Coffee machines

Order Up: Essential Equipment for a Café

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Running a successful cafe starts with having the right stuff. Whether you’re 10 years into owning a cafe or dreaming of opening a new one, a cafe equipment checklist is a must.

Beyond the usual coffee cups and napkins, there’s a lot that goes into running a cafe. So, before you can start slinging espresso, you’ll need to make sure it’s covered. So, what’s the essential equipment for your cafe? Luckily, Smartpay is at your service to help you get started with our essential guide to cafe gear.

What’s in a Cafe Equipment List?

It can be overwhelming to consider what is necessary to serve coffee, cook in the kitchen, or process a sale. 

The list of what you require can seem impossible to create on your own, but with our help, you can have a comprehensive coffee shop accessories checklist to get you started:

  1. Espresso machine 
  2. Grinders 
  3. Coffee press 
  4. Scales 
  5. Drip brewer 
  6. EFTPOS terminal 
  7. POS system
  8. Accounting software
  9. Wi-Fi
  10. Oven
  11. Toasters
  12. Ventilation
  13. Blender
  14. Ice machine
  15. Food processor
  16. Mixer
  17. Refrigeration and freezers
  18. Containers
  19. Shelves
  20. Individual menus
  21. Countertop menu
  22. Plates and cutlery
  23. Glasses and cups
  24. Furniture
  25. Cups and lids
  26. Straws
  27. Paper towels and napkins
  28. Plastic and paper cutlery
  29. Bags
  30. Receipt rolls
  31. Sinks
  32. Dishwasher
  33. Bins
  34. Chemical cleaners
  35. First-aid kit
  36. Non-slip mats
  37. Fire Extinguisher

Coffee Shop Equipment Cost

Coffee is a big business in Australia. And with almost 80% of us indulging in at least one cup of coffee a day, it’s a smart one to get into. But to get your coffee shop off the ground, you’re looking at around $500,000 in start-up costs, including almost $100,000 for the gear alone.

Wondering what it takes to buy equipment for a cafe? We’ve got you covered.

Financing Options

Your coffee shop can be costly to set up, but financing is available to help small businesses —like coffee shops — purchase equipment.

Equipment Finance

Both bank and commercial lenders offer equipment loans just for coffee shops. Items purchased can serve as collateral for the loan itself, but your bank may ask for additional security. The terms of equipment finance usually go up to five years, making it a short-term business loan.

Small Business Loans

Some lenders offer small business loans, with varying term lengths and loan capacity. These loans can be more lenient for business owners with an easy loan process and fast approval.

Line of Credit

Opening a shop or restocking your business? Lenders can provide you with a line of business credit, determined by your current finances, background and risk. A line of credit is commonly used for businesses without stable monthly revenue or running a seasonal small business.

Business Credit Card

Did you know your coffee shop can acquire a credit card for immediate financial needs? A business credit card can be easier to obtain but may attract higher interest rates.

Coffee Equipment

Even the quaintest cafes that don’t do a lot more than make coffee still need equipment to run. To produce quality, barista-made brews for your customers, include these items on your coffee shop equipment list.

1. Espresso Machine

The right espresso machine can make or break your business. In Australia, your customers will be able to tell the difference between a decent machine and a cheap one.  To ensure you’re making barista-grade coffee, a commercial semi- or fully automatic espresso machine is a must. The cost of commercial espresso machines varies, but you’re looking at an overall price range of between $5,000 and $30,000.

2. Grinders

When you’re in the commercial coffee business, you need to go pro. Commercial grinders, like blade and burr options, can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 from coffee equipment companies.

3. Coffee Press

French press coffee can draw in lovers of pure, strong coffee, especially with specialty coffee beans.

Due to their manual application, a coffee press is fairly cheap and easy to find, costing between $15 and $150 from your local department store.

4. Scales

Selling beans or ensuring a perfectly measured single shot? You’ll need a coffee scale. The cost of measuring the weight of coffee and water depends on the equipment’s brand and accuracy, ranging between $30 and $300 from department or coffee equipment stores.

