Money For Lunch – Equipment for Your Coffee Enterprise

Equipment for Your Coffee Enterprise

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Opening a coffee shop is an entrepreneurial dream that many people share. It’s appealing because it has such a strong social element, and because the space can be fairly small compared to a restaurant.

Once you’ve put together a plan and gotten your enterprise underway, you want to keep it running in the right way. You’ve probably already discovered that starting a business may be a lot simpler than keeping it going.

Not to worry. The secrets to success for a good coffee business are similar to those of any other business. You want to hire good people, produce quality goods or services, market yourself properly, and manage the finances well.

In the coffee business, there may be nothing quite as important as the equipment. The way your coffee is made can make or break your business, so it is essential to establish and maintain high standards about what you use behind the counter. As you get ready to open up, keep these equipment tips in mind.

Buy Commercial Equipment

This may seem obvious, but many people fail to do it. They get the idea that if they can make great coffee at home with their $40 discount store coffee maker, then why can’t they do it as a business?

The answer has several layers. For starters, home-use appliances may not meet health code standards and could get you shut down before you even start. But even if you can bypass the long arm of the law, you will quickly see that your cheap machine will not work for very long. Brewing a batch a day is nothing compared to churning urns just as fast as you can do it. Invest in the real equipment. You’ll see the difference.

Maintain High Standards

One of the first places some businesses like to cut corners is in stretching out the use of various inputs. If the label says you can fry onion rings in the oil for three days, it can’t be too bad to stretch that to four days, right?

Coffee is notorious for this. It can be tricky to shut down a hot machine and spend time changing baskets and screens when you’d rather be brewing, but that little bit of fudging will soon catch up with you. First, you wait a little longer, and it seems okay, so you wait a little bit more, and before you know it, your flavor has faded into oblivion–and your business has too.

Have high standards for upkeep of equipment and make sure everyone follows them.

Keep Personnel Sharp

On your first day, it may just be you and a partner on staff. You’ve had weeks to get used to the equipment, and you’re a pro. But if things go well and you start hiring more help, you’ll have to give them that same high level of training if you expect them to run things in your absence.

Properly filling, dispensing, cleaning, and maintaining coffee is much harder than your applicants may realize, so give them a reality check from day one. Make sure they can handle the machines like experts before you turn them loose, and don’t let your standards decline with every new hire.

Running a coffee shop is often appealing because it just seems like a fun place to work. And it is. But the fun can evaporate quickly if the equipment lets you down. Making your coffee shop a success requires more than just great flavors and a great atmosphere. You need quality equipment operated by well-trained, dedicated people who will make sure that each cup is treated according to the high standards you expect. It’s that attention to detail that will make your shop a success.


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