If you have been interested in starting a coffee shop, you need to make sure you’ve got a solid list of all the equipment you’ll need to help you start the business. To be successful in your new coffee shop venture you’ll need to research and discover the latest trends in the market and find reliable wholesale partners that will sell you the best coffee shop equipment according to your budget. This will help you meet the needs of your customers for years to come.
What Equipment Is Needed to Start a Coffee Shop?
- Automatic drip coffee makers
During your research, you will learn that the best commercial coffee maker will make good quantities of coffee per session. Drinks that contain some form of standard black coffee will contribute to the most sales at your coffee shop business. The best automatic drip coffee makers should include a filtered water system, a basket, and a carafe. You need a durable and powerful coffee maker that will produce big batches of fine-ground black coffee that will meet your client’s needs throughout the day. The large batch ensures that you do not have to use resources such as time and power more than is necessary.
Note that you may need several coffee makers to ensure that you can make different blends to meet client demands. The best machine will allow you to make a lot of coffee per batch. Most of them are stainless, easy to clean, and durable so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a suitable one for you.
- An Industrial coffee grinder
An industrial coffee grinder can transform your coffee experience and make that crucial bit of difference that means your customers return. The right grinder allows you to grind delicious and flavorful coffee as well as determine your coffee’s flavor and strength.
An industrial grinder allows you to make freshly ground coffee and you can include other flavors such as apples, blueberry, and sugars in with your grind and that will keep you ahead of your competitors. When you have the industrial coffee grinder, you avoid using pre-ground coffee which goes stale. You need freshly ground coffee that has the aromatic oils that make coffee delicious and lively.
- An Excellent Espresso Machine
Espresso is among the main ingredients of a typical coffee drink. The best industrial espresso machines have various automated and semi-automated functions that can help you brew the best espresso.
For many coffee shop owners, the super-automatic machine is the most desirable given that your coffee shop will (hopefully) have many clients. The automatic espresso machine has all bells and whistles and includes a built-in grinding apparatus and other gadgets.
The machine allows you to make “Caffe crema” which is espresso brewed coffee diluted to the strength of regular Joe. The automatic machine is the best for many since it needs little input to operate, unlike the manual, semi-automatic, full auto. However, your choice of machine depends on your budget and preferences.
- Point of Sale System
A POS system keeps a record of all the transactions in your coffee shop business. It enables you to know about the products that are selling well and those that need a little help to fly off the shelves. POS systems make inventory management easier as it saves time and offers accurate sales and purchase orders control.
In addition, it is easy to categorize all products and to be notified of real-time sales. It allows you to access your coffee shop’s back office remotely and get real-time reports on overall sales per employee and other information depending on the model. POS systems are better than manual cash registers and they enable customers to pay using credit cards most of the time.
A good POS system allows you to add other devices that will make sales quicker such as barcode scanners, credit card readers, receipt and invoice printers plus an electronic cash drawer.
The POS will also allow you to calculate sales taxes and some POS software has other features that include the general ledger, accounts payable, and other accounting modules that make your financial control easier and faster.
In addition, a good POS links up with third-party delivery options and online store order platforms. The POS should have easy-to-use tools to connect your coffee shop with the website and build the client’s email list.
- A Website and Social Media Pages
Your coffee shop business needs a solid social media strategy. You should aim to have pages on Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok. You can make back-end and front-end videos for YouTube. All these pages should be linked to your online website to make the process of finding out more about your business easy for clients.
Research shows that 30% of millennials avoid restaurants and coffee shops that lack an Instagram presence. Your photos, videos, and anything else on social media should communicate your identity and create your online presence. Social media channels are a great way to continuously have a line of communication open with your customers – You can advertise your products, give offers and share your coffee recipes. It gives your coffee shop an opportunity to be online. In addition, it shows a level of professionalism and adds legitimacy to your business.
Try to make sure you have high-quality photographs of your coffee, show customer content, post your coffee-making recipes, and show behind the scene shots and videos. It is good to display your shop’s colors and brand identity on your page and prominently in your store for easy recognition. Online info should show location, hours, contacts, and the products and services that your coffee shop offers.
6. Curbside Pickup Supplies
The Covid-19 pandemic introduced a pickup and carry-home trend that will be hard to eliminate. People forgot about eating in restaurants and they are more comfortable eating in their homes, cars or offices. Recent research showed that almost 59% of your customers will make pre-orders for their coffee and snacks, pick it up and go home to enjoy them. You must have enough drink holders and paper bags to make sure that your clients can take the orders home.
7. Plenty of Milk and Water
You need the right filtration system that will filter your water and ensure that you have the best coffee. A good filtration system also removes salt from the water which extends the life of your espresso machine and improves the taste of your coffee. If the water you use for coffee has a high mineral level, it can ruin your machines over time and increase the cost of maintenance.
- Dairy Milk
Milk is an essential component for coffee lovers. Some people prefer black coffee while others like it with various dairy milk additions such as cow, camel, or goat milk. You need to ensure that you have a tip-top and reliable source for dairy milk as it is still the most common type of milk requested by clients.
