Coffee Machines For Tuckshops: Which is the Best Option?

Coffee Machines For Tuckshops: All The Options Explained

Wherever there are a lot of people congregating at one time, there is an opportunity to sell coffee. One environment which is not often thought of as a “coffee opportunity” is in fact school tuckshops. We have supplied many tuckshops over the years with coffee machines. Some have enjoyed tremendous success whereas others have been total flops. In this post we hope to give some advice as to what makes for a successful coffee selling environment for tuckshops.

There are five main things to consider, when thinking about getting a coffee machine for your tuck shop: Size of school, Junior, Primary or High School, Staff compliment, Buying vs Renting, Machine Type.

Size of School:


This is probably the most obvious of all factors to consider. The more people in the school, the more chance one has of selling the required number of cups of coffee to make a profit. We have found that schools of under 100 people unfortunately don’t present a big enough market in which to succeed in a coffee business. There are of course exceptions, but in this regard, exceptions are unfortunately few and far between. To view more about our breakeven analysis, please view our article here : Breakeven analysis of coffee machines

Age of Students:


Coffee is one of those things which people either grow into or first start drinking only when they reach a certain age. Most kids under the age of 14 either drink very small amount of coffee or don’t drink coffee at all and therefore to stand the best chance of succeeding, you want to try make sure that you only add coffee to your tuckshop if your tuckshop is frequented by high school students.

Staff Compliment:


An often overlooked target market of tuckshops, is the teachers themselves. Many schools have close to 100 teachers which essentially increase your selling potential by 100 people who all happen to be in your ideal target market demographic. Teachers alone often allow tuckshops to make a profit.

Renting vs Buying:

rent vs buy

We are big believers in testing the waters before jumping in head first. When starting a venture like this, we believe it is always better to minimise your risk and start in a coffee machine rental rather than buying from the get go. For more about this please read our article: Renting vs Buying a Coffee Machine: Which is better

Machine Type:


Machine type is of course on of the most important aspects. There are two considerations here and that is:

1)      Automatic vs Manual

2)      Coffee Vending vs Non Vending

Automatic means you can simply press a button and dispense any coffee drink you like without requiring a barista. We find most tuckshops prefer this as it allows them to get going immediately without vast amounts of training and to save money by not having to employ a Barista on top of their coffee machine rental fee.

Hot chocolate is always a big seller for tuckshops, and for this reason we always recommend coffee and hot chocolate vending machines for schools. Vending machines are also super quick which is important as one typically needs to serve 100’s of children in the space of their break time.

What’s Next?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to know for sure if a coffee machine will be successful or not without trying it. For this reason we always offer tuckshops a 1 month trial to make sure if it works for them before committing to a purchase or a long term rental.