Starting a cafe business is not easy but finding the right guidance can help a lot. “How to start a cafe” fetches no straight answer from experts, cafe owners, coffee connoisseurs and food entrepreneurs. There is no established formula, and the recipe for success varies from one establishment to another. You will face several challenges along the way, the first of which will be buying equipment for your kitchen. Most barista owners are aware of the apparent requirements including a coffee maker and commercial oven, but the availability of the small pieces during operation that will make all the difference.
You should always remember that a cafe not only sells products, it also sells services. A customer’s experience will determine the cafe’s future profits from that customer, reviews, and recommendations. Your target should be to satisfy each customer by providing stellar yet personalised service. That demands more than mass-produced kitchen setups that can brew and bake. You need fine touches like separate containers for lactose-free milk and several serving trays for vegan food items.
Why should you always buy commercial equipment?
No matter how extensive or how minimal you choose your menu to be, you must invest in reliable commercial grade kitchen accessories and equipment for your cafe. Residential-grade baking ovens, cooking trays and coffee makers just don’t cut it. Buying Commercial equipment is not an expense, it is an investment, and it can help you achieve more production in less amount of time. Several cafe owners and food entrepreneurs cannot overcome the allure of used equipment. That can seem like a good investment decision depending on your budget, but you cannot ignore the risks of using second-hand stuff. You need to consider your cafe layout, production level, menu and budget before coming to a sound decision. Buying kitchen equipment for a commercial project is never easy, and you need to consider all the factors involved for making the right choice.
When should you think about buying used items?
Budget constraints may keep you from buying brand new all the time. In such a scenario, you need to consult an expert with enough food entrepreneurship experience to help you find the equipment you need. Yes, we are talking about second-hand machines, but you must make a plan to upgrade from them to new ones as soon as you break even. The trick is to find the most modern possible unit in the best working conditions. Choosing used gas cooking equipment is much easier than finding reliable ice machines. To learn more about which cafe apparatus you buy in the new state, check out Cafe Solutions Melbourne. Always try to spend on a new refrigeration unit and brand new electric cooking equipment, since these can be tricky to control when they change hands. Checking out lease-to-own programs might be beneficial for your business budget as well. These programs allow you to rent equipment for a specific period, at the end of which, you can buy the machine for a nominal amount. Unless you are despicably unlucky, your commercial equipment will outlast the lease term by at least a good decade.
What are the items your cafe needs to function?
Now that we have given you a working idea on which type of paraphernalia you can buy on a budget and which demand a little splurging, we will stop beating about the bush and give you the list of the top products every new cafe needs.
1. Industrial-grade coffee grinder
Buying ground coffee from the suppliers can cost you considerably more than buying the beans. Most famous coffee shops roast and grind the beans on-site in industrial grinders. They can control the level of coarseness that determines the brewing time and final aroma of the coffee. The freshness of coffee depends on the grinding to a significant degree. There is nothing people love more than fresh coffee in the mornings. To serve the best fresh coffee in town, you must think about getting a commercial coffee grinder for your kitchen.
2. A reliable espresso machine
Most of the favourite coffee drinks contain at least a shot of espresso. Cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes contain a varying level of milk and other ingredients on top of the espresso. No good coffee shop has served this competitive market without serving a bitter-sweet and strong espresso that drives away sleep like bees from vinegar. The secret of a good machine is – it is not always costly. Buying a fancy one of a reputed brand can push the upper limit of your business budget considerably.
- Automatic drip coffee makers
Black coffee and Americano will contribute to about 30% of your sales and profit. It is a rough average from a 2017 study on the cafes around the city. People love a quick cup of black coffee in the morning or during the day. Therefore, you need to invest in a commercial-grade coffee maker that makes enough coffee per day to serve the lion’s share of your customers. The most successful baristas maintain multiple brewers at a time that make many blends simultaneously.
3. Pumps, containers, jugs and miscellaneous
The baristas engage in a lot of pouring, measuring, and storing. No coffee shop can be complete without its assortment of pumps for syrups jugs for the various types of milk, specialised boxes for storing the grounds and crates for storing the raw material near the machines. The proper collection of these miscellaneous accessories can answer your storage issues meticulously. In most cases, new cafe owners learn about the requirement of this small assorted paraphernalia from their baristas and customers over time. However, if you have an expert on your team, and you do not have to wait to learn about the small touches that can improve the user experience at your cafe.
4. Food preparation devices
Around 60% of the cafes in the city require faster and more reliable methods of preparing food items. People, who come to cafes frequently, often prefer to pick their breakfast up along with their morning fix of caffeine. That calls for the occasional sandwich, a serving of pie, doughnuts, bagels, and cookies. Commercial ovens and gas equipment can help you minimise the queue and serve the customers quickly.
The correct balance of equipment on your must-have list will determine the cost-to-profit ratio of your business.