How to Update Workplace Coffee Offerings for Your Employees and Tenants

That morning cup of breakroom joe – and the second and third that usually follow – are an integral part of your day.

You’re not alone – In 2018, the National Coffee Association reported that U.S. coffee drinkers consume about three cups per day.

However, how that coffee is consumed is shifting.

In the same 2018 report, the NCA found that, though 45% off past-day coffee drinkers drank coffee made with a drip machine, the usage of those machines is on the decline.

On top of that, younger consumers – the employees filtering into your workplace and office building – are steadily moving toward gourmet options. Only 19% of respondents between 18 and 24 had consumed traditional, non-gourmet coffee in the past day prior to responding, and consumption of gourmet coffee among the same group reached 48%.

With data from the 2019 report pouring in, overall gourmet consumption (with gourmet defined as brewed gourmet, espresso-based drinks, blended drinks, cold brew, etc.) reached a 60% or more share for the first time among past-day drinkers.

For now, 85% of U.S. coffee drinkers are at least somewhat satisfied with the brewing options on the job.

But for how long?

Keeping Pace with a Taste for the Good Stuff

Gone are the days of the dump-and-drip, round-the-clock pot of instant coffee – as the NCA’s report shows, Americans are looking for a heightened experience from their daily coffee ritual, not just a cup of caffeine.

That means, whether you’re a distributor helping companies provide options for these newly minted connoisseurs or the manager of a larger office space looking to keep the tenants happy and hopping around, you’ll need to find ways to move from boring and bland to coffee-conscious.

Here’s a few ways to do just that:

  • Bring in a single-serve machine:

Avoid the dreaded, “Whose turn is it today?” coffee-preparation rotation by offering companies the power to put their coffee selection into their own hands. There are a wide variety of self-serve, single-cup brewing machines on the market that can quickly churn out that special and individual cup. As it turns out, it can be a happy medium between the take-it-or-leave-it approach of yesteryear and the ultra-modern approach of on-site baristas and cafés.


  • Go all the way with on-site options:

Companies and building managers are going as far as to install cold-brew taps and full-fledged, in-house baristas for their employees and tenants, offering them an alternative to that favored shop down the street and, in theory, boosting productivity. At Goldman Sachs’s London HQ, there’s a coffee bar on every floor, and Google is offering employees barista courses of their own. If you want to be sure your employees and tenants get the picture that you’re there to provide for their expanding tastes, there’s not much more you can do than to bring the coffee experience directly to them. Micro markets selling other goods can also incorporate higher-quality coffee.

Coffee’s Here to Stay

Coffee and its impact on the U.S. economy aren’t going anywhere – in 2015, coffee-related economic activity made up 1.6% of the country’s total GDP, and the industry was responsible for nearly 1.7 million American jobs.

It’s time to think about coffee the same way you do other workplace advancements – there aren’t many people around pounding away on typewriters, and traditional drip coffee is going the same way.

Take a look at your distributor – they may already have more attractive options you aren’t even aware of. In any case, it’s likely high time to evaluate the coffee options you’re providing for your tenants and employees.

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