Adding coffee service without losing space

How two operators met their unique needs for coffee.

briggo coffee haus kiosk

Though diners’ appetites for coffee are seemingly bottomless, adding a full-service coffee shop to every corner of a facility probably isn’t in the playbook. Here’s a look at how two operators added coffee service with relatively small footprints—with one decidedly futuristic (robot barista, anyone?), and the other low-tech but nimble.

Specialty coffee vending at Dell

Dell has a full-service Starbucks on its Red Rock, Texas, campus, but the location isn’t always convenient for a quick coffee pickup. “Certain times, you go into the bistro, like 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., there’s quite a long line,” says Judy Stone, manager of dining and foodservice. To meet the demand for more coffee around the clock, Stone worked with Dell’s foodservice provider in 2015 to bring in an automated coffee kiosk to provide 24/7 coffee service in a different part of the same building.

What it is

The kiosk, from an Austin-based company, uses robotics to make custom coffee drinks to order. A window on the front shows the robot barista in action, while a screen displays details such as order status. Customers can choose the temperature, brew strength, milk, sweetener and flavoring. Once customers get the combination they want, they can save their order so it’s identical every time.

How it works

Dell employees can order their coffee at the kiosk or via a mobile app. For example, Stone saved her go-to drink, a skinny vanilla latte, as a favorite on her app, so she can order ahead on her commute. She receives a text when it’s ready, and the unit keeps her latte warm until she enters a three-digit code and retrieves her cup.

Customer reaction

More than 100,000 cups of coffee have been sold from the kiosk, Stone says. The “cool factor” also makes it a natural match for Dell, which prides itself on innovation and technology. “It’s totally been complementary [to the current cafe] and brought more volume rather than competition,” Stone says.”Everybody wishes, can we get another one of these in another building?”

Pop-up coffee station at duval county public schools

When Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Fla., added a permanent coffee shop with flavored coffees and charging stations, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Without the resources to duplicate the cafe in every high school in the district, Jane Zentko, contract compliance director for foodservice at Duval County Public Schools, and her team put together a pop-up coffee station, Hometown Bean & Co., in May 2016 that hops from school to school each week.

What it is

“Our pop-up coffee station is set up using folding tables, so it’s an easy setup and tear down,” says Zentko. Duval’s foodservice team dresses the station up with black tablecloths, bamboo tiered shelves and custom marketing materials to make it look like a true coffee shop.

How it works

The station is designed to be a quick stop for students before their next class. “Students place their order by selecting the hot beverage of their choice, selecting what flavor [syrup] they would like to add, and the staff makes the drink on the spot using prebrewed beverages,” Zentko says.

Customer reaction

“Since the station is only in a school one week at a time, it has created a sense of excitement and urgency for students and staff to take advantage of the program while they can,” Zentko says.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Foodservice operators and other employers in New York City are adjusting to a new law that enforces paid time off for staff who have been the victims of certain crimes.

Called paid safe leave, the benefit is believed to be among the first of its kind in the nation. A more limited version has been in effect in Minneapolis since last summer.

The New York law applies to employees who have been the victims of actual or threatened domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact, stalking or human trafficking.

Workers can also opt for safe paid leave if a member of their...

Industry News & Opinion

A Massachusetts bill to end lunch shaming has been stalled in the House, reports South Coast Today.

The House chair of the Education Committee voted on Tuesday for further study of the bill, which would prevent schools from throwing away hot lunches and/or serving an alternative meal to students behind on lunch payments. Under the bill, schools would also be unable to bar students with unpaid balances from participating in extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the bill asks schools to take action in reducing families’ meal debt by helping families apply for free or...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of California, Santa Cruz is converting its Cowell Coffee Shop into a “multi-service basic needs cafe” to aid students facing food insecurity .

The new cafe is being created through a partnership with dining services, the school’s center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems and UCSC’s Cowell College. Due to open at the start of the fall semester, the lower part of the cafe will continue to be a study space for students (with free coffee and tea) and will also host nutrition and financial wellness programming.

Upstairs, the kitchen will be used as a...

Managing Your Business
quitting job

What prompts foodservice managers to clean out their offices and head out with a last paycheck? A new survey suggests the triggers may be changing with the times.

The canvass of 2,000 restaurant professionals, conducted by placement firm Gecko Hospitality, shows lifestyle issues abounding among the top 10 reasons for parting with a restaurant employer last year.

Here are the gender-specific lists:

Top 10 reasons female managers leave

1. Better opportunity

2. Unemployed

3. Relocation

4. Not satisfied

5. No growth

6. Long...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code