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20 December 2016 | Michele Ribaudo
Britain has become a nation of coffee lovers and café culture is booming.
As a result, coffee bars are increasingly popular in the workplace. They require less space and fewer staff, encourage all day grazing, and tempt customers to stay on site. Michele Ribaudo, operations director at BaxterStorey, explains how to effectively introduce a coffee bar to your existing offer.
1 What is your aim?
The first thing to consider is what you are trying to achieve from your coffee bar. Is it to use space more effectively, create a lively atmosphere or drive sales? A well-designed and managed coffee bar can do all three. Meeting rooms are often limited, so a coffee bar can provide a great venue for collaborative working or informal meetings. Many of our clients also want to create a ‘hub’ for their employees, where best practice and ideas are shared.
Creatively managing the space you have available will help enhance the employee experience. Ready-made kiosks can easily be wheeled into place, providing there is a power supply. These standalone units are simple to install and often have water tanks stored underneath, so there does not necessarily need to be any plumbing involved. Seating should be considered if space is limited. Trestle tables are great for encouraging collaborative working and high tables and stools are good options for socialising or to minimise dwell time.
To reduce queuing in an existing restaurant venue, consider other spaces in the building where footfall is high. We recently installed a coffee bar in the lobby of a building. Not only does this help with reducing restaurant queues, it enables us to serve other tenants and means employees do not have to go far to get a cup of coffee. This type of location also alleviates the temptation to purchase from the high street due to its convenience.
4 Consider the product
I have seen first-hand that when you focus on creating a quality coffee service through direct training, coffee sales increase. Creating a great cup of coffee is an art that requires real skill. However, training is often overlooked when running a coffee bar. Although a self-service coffee machine will provide employees with a standard beverage option, a quality coffee bar or kiosk can tick all the boxes. It offers strong product and service, additional meeting space and an area where employees will want to spend their time.
5 Stay competitive
The kiosk and surrounding space should look and feel like a high-street brand. Customers are discerning and will expect both familiarity and innovation. A retail design with a competitive product will help to keep employees on-site during breaks.