The Out Of Home (OOH) coffee market in the UK is worth £5.8 billion, and most consumers now expect quality coffee no matter the location. There are considerable expectations for Facilities Managers to deliver coffee shop standard drinks, wherever and whatever the circumstances. The good news is that it’s achievable, but there are important lessons to be learned from the experience of the first generation bean-to-cup pioneers and most of these lessons relate to milk.

The number one factor that causes machines to breakdown is milk! Rather it’s the time, sterilisation and cleaning regimes that go with it. I often come across bean-to-cup machines with an ‘out of order’ sign on them, or they are only dispensing black coffee. Machine companies tell me that 8/10 bean-to-cup breakdowns are milk related. Fresh milk, specifically, is hard work on machines and on people. Yet milk is vital, we are a milky coffee market, 85% of drinks are served with milk; most of those are Latte and Cappuccino.

cleans it? Who cleans it at the weekend? Bean-to-cup machines with fresh milk should not be used at unattended sites (remote locations), as they will fail to deliver the service expected of them.

Furthermore, bean-to-cup machines do very few ‘miles to the gallon’. Since a large Latte can contain 250ml of milk, it follows that a 2litre bottle of milk can run out after eight drinks! Wow, who said automation saves labour? And where do you store all that milk?

Fat, it is the dreaded word that bean- to-cup machine engineers fear! The fat in liquid milk quickly builds up and blocks pipes and valves inside bean to cup machines. Left un- checked, even for two or three days, and the milk unit can fail!

Facilities Managers who have worked with fresh milk bean-to- cup systems in unattended spaces are making new choices for second generation systems. There is a quiet revolution and a major movement towards systems that use Granulated Skimmed Milk (GSM).

The biggest brand of GSM in the UK is Milfresh, available from Aimia Foods. Milfresh is nutritionally identical to skimmed milk and tastes ‘as good as fresh’. Aimia state in their customer demonstrations that 8/10 people can’t tell the difference between a glass of Milfresh and a glass of fresh milk.

It is easy to make the case that milk is more important than coffee, since it is possible to make a good Latte with poor coffee and great milk and extremely difficult to make the same Latte with great coffee and poor milk.

If I seem to be making the case for high quality fresh liquid milk, you couldn’t be more wrong. The reality of fresh milk and bean-to-cup machines is that it is all too often a ticking time bomb for Facilities Managers. Milk is a pathogen and a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which dictates strict daily cleaning regimes without shortcuts or work- arounds. All too often, strict cleaning regimes are not practical. Whose job is it anyway? If the catering staff work until 3pm and the machine says it needs cleaning at 5pm, who

Milfresh is made using the highest quality milk, sourced from selected dairy co-operatives; and is processed using a specific low heat technology that protects the protein, amino acids, minerals and vitamins producing a rich creamy natural taste. Milfresh is consistent and can be used to produce a rich, tight foam Cappuccino, Flat White and Tea.

In addition to a taste test promise ‘as good as fresh’, it’s in the operational box that Milfresh really stacks up for Facilities Managers. Machines using Milfresh don’t need daily sterilisation – two cleans per week is normally sufficient. The product goes further – 1kg of granules (for example) makes 20 litres of milk in the machine, which is enough for around 80 Lattes (250ml).

Milfresh’s unique granules are free flowing and perfectly soluble (even in cold water), which reduces incidences of machine breakdown. In simple terms, Milfresh tastes the same, is the same nutritionally, goes further, is cheaper and is ideally suited to bean-to-cup machines with an instant hopper and suitable programming. These machines are available from all major manufacturers, who are fully conversant with the benefits of Milfresh over fresh milk for automatic beverage services.

Whether it’s a workplace, leisure facility or hospital, automatic beverage services are in constant demand – its convenience and accessibility make it a popular choice for consumers, especially when canteens and other services are unavailable. Using Milfresh, ten bags of 500g granulated milk can easily be stored on-site, and provides enough product to make approximately 415 Cappuccinos. When you think of this in terms of fresh milk, to make the same about of Cappuccinos, 103 litres of milk would be required – that’s a lot of milk to store and supply!

So the message to Facilities Managers is clear. Bean-to-cup machines YES, but if you are intending to use machines in remote locations or leaving machines unattended for any period of time, choose Milfresh. Second generation bean-to-cup users have learnt the hard way, choose coffee shop standard drinks and smooth, reliable, economical operating for the best overall beverage service. TOMORROW’S FM | 57

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