A Guide to Coffee Solutions for Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities

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Hospitals and healthcare facilities have unique coffee solution needs. Medical centers provide coffee to employees in breakrooms, patients and families in waiting rooms, and to patrons in cafeteria settings. Choosing the right coffee service solution for each environment is essential to maximizing resources, as well as supporting a positive patient and employee experience. By selecting an appropriate mix of coffee equipment and products, coffee consumption demands can be met efficiently and effectively. To help you achieve this, our coffee solutions guide provides details on meeting the coffee requirements particular to hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Table of contents:
Waiting Rooms
Employee Breakrooms
Cafeteria & Other Service Settings
Equipment Comparison

Equipment Recommendations at a Glance



People Served 

Common Uses      Benefits
Single Serve Machines 10-60 Employee breakrooms, waiting areas
  • A range of coffee types
  • Easy to use
  • Low maintenance
Bean to Cup Machines 30-90 Employee breakrooms, large waiting areas
  • Coffee shop-like experience
  • Range of coffee drinks
  • Innovative technology
Espresso Machines 10-150+ Breakrooms, large waiting areas, cafeterias
  • Variety of espresso and espresso-based drinks
  • Treat for staff or visitors
  • Modern amenity
Airpot/Large Volume Brewers 64-336 cups per hour Cafeterias, conference rooms, or events
  • Brews large quantities of coffee at once without much in-between maintenance.
  • Quick, easy distribution

Waiting Rooms

Single Serve Machines
Waiting rooms at healthcare facilities are typically high-traffic areas serving a diverse population of people in varying situations. A waiting room that inspires relaxation can improve patient outlook and satisfaction with care. Quality coffee offerings are one way to put patients at ease and create a warm and welcoming environment.

In waiting room settings, single serve coffee makers (like a Keurig®) are recommended for hospital and healthcare facilities since these machines appeal to a wide variety of taste preferences and are easy to use and maintain.

Single serve machines brew one cup of coffee at a time using a small pod or pack of ground coffee. The pods and packs come in both regular and decaf, as well as a wide variety of flavors from recognizable brands like Green Mountain®, Peet’s Coffee® and Starbucks®. By offering a range of coffee types, many coffee preferences can be satisfied. Pod and pack options also come at varying price points to fit facility or departmental resources.

In addition to offering a wide range of flavors, the ease of single serve machines also makes them a smart choice for waiting rooms. Simply select the preferred coffee pod or pack, put it into the machine, and wait less than a minute for brewing to finish. There is virtually no wait time and no cleanup required. Another advantage for hospitals and healthcare facilities is that single serve machines require very little maintenance.

Employee Breakrooms

Employees working long shifts dedicated to patient care benefit from coffee-shop-quality coffee drinks.
Another option for larger break areas is a bean to cup machine, which can hold 2-3 different different types of coffee beans and serve around 100 employees. This type of machine delivers a gourmet experience by combining a coffee grinder with an espresso or French press brew method. Every cup is ground and brewed fresh, guaranteeing a high quality, coffee-shop-quality drink.

Using Single Serve Machines in Breakrooms
For the same reasons that single serve machines are recommended for waiting areas, they are also a good option for employee breakrooms. With individual coffee pods or packs, single serve coffee machines allow for a wide range of coffee preferences, which is perfect for serving a diverse workforce. Additionally, modern single serve machines are extremely convenient with simple user interfaces and minimal maintenance needs, perfect for busy employee areas.

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Other Options to Support Hard-Working Medical Professionals Bean to cup coffee makers for hospital and healthcare facilities are not the only machines that produce coffee shop-like beverages. Espresso machines brew craft coffees and are often an employee favorite in breakrooms. Designed to serve a high volume of people, professional-grade espresso machines can reliably produce a range of espresso drinks all day long for a coffeehouse-like experience.
Bean to cup machines and espresso machines are both great ways to provide coffee for employees dedicated to patient care, often working extended shifts.

Cafeteria & Other Service Settings

High-volume thermal brewers and airpot machines are designed to brew a significant amount of coffee at once, making them ideal for cafeterias and other highly-trafficked areas. Depending on the model, airpots and larger-volume brewers can produce anywhere from 80 to over 300 cups of coffee in an hour. A constant supply of warm coffee means there is no wait or lines for coffee in high demand areas.

More Volume, Less Waste
High-volume thermal brewers are economical and cost-effective. These machines have thermal insulators that maintain high temperatures for hours. For the environmentally-minded facility, thermal brewers and airpot machines are also more eco-friendly than single serve machines because large-volume brewers produce less waste than individually-packaged pods and packs.

Pro Tip: For the best tasting coffee in cafeteria-like environments, a high-volume thermal brewer or airpot can be paired with a grinder. This expands coffee bean blend options, and enhances the quality of the drink. This option is recommended for settings where there is at least one staff member available to manage the grinding and serving of the coffee.

Another way to offer quality coffee options in a healthcare cafeteria is to feature a bean to cup machine or an espresso machine. One of these machines may be enough to meet the needs of smaller cafeterias, whereas larger spaces may require multiple machines to meet consumer demand.

Get a Custom Consultation for Your Facility

Our service representatives are highly knowledgeable in determining the most advantageous coffee solutions for hospital and healthcare centers.

Contact an Aramark Refreshments representative today for a custom quote or to learn more about the right coffee products and coffee makers for your hospital or healthcare facility.

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