Equipment Quandary: How to Lease Equipment to Accounts

Hey all -

I’m about 5 months in at a smallish roasting shop/cafe combo. Our main competitors in the area all offer equipment leases “free of charge” to their accounts (as far as I know, they only do brewers/grinders, not espresso machines). It seems this is something we’ll have to offer to get some larger accounts I’m after, including some office coffee accounts, as well as a few ski mountains etc.

Right now, it’s not feasible for us to buy our own equipment that we lease out at the scale that we’d need to do it. At the suggestion of another roaster, we’re looking at a 3rd party leasing company. Considering whether we should roll the leasing cost into the per pound cost of coffee, and hope the customer doesn’t talk to other accounts… Or estimate how many machines we’ll lease for the year or quarter, and roll it into our pricing across the board. Thoughts? Looking for all anecdotes/advice/suggestions/wayward thoughts. Thanks!

We are facing the same situation and are likely budgeting this into the “base service cost” as opposed to bean cost. However, we will not be able to recoup the full cost and will need to take a loss on the bean side to gain the customer. Still trying to figure out how much they need to purchase before we gain ROI.
Keep us updated and we’ll do the same!

The roaster that I do a lot of service work for has almost 100 airpot brewers out at any given time, at 300$ plus for a new basic newco that can add up quickly.

The customers also seem to expect you to come install them, clean them, and fix them for free. Just be prepared for that as well.