There are many moving parts to a facilities maintenance program, and an integral piece of that puzzle is beverage equipment maintenance. Kelly Fitzroy, Director of Operations for Vixxo’s Coffee Brew & Grind Division, and Luc Poirier, Sr. Director of Enterprise Performance with Vixxo, brought their insights and experience to unpack which industries and market factors are expanding beverage equipment to different facilities.

How has COVID-19 affected beverage equipment maintenance programs as a whole, and what learnings from this experience will transform future programs? Fitzroy and Poirier came prepared with plenty of answers for this first of a two-part conversation.

“This past year certainly has been different,” Fitzroy offered. “One of the things that’s really changed, at least in the business we’re in, is the work at home aspect. It’s changing up the dynamic of when people are getting their coffee.” The pandemic altered the traditional habit of picking up coffee on the commute to work. “Now, folks are now getting that coffee later that afternoon.”

Mobile ordering to have beverages ready for pickup and delivery services are two trends that gained traction during the pandemic. Consumers are also demanding touchless environments to reduce the wait time in stores.

How have these behavioral shifts and other changes within the market led to more beverage equipment or at least more use of beverage equipment?

“As the convenience store saw specialty coffee was becoming more and more popular, they wanted to get some market share within that,” Poirier said. The stores weren’t taking away their current beverage offerings, but adding more and more specialty beverage items. These new offerings increase the need for new and different beverage machines and for additional maintenance.

Fitzroy and Poirier look forward to advances in beverage equipment, including IoT capabilities, which Fitzroy said she saw some examples starting to hit the market. Improved data between machines could improve equipment lifecycles, letting facilities know when to maintain and replace parts.

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