Forecourt Trader Top 50 Indie Chartman has become the first independent retailer to install three Costa drinks machines at one of its stores.

A third machine has just been introduced at the group’s flagship service station, the Winning Post at Haldon Hill, on the A38 outside Exeter, and on the first day the trio of machines served 350 cups.

Chartman director Clive Sheppard explained that the group started with one machine at the site, and as it had done good business, when they redeveloped the site they decided to install two machines.

The new site opened a year ago and the two machines have proved so popular that at busy times queues have been developing, which prompted the decision to install a third machine.

Sheppard said: “The new machine really comes into its own at busy periods, such as commuting times like 7.30-9am and in the evening, when people are in a hurry and don’t have time to queue and wait.

“It has helped with the queues and we expect that this will translate into greater sales. It is an important part of the sales mix because coffee is a relatively higher margin product and gives us a good return.”

Chartman was ranked 38th in this year’s Top 50 with nine sites across the West Country.