Do you use a service or is a someone in your office designated to purchase the coffee, cream, sugar etc. and then be responsible for billing and collecting from staff?
In my office I purchase the coffee (Starbucks) and someone else buys the cream. I also buy sugar, filters etc. when needed. We have a ‘tick’ sheet that we use each time we take a cup and after about 2 months I tally up the total cups and expenses and print out a sheet detailing how much each member owes. I end up waiting to be reimbursed for the money I’ve put out for all of the expenses. Some co-workers pay me immediately and others take their sweet time. There are about 25 members in the club.
We go through two pounds or so of Starbucks coffee each week so I’m spending $30 times 8 weeks =$240 before I get reimbursed, and the payments trickle in. Is there a more efficient way to operate so that I don’t have to shell out so much cash and then wait to get it back?
We had a coffee club at work but it fizzled because the head of the club made very weak coffee. We now have new machines that give you a choice of French Roast, decaf, Cafe Mocha, or hot chocolate, along with a choice of three strengths. It’s actually pretty good coffee.
Anyway, her method involved charging $5 a month, then she’d send out an e-mail to the “members” when she was brewing their special coffee, so they would know when to hit the breakroom. She was in charge of buying the creamers, sweeteners, etc.
Our staff kicks in $5 a month for coffee if they take it black, $7 if they like it with cream. One staff member buys the all coffee, cream and sugar. She also brews the coffee. Two of the staff prefer tea; they bring in their own tea bags and contribute $2 per month to the coffee fund for cream. The receptionist orders paper cups, filters and plastic spoons from an office supply catalog and the cost comes out of the office’s stationery budget.
One of the secretaries buys everything: coffee, tea, biscuits etc. Milk is delivered daily. We don’t have to contribute any money. It all comes out of general office funds. Those who want something better go downstairs to one of the local cafés and buy their own.
Our coffee is free, but it’s crap, so I bought one of these. It makes one cup at a time of any gourmet coffee you like in prepackaged K-cups for about 50 cents a cup. Beats the hell out of $4 for a latte. Since I bought mine, two other people have purchased them for their offices.
True, it’s not fair, but I don’t see any other way of operating when there are 25 people who drink coffee in the range of 5-60 cups per month. The people drinking 5 cups won’t want to pay the same as those who drink 60. The cost per cup using Starbucks is around 45 cents, including cream and sugar. I guess I could refuse to run the club and let the people pay $1.50 at the coffee shop (I work in a hospital). We’ll all lose in that case. I guess there’s no easy answer.
My fiance’s office has a really neat solution. 4 of them were sick of having to drink shitty office coffee or waiting in line and paying $4 for coffee, so they got together and bought a cheapish ($400) coffee machine - extremely similar to the one that Chefguy linked to. It takes individual vacuum-sealed pods that you order for 50c each. The group buys pods for their individual use and sells them to officemates for $1.50 to cover inconvenience and wear and tear. Heavy coffee drinkers simply order more pods than light coffee drinkers.
Charbucks is 15 bucks a pound?? Sheesh. I roast my own, from Sweet Marias at about a third of that, and roasted to perfection. Not to change the subject, but I’d find something that is more in line pricewise with the market.
Let the people nominate how many cups they will drink for the month and pay for that number of cups. If they exceed the nominated number then next month they pay for the number they actually drank last month. Similarly if they overestimate next month thay can prepay for less cups. Should work out roughly right.
My company gives coffee free, with bean grinders crunching the beans into a filter, which you put over the big carafe. Not the best coffee in the world, true, but good enough. And much cheaper than the last place I worked, which made you take an elevator six floors to the cafeteria to buy it. I’m sure the lost productivity far exceeded the savings on coffee beans.