by Grace Barone
Coffee shops have been the home of study sessions, first dates, long overdue meet-up's between old friends, work meetings, attempts at rekindling the flame between ex's and so much more. There's something cozy and familiar about coffee shops, people feel safe there. The concept of coffee is comforting, similar to a security blanket for many. The ritual of grabbing a cup of coffee is something many people implement into their daily routine. It's what a lot of people rely on to get ready to face the day.
Coffee shops can be a very lucrative business to open up if you do it right. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after crude oil . So when they say America runs on it, they aren't lying. There's no doubt that the world would not be running as efficiently if it weren't for coffee.
Coffee transforms people from grumpy goblins into functioning human beings. The last thing you want to happen is opening up a coffee shop and not being prepared with the right equipment. No one wants to deal with a caffeine junky that doesn't have their morning fix. Part of my job is making sure the coffee machine in the office is filled and ready in the morning and let me tell you, I've never been more afraid of my manager than the day the French vanilla was out.
Coffee Shop Equipment Checklist
So if you're preparing to start your own coffee shop, we've compiled a list of equipment must-haves to help make sure your business is ready.
1. Automatic Drip Coffee Makers and Coffee Brewers
This is the most important piece of equipment for obvious reasons. If you don't have a coffee maker, you have no coffee shop. There are many different options in terms of coffee makers and it can be overwhelming. There are a few things to consider.
First of all you need to make sure no matter what coffee maker you decide on that there is a water system or connection built in. This is because during a rush, it would be very inefficient having to dump water into the reservoir every time you need to make a batch. Many commercial coffee makers have this feature but you want to confirm before you buy.
Another thing you want to make sure of is that it has a basket and carafe. The basket to hold the grounds and the carafe is basically just a fancy word for the pot. Some machines require you to buy these things separately. If this is the case, you want to ensure they fit correctly.
Its a good idea to find an automatic drip coffee maker that either has multiple warmers so you can have at least 3 pots ready at any given time or invest in a drip coffee maker that brews at least 60 cups of coffee at once.
It may be a good idea to get both or just a coffee maker with multiple warmers and a coffee urn. This way you have the equipment to brew and hold multiple pots at once as well as being able to just brew small batches for slower hours. One tip to keep in mind is having metal carafe's. Coffee brewers use hot plates to keep the coffee warm, this can result in burnt coffee if you're using glass. Metal retains heat much better and with more precision. Investing in metal pots can save your business money in the long run by minimizing the amount of coffee you need to throw away or re-make. Here are two blogs that outline the best coffee makers and coffee urns of 2023.
2. Industrial Coffee Grinder
This is the second most important piece of equipment to have in a coffee shop. Most coffee shops use whole bean coffee and grind it in-house. You will be grinding a lot of coffee and residential coffee grinders will not cut it in a coffee shop. Commercial coffee equipment operate on a much higher level so its important to get a good one. Going cheap on a coffee grinder will come back to haunt you, expect to be replacing it often. That's why its recommended that you bite the bullet and invest in a nice one from the start.
Like coffee brewers, there are a lot options. There are grinders that offer a lot of different features, you can change the amount that it grinds at once, what consistency it's grinding the beans, ect. Think about what you want out of a coffee grinder and choose accordingly. Here's a list of the best commercial coffee grinders of 2023.
3. Water Filtration System
This may not seem like a necessity but the quality of water at your coffee shop can drastically change the taste of your coffee. Not to mention if you live in an area with hard water, it can wreak havoc on your machines. Having good quality water at your business is a must. One thing to note is that depending on what filtration system you decide on, you may need to replace the filters occasionally. Be sure to account for this while budgeting. Here a blog that outlines everything you need to know about water filtration and a list of the best options.
4. Espresso Machine
If you don't have an espresso machine, your collection of coffee shop startup supplies is incomplete. Although an espresso machine might be an expensive purchase, they are essential for a coffee establishment. By having an espresso machine at your coffee shop you are able to make Caffe Americanos, Macchiatos, Cappuccinos and many other specialty drinks. Many people go to coffee shops specifically for these types of drinks so if you aren't equipped with a good espresso machine, you're missing out on a huge chunk of customers. Here's an up to date list of the best espresso machines to have in your coffee shop.
