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Mobile coffee industry: The complete guide

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Mobile coffee services are widely needed for different events. From corporate shindigs to on-location filming, the situations in which you need a coffee fix is endless. With thanks to coffee-on-wheels, some of the top baristas can make coffee for your friends, family, colleagues, partners and the community at large.

So no matter what you need the mobile service for, this guide will provide the latest info on what different packages there are out there and how they differ. Tips on how to research and track down the best mobile companies for coffee and caffeinated drinks will also be provided and will help you get the best deal possible.

A valid catering option?

Mobile coffee services are available today and have become a popular option for those who are running events. Catering, of course, is a very important aspect of any event. While in the past, refreshments meant cheap tea bags and instant coffee, people now expect more when it comes to their hot beverages.

Catering options such as fast food, burger vans and even ice cream vans are not looked at as strange when it comes to events. However, other types of catering are still not as prevalent. But pop-up vans and stalls for the likes of halal food, vegan treats, and coffee have started to become more and more appreciated. There are a number of reasons for this.

One such reason is that people have become tired with the same old catering options. Cheeseburgers, chips and a 99p ice cream are much loved, but we’re too accustomed to seeing these foods at events. Plus, where are the healthy, vegan-friendly options?

High-quality coffee and tea is something we don’t often see, though. Rather than the usual cheap, poor quality hot drinks served by the food van, high-quality coffee made by an actual, trained barista at a mobile coffee stall will pleasantly surprise and delight.

Event organisers are always looking for new ways to engage and make event-goers happy because it means that they are more likely to stay and enjoy the festivities. So a coffee van or stall can really help keep people at your festival – particularly on a cold night! Add a selection of pastries, cupcakes and other light snacks and your guests may not even want to go home.

What does a coffee van package actually include?

If this is your first time hiring anything mobile coffee related, then it at first may seem quite bewildering. But don’t let the unknown put you off – it’ll be much simpler after learning a little more about what a coffee van rental package consists of. Different packages from different companies naturally possess varying attributes and qualities, but when it comes down to it, they should all contain exactly what you’d expect. Fantastic, sociable baristas; a complete range of coffees and espressos, as well as alternatives for non-coffee addicts; and an attractive, well-designed van to attract customers, locals and colleagues alike.

What differs, in essence, is the amount of time you have the coffee van and the baristas themselves for. Your first task is to decide how long you want the hire to last. The minimum time is usually four hours, but this can be extended if you need it. If you’re planning your wedding reception or on-location shooting for an ad or for television, for instance, you may well want the facility there for longer. Short, outdoor events or trade shows can be catered for at a lower cost if they’re planned to run four hours or less. Flexibility is therefore a key attribute you should seek out in a mobile caterer.

A mobile coffee van for all types of events

A van owned by an independent coffee company has probably travelled the length of the country in its travels to cater for different types of events – but what events are they usually hired for? Often, they’re rented out for corporate events such as conferences, technology fairs, university fairs or even on film sets to cater for the cast and crew. Equally, though, you could cause a buzz by ordering one to attend a private event, such as your wedding day or a special birthday party. It really is a mixed bag, and the best thing about having a mobile coffee van is its versatility.

While the name suggests it only caters for caffeine addicts, the top companies will also be equipped to feature a range of specialist teas, hot chocolate and other beverages at your request. Even quality snacks can be served, from vegan cakes, pastries and gourmet crisps to larger-scale catering. So no matter what event you need a mobile coffee van hire for, whether it’s an event in a major city or small gathering in a local village, rest assured. The best coffee companies will be willing and versatile enough to adapt to any surroundings and any audience.

Good for festivals?

Coffee van services are a consideration for many people organising events today. Finding a way to offer tea and coffee to visitors isn’t exactly a new idea when it comes to festival organisation, but the standards we expect from our tea and coffee have changed over the years.

Now we don’t just want the lowest quality, cheap coffee from the ubiquitous food van that has long been a staple of every festival in the country. We want good-quality, ethically-sourced coffee provided to us by professional baristas. While that may seem like an opulent and luxurious expense, it doesn’t need to be. With the right mobile coffee services, you can have affordable, good-quality coffee available for attendees and others.

When it comes to festivals or fetes, for instance, there are going to be a number of stalls. That also means there will be stall owners and employees on their feet for most of the day. Some coffee van operators often provide a number of pre-paid coffees as part of the package. This is a great way to make your festival employees and volunteers feel appreciated and re-energised with top-quality, professionally made free coffee in exchange for their services. And for those attending, great coffee is an obvious way to help keep them feeling fresh and perky. If people are feeling more energised, they’re more likely to stick around for the rest of the events that you have planned that day. So there are plenty of great reasons for having ethically-sourced, good-quality coffee, delivered by professionals, at your festival.

The benefits of hiring a coffee van

There are numerous advantages to hiring a coffee van to serve coffee to people at your location, event or occasion. The first, and perhaps the most important, benefit is that it means that you won’t have the added stress of providing refreshments yourself. You’ll be paying someone else to do it for you and bring all the equipment and supplies, so you don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to coffee cups or bags of sugar. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on what you do best, leaving the professionals to serve your guests or clients with panache and style.

Of course, you need to consider the benefits of coffee itself. While we should not drink it in excess, it can give a good boost of energy. There are lots of studies into the health benefits of coffee, with some even indicating that it can help with vision health! If you have eye issues to overcome, the best way to do it is, of course, by getting the right lenses, but diet changes can make a bigger difference than you may realize. Plus, coffee tastes great too!

Another key benefit of mobile coffee hire is that the van itself will become a social hub. Coffee is an increasingly popular hot drink these days, and when your audience smell the tantalising aroma and see a place where they can grab a cup, they will immediately flock to it. So if you’re putting on an outdoors event in your local area or you’re promoting your business at a trade event, having mobile coffee vans there in the midst of the action will ensure a lively, sociable atmosphere. It becomes a real magnet and an ideal opportunity for networking or catching up with friends and acquaintances.

How can you tell the winners from the losers?

When you’re looking both online and offline for mobile coffee van companies to cater for your event, it can at first be tricky to differentiate between the better companies and the ones you shouldn’t waste your time on. Often it’s quite a subtle distinction which may not be obvious at first glance. What you should primarily be looking out for in a mobile coffee van for hire, though, is a good brand message. This will generally be communicated on their website on their ‘about’ page, the design of their website, and the tone you get from the company itself. Reading the ‘about’ page is paramount to understanding their company ethos and whether it fits in with what you require. A well-established family-run business with years of experience, which upholds high standards of ethics in its sourcing of coffee and the like, and has an emphasis on quality products and service, is ideal. Another tip for finding a professional and skilled company is by testimonials appearing on its website and elsewhere on the internet. If past clients have great things to say about the coffee company in question, you’re onto a winner.

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