All businesses are looking to improve efficiency, especially in this highly competitive market after the credit crunch and recession. Curiously, not many companies have calculated what the downtime costs for staff who make their beverages.
The standard kettle requires 1.5 litres water, 1.5kw element, approximately 4 minutes to boil and 7 to 8 hot drinks before you can start the cycle again. How much? The boiling cycle costs around 3p
You may say that 3p is not a lot and kettles can be bought and replaced cheaply. While this statement can be taken as a whole, it becomes very expensive when you consider the productivity loss caused by staff waiting in line for their drinks. People are people. We are naturally gregarious, so standing in line for drinks encourages us to chat and socialize more.
Recently, I was able to find a company with more than 400 employees. They were about to move into a multimillion-pound building and provide hot water by way of kettles. You can easily calculate the time lost due to kettles failing to produce the required quantity of hot drinks within a very short time span. It’s not so scary!
Architects and m&e consultants have been specifying chilled and boiling water systems in office tea-points and break-out areas, conference areas, catering areas, reception areas and other areas for a while now. While modern and forward-thinking fit-out companies, m&e professionals and global companies encourage their use, it is not a common practice.
What are the benefits and features of commercial under-counter chilled water and boiling systems? These are just a few of the many points you should consider when selecting a supplier.
Instant water delivery
The best systems will give you the initial dispense according to the number of cups. These would typically be between 20 to 100 cups of immediate availability, and between 90 to 250 per hour. Initial dispense numbers are important because they provide a guideline to the boiling and chilling taps. If everyone in the staff needs a drink, can they provide hot or cold drinks? It is impossible to think of a kettle, but it is possible with better commercial systems like Zip or Billi. Make sure to get a response from your supplier regarding the instant dispense capability.
Drink number 100 is the exact same temperature as drink number 37 or number 1. The best systems dispense water at 98.5 degrees C, which is widely recognized as the ideal temperature for tea. The chilled side provides filtered water at 6.5° C.
The best commercial units run at around 9p per day. This is a significant cost saving. The chilled and boiling systems consume less electricity and use less water, and they last much longer.
Boiling, Chilled & Sparkling, Boiling & Chilled. Boiling & Ambient. Chilled / Ambient. Chilled / Sparkling.
Some boiler units can produce 250 cups an hour and fit under standard counter tops. However, not all manufacturers of chilled and boiling taps are capable of producing units with these small dimensions. It is worth checking to see if they can.
It is important to note that not all units are the same. These units are usually air-cooled, but some models are now water-cooled and do not require the grille.
Scale filters are required for both boiling and chilling water systems in the UK due to the hard water. Better brands will use the scale filter only on hot water. This will ensure that office workers who desire sparkling or chilled water will have better tasting water.