It is 7:20am on a rainy Tuesday morning and everyone is rushing towards their morning commute. The air is full of the tantalising smell of freshly ground coffee and the familiar hiss of a coffee machine comes from a nearby café. It is all too tempting and you drift towards the shop. But there you see it, the slow-moving queue and machines and baristas that are unable to keep up so you turn back to your commute, disappointed and decaffeinated, let down by poor workflow management!!!

Much coffee service relies on convenience and is often bought on impulse. This means that having the wrong coffee-service set up for your environment can drastically reduce your ability to capitalise on this potentially profitable opportunity.

That’s why, this week, we are talking about maximising workflow when planning your coffee service and how to optimise your coffee offering for speed.


The first question is whether a traditional or bean-to-cup machine is more appropriate for you. We have written a few articles addressing the differences between these types of machines in more detail which you can read here. In this article, we will be addressing their differences in terms of speed of service.

Traditional Machines

With a coffee set-up that is built around a traditional machine, the workflow between the baristas, the grinder and the espresso machine is key. In the busiest of environments having baristas at each stage of the coffee-making process (one taking orders, one grinding and dosing, one steaming and pouring milk) is the fastest way to produce quality coffee. On a large, 3-group Conti machine, with a number of well-trained baristas, it is possible to create hundreds of quality coffees in an hour.

To be able to maximise this capacity, the coffee bar space needs to be thoughtfully designed in order to facilitate the production flow. From the layout of the space and the equipment used, there needs to be a clear flow from start to finish.

Positioning the till, grinder, coffee machine and milk station close together and in a line along the bar allows the production of coffee to move smoothly from start to finish and allows baristas to switch between roles when necessary.

This linear layout allows the coffee bar to function well in quieter periods with just one barista but also allows fast service at peak periods.

Barista Training - how to tamp properly

Bean-to-Cup Machines

The speed of service combined with the quality of beverage provided by the Schaerer bean-to-cup machines from Caffeine Limited allows any operator to provide fast coffee service. From the initial push of the button to the drink being ready is a matter of seconds. For the busiest cafés, having 2 or 3 Schaerer bean-to-cup machines means that drinks can be served at a constant flow.

Our Schaerer bean to cup machines facilitate faster service by allowing your barista to undertake other tasks while the coffee is being prepared. The barista therefore, has more time for interacting with your customer or preparing food.

The Schaerer Coffee Art Plus is able to produce up to 250 beverages per hour and the Schaerer Coffee Soul up to 180. Both machines are easily able to keep up with demand, for the busiest environments having more than 1 machine ensures the most punctual service possible, while still ensuring consistent quality every time.

For a case study on using Schaerer bean to cup machines for fast service, click here.

Barista Cleaning Schaerer Bean to Cup Machine
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