WMF UK Coffee Machines Blog

Will self-service machines replace coffee shops?

06-Feb-2018 10:00:00 by WMF Marketing Team

coffee shop table-1.jpeg

Self-service coffee machines in one form or another have been popping up more and more in recent years. Places like supermarkets, petrol stations and hotels have all been getting in on the act, and they seem to be more popular than ever. But what impact is this likely to have on coffee culture in the UK and does it signal the end of the high street coffee shop?


Self-service vs barista made

So why are these self-service coffee machines so popular? Let’s take a look at how they differ from the barista made coffee you typically see in high street coffee shops.


Self service
  • Speed – these machines can produce beverages much quicker than a barista
  • Queueing – using self-serve massively cuts down on queueing times
  • Space – they take up much less room than a full barista station
  • Convenience – removing the need to go somewhere specifically for coffee


Barista made
  • Choice – you can specify exactly how you want your coffee made, and return it if it’s not right
  • Customer service – you get your coffee from a real person
  • Craft – making the perfect coffee is an art form, which many baristas dedicate their lives to
  • Atmosphere – coffee shops are as much about catching up with friends/colleagues as they are about coffee


So are coffee shops going to be a thing of the past?

While convenience is more important than ever in today’s technology focused society, coffee shops aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Coffee consumption is at an all-time high, and convenient self-service coffee machines seem to fulfilling an entirely different need to the high street coffee shop. Coffee purchased from machines in places like supermarkets and petrol stations seems to be in addition to barista made coffee, rather than a replacement.

The modern coffee shop is a place for people to catch up with friends, meet business associates, or even spend a few hours working, and it doesn’t look like the convenience based self-serve machines are going to be able to replace that. However due to the ease, simplicity and speed of grabbing a coffee to go, more and more businesses are starting to see how using self-service coffee machines can add a substantial revenue stream to their business.


self service coffee machine.png

How self-service machines can benefit businesses

Any type of business with a large amount of customer footfall could benefit from the addition of a coffee machine for their customers to use. Businesses like bars and restaurants will have the ability to use slightly more complex equipment for staff to operate, but what about businesses without that luxury?

Here is a great example of how the Hilton Garden Inn Luton North utilised a second WMF coffee machine to improve their self-service area for their customers. The first machine had proved to be so popular with their guests that a second one was need to keep up with the demand, leading to an additional boost in revenue for the busy hotel. The wide range of options, with both regular and decaf coffee beans, plus multiple foam options has led to over 200 guests using the new machine each day.

Download a brochure to find the best machine for your business.



Topics: Coffee Machine, Coffee Culture, self-service, self-serve coffee machine

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Written by WMF Marketing Team

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