5. Drip brewer

Appeal to the coffee aficionados with a drip brewer for cold brew. A delight in the summer months, you can find these machines from coffee equipment companies for $100 to $500.

Payments and Financial Software

Processing sales and running a business has evolved beyond the use of analogue equipment. Say goodbye to ‘cheque, please!’ with the range of software and technology you’ll need to run your cafe.

6. EFTPOS Terminal

An EFTPOS terminal allows your customers to pay using mobile, credit and debit card payments. This hardware is essential for providing flexible payment options for your customers and ensuring a smooth sale process.

Small business EFTPOS machines typically come with several features, such as portability, contactless payments and surcharging. But they also include fees and charges that can cost your business thousands of dollars every year. 

With Smartpay Zero-Cost™ EFTPOS, you can process transactions free of charge by passing on a small surcharge to your customers. Better still, you don’t need to buy your EFTPOS machine outright or pay a terminal rental if you transact over $10,000 a month.

Learn more about Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS here.

7. POS System

You might also opt for a point-of-sale (POS) system, which can be integrated with your EFTPOS terminal. POS can help you track orders and sales. When you integrate your POS with your EFTPOS machines, this can help you process orders quickly and efficiently.

8. Accounting Software

Accounting software can help with invoicing and expense management, freeing up more time to run your business. You can rack expenses, send invoices, create service reports, plan your cash flow, manage budgets and more. Plus, this helps reduce space for human error and increase efficiency. 

Each accounting software platform is unique, and most follow a subscription model. Depending on which one you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 per month.

9. Wi-Fi

Let’s face it, we all love a cafe with free Wi-Fi. But as the cafe owner, this means you’ll have to organise a public Wi-Fi connection and one for your business to run.

No Wi-Fi? No dramas. Smartpay’s EFTPOS terminals also operate with a 4G SIM (included free, of course). Network outages are no match for our tech, so you can keep transacting without a fuss.

Food and Drink Preparation

As the cosy place your customers will head to for a drink and a feed, you need a well-stocked kitchen. No coffee shop equipment list is complete without the tools and utensils you need to create your tasty morsels, so add these to your cart. 

10. Oven

Hand-baked pastries require an oven, but how pro do you want to go? You can get a compact oven for $1,000, whereas $70,000+ can get you an oven that would make Jamie Oliver weep. Whatever your preferences, you can find these ovens at kitchen and cafe equipment shops alike.

11. Toasters

Selling sandwiches at your cafe? Smart move. But you’ll want a toaster so your customers can have them hot and crunchy. Cheaper toasters are available at your local department store, but commercial toasters are more expensive, at an average cost of $300 to $800.

12. Ventilation

Around Australia, all food premises must have a suitable ventilation system for the safe preparation and storage of food and for people’s wellbeing. Go all out with a choice of hoods, exhaust fans and makeup air systems, with the cost of these appliances averaging around $2,000 to $4,500.

13. Blender

Coffee shops with frozen drinks on their menu will need a blender to make the magic happen. Luckily, you can use a common kitchen blender from a department store for less than $100. For upscale and large quantities of drinks, commercial blenders from kitchen equipment companies cost around $250 to $600.

14. Ice Machine

A simple ice maker in your coffee shop can help you make cold or frozen drinks without taking up freezer space. Find them at your local appliance store for $100 to $200.

15. Food Processor

Shredding and dicing are a whole lot easier with a food processor. Cut time in your cafe kitchen and make food prep simpler with a standard model for around $30 or a commercial-grade processor for up to $300 and beyond.  

16. Mixer

A stand mixer can help you whip up pastries and other baked delights at your coffee shop, taking on tasks like whipping, beating and whisking. For a quality stand mixer suited to a cafe, expect to pay around $700 to $900 at an appliance store.


Fresh produce isn’t just essential for keeping up with health and safety codes; it ensures your customers get the best quality food and drink as well.  The best storage options depend on your estimated stock levels and the available space in your establishment.

17. Refrigeration and freezer

Protect your food from contamination, and keep it at the right temperature to safely eat with a refrigerator and/or freezer. Some coffee shops might need to invest in a walk-in cool room, but a commercial refrigerator or chest freezer can work just as well. Buy these at a kitchen appliance outlet, ranging from under-counter fridges at $850, to industrial combination fridge-and-freezers at $35,000+.