While coffee beans do not need refrigeration you will be stocked with perishable items. Depending on how big your coffee shop is and what other drinks and food you plan on offering will determine the size of cooler you need. At minimum you'll need something to hold all the different milks and creams you plan on having. You should make sure you're stocked with 2% or lowfat, oatmilk, almond milk and soy milk as well as half and half cream, heavy cream and whipped cream. So getting a refrigeration system that is big enough to fit all of your options is important.
You may decide on offering smoothies or other treats. You should have either a walk in cooler or large refrigeration system for your inventory. If you plan on offering donuts or pastries you should also have a display refrigerator to advertise those items to customers. WebsturantStore has a great variety of refrigeration systems to choose from for your coffee shop.
6. Oven and Toaster
You may decide on offering hot food at your coffee shop. If you plan on having hot sandwiches, bagels, or anything else that requires heating you'll want to get an oven or toaster that heats food quickly. Coffee doesn't take long to make so you want to make sure that if you do offer food, that the time between making the customers drink and heating their food isn't drastically different. Here are some options of toaster ovens that would function well in a coffee shop setting.
7. Containers, Pumps and Storage
Whether you have a large or small coffee shop, having adequate storage space is important. You want to make sure you have sturdy shelves for heavy items, containers to keep opened bags of coffee fresh, as well as milk, and syrups. Syrups usually need to be transferred into pumps to make drink making easy, you'll need to purchase these before opening shops. This website offers items like these.
You'll also want to make sure you have coffee cups, lids, stirrers, drink sleeves, and carriers. Once your coffee shop gets more established, you may want to invest in other equipment like milk frothers and cold brew equipment.
8. POS Systems for Coffee Shops
Last but definitely not least, you need to make sure your coffee shop has an adequate POS system. Coffee shops can get very busy and having a complicated or slow POS system can become a serious determent to your business.
Clover offers POS systems that fit the needs of coffee shops perfectly. Coffee shops have many modifiers to keep track of. You can order a large coffee but unless you take it black, you'll have multiple modifiers to take into account. Milk or cream, sugar, syrups, shots of expresso you need to make sure your POS system organizes and makes modifiers simple.
Clover Station Duo
The Clover Station Duo is the perfect addition to any Coffee shop. This POS system make coffee orders simple even with all the different modifiers. Just load your inventory onto your Clover Duo and start taking orders.
The Clover Station Duo also easily integrates online ordering. I usually order my Starbucks online before work, coffee shops can get busy in the morning. It's not a good look walking into work 10 minutes late with a Grande macchiato from Starbucks. When I order online, my order is ready when I get there and already paid for. No waiting in line. When you set up online ordering with Clover you can compete with the big dogs and might even become the preferred coffee spot in the morning.
Another great thing you can do with the Clover systems is running promotions and offering rewards. There are a wide variety of apps available to download that make rewards and promotions simple. You can create specific promotions for specific dates and times. This can be helpful for slower hours. For example, if your coffee shop is slow on Wednesday afternoons, you can run a promotion that runs from noon to 3 p.m. The promotion could be something like buy a large coffee and get a free donut. This encourages customers to order during these times, making slow hours more profitable. If you choose to set up a promotion like this, the app will automatically apply them when the specified time rolls around. Once you set it up, you wont have to mess with it again.
Clover offers many other apps that that could be beneficial to coffee shops. There are apps that make things like digital signage easy as well as employee management.
For a Grande Experience Try the Clover Kiosk
Another great addition to have in a coffee shop is the new Clover Kiosk. This is a self-serve POS system where customers can place their orders without needing to wait in line. Orders that are placed on the Kiosk are sent to your Clover Duo just like orders placed at the counter. This can increase efficiency and customer satisfaction by speeding up the ordering process and decreasing long lines.
Coffee orders can get complicated. With the kiosk, the customers are in charge of their own orders. This ensures customers are getting exactly what they want. No one wants to wait in a huge long line when they're half asleep and employees can get frazzled after dealing with a line of people who haven't had their morning coffee yet. This makes the experience more peaceful for everyone. When you use the Duo and the Kiosk in conjunction, your coffee shop will be running at maximum efficiency.
Setting your Coffee Shop up for Success
Hopefully this list of coffee shop equipment made the process of starting your business a little easier. If you're interested in getting a Clover Duo or a Kiosk set up for your coffee shop or have questions about all of the apps that Clover offers, fill out this form or head to getvms.com. We will make sure your coffee shop is ready to succeed!