Can you compete with your local coffee shop?

There’s a good chance your local independent coffee shop employs technology far more advanced than that running your factory.

How can I say this?

I’ve recently discovered many espresso machines offer an abundance of monitoring, analytics and automation to local businesses who are keener than ever to increase their efficiency.

For most cafés coffee is the bread winner. A reputation for great coffee attracts new customers and ensures they keep coming back. So brewing coffee (known as extraction in the espresso world) at an optimum yield and quality is vitally important.

Modern espresso machines monitor production to make sure the perfect amount of coffee and the brew time are used.

The consistency of the ground coffee is a key variable. Coarser grounds allow water to pass through quicker than finer grounds which have a longer brew time. Knowing the perfect brewing time (say 27s, +/- 1s) machines can alert baristas to the need to adjust the grinder to produce a coarser or finer grade.

Look again at the image above.

The number of espresso shots is monitored along with the performance of individual group heads so variability can be reduced. Daily counts of perfect brews Vs imperfect ones also provide a metric equivalent to the coffee machine’s OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness).

Cafés also use EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) systems to enable customers to undertake cashless transactions. These can connect to accounting and inventory management software enabling automated stock control based on the ingredients used for specific recipes.

So next time you visit or pass a coffee shop consider whether your company could better employ technology to maximise yield and maintain high quality.

Thanks to Croziers of Birkdale for giving me insight into their business.

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