Coffee Machines for Catering Companies

Coffee Machines for Catering Companies

Catering today encompasses whole host of different types of catering including corporate catering, spit-braai catering, party catering, weddings, and birthday party catering. All these types consist mostly of platters and a handful of finger food items usually prepared prior to the actual event. There is however a growing trend to add coffee into the mix, and why not. Adding a coffee offering to one’s food items is a pretty simple and a relatively cost effective thing to do. In this post we will discuss all the possible options of coffee machines for catering companies and give our two cents as to which is the best route to go.

Requirements for a coffee machine to be used in a catering environment

Below we highlight some key features a coffee machine must have to be suitable in the mad environment that is catering and later we talk about the coffee machine options which cater for all these options. portability  

Portability– The best machines for catering purposes need to be portable and ideally plug and play. A consideration with using coffee machines in events is how much space they take in moving them form location to location. The best event machines are coffee machines which are smaller enough to throw into the boot of ones car and simply unpack it at your next event.

Speed– In catering environments speed is the name of the game. The typical even involves hordes of people each trying to get cappuccino at one time. Long cues are recipes for dissatisfaction and angry customers.and play. To ensure portability you want a machine which doesn’t require connection to a water mains which limits the number of locations in which it can be used and also limits one’s ability for easy setup and easy moving.

Ease of use– Traditional coffee machines used to be the norm when it came to events but ease of usetraditional machines require a barista which costs money. They ideal machine these days are simple to use automatic or press button machines which don’t require any particular skill (besides knowing which button to press to operate)

Start-up timing– Any coffee machine with a large boiler takes a timingsignificant time to heat up (usually in the order of 1-2 hours) If you can, rather opt for a coffee machine with a thermoblock which takes only 20 seconds to startup.

Water requirements– There are a handful waterof machines these days which require plumbing and draining. This makes some events difficult or in some case impossible to do. Try to select a coffee machine with its own self-contained water tank.

Best Coffee Machines that fulfill all one’s catering requirements

The following coffee machines all have pros and cons but they all do successfully do good on the minimum catering requirements listed above.

Capsule Coffee Machines- Capsule coffee machines, although small, are a breeze to operate. All capsule machines have their own self-contained water tank and are all small enough to be easy to transport. A negative of using capsule machines at events is that the cost of the capsules can be rather pricey.

Automatic Coffee Machines- Automatic coffee machines, like capsule machines, are simple to transport and simple to operate. They are cheaper than capsule machines to operate but are significantly slower which can in some instances cause issues.

Filter Coffee Machines– Filter coffee machines are easy to move, easy to operate, cost effective and give off a great aroma but for some events they might be a bit too basic. Filter coffee machines have the disadvantage of not being able to offer any of the milk based coffee drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. Percolators-Percolators have gone out of fashion with the emergence of filter coffee machines but like filter coffee do provide a number of benefits. Percolators do however share the same disadvantage of not being able to provide anything other than black coffee.

Coffee Vending Machines – Vending coffee machines are bigger than capsule and auto machines making them more difficult to transport but they are quicker and easier to sure than both of them. Vending machines are currently our most popular option for catering environments due primarily to their ability to make coffee really quickly.


Knowing what your coffee machine needs to do as a minimum requirement makes selecting the right coffee machine a far easier job. Each of the suitable coffee machine options listed above do have their drawbacks whether it’s in the cost department or in the quality or size department so deciding on the right machine for you is a lot about selecting the options which seems to present the most pros and has negatives which you are happy to live with. We try out best to give our advice as each case is unique but sometimes we do get it wrong which is why we always suggest our month test period before committing to a long term rental contract or before buying a machine. To test out any of the above coffee machines, please complete your details below.