- Non-Dairy Milk
You should also have other non-dairy alternatives to hand because a large and increasing number of coffee consumers are making more effort to pursue ethical purchases or decisions based on their dietary restrictions.
Non-dairy alternatives include oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, and soy milk, among others. The milk choice dictates the taste and texture of coffee. Milk type also confers coffee its “stretch” ability. In coffee brewing, “stretch” refers to the ability to produce foam for different types of steamed coffee drinks such as lattes.
8. Ovens and Toasters
Most coffee shops offer a small selection of hot foods that can be eaten alongside the coffee. At least 65% of coffee shops have this option so if it’s something you want to offer, you must have a reliable way to prepare your food efficiently.
Some common coffee shop food options include breakfast sandwiches, donuts, toasted sandwiches, bagels, and pastries which means that you will need probably need a toaster.
- Commercial Ovens
Commercial toasters can help you prepare a variety of snacks in a short amount of time, especially if the ingredients have been pre-assembled. They can toast buns, English muffins, bake loaves of bread, toast bread, bagels, and much more. You need to consider the usage time and the type of snacks that you will be making in your coffee shop before you consider purchasing a toaster and an oven. A commercial toaster is effective since you can do many snacks per load which will save you money on your power bills.
When purchasing, always aim for something a little larger than what you think you currently need. Not having the capacity for the amount of sales you’re getting is a lot worse than having a little extra capacity than you need!
9. Industrial Blenders
A consumer survey in 2019 showed that almost 40% of café customers prefer purchasing blended drinks. You will need probably need more than one blender to ensure that you meet this demand.
It’s important to note that the best blenders are often quite expensive, however, you can begin with one and purchase more depending on your customers’ preferences. As long as you make sure your blender is durable and powerful, you shouldn’t have too much trouble pumping out top-quality drinks.
10. Refrigerators and Freezers
When you open your coffee shop, many large food and dairy products should be on offer for customers to see! It helps them to make purchasing decisions and may even persuade them to make an impulse buy. Refrigerated display cases and counter fridges will help your clients to order the foods on display.
Fridges that are functional and attractive are a big part of your coffee shop’s design. They should look nice to customers and match your shop’s overall vibe. If you need design inspiration, check out some other coffee shops in the area and take some notes. You may even be able to snap some pictures.
- Back-End and Front-End Freezers
Similarly, you’ll need back-end and front-end freezers. Back-end freezers will be placed in the kitchen stores where the inventory is stored. Frozen food can be flash-baked and stored in the oven. The rest of the snacks should be kept upfront for baristas to have easy access when clients make orders.
Frozen food is easy to store and has a long shelf life, ensure that you have the best commercial freezers. A walk-in freezer or cooler will help you to store that all-important ice as well.
Commercial ice machine
An ice machine is important for the huge amount of customers who now prefer iced coffee to regular coffee. Most medium-size coffee shops can meet clients’ demands using an ice machine in the 300lb-400lb range. Remember that although you are only just starting out, a small machine of around 100lb may not meet your customer’s demands.
Depending on your space, you can choose an ice machine that has a good working top and refrigeration. An ice machine with a stainless steel surface will give you additional workspace and make your work easy when making coffee blends.
Regardless of the size of your coffee shop business, you need some well-organized retail space to sell bagged coffee to your clients. Therefore, a clean organized shelf is vital. It helps you to group similar products in one place to ease the customer’s buying experience. In the retail space, you can put coffee books, bagged coffee, paper filters, and other coffee-making equipment on different shelves for super-easy browsing.
Even on the back-end, you need well-organized storage space and the shelves can fill up the space. This will make the work of your employees a lot easier and save them a lot of time.
The shelves that you choose depend on the size of space that you have at your coffee shop. If the space is minimal, see if you can find some super compact options that really maximize the amount they can hold. Some shop owners will begin a relationship with a local Restaurant Depot or a similar membership-required restaurant supply store to get these kinds of supplies.
Boxes and Crates
Boxes and crates are handy to save products like beans and other inventory. You need containers for storing syrups and toppings and these should be placed on shelves. It is also important to have a big storage system that is organized and accessible to the baristas.
12. Containers for storage of pumps and other products
Most coffee shops need storage for their raw ingredients such as coffee beans and their selection of drink toppings. You need good containers for storing all your products. Your pumps and other usable and movable machine parts also need containers where they are kept after using and cleaning. You need crates, boxes, and plastic containers that will help you organize your storage space efficiently.
All the pumps and containers and boxes should be carefully labeled to avoid any mix-ups which might affect the quality of your coffee and services. If your space is well-organized and every container well-labeled, baristas will be able to work more efficiently.
Well-organized storage space improves the efficiency of your customer service since it will take less time to meet a client’s order and needs. If your business does not have a smart storage system, the efficiency will be low and the profits margins will also be lower.
