When launching a new business and looking to manage your commercial budget, it is fair to say that the devil is in the detail. After all, while factors such as lease costs and furnishings are important, there are other, fundamental elements that also require careful consideration.
Many of these costs will depend on the nature of your business, of course, but regardless of this you will need to apply careful planning and meticulous accounting to determine how your budget should be deployed.
This is particularly important when launching a cafe or coffee shop, as these entities must spend a considerable amount of money on hardware and equipment if they are to function successfully. With so such a wide range of equipment available, it is necessary to prioritise and distinguish which items of equipment are the most important.
A Commercial Water Heater
When launching a coffee shop or cafe, this is one of the most important hardware purchases (and yet also one of the easiest to overlook). Make no mistake; a commercial water heater is crucial of you are serve a consistent supply of hot drinks during the course of a working day, particularly as you look to maintain an appropriate and compliant temperature level.
Although smaller ventures may think that it is conceivable to save money by investing in standard water heaters, this is a false economy that may impact on the productivity of the business over time.
In contrast, commercial grade water heaters fill and heat up instantly, providing a sustained and uninterrupted supply of water for as long as it is required. Such reliability is pivotal to the quality of your customer service, especially as you look to secure a competitive advantage over your rivals.
An Espresso or Commercial Coffee Machine
Coffee culture continues to dominate in the UK, with Britons spending a staggering £7.9 billion in shops and cafes nationwide last year. With this in mind, no cafe can succeed without an espresso or commercial coffee machine, so your task as an entrepreneur is to select the right product to suit the size, scope and budget of your business.
The first step is to determine the precise type of machine that would best suit your needs, with options ranging from single-cup hardware to premium, group electronic machines. This decision should be dictated by your sales projections and the amount of cups that you intend to sell each day, which must be measured against your budget to create an accurate cost analysis.
Establishments that sell less no more than 50 cups per day could probably prosper with a single cup, automatic coffee grinder, for example, so long as they invest in a high-end product that maintains an excellent standard and consistency of coffee.
Larger coffee houses that sell in excess of 250 cups would benefit from purchasing two, three or four group espresso machines, however, as they can produce between two and eight beverages simultaneously without compromising on quality.
A 3-Compartment Sink
While this may sound strange, a three-compartment sink plays a pivotal role in the function and success of your outlet. The reason for this is simple, as it enables you to establish defined areas for washing, rising and then sanitising cutlery, while employees can also access a separate basic when looking to keep their hands clean.
Ultimately, this serves two important purposes. Firstly, it establishes a reputation for cleanliness and hygiene, which in turn reflects well on the brand's image and the way in which it is perceived.
Secondly, this type of sink also enables cafes and coffee shops to comply with health, safety and hygiene regulations, negating the risk of incurring long-term financial costs.
Let's not forget that a three-compartment sink also means that you need never run out of cups and cutlery, as you look to maintain an organised and clean kitchen at all times.
A three compartment sink is absolutely vital to your café or coffee shop. The reason is that you will always have to wash dishes, rinse them, and sanitize them. Additionally, you will need a separate hand washing sink to ensure you and employees are able to wash your hands. This is usually required for most cafes or brick-and-mortar coffee shops.
A Commercial Refrigerator
On a similar note, it is important to note that even specialist coffee shops will also sell a complimentary range of snacks, food and alternative beverages. So although each outlet will have a different food and drink menu, you must have a cool and compliant space in which to store the necessary ingredients.
A commercial grade refrigerator is therefore imperative, as this will be guaranteed to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day, even as it is opened and closed on a regular basis.
The refrigerator in question must also be of the requisite size, large enough to store your inventory but not too big so that it is overpriced and not capable of delivering a viable return for your investment.
A Work and Food Preparation Table
On the subject of food, your menu may also include handmade items such as fresh sandwiches, bagels and salads. While these offer an intriguing proposition to customers who are increasingly attracted by freshly-produced and health conscious foods, it also means that you will need to have a designated area where dishes can be prepared in an efficient and compliant manner.
This space must be kept immaculately clean at all times, while it should never be used as an occasional table or storage unit. In short, you should only ever use this table to prepare ingredients and combine them as one, before they are stored in your commercial refrigerator while awaiting sale.
The size of the table is also a key consideration, and once again you will need to make a choice that suits the scale of your premises and your financial budget.
The Last Word
These pieces of equipment are crucial to the successful operation of your cafe or coffee shop, while there may be others that you need depending on the products that you offers to customers. The key is to understand your proposition in careful detail before deploying your budget, before taking practical steps to prioritise and seek out the most cost-effective solutions on the market.