To Rent or To Buy – That Is The Question

Deciding if it’s best to rent or buy an espresso machine can be a hard decision.

But don’t panic, I’m here to make that decision slightly easier by giving you a few pros and cons of renting or buying an espresso machine for your business.

Pros of renting an espresso machine

Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of renting an espresso machine can be that, often, any maintenance required is included in the plan. This isn’t to say that commercial espresso machines break down or fail on a regular basis, but it is always nice to know that if it ever does let you down, someone else is footing the bill.

More often than not, the renting company will have their own repairs team too. This should mean that your machine is back up and running in no time. Depending on your provider, they may also supply you with coffee beans too – a one-stop shop. By not having to worry about the upfront cost of an espresso machine and grinder, you can focus this capital on improving other parts of your business.


espresso pouring from an espresso machine


Renting an espresso machine can give you extra flexibility, allowing you to find the right machine for you. For example, if your purchase a 1 group machine and soon find you need a larger device, your rental company should upgrade this for you rather quickly.

Espresso machines can be incredibly costly, with some devices coming in at thousands and thousands of pounds. This often results in the purchase of lower grade machines which can have shorter lifespans. Renting a machine gives you access to higher-end devices and saves you thousands of pounds on the upfront purchase of one.


Milk texturising using an espresso machine


When receiving your espresso kit, you may find that you are unsure about something or you’re not entirely confident in using it. Your supplier should be able to give you advice on your machine and can provide you with extra training if needed, albeit, usually at an additional cost. When purchasing a machine, you’re often left on your own to figure it out for yourself which may result in a lack of knowledge possibly damaging your device (albeit, they are easy to use and tough to break).

More importantly, if the espresso machine and grinder have not been set up correctly, the coffees you produce may be under par and could damage your business’s reputation. If you are unsure, get the installer to set this up for you.



Cons of renting an espresso machine

Purchasing a machine upfront can leave you finding a one off lump sum. By renting a machine however, you will be paying a sum of money each month until your contract runs out. This means you will have to set aside money each month to cover the cost of this.

Secondly, renting a machine means there are a lot of things that you can’t control. For example, very often is the case that you will be supplied with beans rather than being able to choose them from a local, or independent roastery.

Also, you may find that your rental supplier requires you to order a minimum amount of beans each week. For example, if you are a small coffee shop and have a minimum order of ten kilograms every week.



You may have problems when it comes to getting out of a rental contract too. As with all contracts, they are for a set period. Sure, you can often get out of them early, but with a settlement fee.

You may then find yourself in the position where you can’t leave whenever you want to, and you have to wait until your contract ends. This can cause problems if you have changed your mind about renting an espresso machine.

Renting an espresso machine is a great short-term solution especially if you are a new coffee shop and you are finding what works best for you. However, renting an espresso machine long term can prove to be more expensive than just purchasing a machine outright. At the end of the contract too, you may have to give the equipment back, leaving you with nothing for all the money you have paid in rent.



Pros of purchasing an espresso machine

Purchasing an espresso machine is a viable option if you don’t want to be tied down into a contract. This way, you can make espresso-based coffees happy in the knowledge that you don’t have anyone watching over you. You will have total freedom with your espresso machine which is a bonus if you want to source your own, exciting and ever-changing coffees.

You can save a lot of time if you purchase an espresso machine too. Although renting a device means you can trial it, if you know what size of machine you want, you don’t need to waste time by renting it first. Just purchase it, and it’ll be all yours. If you want to know how to choose a commercial espresso machine. check out this page.


hot water dripping from the shower head of an espresso machine


Instead of worrying about paying your rental fees every month, purchasing a machine means you only pay the once. This leaves the money you are earning free for paying staff wages, buying cakes and coffees, oh, and paying yourselves!

Purchasing an espresso machine means you have control over everything. You can choose the brand, and you can also select your coffee supplier. Furthermore, you are in control with the other suppliers you decide to work with.

Finally, you will own your machine too! This gives you something to resell should you need to upscale.

If the upfront capital poses an issue, have you thought about a finance agreement for your machine? This will be similar to renting a machine in the fact you have regular monthly outgoings, but you will own the machine after the set time period.


a shot of espresso pouring into a mug


Cons of purchasing an espresso machine

If you do decide to buy an espresso machine, you will be left to figure how to use it. As mentioned, often companies that rent out espresso machines also supply training. You won’t get this if your purchase an espresso machine online for instance. Don’t let this worry you however. If you are looking for a wholesale coffee supplier we also offer FREE ongoing training. Problem solved.

Secondly, it will be your responsibility to cover the cost of any maintenance or servicing for your espresso machine. It may also take time to find someone to undergo the repairs. This does however mean you have the freedom to choose whoever you prefer. Whilst we at Two Chimps Towers do not currently maintain espresso machines, we work very closely with a network of super fast and reliable maintenance engineers. Get in touch for details.


two chimps barista pouring milk from a jug into a cup


And there we have it. Hopefully, now you will know which will be more feasible for your business.

Espresso machine chosen? Coffee supplier next! Are you looking for a coffee supplier to bring something different to your business?

Well, it just so happens we are wholesalers to a number of businesses across the UK!

Get in touch today to join the troop.

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