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					                          Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?

Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business
?

Source: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.coffee/2006−03/msg00659.html



      • From: michael@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
      • Date: 6 Mar 2006 19:28:51 −0800



        If you are not ready to enter a debate regarding superautos, and their
        viabilty, then you should not make blanket statements like that.


This did not seem like the forum to launch the debate, this was a
sideline point.


        Perhaps if you worked with more supers than anything else and they all
        produced crap, then you :


You weren't paying attention. A $4k machine cannot keep u p and
reliably produce drinks in a true commercial, drive through
environment. My comments were directed there, not towards the 'new $8k
machines' that have miraculously solved every problem that years of
supers have always had. Supers are more successful in Europe than the
United States because the clients actually listen to the training
sessions and they know exactly how they are to be used. They also tend
to NOT use the auto frother very much.


        a: were not using the right machines


The only machines with a reliable track record in the sub 8k
environment are Swiss. Even the Cafina and the Thermoplan are a
considerable step up from that yet cost more yet. The Italian
machines, while produicing a superior shot of espresso do not have the
track record of reliability and service that these machines to the
north enjoy. Cimbali and Astoria have made great strides in that
direction, but they don't reach nearly the numbers that Scharer has
hit−−2000 plus with one client alone.

I don't use the machines. I worked with those who built them. I am
sure that YOUR machines are the right machines.

Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?                                    1
                           Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?



        b: didn't provide enough after−the sale−support (which is usually the
        case)


I cannot speak to your level of after sale support, you should avoid
speaking to ours. It was 3 years ago that I was working with
super−autos, and the success you may enjoy today rests on the sweat and
blood of those early engineers who broke ground ahead of you. A little
respect is in order.


        c: didn't set them up and train effectively.


Most super−autos are setup for reliability and not for optimum drink
quality. Material compositions dictate that the stresses required to
delivery optimum extraction reduce the lifespan of the materials. I am
sure things have improved, but the Scharer group has remained largely
unchanged, as has the cimbali prior to the advent of the M3−−which I
haven't seen internally and apparently doesn't have to be cleaned.

I think that training problems occur when you don't ask MORE of the end
user. The more automated they are, the worse the product. Thei is
neither the machine nor the setup and training, but a seperate phenome
that happens when you dumb down the client. If you have clients that
are willing to pay for on going training, fabulous. Darden is not one
of those clients


        Explain to me why Darden restaurants and Disney have had unprecedented
        sales success, and return business using these machines.


Why was Darden begging two nationaly based importers to take over the
service of their automatics. Anyone willing to assume the
responsibility, even though it wasn't for free, would have landed it.
No one bit and they had to work out an agreement with the
manufacturer's rep in Florida. The same rep who neglected to set
enough money aside from the sales of those machines when initially
sold.

Super fit a very specific demographic customer, to which these clients
belong. They don't feel they have a choice in the matter, except to
choose the best super they can find.

Even at Starbucks, when I spoke to the exec in charge of pushing the
Balck and Whites through, the issue wasn't enhanced reliability−−the
machines are modules that can be replaced in a matter of minutes AND
they have two of them−−it was strictly a consistancy issue. We all

Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?                              2
                          Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?
know how well that turned out. I worked with the Swiss engineer who
designed and holds the patants on those machines.


        And as far as Dave's point, it has always been my philosophy that it
        is best to train the trainers.
        If you leave the operator so far removed from the process just so you
        don't have to train them, you are making a huge mistake. Admittedly,
        there are those in this industry that are either too lazy or lack the
        knowledge to explain what should be in the cup, but those results
        would tranfer to operation of any machine that gave more control to an
        untrained user.


You are absolutely right, but how does the operator change the spec of
the machine to accomodate changes in coffee or mill spacing. Will they
stay on top of the shot jockey to ensure quality. Super autos require
just as much effort to maintain (end of day cleaning) and training (how
flat is your latte) and a traditional machine. Whether it's the
supervisor or the guy at the counter, training is on−going. The
problem is that most people who buy these things believe that a super
is designed to avoid all that. It merely shifts the burden and most
buyers don't get it.


        Bad coffee is bad coffee.
        I don't let my clients serve bad coffee, regardless of their equipment
        choice. I decline to sell anything to someone that doesn't care what
        goes in the cup, and make the best cup possible out of what I am
        forced to service. (fortunately not so much anymore). It sure isn't
        making me rich, but it makes me proud.


I am glad you can, and with the level of integrity you appear to
present, I am sure that your customers are well served. Most vendors
don't get to choose coffee for their clients, and I know that Darden
and Borders are never going to listen to you. Thats the brass ring
everyone wants, but you never get to choose except whether or not to
even get the chance.


        The original poster probably doesn't stand much of a chance of
        success, and is not someone with whom I would do business.
        But you, as a professional in this industry, need to rethink your
        stance or be educated in the use of superautos. This industry is
        moving closer to the the morphing of autos and supers every day.
        I say all of this with respect. I am not picking a fight here. I do
        know what I am talking about, and would like to engage in a
        conversation that might benefit those of us who are prone to
        learning....al


Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?                              3
                          Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?


You are right on about this client. Given the option, I would choose
to point him in another direction as well; but there are salesmen who
have to put food on the table.

The morphing has been to ask less of the supers and automate only as
much as is necessary. It is happening. Supers that ask more of the
client actually do better because the client is more vested in the
process of actually building the drink. The problem isn't so much the
machine as the manager of it.

I am sure we agree on more than you realize; I have a perspective that
is a little different and it is in the very nature of the interface
between the technology and the operator. But please, please do not
assume that I have to be educated in the use of super automatics. When
you have been in a lab with a bunch of engineers and two translators
building them from scratch for weeks at a time, and then push them
through the arduous approval process in the US, we'll really have
something to talk about.

Sorry for being so raw about it, I try to stay out of the frey. Supers
are something I seldom discuss because there really isn't a proper
forum, but in the professional arena, I build my reputation on
understanding how they work. Even though they didn't always. And I
understand that that was then and many things have changed. They don't
always change as much as one might think.

Michael


        On 6 Mar 2006 15:03:07 −0800, michael@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:


                It sounds like what he really wants, then, are vending machines. I am
                not prepared to get into a huge super auto viability debate here. I
                have workind more with super autos than enything else and they have a
                very limited application. Almost every one of them generates crap
                coffee (I am not talking about a straight shot within two weeks of an
                install to impress the client) after the first few months. NOT because
                the machine is under−performing, but because the operator has been so
                removed from the process that there is NO quality control.

                daveb is right. You either pay for training or pay someone to watch
                over the flunky's shoulder. Quality control is an ongoing thing and
                nothing replaces training.

                Sounds like the location might be had at a firesale price in a few
                months, or at least until the SBA funding runs out. If you are in, you
                have to be ALL IN; none of this easy money crap.

                Another 2 cents.

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                      Re: ? super−auto for drive−thru espresso business ?


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