Are Self Service Coffee Machines Replacing Coffee Shops?

self serve automatic coffee machines

Self-service coffee machines in various forms are cropping up increasingly more often today. In places like hotels, petrol stations, and supermarkets, machines like this are becoming more and more common.

But what does this phenomenon bode for UK coffee culture overall? Is it the death knell of the high street coffee shop?

Self vs barista service

Why exactly are self-service coffee machines like this becoming so popular?

Here are some of the main features that distinguish self-service from barista brewed coffees.


  • Speed – these machines are able to churn out drinks much more quickly than a barista
  • Queueing – accordingly the time spend waiting in a queue is cut down dramatically
  • Space – these machine also use up a lot less space than a traditional espresso machine
  • Convenience – these machines are set up everywhere so there’s no need to make a special trip for coffee

Barista brewed

  • Choice – you can choose more specifically how you want your cup brewed, and can also send it back if it’s not done right
  • Customer service – you get to interact and even establish a relationship with a real human being
  • Craft – an expert barista who had honed their art can make an incomparably superior cup of coffee
  • Atmosphere – coffee shops are more about human relationships than they are about the coffee alone

Will coffee shops become a thing of the past?

Although convenience is becoming increasingly important in a fast paced society, this does not mean that coffee shops are going to go extinct anytime in the near future.

Coffee drinking is at an all time high right now, and the logic behind conveniently placed self-service machines is not so much to replace coffee shops as it is to add on to them (in other words, we’re drinking so much coffee that we are still going to coffee shops, but also grabbing a quick cup at the petrol station, day care lobby, or what have you).

Coffee shops are about people – getting together with friends, business partners, etc. – and are an institution too well established to be replaced by quick cups here and there in hotel lobbies or supermarkets.

Sure, it is nice sometimes to get a quick pep up while you are on the go, but this doesn’t mean that we are going to stop meeting people in order to talk in person.

That being said, there are a number of different businesses that can benefit from a self-service machine.

How self-service machines benefit a business

Basically any business with a lot of people coming and going can benefit from installing a self-service coffee machine.

Bars and restaurants will typically opt for a more traditional, barista manned coffee setup, but essentially any other kind of business can do just fine with a self-service machine.

“ When asked by Shell to supply The Rex Royal S200 Automatic Coffee Machine to the new Off shore Gas Project “  Prelude FLNG “ we sought the assistance of Koffeeone.  We had a very tight window to full fill the requirements of the project.  Koffeeone were very professional and ensured  the machines were delivered successfully, on time and as promised – set up ready to operate. Since installation the Rex Royal Has performed with exceptional success. Producing hundreds of cups per day keeping all the team on the Prelude tremendously happy with perfect coffee. If you are seeking a perfect automatic coffee machine solution for your organisation – Koffeeone are the team to contact

Chris Ridd

Senior Technical Purchaser, Sinwa Pty Ltd

Gadens have sourced their espresso coffee machine solutions and coffee from Koffeeone for several years. As a result our machines run like clockwork. So our coffee is sensational and it’s a real delight to work with Koffeone

Hugh Kimlin

Client Service Manager, Gadens Lawyers