There are several factors to consider when choosing an espresso machine that can meet your operation’s needs. The type of food service you do is probably the most important factor, followed by your daily customer traffic.
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Choosing a machine based on your business model:
When you provide the perfect accompaniment to coffee, you shoudl serve coffee that’s worthy of your baked goods. Generally, bakeries can expect to serve between 20 to 50 espresso beverages per day. 20 in small to mid-size towns, 50 in larger cities.
A one-group machine will work well for most any bakery.
The masses walk through your doors every day, yearning for their daily caffeine fix. You need a machine that won't let them down during the morning rush.
You'll mostly be making be espresso-based beverages. And you’ll be steaming a lot of milk for mochas and lattes. Expect to serve 100 to 500 espresso beverages per day, depending on your location.
- For 100-200 drinks per day: A two-group espresso machine will fit the bill.
- 200-300 drinks per day: A two-group to three-group machine is what you’ll need.
- 300-500 drinks per day: You need a three-group. Period.
Restaurants and Bars
Espresso adds an extra-special touch to any restaurant menu. Invite customers to order a cappuccino with their breakfast, or an espresso to finish dinner. Espresso martinis may be an even better bet.
Restaurants and bars can expect to serve between 10 and 50 espresso beverages per day.
A one-group espresso machine will work well for both restaurants and bars.
Give them espresso and they will come. An office espresso machine can be great for morale — and productivity.
For every 100 employees, epect to serve roughly 75 espresso beverages per day — with each espresso drinker consuming an average of 1.5 shots. If your office leans more toward drip coffee, or there aren't many who drink coffee at all (what?), adjust your estimate accordingly.
For 50-100 espresso drinks per day: A two-group machine will make everyone happy. Again, consider a super automatic over a regular automatic.
Other considerations in choosing an espresso machine:
Number of group heads
Long-term cost of service for the unit
Availability of parts for the machine — and service when you need it!