Tips for Equipping Your Cafe with Top Kitchen Supplies
There really are few things better than a good coffee shop or cafe, and a good one can easily attract a dedicated clientele in very little time. With the rise in work-at-home policies, this can be a very smart move, since a lot of remote workers prefer working in a semi-public space like a cafe, rather than their own homes.
This, of course, requires setting up your cafe properly in the first place. What are the most important pieces of commercial restaurant equipment needed to get your cafe off to a great start? Let's take a look.
Six Must-Haves When Starting a Cafe or Coffee Shop
1 - Coffee Makers
OK, this one is obvious. However, the real question is how large and powerful your commercial coffee machine needs to be. You'll need to think hard about how much traffic you expect, and how many of them will be ordering basic coffee rather than specialty products. If you expect low volume, a basic pour-over (with a heating pad on top) will probably be enough. If you plan on serving a lot of coffee, such as morning drive-through service, you'll want a larger commercial-grade percolator that can keep a lot of coffee ready at once.
2 - Espresso Machines (and grinders)
Espresso machines are at the heart of any coffee shop since they're a starting point for virtually any fancy coffee drink you plan on serving. You need a commercial espresso maker which is capable of handling the bulk of orders you expect, as well as an espresso bean grinder with enough speed and capacity to keep the espresso machine fed.
Also, consider secondary features such as whether you need a built-in steam boiler for milk and, if so, how large.
If anything, we recommend going a bit above and beyond here. You want room to grow, and if your cafe becomes popular, you don't want your main drink machine to become a bottleneck. "Handcrafting" your drinks might sound nice on the menu, but it's impractical unless you're serving a very small clientele who are willing to pay a premium.
3 - Hot Chocolate Machines
Of course, not everyone wants a coffee drink, and you want something appropriate for kids too. Hot chocolate can also be a good starting point for a variety of chocolatey coffee drinks as well. So make sure to invest in at least a small commercial hot chocolate dispenser, so that it's an option you can offer to broaden your appeal.
Plus, everyone likes a good hot cocoa from time to time. It might be worth investing in a larger model and making that a prominent feature of your menu.
4 - Convection ovens
A coffee doesn't need to have an extensive kitchen, but it's still a good idea to sell at least a small selection of sandwiches, pastries, and other foods suitable for a snack or light meal. This can especially increase your value to people looking for more than just coffee. For basic heating and preparation, a commercial convection oven is typically your best all-around choice. It delivers better results than a microwave, almost as quickly, without the drawbacks of larger equipment.
5 - Microwaves
Virtually any shop making hot food or beverages of any type should probably have at least a small commercial microwave oven, just in case. Even if you don't plan on using it often, you want it there as a fallback option when you need it. You never know when something will need to be reheated ASAP, or when you'll have a few too many food orders and need to take some of the burden off your main convection oven.
6 - Dinnerware
Finally, don't forget to pick up some professional dinnerware that matches your shop's theme or vibe. Fortunately, you don't need to spend too much here. No one expects top-quality plates and utensils from a coffee shop unless it's truly high-end. As long as they're reasonably cute and functional, it'll be fine.
Shop Commercial Restaurant Equipment and Kitchen Supplies
Zanduco Restaurant Equipment & Supplies carries all the commercial restaurant equipment and kitchen supplies you need to outfit a great new cafe - and at reasonable prices. If you're looking to purchase everything you need at once, contact us to discuss pricing.