When opening a cafe or coffee shop, it can be difficult to think of every element needed to run a successful business. From industrial bean grinders to refrigeration systems, cutlery, paper products, storage and more – the amount of items you need can be overwhelming.
But when it comes tohow to set up a cafe, getting the necessary equipment is very important - and you don't want to forget critical items, only to be without them when the opening arrives.
That's why in hereTaxes, we put together this checklist of coffee startup equipment! With this comprehensive guide, you can be sure you have everything you need – before you open your doors to the public!
Food and beverage preparation
Of course, coffee and food preparation is at the heart of your business – and you'll need a wide range of equipment to ensure you can provide your customers with the items they want. When you open the doors, you'll find that you're much better off than if you just jumped in without doing the hard tests first.
Your equipment list should include:
- drip coffee makers
- coffee presses
- Coffee beans
- A high quality espresso machine
- industrial coffee grinders
- Water filtration system
- food preparation tables
- Food storage boxes, bottles and pumps
- commercial blenders
- An ice machine
While your needs will vary depending on what you're serving — you won't need a grill unless you plan to serve hot sandwiches, for example — they're pretty much all you need.
Another thing to consider is the make and model of a premium espresso machine, rather than just going with what fits your budget. Since a good brew will likely be your main offering, you'll need a machine that will go the distance and pull your weight. When looking for one of these, make sure you choose a model that can produce a significantly higher number of cups per day – while also being able to deliver the product quickly. Remember that busy periods will overwhelm your staff and strain your equipment, so it's very important to have a machine that can support the process. Our top tip is to choose a durable model that's equipped with all the right features to make or break your space.
Software is an often overlooked aspect of running a coffee shop. However, choosing the right software for your business is critical to your continued success. At a minimum, you will need:
- A strong security system
- ONEVAT system
- Employee management/scheduling software
- Payroll/Accounting Software
Ultimately, these products will support your end-to-end business operations. Whether it's staff and management, or keeping customers happy and loyal – you should tick all of these off your list first.
Check in with QR code
2020 changed the hospitality landscape forever with Covid-safe QR code check-ins for contact tracing purposes, although each state varies slightly. In recent months, many state governments have made contact tracing mandatory and introduced enhanced measures.Track contacts with QR codemeasures to make the process more efficient and help prevent the spread of COVID 19.
Contactless ordering has seen huge growth over the past 12 months, whether it's online ordering and delivery or table-to-table ordering solutions. Selected table-to-order options include a QR code withMr. Yumor a lighthouse on the table withYou and I. The latest online ordering platformCinchIt differs from other partners in that it doesn't take a percentage of your sales and now also has a table-to-order feature.
The level ofintegrationswith third-party apps to make your life easier are endless. From accounting to scaling, reporting, pre-ordering, table ordering, delivery, payment and everything in between.
A fully functional POS system
Speaking of POS systems, these are absolutely critical. Taxescafe POS system, allows you to quickly verify customers and collect valuable business insights that can help you improve efficiency and profitability. In addition, you will be able to upgrade your commercial offering through aspects such as loyalty programs, delivery functions and additional support. When cafes are equipped with information, data and insights, they are able to adjust their strategies accordingly – whichVAT systemcan help you create carefully.
Best of all, you can also manage your inventory levels and everything related to your pricing, allowing you to keep up with demand when you need it most.
>> Don't have a POS system installed yet?Getting in touchto learn how our integrations and software can take your coffee to the next level. <<
A WiFi connection
You may have gotten away with it in the past, but including a Wi-Fi connection in your coffee shop is almost a must these days. From business professionals to those on the go, give back to your customer base by allowing them free Internet access at your location. This will keep them in place longer, encouraging them to stay for another coffee (or two). Plus, you'll inspire anyone looking for a business lunch or hangout to choose you over competitors who may not have this functionality.
heating and cooling
It goes without saying, but no business (hospitality or otherwise) should open doors without a solid heating and cooling system in place. If you're trying to tick off every item on your coffee shop equipment checklist, this should be among your top items.
As the Australian heat can be quite intense, having a place of rest and relief for those without air conditioning will attract more customers to your venue. On the other hand, providing heat will do the same - not to mention keep the workers happy too.
storage and cooling
You will be working with some perishables and many different ingredients. This means you'll need a comprehensive storage and refrigeration system to ensure your perishable foods meet regulatory guidelines. You should have:
- industrial refrigerators
- A large freezer (on foot for larger companies)
- Insulated containers for cream and milk
- Industrial shelving for dry storage
- Open food storage containers of ingredients
- industrial plastic film
However, when looking for these additions, keep design and interiors in mind. You'll want something that fits your aesthetic while still providing the functionality you need. Make sure to place them in accessible areas as well, as this will be the deciding factor during busy periods.
