Choosing a Coffee Supplier
It’s not like choosing where you’re gonna get your morning cup at today. No, choosing a coffee supplier is more like starting a relationship—a relationship that has to work.
If you’re reading this, you already know there are a ton of coffee suppliers out there. Like a head-spinning, too-many-to-count amount. And you’ve also probably already learned that they’ll all tell you that they’re “the best.”
So how do you choose a coffee supplier in conditions like that?
To start, you break down exactly what you want to get out of the relationship, then whittle down the list to those coffee suppliers who can actually provide what you need. This guide will walk you through the questions you should ask and the things you should consider when choosing a coffee supplier.
A few ground rules:
This is important. The coffee supplier you choose to fulfill your office’s needs will have a lot on their shoulders. And in turn you, the person who forges that relationship, is going to have to deal with any issues that arise.
So, be thoughtful and careful with your choice. Don’t be hasty. Don’t just jump on the first or best deal you see. Don’t settle. Be picky. Remember: these companies are there to serve you.
Let’s get started.
Who are you supplying?
First things first. If you want to find the right coffee supplier, you have to think about who that coffee is going to be supplied to.
It might sound simple, but it’s a consideration often overlooked by coffee consumers. Typically, coffee suppliers are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing—and that’s by design. Each supplier has their own goals, their own ideal customer. This informs the particular products suppliers will offer.
Remember the thing about it being a relationship? Yeah, for that relationship to be mutually beneficial, you want to be that ideal customer.
Take a look around. Is your office the artisanal type? Are they a meat and potatoes, standard cup o’ joe crew? Do they like to mix things up and have different blends day to day or are they a more routine-oriented bunch? Any decaf drinkers? Anyone into the organic stuff?
These are the questions that will define your needs. You’ll need a coffee supplier who can fulfill them all.
What’s your target price point?
The thing is, choosing an office coffee supplier is a bit of a negotiation – you have to factor in both cost and quality. You can’t skimp because – be honest – you deserve it, and so does your workforce. But you can’t spend wildly either, for obvious reasons.
Prices vary a ton between coffee suppliers. You can go bottom of the barrel and sling mud water to your crew or spend a small fortune on the highest end of the artisanal spectrum. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a lot of options. Generally, we say stay away from the extremes.
A good place to start is to set a price-per-cup. That way, you can factor in the number of people you’ll be serving and how much coffee they’ll be drinking and get a pretty accurate gauge of how many cups you’ll need for a given period.
You can think about it any way you’d like, so long as you are thinking about. Whether you consider it in terms of daily, weekly, or monthly cost, nail down a solid number and use stick to it as you shop around different suppliers.
It’s important to think of it as an ongoing, recurring expense. The coffee funds need to be budgeted and available each month. To maximize the benefits and savings of forming a relationship with a coffee supplier, consistency is key.
What type of coffee do you need?
I’m not talking about blend or style. What’s your office coffee station like? Do you have a drip machine, French press, or a Keurig? The actual form of coffee you need will play a big part in choosing the best place to get it.
Coffee suppliers typically specialize in one form of coffee. K-Cups are the most popular, and for good reason. For an office situation, it’s a no brainer. Quick, easy, and convenient. They get the job done and allows your team to get their jobs done. Plus, they’re so neatly trackable for factoring price-per-cup.
Face it: if your employees are making pots of coffee, you’re not getting an accurate idea of how much you’re using. If aren’t already enjoying the benefits of a Keurig, you should check out our guide on how to choose the best coffee machine: Best Office Coffee Machine.
When choosing your coffee wholesaler, make sure they specialize in the form of coffee you need.
Think about scale, variety, and flexibility.
Now that you’ve nailed down what you’re looking for in a coffee provider, it’s time to evaluate your options based on that criteria.
The last thing you want is to get locked into a rigid coffee supplier. There are a lot of variables in a business. Companies expand and scale down. They add and drop employees. That means you may need more or less coffee during a given period. Needs fluctuate.
Make sure your coffee supplier can accommodate your current and any potential future situations.
And what about just mixing things up? As much as it packs some serious utilitarian clout, coffee can (and should) be fun and festive. Seasonal blends, flavors of the month, pumpkin spice, the whole nine. Regardless if most of your office coffee consumption is predictable, it’s nice to have the option of changing things up if you want.
Make sure your coffee supplier offers the kind of variety you might want and the flexibility to give it to you when you need it.
Any good coffee supplier will offer some type of subscription service. If they don’t, keep it moving.
The key to making coffee for the office a feasible thing with cost-effective benefits is systematizing it. Without a doubt, the best way to save cash on your supply is to sign up for a subscription service.
A subscription tells the coffee supplier that you’re in it for the long haul, so long as they keep up their end of the deal. So, you typically get a break in price. It’s business 101 – suppliers rather have a solid, reliable client-base paying a fair price than sporadic one-offs getting got on a high markup.
So, once you’ve found the one, make sure you get involved with their subscription service.
Victor Allen’s — coffee how you want it, coffee when you need it.
Victor Allen’s is an experienced, varied, flexible, and accommodating K-Cup coffee supplier. Check out our offerings, tailor-made for business use.
If you’re looking for variety, we got you covered. Victor Allen’s has a “build your own” pack for these situations. We’ve always heard that you can’t please everyone all the time, but we kinda think you can. At least when it comes to coffee. We run the gamut with our blend selection and we’re confident you’ll satisfy everyone at the office with our selection.
If you need flexibility, here we are. You can change your order up whenever you want. We literally are standing by waiting for your order. So, if you need more or less of this or that, let us know. We’ll get it to you quick.
And you get all this at reasonable price point. A budget is a budget—we understand how things work. But we think price and quality don’t have to be so separate.
Can you find a cheaper supplier? Sure.
Do you want to?
That’s a serious question. If you’re trying to get things done on the cheapest cheap possible, maybe we’re not a good fit. But if you’re going for the perfect balance of bottom line-friendly employee satisfaction, we should talk. Check out what we have to offer, and be sure to take advantage of our 20% off discount when you subscribe!