Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

ALIWORLD 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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13 Thanks to the meteoric rise of the specialty coffee industry, consumers today are coffee-savvy and quality-driven. But they're often also rushed. Much as they'd love that large latte with an extra shot of decaf, they can't always queue up at a coffeehouse and wait for the barista to whip one up. Enter the next big opportunity in high-tech convenience — gourmet, coffeehouse-style coffee available anywhere, anytime via self-serve, automated kiosks. It's a segment that's beginning to percolate with the recent introduction of concepts such as Café X, a robotic coffee bar concept in San Francisco, and HALO, a next-gen kiosk developed by Matthew Algie, a Glasgow-based roaster that supplies premium beans, equipment and training resources to operators across the U.K. and Ireland. "As in the U.S., we've seen a big trend in the U.K. around convenience for coffee but also this idea of quality," says Andrew Jack, marketing director at Matthew Algie. "As the availability of coffee improves, people are becoming more discerning. We'd been thinking about vending for a number of years and set out to try to deliver the best cup of vending coffee out there. While existing offerings were quite nice from a technology and user experience standpoint, vending coffee quality was invariably disappointing." With coffeehouse-level quality a primary focus, Matthew Algie partnered with Rancilio Group to put the fully automatic EGRO coffee machine at the heart of the HALO vending kiosk. "We began collaborating on this about five years ago, bringing together Matthew Algie's coffee expertise and Rancilio's equipment expertise to create a high-quality solution for the vending market," says Andrea Lucchini, sales manager, Europe, at Rancilio. "The idea was to put a professional, fully automatic machine inside a kiosk with an iconic, premium and engaging aesthetic." "We were lucky to have a good partner to develop this with," adds Ewan Reid, Matthew Algie's managing director. "We work with a lot of different coffee machines, but across just about every measure, we know that the cup quality from the EGRO is really strong. We essentially built the kiosk and the customer experience around that machine because we knew it could deliver. It was also an obvious choice because it's so reliable, even under consistently heavy demand. Our highest-volume machine does several hundred cups a day. We need that kind of reliability." Technology advancements ensure that convenience extends to the operator as well as to the consumer. The EGRO's internal telemetry system enables kiosk owners to monitor and control the machines remotely. "For a single machine or for machines across multiple locations, they're able to remotely adjust drink settings, check bean and milk inventory levels, analyze sales statistics, and receive messages relating to technical assistance and maintenance," Lucchini says. Designed to service on-the-go customers in markets from service stations and hospitals to department stores and gyms, the HALO kiosk features a large, high-definition touch-screen interface. The compact units can be finished with any operator's branding and set up to accept contactless payment and/or payment at cashier. Beverages available include coffee- and espresso-based drinks, tea and hot chocolate. The kiosks hold two types of fresh milk and two varieties of coffee beans. Customers simply use the touch screen to select their drink choice, which in the case of coffee includes latte, flat white, cappuccino, espresso and double espresso, macchiato and mocha. They then choose bean and milk preferences before being prompted to put their cup in place. In less than a minute, their beverage is ready and they're on their way. VEND TREND: QUALITY COFFEE ON THE GO U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer has begun installing HALO automated gourmet coffee kiosks in many of its locations, offering shoppers a quick and easy gourmet cup of coffee under its own M&S Coffee To Go branding.

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