18. Containers

Containers make it simple to store food safely. Plastic food containers can be found at any department store, but some of the commercial sizes, like 10L, can only be bought at kitchen outlets. You can get the largest sizes in packs of three for as little as $40 to $50.

19. Shelves

Shelving helps you maintain neat storage and makes the most of the space you have. Suitable shelving for your store’s environment is available at most furniture stores for as low as $100.


A great coffee shop sign can draw customers into your cafe. And once they’re in, a good menu can excite them with the range of delicious goods you have in store. Add these to your cafe equipment list to get it right.

20. Individual menus

A menu on every table is a must, listing available menu items with a description of their ingredients and any dietary warnings. Find menu templates online, or engage a menu designer to create one just for your cafe.

Alternatively, you may choose for customers to access the menu through a QR code, saving you costs on printing individual menus and having to regularly replace them.

21. Countertop menus

Always keep some menus at the counter for customers who can’t remember what they wanted, or are having trouble deciding. It should be a larger version of the individual menus you have placed on the tables for easy reading.

Non-Disposable Goods

For the ultimate sit-down experience, your coffee shop should have a range of non-disposable stuff to make customers happy. These products are a must for serving and consuming food and drink.

22. Plates and cutlery

Plates and bowls are a must on your coffee shop equipment list, and it adds a professional touch when all your stuff is matchy-matchy. Buy sets at your local department store, or through cafe supply services for $30 to $70. 

Cutlery is another must, and usually cheaper, with each utensil set only costing $15 to $20 from kitchen outlets. You can go a little fancier with a more aesthetically pleasing set, but be prepared to pay a higher price.

23. Glasses and cups

Your coffee shop needs a cup, glass and mug for every type of drink you offer. Grab individual cup and saucer sets as cheaply as $6 from a department store, or luxe sets from cafe equipment outlets for around $80.

24. Furniture

Your furniture choices will set the whole tone for the coffee shop, so choose wisely. Some cafe owners prefer a few pre-loved pieces with personality, and others shop directly from a department store. The type of material and quality will affect the price, as well as how much you need to fill the space, so be careful with the budget.

Disposable Goods

Takeaway is here to stay. And if you plan on offering it, you’ll need the right disposable goods on your coffee shop equipment list. As always, check your local state government for what’s allowed in disposable goods, with straws and other single-use items sometimes having restrictions. 

Otherwise, tick these off to ensure the storage and transport of your cafe’s creations. 

25. Cups and lids

The sign of a good cafe is the quality of their takeaway coffee. And you want to make sure you’ve got the disposable cups and lids to make it happen. Whether paper or plastic, the cups should suit the drinks they’re holding. Partnering with a food packaging or container company is the easiest way to get your supplies, with bulk buying coming to $60 to $80 a box. 

26. Straws

Straws come in plastic, bamboo or paper, costing roughly $40 for a 2,000 carton, and are a necessity if you have cold drinks for sale. 

27. Paper towels and napkins

A must for general cleanliness, you can bulk buy paper towels and napkins from suppliers at $35 to $55 per 5,000 to 6,000 carton. These napkins can be used in store or for takeaway.

28. Plastic and paper cutlery

Plastic or paper cutlery is supplied with takeaway orders, coming in bulk in separate utensil cartons from suppliers at $30 to $40 per 1,000 carton. Want to take an eco-friendly approach?  Choices like wooden, bamboo, plant-based bioplastic and recycled materials are available, but they cost more, coming closer to $60 to $70 a carton. 

29. Bags

Pack and store takeaway from your cafe in plastic or paper bags. A carton of 250 varies in cost, ranging from $70 to $130 when bought from suppliers.  

30. Receipt rolls

Receipt rolls help you keep track of purchase history and give your customers a hard copy to keep. While you can buy them from paper or ink specialty stores, the costs add up over time.  If you use Smartpay, we make it easy to save on costs. Save hundreds per year by turning receipts off on your terminal. 


