Opening a coffee shop isn’t easy, but a detailed coffee shop equipment list can set you up for success.
Despite 2020 being an absolute dumpster fire, it’s actually still a great time to enter the coffee business. According to a July 2020 report from Research and Markets, the global coffee shop market is expected to be worth $237.6 billion by 2025. Coffee is the second most popular drink in the world and has a major influence in our social lives and daily habits.
To open a successful coffee shop, you’ll have to research trends, find reliable wholesale partners, and order the best coffee shop equipment that your budget allows.
For the latter, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a comprehensive coffee shop equipment list to get you started.
Your Coffee Shop Equipment List
- Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
- A High-Quality Espresso Machine
- An Industrial Coffee Grinder
- POS System and Website
- Curbside Pickup Supplies
- Milk and Water
- Industrial Blenders
- Ovens and Toasters
- Refrigerators and Freezers
- Containers, Pumps, and Storage
- A Security System
1. Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
Since standard black coffee will account for a good portion of your store’s sales, you’ll want a coffee maker that pulls its weight. Your coffee maker should be durable enough to produce a high quantity of coffee per day, quick enough to meet demand at the busiest times of the day (usually mornings), and large enough to produce sizable batches of coffee (so that you aren’t always brewing coffee throughout the day).
Coffee shops often have multiple coffee makers making different blends at the same time, but be careful not to stretch yourself too thin. Most successful coffee shop owners suggest keeping three or four blends available at a time.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of the highest rated automatic drip coffee makers to compliment your coffee shop equipment list.
2. A High-Quality Espresso Machine
Many typical coffee drinks contain espresso, so you’ll need an excellent espresso machine. Unfortunately, the industrial espresso machine market is sprawling and some of the higher quality machines might give you sticker shock. It’s important to understand what makes a good espresso machine and how to get the best value when you find the right one.
Here’s a guide on how to shop for espresso machines, which explains what high-quality espresso equipment should have and what to look for when buying.
3. An Industrial Coffee Grinder
Since most coffee shops use unground beans to make the freshest coffee possible, you’ll want to add an industrial coffee grinder to your coffee shop equipment list. Investing in the right grinder can make all the difference in the flavor profiles and the aroma of your coffee or espresso.
Check out this in-depth analysis of the best commercial coffee grinders to find one that meets your store’s needs and your budget.
4. POS System and Website
A POS system does more than just ring up sales. A coffee shop POS can help you keep track of your inventory, monitor your business’s analytics and profits, manage employees, and take payments anywhere. Your POS should streamline online, phone, and in-person orders so that you’ll never miss an opportunity for a sale.
Even better, a good POS system will come with easy-to-use tools to set up your website and build an email list, so that you can start growing your digital presence.
5. Curbside Pickup Supplies
Turns out curbside pickup isn’t just a COVID-only trend: 59% of consumers are more likely to use curbside pickup following the pandemic. That means you’ll need to have plenty of drink holders and paper bags on hand to make sure your customers can carry their orders home.
6. Milk and Water
We cheated a little on this one. While they’re not technically “equipment,” the right liquids can make a huge difference in the quality of your drinks.
Milk: Different types of milk can drastically change the taste of your coffee. You’ll also want to consider stocking dairy-free alternatives like almond or oat milk for those with dietary restrictions.
Water: Here’s where the coffee shop equipment ties in: you may need to add a good filtration system to your list in order to extend the life of your espresso machine and improve the taste of your coffee (which, by the way, is 98% water). If your water’s mineral content is too high, it can ruin your equipment.
7. Industrial Blenders
In 2019, a consumer survey found that 38 percent of cafe customers are ordering blended drinks more often. You’ll need at least one blender to capitalize on this trend.
Here is a buyer’s guide for purchasing a high-quality blender for a coffee shop. Don’t be shocked if the best blenders run up your budget. It’s better to buy equipment that won’t break when your store starts making hundreds of frozen drinks daily.
8. Ovens and Toasters
If your coffee shop has a small selection of hot food, which one survey found is the case with at least 60% of coffee shops, you’ll need a reliable way to prepare your food quickly.
Most coffee shops serve breakfast sandwiches, or at least bagels and pastries, which means you’ll need either a conveyor toaster or a pop-up toaster. A full commercial toaster buying guide can be found here.
If you have frozen breakfast sandwiches, similar to big chains like Starbucks, you’ll want a quick but compact oven (or two) that baristas have easy access to. Here are a few of the fastest ovens on today’s market.
9. Refrigerators and Freezers
When you open your coffee shop, you’ll need a way to keep your food and dairy products fresh. Refrigerated display cases and counter fridges behind the counter are must-haves.
Remember that fridges are a big part of your coffee shop’s design, so they should look sleek and match your shop’s overall vibe. If you need design inspo, Pinterest is a great place to look.
Similarly, you’ll most likely need freezers in two places: behind the counter and in the back where inventory is stored. Frozen food that can be flash-baked in the oven should be kept up front for baristas to have easy access for orders. Since frozen food is easy to store and has a long shelf life, you should store extras in the back so you don’t run out.
Shelving isn’t the only storage you’ll have to have. Boxes and crates are also handy to have for storing your beans and other inventory. Pump and containers are essential for storing all your syrups and toppings.
Without an organized storage system, your business won’t run as smoothly, cutting into profits in the long run. We suggest partnering with a local or reliable restaurant supply retailer to plan your system out carefully.
11. Containers, Pumps, and Storage
Since coffee shops necessitate the use of a large amount of beans and a huge selection of drink toppings, you must have the hardware to effectively use and store these items. This means pumps for all the syrups, boxes and crates to conveniently store coffee beans near your coffee makers, and simple answers to all the storage issues that plague some coffee shops.
If you don’t have an effective system for storage, your business will run less efficiently, driving you and your employees crazy, as well as diminishing profits over the long run. Partner with a local or reliable restaurant supply retailer, buy in bulk and plan your system out carefully and effectively.
12. A Security System
Every business needs a security system to deter crime and keep employees and customers safe. This may include security equipment such as cameras and burglar alarms (both in the coffee shop and on the front and back doors). To be extra secure, invest in employee management tools to prevent your staff from lifting cash from the register.
There are a lot of different security systems out there, so you’ll want to find a company that comes with years of experience. Profit loss from theft is something you shouldn’t have to deal with when opening your new store. Here’s a guide on what to consider when creating a security plan for your business.
The Bottom Line
Once you’ve finalized your coffee shop equipment list, you’re free to focus on the other things that come with starting a business: hiring your cashiers and baristas, designing your store and merchandise, and creating a recognizable brand. With the right tools and equipment in place, your coffee shop will have a strong foundation to become a success.