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Schaerer 1977
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The 70s: Wonders of technology

The 70s are considered the birth of the fully-automatic coffee machine. Schaerer was among the pioneers who made an impact on the industry with the introduction of this innovative technology. Instead of having to carry out several individual preparation steps, the operator only had to press a button - and the desired coffee beverage flowed into the cup. This not only made the workday of restaurateurs much easier and enabled quicker preparation of hot beverages, but the easy handling of the fully-automatic coffee machines also paved the way for guests to serve themselves.

The technological wonder from Schaerer also had a technological name: KM77. From then on, coffee grinders were integrated and the beans were no longer ground separately. At the press of a button, the automatic coffee machine poured coffee fresh from the bean to the cup and was simple to clean. "The real fully-automatic machine", as Schaerer called it back then, scored points due to its simple operation and put an end to "work-intensive manipulation on the coffee machine". An additional bonus point: Fitting for a time in which speed was becoming more and more important and the big fast food chains from the US started opening restaurants in Europe, Schaerer offered an ideal, compact solution for any self-service counter with the KM77.

But it was not the desire for expansion of the fast food chains alone which increased demand for coffee machines which could be operated easily and by the guests. The political climate was decisive for the widespread triumph of self-service restaurants and fully-automatic coffee machines. After the sustained economic growth of the 50s and 60s, which also brought many migrant workers to Switzerland, the oil crisis in the 70s led to the worst economic crisis since World War II; there were more than 200,000 unemployed people in Switzerland in 1974. At this time, the Schwarzenbach initiative and the foreign infiltration initiative aimed to limit immigration and naturalisation of migrant workers. Both initiatives were rejected by the voters, but the changing attitude led to a clear decline in immigration and therefore to a noticeable shortage of workers in gastronomy.

Schaerer 1977: KM77
Schaerer 1977: Milcherhitzer