 10% of its cost per annum.
If you were to rent a coffee machine from a supplier of rental coffee machines, you will typically be given a monthly rental fee that includes maintenance. So in this case, ask them to give you a monthly rental fee for the coffee vending machine including maintenance, and put that into the calculator.
A key issue question will be “how many coffee machines must be provided to cater for your staff size?”. This is where experience in running an office coffee machine service comes in because no two businesses are the same. We suggest around 25 staff per coffee machine to avoid congestion and overuse of the coffee maker. However, factors such as where staff are housed can make a difference and as an example, if your company has 24 staff, but on two floors, or in two separate buildings, then you may need 2 coffee machines even with 24 staff. So ask for advice if you are unsure.
The Final Step
The output of the office coffee machine calculator now awaits in the final section “Grand Total for Office Coffee Per Month”. Here we take the cost of your consumables per month and add it to the cost of your coffee machines to get the final figures.
The answer may need some tweaking if you are adding hot chocolate to your drink choice or want a mix of powdered milk or fresh milk using coffee machines in your office, but it is a great start to planning your office coffee budget. Of course, the calculator can also help you determine if it is better to buy coffee machines or rent coffee machines for an office situation.For purchase options have a look at our annual best coffee machines for home and office review.
Once you are at this stage, you will be able to decide on a way forward and then it is best to contact a professional office coffee machine service provider to fine tune the approach.
Good luck and here is hoping your staff and customers will soon be enjoying great coffee in the office!