The new generation of automated coffee concepts – Pt. 2

Continuing our series exploring the next generation of automated coffee technology, we discover the future of data driven coffee and how this can improve operational efficiency in hospitality businesses. Catch up on part one here.

The limited edition Eversys Cameo X super-automaticcoffee machine Photo credit: Eversys


Covid-19 has accelerated the imperative for operators to introduce app-technology to minimise physical interaction between consumers and coffee machines. But beyond the challenges of the pandemic, the technology also offers huge opportunities across beverage customisation, operational scalability and data capture.

Nespresso Professional is another coffee business responding to the changing operational requirements of the hospitality industry during the pandemic. In April 2021, the Swiss company launched Nespresso Momento, a new range of professional machines aimed at hospitality businesses and workplaces that allow users to customise their beverage across capsule type, cup size and beverage preparation via a smartphone app without ever touching the machine.

“Adapting within the hospitality business to meet changing Covid-19 requirements and suit consumer needs has been a key focus,” says Nespresso Professional’s Out-of-Home Director, Beth Langley.

“Our recent research looking at innovation across the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic found that contactless payments, online bookings, and social media were all prominent features that have been adopted, expanded or delivered by business owners in the last 12 months to help this. There’s no doubt there’s a strong appetite to explore how digital technology can help the sector address business challenges.”

Increased operational efficiency achieved through app-based analytics is another important behind-the-scenes tool that can benefit operators when it comes to automated coffee solutions. Advanced analytics offer invaluable insights into day-part product trends and volumes, enabling operators to stock machines accordingly and reduce waste. This information can also help with building effective maintenance and cleaning schedules to ensure equipment remains in optimal working order.

“With today’s telemetry you can control a coffee machine in Sydney from your office in London"

– Kamal Bengougam, Commercial Director, Eversys

“You can see how many drinks customers order and identify the most popular beverages in a few clicks. You’re also shown when the orders were made. In a nutshell, you get to know your most sought-after beverages and rush hours,” says Rozum Café’s Chief Commercial Officer, Eugene Kovalenko.

UK-based Costa Coffee is harnessing the power of analytics to drive operational efficiency across its well-established Costa Express self-serve business worldwide. In 2011 Costa acquired the 900-unit Coffee Nation vending machine business for £59.5m ($77.3m), which it converted into its Costa Express brand and now operates a formidable global network of more than 9,000 units across 32 markets.

In September 2019, Costa Express partnered with Internet of Things (IoT) service provider Eseye to boost performance and efficiency across its Express vending machine network globally. The software, known as AnyNet Active Management, enables Costa to gather real-time performance data from its Costa Express portfolio. This generates operational efficiencies by alerting staff to replenish machines’ inventories, monitor performance to pre-empt maintenance issues and improve quality consistency across the global network.

Costa Express machines now feature app-based ordering | Photo credit: Costa Coffee

“The technology is nothing short of a gold-standard level of innovation – a UK first for the coffee machine industry – and we’re proud to lead the charge as our customers enjoy new and exciting way to order their favourite machine-crafted, barista quality coffee”, commented Scott Martin, Managing Director of Costa Express, at the time.

Meanwhile, advanced self-serve technology is also central to Costa’s ambitions in the US. In October 2020, Costa Coffee acquired Austin-based automated coffee kiosk concept, Briggo, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2008, Briggo has built a presence at US airports, having signed a deal with SSP America in August 2019 to expand across US travel hubs. The concept has now been relaunched as Costa’s BaristaBot brand, and could give Costa a solid footing in the post-pandemic US travel concession market.

Advanced analytics technology shows huge potential for democratising coffee quality in a range of fully automated or minimally staffed settings, and generating lucrative business opportunities in the process, agrees Kamal Bengougam, Commercial Director of Swiss super-automatic machine manufacturer, Eversys.

“With today’s telemetry you can control a coffee machine in Sydney from your office in London. You can alternate offers for different parts of the day, update a product recipe, or adjust the grinder settings. That reduces costs, provides greater flexibility, and enables operators to create their ecosystem of choice,” he says.

In part three, we unpack the modern day role of the barista in coffee shops and ask, could automated machines ever completely replace the barista?

This article was first published in Issue 7 of 5THWAVE magazine.

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