Beyond the fridges and coffee cups your cafe needs, it should also maintain a standard of freshness. According to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, this means clean and sanitary.

To keep your coffee shop spick and span, add these to your cafe equipment list. 

31. Sinks

According to food safety standards, all employees must have access to an adequate supply of water for washing hands and dishes. Sinks can be bought from appliance stores or kitchen supply outlets. A hand basin averages $200, while a full bench set up costs $700-$1,000.

32. Dishwasher

Save the wrinkly fingers. A commercial dishwasher keeps your business supplied with clean utensils and plates. Costs depend mostly on the size of the dishwasher, with appliance and specialty stores offering between $3,000 and $10,000.

33. Bins

Sanitary standards also require the correct disposal of waste in venues, so you can shop a range of bins to suit. Sanitary solutions like this range from $50 to $150 when used for everyday waste. Commercial outdoor bins can be purchased through sanitary companies with costs on application.

34. Chemical cleaners

Cleaning chemicals are essential for staying sanitary, and your cafe needs a lot. Dishwasher fluid, bleach, multi-purpose cleanser, stainless steel spray and floor cleaners, just to name a few. Buy in bulk from commercial suppliers to soften the blow. 


Workplace injuries can be commonplace in hospitality, and your new coffee shop is no different.  Refer to your state’s work and safety legislation to learn what’s needed.

35. First-aid kit

Like a good scout, you should always be prepared. Your coffee shop should have a first-aid kit on hand, which you can buy from commercial health and safety suppliers. Stock the kit based on the risks that might relate to your cafe, and they’ll give you a quote. 

36. Non-slip mats

A non-slip mat is essential to prevent falls from liquids on the ground. Choose from various sizes at commercial companies, with your average rubber mats costing between $50 and $100.

37. Fire extinguishers

Fires are no joke in a kitchen, so make sure your coffee shop is equipped with a fire extinguisher. Buy ones from commercial suppliers or department stores for around $100 a bottle.

Before You Start Shopping For Cafe Equipment

Don’t add anything to your cart just yet. First, you need to make sure your purchases are in sync with your cafe. Quality, budget, and business models are just a few things to think over before submitting an order.

Business Model

A solid business model will steer you towards the best gear for your cafe. Takeaway only? Focus on disposable goods and reliable software for taking orders. Dine-in dreams? Think quality furniture, ceramic mugs and ambience. A well-defined business model will give you a clear idea of what should make it onto your coffee shop equipment list.


Australians know a thing or two about good coffee, so you don’t want to skimp. The perfect cup of coffee means quality beans and brewers, which should be your top priority. Look for other ways to cut costs, like secondhand furniture, if it means getting your hands on your dream machine.

Cafe Space

Converting a newly bought or leased building into your ideal cafe space means following local and state laws to get approval. Once approved, and with a food authority licence, you can begin looking for equipment to fill this space. If you’re planning on making structural changes, you’ll need a permit for it before you start remodelling.

Once it’s ready, think about how best to use the space, then curate the furniture and supplies to suit. 


Get to know your equipment suppliers, as you’ll be creating a long-term partnership with them. Ask yourself several questions before partnering with a new supplier, such as: 

  • Can they deliver products on time? 
  • Do they offer free maintenance for their appliances? 
  • Are they eco-friendly? 
  • Are their products affordable? 
  • Is the quality good? 
  • Can they talk through problems?

How Smartpay Can Help You Cut the Costs for Your Cafe

Smartpay is here to help small businesses discover an EFTPOS solution that suits their needs. Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS reduces overheads by passing on merchant fees to customers, so you can put the savings straight back into your business. 
Smartpay is trusted by cafes, bars and restaurants across Australia, with the average Smartpay customer enjoying savings of $6800 a year thanks to Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS.* Get in touch to find out how to save on your cafe’s merchant fees and terminal rental.

Want to know more about surcharging?

Learn more about surcharging and how Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS can help you realise your coffee shop dreams. Get in touch with the Payment Specialists at Smartpay today. 

Say Goodbye to EFTPOS Bills

or Contact Sales on 1800 574 999

*Smartpay internal data, Nov. 2022.

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