Technology Aces a Cup Of Java

Expand and enhance your coffee program

coffee to-go

Brought to you by BUNN®.

Who doesn’t want to do more with less? Technology is helping us in more aspects of our lives, and coffee equipment is no exception.

New technology enables better brews that hold longer, fresher, and at a consistent temperature. This technology looks like a win-win for c-store operators and customers alike.

Stepping up the coffee game

Coffee is the leading beverage offered in c-stores, with 100% penetration, according to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage report. There are more types of coffee in demand than ever before: cold brew, nitro coffee, iced/blended drinks, and espresso have all found a place alongside the standard cup of coffee. Stores are designing inviting areas to sit and enjoy these drinks, encouraging sales of hot drinks even further.

And c-stores offering these beverages tend to see overall foot traffic rise. According to a report last year from GasBuddy, stores with top-notch coffee ratings in its app saw 12.5% more business between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. than those that didn’t score as well. In short, coffee is worth the investment.

In the convenience channel, consumers are looking for coffee that’s fresh, brewed to meet specific tastes, and self-serve. In fact, Technomic’s report reveals that 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase beverages labeled “fresh brewed.”

With numbers like these, it stands to reason that some c-stores are looking for new technologies to expand and enhance their coffee programs. A new equipment platform from BUNN is doing just that.

Optimizing recipes and streamlining brewing

The new Infusion Series® platform of coffee and tea brewers from BUNN gives a boost to convenience store coffee business by offering easy recipe programming and real-time monitoring, thanks to the very best of modern technology.

Recipes for these machines can be manually adjusted—like with other machines—but the real perk is that they can also be loaded via a USB port on the machine. That port can also be used to “clone the brewer,” says BUNN’s Director of Product Management Doug Bishop, allowing settings to be copied onto a blank USB drive and transferred to another machine.

Additionally, those settings can easily be distributed to multiple locations because that file can be emailed to wherever it needs to go, which Bishop says is “really great if you have a seasonal promo—it not only loads a recipe but assigns it to a button.”

Each recipe is tailored “to extract the soluble flavors and nuances from that specific coffee,” Bishop says. “The new Peak Extraction sprayhead provides an ideal spray pattern that makes sure the coffee is uniformly saturated to produce a perfect beverage.”

These brewers have other benefits, as well, including:

  • Wireless monitoring - up to eight brewers can be linked so an operator can look at a glance and see what’s going on;
  • Brewing tracking (for learning and managing how often coffee should be brewed);
  • A revamped, sleek look, with curves and rounded corners, perfect for front-of-house use;
  • Easy to clean, lift-off lids and lightweight construction.

The machines’ technology extends to the safety of the products, too. An RFID chip embedded in the funnels mean that if there’s no basket in place, or there’s a missing server pot, the machine will warn users that something is missing.

Other technologies advancing c-store coffee

These platfroms aren’t the only thing that’s elevating the c-store coffee experience. Specialty coffee is increasingly popular, and c-stores that want to continue competing with cafes and coffee shops have adjusted their strategies accordingly. For instance, cold brew and nitro coffee on tap has helped c-stores keep up, such as Nitron® by Bunn that delivers authentic cold brew taste without the need for a complex or lengthy brewing process.

Loyalty apps can also help boost c-store coffee programs—by letting regular customers know about promotions like a 99-cent coffee hour or a new seasonal drink via a push notification, this form of technology can help increase participation in the coffee program.

Finally, machines that allow for drink customization—perhaps via touchscreen—can help elevate the c-store coffee experience. Rather than feeling like a quick transaction on the way to work, the stop for coffee can become an alternative to pricier coffee houses. With customizable drinks that are made to order at the touch of a button, consumers can get gas for their car and a premium cup of coffee in one convenient stop.

It used to be that to get a delicious cup of joe, consumers would head to the nearest coffee shop. But now, there’s no reason for coffee not to be perfect every single time—no matter where they’re at.

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