Choosing cafe equipment & cafe supplies can be a big undertaking. It involves a lot more than simply choosing between rolling trolleys, coffee machines, water coolers, and sandwich bars – it also involves deciding between individual types of equipment, such as espresso machines or steam-driven steam engines. However, choosing cafe equipment and supplies is generally a fairly straightforward process, if you know the basics. To help wade through the sea of cafe equipment available and to keep prices down, here are 10 different areas you must explore before narrowing down your choices.
First, consider your menu. If you’re going to stock an expansive variety of delicious dishes, then it’s important that you choose the right combination of materials and configurations for your cafe equipment. Take into account your primary focus, i.e. whether your cafe equipment is for sandwiches coffee, beverages or another type of quick-serve food, then you’ll need to make sure that your choice of equipment will support your chosen focus.
Next, consider your market. Is your cafe equipment and supplies meant primarily for delivering cold or hot beverages? Cold drinks tend to require higher quality equipment than hot beverages, since the ingredients may spoil quicker if heated. Hot beverages tend to benefit from a higher degree of refrigeration in order to retain their freshness longer. Depending on the type of food truck or other equipment you intend to use for food truck business operations, consider the long term placement of refrigerator and heating units.
After you’ve determined your market and/or specific needs, you can start thinking about the specifics of your equipment and supplies. First, think about how many outlets you’re planning to serve. Estimate the number of coffee machines and other related machinery that will be required in order to supply your expected demand. If necessary, go to an expert in cafe equipment or cafe supplies to help you find the right equipment configuration. You may also decide to buy used cafe equipment in order to save more money on startup expenses.
Next, determine the type of trash cans and security system you will use. If you are starting with a single location, then you can get by with just a trash can; if you’re opening up several locations, you might need to replace the trash cans as well. Again, if you opt to buy used or prefabricated cafe equipment or supplies, the right equipment will come with the right accessories.
The next piece of cafe equipment you need is an espresso machine, whether a hand-poured espresso machine or an automatic drip-brew espresso machine. If you want a mobile coffee shop, then you’ll want at least one espresso machine for when people visit who don’t have drinks at home. If you are looking to expand your offerings, you may want to consider additional espresso machines that can be easily switched out into a kegerator, keg bar or refrigerated truck-style system. Coffee lovers will be happy to know that there are also specialty coffee machines, such as the shot espresso machine and chocolate maker, which you can add to your mobile coffee shop equipment to make your customers’ coffees even better!
If you don’t already own the right equipment for serving meals, then you’ll need to purchase deli or lunch counter equipment. Today’s lunch counters can offer barista-style menus complete with milk, fruit, sandwiches and more. And if you want to go even further and offer gourmet meals, then you may want to invest in a grill, bistro sets and pasta carts to round out your menu. Remember to include a platter with local fresh breads and fresh-baked desserts in your menu (desserts can vary depending on your budget and your location). Don’t forget to offer wine samplers, too!
The final piece of cafe equipment needs are the quality products that help make your customers’ beverages and food taste better. For example, you may choose to invest in a quality 3-compartment sink for easy cleanup after customers have finished their meal. Likewise, a quality refrigerator is also essential so you can store your cold beverages and other foods in it properly to avoid spoilage. Finally, the right security system is also a must for a cafe, especially if you want to protect your clients from any possible harm. That’s because a quality security system can provide an alarm system that sounds when someone tries to open the door or window.