Opening a cafe? This is what you will need to set up your shop

11 min read

This is what you will need to set up your shop: The budget for your upcoming coffee shop begins and ends with the menu. The items on your coffee shop menu will depend on your local area and customer preference. Your market needs will dictate the equipment inside your kitchen and shop.

The requirements of a coffee truck differ considerably from the needs of a cafe since the choice varies significantly with the sources of water, power supply points and plumbing. Additionally, you need to consider the accommodation for storage, sinks, prep tables, ovens, grills and espresso machines. The size and capacity of each depend directly on the number of people a cafe serves per day.

Starting the business plan by chalking out a budget and then proceeding to work on the menu can be counterintuitive for production and profits. First, think about the menu. There are dedicated coffee places that serve exclusive and exotic brews from different countries. Then, there are neighborhood coffee shops that serve small bites with their beverages.

Which kind of cafe do you want to open? Each variety has a different daily budget since their raw material; preparation process and machinery are diverse. These factors determine their working budget. Therefore, without learning about the standard equipment requirement of your cafe, it would be unwise to demarcate a budget. To find out what a modern coffee house needs to function, check out Cafe Solutions Equipment.

A good coffee shop needs the following general equipment for running smoothly –

A 3-compartment sink

It is a necessity if you want to maintain proper hygiene inside your shop and among your employees. Having multi-compartment sinks will allow you to wash, rinse and sanitize the utensils continuously without disrupting the flow of work. However, most importantly, you should think about investing in another sink, where the employees can wash their hands from time to time. These are the fundamental cleanliness requirements of any cafe.

Commercial refrigerator

Home fridges are sufficient for the smaller amount of raw materials and food. However, as the bulk of edibles inside increases, their cooling capacity decreases. Large commercial refrigerators keep the temperature constant, even with repeated opening and closing of the door. Maintaining a standard temperature is necessary for keeping milk, eggs and other condiments in a safe condition. The health department might have a problem in case the temperature is not constant.

Professional grinders

Is it possible to serve freshly brewed coffee without a professional coffee grinder on board? What kind of coffee shop does not have the provision of fresh coffee for their customers throughout the day? The secret of always having fresh and strong coffee is freshly ground beans. The commercial grinders allow baristas to control the grain size. Grinding new batches everyday helps in preserving the inherent flavor of the drink. Having a professional coffee grinder inside your kitchen will let you take control of your coffee quality and consistency.

The espresso machine

There are the simple home coffee machines, and then there are the commercial machines that churn out perfect shots of concentrated energy aka caffeine in minutes. Always remember that your espresso machine will run your coffee business, no matter how fancy the marketing and signage are. The choice of commercial coffee maker will depend on the demand and frequency of customers. It will also depend on the menu since almost all favorite brews including cappuccinos, mochas, lattes and Americano use varying strengths of espresso as their base. The foundation of any good coffee drink is espresso. Therefore, there is no way you can go out on a limb and buy a machine that looks good or sells highest. You need to crunch a few numbers to find out how much production capacity, storage and speed you need.

Working tables and prepping table tops

If you are going to be the friendly neighborhood cafe, you will need a food preparing table. Bagels, salads, sandwiches, and scones will be a part of your regular morning routine. To prepare and serve these food items, you will need a prepping table that is separate from the other areas that hold the espresso machines and the cash register. It is a question of health and sanitation. The table top needs to be water resistant, so the baristas can wipe them clean with sanitizers from time to time. Stale crumbs can lead to foul smell and unhygienic conditions that question the customer service of your cafe.


Fixtures and furniture selection

What kind of a coffee place do you want to be? Do you want to encourage sit-down breakfasts? Will you focus more on the to-go customers? Do you want to cater to a laid back and younger crowd? While furniture and fixtures aren’t traditional coffee shop equipment, you will find it impossible to proceed with your cafe idea without planning about the furniture type and layout. Chairs, tables, counters, booths and even patio furniture will contribute to the ambiance of your establishment.

Other coffee shop knickknacks

This one might seem like an exhaustive list, but it captures only the beginning of whatever you will need to run the cafe. Stainless pitchers, carafes, jugs, mugs, frothing spoons, tampers and shot glasses belong to the category of miscellaneous items that will decide the subtler elements of customer satisfaction. How would you feel if you went to a coffee shop that did not have separate pourers for regular milk and soy milk? Would you ever want to go back there if there was another shop in the locality? These small wares are the big tickets to enhanced customer satisfaction of a business.

Instead of asking yourself if your budget will permit an equipment purchase or an upgrade, you should always ask yourself if you need it. If necessary, talk to expert baristas at similar shops or speak with your customers to find out what more they expect from your cafe. Communication, observation and thorough research are the keys to finding what new equipment your kitchen needs.

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