13. Security System
Every coffee shop business needs a good security system. In America, 64% of small businesses lose about $25,000-$30,000 to theft every year. Employees must be sure that they are working in a safe space. A good security system can include CCTV surveillance cameras and burglar alarms. Video surveillance and good cameras can also curb employee theft and reduce cases of fraud within your coffee shop. They are a crucial deterrent and can be relied upon if anything ever does go missing.
Alarms should be at the front end and the back end of the store. Anti burglar alarms are more effective than you’d expect at preventing forced entries, especially after a business is closed for the night. The system should alert the neighborhood and the owner when someone tries to gain entry by picking locks or damaging entrances.
Customers can also be assured by a good security system. It’s crucial that they feel their lives and belongings are safe at your coffee shop, and your reputation could be damaged if you are not seen to be ensuring this in some way.
Surveillance cameras and a good security system will therefore improve your customer’s perceptions of your business, encourage them to spend more, and promote word-of-mouth advertising.
14. Potted Plants and Climbers
Plants offer the easiest ways of transforming a space into something truly beautiful to look at. Plants introduce nature into a room and their visual and aesthetic impact satisfies many clients. In a coffee shop design, the green element can be part of the final accent that you need to pull people out of their cars and homes.
Using plants in the interior and exterior design can offer spectacular results to your business especially if they are placed in the right places and kept healthy. In your coffee shop, plants should play a functional role. Plants symbolize a natural space and they can offer your shop a competitive advantage. When picking them out, aim to find plants that are low maintenance at the same time so you can focus as much as possible on the coffee!
You must pick plants that complement your colors and interior to ensure that you have a coherent design. You can also use plants as functional elements such as for dividing spaces.
15. Light and Art
Lighting systems affect the consumption of clients, especially in coffee shops and restaurants. The profit margins of a coffee shop rely on the number of clients you can attract on a daily basis, so the atmosphere you create inside your shop with the lighting can become really important in the long run.
Your coffee shop’s ambiance is critical in sending the right vibes to your clients and increasing sales. The lighting system that you choose should connect with your theme, services, and products.
Dimming the lights is among the best ways of lighting your coffee shop in the evening. It will complement your client’s moods and usually involves minimum effort and resources. Dim lights create a cozy and calming environment where people feel like they can relax and unwind after a long day at work. Lighting can attract new people into your business, stimulate their appetites and change their behavioral patterns.
Your lighting system should relate to your coffee shop’s brand identity and image. You should give special attention to your coffee shops outside signage as well because it will be key to either attracting or repelling first-time customers.
If possible, ensure that your coffee shop uses as much natural light as possible, especially during the day. In designing your coffee shop, this means picking large-sized windows, mirrors, glass doors, and skylights to ensure that the inside of your premises looks as natural as possible.
Natural light is good for human health and also enhances people’s moods which could lead to more purchases. Natural light is energizing and will hopefully translate into giving customers the energy to buy lots of coffee!
Art Pieces and Sculptures
Art pieces such as paintings and sculptures can add a touch of glamour to your coffee shop business. You can also use lighting pieces that have been designed artistically. These will illuminate the space where your art pieces are located to improve the ambiance of the coffee shop.
Lighting your exterior signage can change or alter your coffee shop’s exterior. You should aim to have bright and attractive signage that relates to the theme of your coffee shop. The way you present and light your sign reflects your brand’s image. This plays a crucial role in attracting your clients in off the street.
You need to know the amount of space you need before setting up your average coffee shop. Most average coffee shop businesses need between 1000-1800 square feet. Most coffee shops This is usually enough space for 15-30 customers to be inside the shop at one time.
You also need to understand the three kinds of leases before looking for a space:
It allows you to pay smaller amounts but cater for additional extra building expenses
Modified gross lease
A modified lease is a combination of gross lease and net lease
As a renter, you pay a gross sum monthly while the landlord pays for taxes, maintenance, and insurance.
Of course, you need seats for your clients. Coffee shops should be comfortable spots for all types of social gatherings and good seats will play a big part in this. The seats should be comfortable enough to allow clients to sit down for 15-30 minutes. If you offer free Wi-Fi services, note that it can flip the whole seating concept. People may choose to make small orders and use your free wifi for hours which blocks other clients. You need to factor in the comfort of your seats along with the other services that you offer.
Starting a coffee shop business can be challenging if you do not have proper guidance. However, with this list of the essential coffee shop equipment that you need to get started, you should be more than ready to make a start by getting in touch with suppliers. With this list, you should be well on your way to creating a functional and attractive space that above all is profitable and loved by customers.
Barry Konkin is the founder of HotShot Coffee Sleeves. With over 30 years experience in commercial offset printing, Barry utilized his diverse printing background and creativity in developing new coffee sleeve designs that were granted Patents in both the USA and Canada. Barry’s goal is to assist businesses with brand promotion through the use of high quality custom printed cup sleeves. With an understanding of your marketing and operational objectives, Barry can recommend the ideal coffee sleeve solution for you.