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      The STAFCO Household Christmas Guide

      The STAFCO Household Christmas Guide

      STAFCO’s Christmas Buying Guide  

      The holiday period is around once again and with it comes the joy of gifting, or as some like to call it the mad dash to fulfil present quotas. Well if you’ve been thinking about buying something special for someone you know or even a possible treat for yourself, were here to help you get a good idea on what coffee machine would make a right fit for you. 

      Capsule Machines  

      Great Gift Idea for friends and relatives 

      Capsule machines are a great way to introduce someone into the world of coffee machines and for a decent price as well, ranging from £90 to £200 these machines are a great start for automated coffee in yours or a recipient’s home. The machines offer a quick mess free way of creating great tasting coffee all from the little capsules you pop in.  

      What matters most is the size of the machine, is it viable to put a coffee machine into your kitchen? Well with most if not all capsule machines they tend to be a lot smaller then your higher end bean to cup machines for the household. Meaning if space is short in the kitchen then a capsule machine would snugly sit in between appliances on your worktop quite easily.  

      There’s a matter of capsule availability and what capsules fit with what machines, for our Caffitaly rangethere’s over 20 different capsule brands that are compatible with these machines all with unique tastes and blends so you’re not going to be short on variety. This gives you a chance of exploring what each brand can offer you and hopefully you can find a few flavours and blends that you can really love. 

      A Capsule can be a great introduction to the world of coffee machines for any individual as it showcases the speed, quality and variety available, Contemporary design, cutting-edge technology, great functionality and ease of use: Caffitaly System machines adapt elegantly to any environment and allow you to prepare perfect coffee, excellent hot drinks and herbal teas in just a few seconds. 

      Find out more about these machines here. 

      Bean To Cup Home Machines  

      Capsule Machines are good for getting into café quality coffee at home, but what if you want to step it up a notch and spoil yourself this Christmas or really showcase the sharing aspect of the season to someone you know. Well these bean to cup machines will offer you the highest quality home coffee available whenever you want Bean to Cup machines offer great quality coffee for the enthusiast and can be a stylish addition to the home. Be sure to browse through each machine and check its features properly so you pick the right machine for you. However if you need any advice or help that a member of our team will gladly come to your aid for much needed information. 

      Find out more about these machines here.


      A Brief Guide to Cleaning Your Coffee Machine

      A Brief Guide to Cleaning Your Coffee Machine

      Maintaining your Coffee Machine may sound like a chore, but it guarantees the optimal coffee result and measurably extends the lifetime of your automatic machine, you should always follow the manual that comes with your machine and use products that are recommended to ensure optimal cleaning without risk, here’s a brief informational bit on why you should prioritise the maintenance of your coffee machine.

      When it comes to the perfect coffee and smooth machine functioning you need to be on top of the cleanliness of your machine. For most machines you can try the brands range of maintenance products that they have which should deliver a thorough clean and keep your machine in tip top shape. Some Coffee Machines include filters to help battle against mineral build up, the CLARIS filter for JURA Coffee Machines delivers high quality filtered water, the cleaning tablets they produce ensure the brewing unit is clean and free from coffee fats, and the milk system rinsing function keeps the pipes clean with absolutely no milk residues.

      If carried out correctly and regularly, the amount of time and effort put into cleaning your machine is short. Maintaining most machines nowadays can be as simple as preparing your everyday morning coffee as a touch of a button is all it takes. With every coffee machine it’s a good idea to check the manual or the brand website to see what cleaning products they recommend as usually their maintenance products are designed to work with their machines to deliver impeccable cleanliness and consistently perfect coffee results.

      Do you have a JURA Coffee Machine? Use a Filter.

      Using a water filter such as the CLARIS Series filters limescale to bare minimum levels. Believe it or not water quality varies throughout the country, you may have heard the terms of soft and hard water before. This variation of quality depends on the filtered levels of minerals within the water and if it has been treated or not, hard water carries a lot of minerals such as magnesium and calcium whereas soft water has been treated and contains less minerals in it.  

      Using a CLARIS filter will help in dealing with unwanted mineral build up in your coffee machine system as calcium is the enemy of fluid systems, other elements in water such as lead, copper and aluminium may also be harmful to health. Chlorine also has a negative impact on the taste and smell of the coffee so using a filter to reduce the number of elements in your water is always a good idea if you want quality tasting coffee every time.

      Descaling your Machine

      Dealing with limescale build-up is something you will have to come across in your machine’s lifespan. Adding a CLARIS Filter will reduce the effects of build-up, but it won’t eliminate it. When the time comes for the descale make sure you are using the brand recommended product to ensure you are getting a thorough clean, for most machines descaling is a simple process and with certain brands is pretty much a one button process.

      Can Mineral Water be Used?

      The short answer is no, it’s not recommended due to the high amounts of calcium and that the level of water hardness is above the guide of 60° dH making is unsuitable for most coffee machines including JURA.

