How To Select A Coffee Supplier

1. Objectives of the Selection Process

The objective of the selection process is simply to identify the best-qualified coffee service provider that meets the needs of the company. When selecting a service provider, there are some key questions you should have answered and observations you can make. It is very important that the company keep in mind that the service provider isn’t doing the company a favor. Rather, both parties need to treat the relationship as an equal partnership. The service provider needs to show that it clearly understands the company’s needs and that the service provider will be responsive to those needs. The selection process also should be cost effective, efficient, and appropriate for the company seeking coffee service.

2. Identification of Qualified Providers

The company must have a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations that they are seeking from the coffee service provider prior to identifying possible service providers. There should be an assessment of how the coffee program will support the company’s objectives (an employee reward program, service for clients and/or customers, etc) and strategic plans and how the relationship with the service provider will be managed. The company seeking a coffee service provider should inform the prospective service provider in clear terms what their expectations and needs are. They should determine what the service provider’s expectations are and what the provider offers.

The next step in the process is to determine that the coffee service provider can meet 100% of the company’s requirements. This might include any specialized service requirements such as location size or geographic locations.

In initial communications with the possible service provider, the company would want to make clear that: (1) the service provider cannot disclose any information about the company’s systems or its business plans to others outside the possible service provider’s team; and (2) the service provider expects that commitments made during the selection process will be binding in any final agreement.

3. Evaluation and Selection

Once the company has identified a prospective provider, the evaluation and selection process can begin. It is important that there is an evaluation of the functional expertise, technology, customer service, and cost. The overriding objective is to select the most qualified service provider.


  • Functionality of the service proposed. Does the service provider at least meet the company’s minimum requirements? If not, what are the tradeoffs?
  • Technology. Is website user friendly?
  • Customer Service. In terms of response time, resolution time, and responsiveness to customer needs and concerns.
  • Cost/Price. While cost cannot, and should not, be considered last, it should be included as a factor to be considered.


4. Summary

The process of selecting a coffee service supplier and determining their qualifications may vary in its formality and requirements for time and resources. The final outcome of the process should be the selection of a viable service provider that meets the coffee service needs and objectives of the company.

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