One of the biggest decisions you have to make as you plan to start a coffee shop will be about equipment to buy. Most people get it wrong, and it often haunts them in the form of debts they get into before the shop can run comfortably. So, what equipment should you buy? Well, it all depends on the menu you setup. The variety of beverages and drinks you intend to sell will pretty much guide you on the tools and equipment needed for your type of coffee.
Besides the menu, the space you have and your budget can also guide you on the equipment you should buy. Fortunately, you don’t have to buy everything all at once. Instead, a good business invests on the most important equipment and adds more tools as it grows. Below are some of the absolutely essential tools to buy.
You can’t claim to own a coffee machine if you lack the appropriate commercial coffee machines. You will need a couple of espresso machines for instance, special grinders and jugs for holding milk. Note however that you will need more powerful machines than the Mr. Coffee maker you have at home. You will need a machine that can hold large amounts of coffee after all. When it comes to mugs, buy the best. You may want to buy mugs equipment that represents the unique aspect of your business. Buying the right type of grinders is also important, mainly because customers expect nothing but the best quality when it comes to coffee and espresso. Buy at least two professional grade grinders therefore. The first grinder is important for making espresso, while the second is good for decaf purposes.
A Commercial Refrigerator
For a small shop, one commercial refrigerator will be enough. A bigger coffee restaurant however requires two or three refrigerators that can keep coffee temperatures warm throughout the day. In most cases, you will probably need an extra refrigerator at the back room, just to keep the milk warm and fresh.
Washing dishes is a mandatory aspect of any coffee shop. As such, investing a good sink, probably one with two to three compartments may be a wise decision. The first compartment is often for cleaning the many dishes you have, a second one for rinsing them and a separate dish for hand washing. In many states actually, coffee shops are required to have a different place to wash hands besides the sink meant for cleaning dishes. In addition to dish washing sink, the health department requires you to have a separate mop closet in your coffee shop. This sink should however adhere to certain temperatures and drain spills quickly.
Having a commercial hot water ensures that you make coffee fast and continuously throughout the day. However, be keen with the type of heater you select. A good commercial grade water heater should fills up quickly and keeps water at your desired temperature levels for as long as you need it. If you feel like your shop is small enough for a water heater, ask a professional for help. There are numerous water heaters that can be installed at your commissary and provide the necessary services.
Depending on your budget, buy enough pieces of furniture. If you plan to prepare sandwiches and salads on your own for instance, invest a good prepping table. For customers, buy comfortable seats and tables. Depending on the location of your shop, you can also invest in outdoor seats and tables. But the bottom line is that they should be enough, good looking and comfortable for your customers. If you are not familiar with how to identify suitable furniture for your shop; consult an expert. You may want to buy items that also save on space as well as brighten the mood of your coffee shop after all.
Electrical and Plumbing Tools
While the basic electrical and plumbing needs are often take care of by the building owners, you may want to invest in extra lighting or plumbing that fits your needs. Besides that, coffee shop equipment like your espresso needs to be connected to a water source and appropriate electrical sources. On the other hand, investing in water softeners prevents mineral build up in your coffee machines.
Have you already caught up with technology? Many small businesses use point of sale systems to run their businesses. They are efficient and appropriate for any business irrespective of its size. Invest in a good POS cash register, and benefit from the efficiency they provide. In addition, buy a credit card cash register to suit a huge number of customers who prefer wireless means of footing bills.
Finally, always buy good quality equipment. Buy new equipment actually, and buy them from a good supply store known to stock only the best of equipment.