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You will need some paper and plastic supplies in your coffee shops. These supplies include:
- Paper towel
- Insulated paper cups and lids
- cardboard sleeves
- Plastic cups and lids
- paper towels
- paper/cardboard plates
Your specific needs will vary depending on the type of beverage you will be serving in your coffee shop, but this list is a good "rule of thumb" for your coffee shop equipment checklist.
Plates and cutlery
You will need a lot of plates and cutlery to give your customers a good experience inside your cafe. This equipment list includes:
- cups and bowls
- Spoons, knives and forks
- Beverage preparation utensils (barista spoons, jugs and other specialized utensils)
As for the fun, you can choose the style you like. For a more consistent look, you can order food service equipment sets from industrial restaurant stores.
Alternatively, you can infuse your coffee shop with some personality by using cheap or mismatched plates and utensils, as well as quirky coffee mugs of different shapes and sizes.
Cleaning and maintenance
To provide a great customer experience – and comply with health codes – you'll need specialized cleaning and maintenance equipment. This equipment will include:
- Sink with 3 compartments for rinsing, washing and disinfecting dishes
- Mop and dedicated mop cupboard/sink
- Industrial cleaning cloths and sprays
- bus trays for dirty dishes
- Trash cans and bags
- Garbage compactor
Depending on local municipal health codes, your requirements may vary. We recommend that you contact a health inspector in your area for information on all relevant guidelines and regulations.
Furniture and decoration
Furniture isn't always considered 'equipment' for a coffee shop – but your customers need somewhere to sit, and that doesn't come with your coffee shop rental, so we think it counts! Additionally, you'll want decor that will help set your cafe apart from the rest. So, here's a rundown of some of the gear you might need:
- Tables and chairs
- Bar counters/seating
- Outdoor furniture and umbrellas
- Food prep/work counters
- display cases/storage cases
- suspended menus
- Menus and in-store displays
- Indoor/outdoor lighting
- Wall art, framed photos/posters, etc.
- sound systems
Again, your equipment needs will vary depending on your store. If you don't need outdoor seating, for example, then you won't need to worry about weatherproof seats or umbrellas.
A strong security system
Regardless of where your coffee shop is located, every business needs a quality security system to prevent crime or accidents. Whether it's cameras or alarms (both inside and outside the store), these additions will give you peace of mind and security when you need it most. They will also pay attention to your employees when you are not around.
Pro tip: If you're looking for the right system, we recommend going with a vendor who will install the product end-to-end. This means you will avoid complications or interruptions and get guidance to use everything correctly.
Other products to consider
While not necessarily “equipment,” they are the essentials for the perfect cup of Joe – milk and water. Ultimately, using the right, high-quality liquids in your process will determine a great-tasting coffee rather than a coffee that needs a little more attention. It can also significantly affect your customers' experience, so it's worth making sure you're using products that are well-received by those who frequent your business.
The first step here is to dispel the idea that all milk is the same. These days, there are so many varieties to choose from, with soy and almond milk constantly popping up on people's favorite lists. Make sure your coffee shop is stocked with enough stock for both, as well as traditional ones like whole and skim milk. Also consider that some milks cook better than others, so it pays to do your research first.
And on the other hand, there is the use of water. Although often overlooked, water is vital to a quality glass, so incorporating a filtration system into your gear list is vital. This will not only extend the life of your espresso machine, but also improve the taste of your coffee. And this is always a win-win situation.
Top it off by sourcing high quality, ethically sourced coffee beans from a supplier you can trust. Sometimes going local gives you the benefit of supporting small businesses while investing in a product that you know is quality driven. Our top tip here is to do some research on roasters in the area and make sure you do your taste testing before choosing. After all, a good bean is essentially the foundation for a solid cup of coffee.
Follow this coffee startup checklist – and get what you need!
Starting any business can be complicated – and coffee shops are no different. Even if you follow this guide to the letter, chances are you'll forget or overlook an important purchase, so plan ahead and take the time to get everything you need before you open your coffee shop.
When you're ready to get started, make sure you have your business plan ready. This will allow you to organize your ideas, keep your budget in mind (or develop one) and help you access financial support from the banks if you need it. When in doubt, refer back to it and reassess what your original vision was and how it's being tracked.
But with this checklist, you'll be able to get the important things you need to get started. For more helpful tips on opening a coffee shop, be sure to check out our roundupCoffee Startup Guide Today!
>> Is it time to upgrade your coffee shop to the next level? See what our POS systems can do for your business <<