What the cups will be used for
Ultimately, your paper cup needs are going to be much different if your customers or employees drink only soda and water instead of coffee and tea. Some cups are better suited for iced drinks while others have the insulation needed for hot ones. The type of beverage may even influence the shape of cup you choose. If you have several beverage options, you may need at least a few different types of cups. However, picking the most versatile kinds will usually be more cost-effective.
How big the cups need to be
Coffee shops will typically have multiple cup sizes, but some quick-service restaurants offer just one size. Likewise, it may make more sense for your business to go for a one-size-fits-all model for your coffee drinkers in the office. But while 35% of coffee drinkers prefer to take their java black, most people want room for cream and sugar. Therefore, it may behoove you to pick a medium or large size, if you have to choose just one. As Americans, we like our portion sizes to be on the larger side, so it may be beneficial to fulfill that need when possible.
Whether a lid is needed
In most environments, paper cups with lids are essential. This will help protect both customer and employee in a variety of situations. It can even be a safeguard for your business, lest someone try to sue you for a spilled hot drink. However, if you don't provide coffee and serve only cold beverages, lids may not be completely necessary. Still, you may find that they come in handy.
If your business provides beverages to customers or workers, then you need to also provide the proper receptacle. Once you decide on these three important factors, you can then make a decision about the materials you want (for instance, whether you want them to be recyclable or even compostable), colors, branding, and more.