To inspire confidence and spread knowledge, we have developed BM’s ‘Recipe for Success’ best practice guides for workplace and contract catering. You can download other guides from our website.
In the UK we consume more than 98 million cups of coffee per day. It’s a surety that there are coffee-lovers in your organisation who appreciate drinking a great cup of coffee at work.
In recent years, the UK coffee scene has undergone a revolution. With bean-to-cup coffee a backstay, discerning coffee drinkers expect next-level brews. As expectations change, independent cafés and high-street chains are changing. The question is, how can the workplace embrace this exciting coffee culture?
Employees want to feel appreciated in the workplace. The Leesman Index reveals that employees vote coffee, tea, and other refreshments their third most important aspect of the office. New-wave coffee is an effective way to show appreciation and attract employees to the office. Having the right coffee in the workplace allows employees to drink coffee at work rather than having to buy outside from high-street brands.
To get it right workplace coffee must combine;
- Exceptional taste
- Skilful baristas
- Customer service
- An attractive environment
- An ethical story
Here are our expert tips on how to provide the perfect coffee, and give your workplace the boost it deserves:
Cater for individual tastes
To deliver an exceptional coffee in the workplace the caterer must know your customers. They should take time to understand the demographic to find a taste profile to suit them. At BM we hold coffee pop-ups before we launch a coffee so that we can get an insight into our customers and their likes and dislikes. There is no one-size-fits-all coffee anymore. We observe that younger customers like a fruitier coffee, and perhaps with less milk. It’s not unusual to have a selection of different beans and a range of different grinders in the workplace.
Customers’ expectations have changed, they want to explore and discover different coffee flavours. That is one of the reasons we introduced Perkee colab, which brings speciality coffees on a regular and rotational basis to the workplace, alongside our award-winning Perkee brand.
Even if your workplace sells the world’s best coffee, only the best baristas will understand how to make a great coffee. A barista is skilful. They have a passion for making coffee and a love of flavour. Great baristas know different coffee’s ‘sweet spot’ for balanced extraction, and they know the ‘sound’ of burning milk. A sign of a caterer that takes its coffee seriously is one that invests in their barista’s training. At BM we have a barista academy and hold an annual Barista championship. The competition is stiff, and the standard is so high that the winners go on to compete in the national Speciality Coffee Association’s UK Barista Championships.
Great customer service
A warm, and welcoming barista makes all the difference. A morning that starts with heavy traffic, wet weather or delayed trains can instantly be made better with a genuine and friendly, “Hi, how are you today?” A great barista remembers your regular coffee and might even add in a small brownie – on the house! It is in these moments that great customer service sets the coffee offer apart. A key element of barista training, alongside technical skills are communication and teamwork. Our ethos is ‘recruit for attitude and train for skill’. Our barista academy offers everything from basic skills through to national competition level proficiency.
Attractive and inviting
Being able to take a moment away from the realities of the day is important. A great café can be a soothing space to catch a breath and connect with colleagues. Sometimes, a change of environment offers employees the reset they need.
Cool independent coffee shops are on every corner, and they provide stiff competition to the workplace. Great signage, well considered furnishings and a good flow are all key elements of the workplace’s coffee shop design. Investing in top-of-the-range equipment like a La Marzocco or Victoria Arduino, shows baristas and customers alike that you are serious about providing great coffee. Coffee is the centrepiece and baristas can’t wait to tell customers all about it.
An ethical story
How do you know you have chosen a sustainable coffee? We believe that ‘no news isn’t good news’. Rather, it’s a deliberate choice. Your coffee company should want to shout about their sourcing. It’s important to know where your coffee comes from. Child labour, low wages, and poor treatment of farmers are all realities of poor coffee provenance.
An ethical coffee provider can tell you the whole story of their coffee, from bean to cup. Knowing your coffee’s provenance and building a relationship with your coffee growers is powerful.
But it goes beyond growing the coffee bean; customers expect more in-depth sustainable practices from coffee. Expectations include how the farmers care for their local ecology and environment. It’s important to consider how the beans are transported, and where are they roasted? In an ideal world, transportation and roasting should be carbon neutral. Circularity can be built in by reusing and recycling coffee grounds into biofuel, compost, and fertiliser to minimise waste production. Removing single-use disposable cups and replacing them with keep-cups made from recycled materials is the least customers expect. Minimising energy by checking the efficiency of the grinder is a skill baristas are expected to carry out.
Sustainable coffee enables positive changes and allows the consumer to make empowered choices. It’s also proven that customers are more likely to spend money on ethical and socially responsible goods, including coffee.
You have the recipe for a successful coffee at work when these 5 elements come together. A good caterer will provide invaluable support and be your coffee partner. This combination of taste, knowledge and passion will enable your workplace coffee culture to flourish.
To find out on how BM caterers can help you successfully introduce and activate an outstanding coffee offer in your workplace, please contact