      This has been a brief look at the processes involved with cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine. If you are still looking for advice on how to descale/clean your machines or information on the products to use for cleaning then don’t hesitate to call us at STAFCO on 01282 862822.




      Hair & Beauty Salons: Five Tips For Being a Cut Above the Rest

      Hair & Beauty Salons: Five Tips For Being a Cut Above the Rest

      It takes work to be known as a hair and beauty salon that’s a cut above the rest. Initiating outstanding service levels is simple. Maintaining them is the challenge, as your competitors catch up and the unexpected becomes the norm.

      The good news is, client experience is an area where you can truly differentiate yourself from the crowd. This article gives you five ways to continuously improve your client experience to ensure you’re a cut above the rest.


      Because you visit your hair and beauty salon every day, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Not only are you busy, you’re also accustomed to the salon’s appearance and how you and your team interact with clients. But, while your vision is clouded, your clients see every aspect of your business with fresh eyes.

      To become a market leader, step back and assess your business with a positive, open mindset. Find ways to improve your salon and keep your customers coming back for more.

      Imagine you’re an industry hero or another entrepreneur you admire. Ask yourself: what would they do to improve customer experience at your salon? It’s also helpful to think about other similar industries that get customer care right, such as the hospitality sector.

      Pick apart your last experience at a good restaurant – from using their website to the building’s appearance, the greeting, food and service. Study their strengths and explore how you can incorporate these ideas into your own business.


      Approach your premises as a customer would and try and see it through their eyes. A great time to do this is after a holiday when you are less used to seeing your salon. Is the pavement clean? Are the windows sparkling? Is the paint work in good order? If not, it’s time to invest in keeping up appearances.

      Next, take a look at your signage. Help your customers find you and let passing trade know that this is a hair and beauty salon with clean, clear branding and signage. Windows cluttered with posters promoting special offers don’t make for a relaxing introduction to your salon. Think about using horizontal promotional flags instead. They’re more affordable than you might think and can be branded with salon colours and logos for a consistent, professional look. Alternatively, sandwich boards work well if your offers change regularly or you frequently run different promotions.

      And, your website and social media accounts are as much a store front as your physical premises. Ensure a consistent brand across your online presence to keep hold of the 81% of customers who research you online before coming in.

      Cut above the rest, Client experience, Customer experience, Hair and beauty salons

      3. KEEP IT CLEAN

      In an industry where cleanliness is king, grubby surroundings leave your customers feeling unclean and untrusting. From ripped seats, soiled sofas and stained paint work to unkempt uniforms and old worn towels, your customers will spot the flaws.

      And your cleanliness isn’t just judged on the salon floor – clean toilets and sinks with fresh hand towels or paper towels are a must. Some salons burn scented candles in the toilets to keep them smelling fresh and entice you to buy more product.

      Why not task your staff with identifying items that need refreshing or replacing? This way you can all take pride in keeping the salon in shape.


      Being greeted as you walk in and thanked on the way out is basic customer service but it isn’t always done. We’ve all been made to feel like an afterthought by receptionists who are too busy to make eye contact or let you know they will only be a minute.

      Research shows that customers are only asked for their names 21% of the time . Get ahead of your competition and personalise your service with this simple human touch.

      If you believe the client experience is over when your customer leaves your salon, think again. The best hair and beauty salons think past the treatment and beyond the front door. Top up car parking to allow your clients’ pampering to continue uninterrupted and to prevent them from having an unpleasant end to their day.

      If it’s raining, get someone to walk your client to their car with an umbrella to protect their beautiful new hair. Or, if they’ve just had their nails done, get their car keys out of their bag or pocket for them.

      Cut above the rest, Client experience, Customer experience, Hair and beauty salons


      To avoid stagnating, set regular time aside to take be a customer yourself, experience other services and continuously improve your own. Get out of the salon and treat yourself to a day as a mystery shopper, particularly at salons that have a great reputation for customer satisfaction.

      Challenge yourself to come back with three takeaways to implement in your own business. These don’t need to be sweeping changes – It could be as simple as the receptionist using your name when introducing you to your therapist or providing your customers with a cup of coffee while they wait.

      And not just any coffee. The best salons know only barista-quality brews hit the mark, investing in the likes of the Jura A7 – a professional-level coffee machine that’s perfect for impressing the clientele.

      Another way to continuously improve is to understand your customers and know what they expect by reviewing your customer feedback. Ask customers to complete their feedback forms during their haircut or treatment (where possible) for less rushed and more meaningful results.

      And don’t think that just because you don’t receive complaints, you don’t need a feedback form. According to Financial Training Services, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain and nine in ten of those will never come back.

      Assess your customers’ comments and where possible combine this with your market research to deliver better-than-expected service.


      Creating an outstanding customer experience starts with a client’s first website visit and finishes when they get in their car to go home. These experiences build up to create their customer experience and determine whether they will continue to do business with you.

      American Entrepreneur, Derek Sivers, sums it up nicely when he says:

      “The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.”