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Essential Equipment for a Café

A cafe equipment checklist is integral for a successful business, whether you are looking to open a coffee shop, or are ten years into running your business. You want to make sure you get all your essential cafe equipment pieces. Therefore, creating a list of cooking equipment, barista tools, and perishable goods can help you stay on track.

Luckily, we have provided a list of necessary equipment for your coffee shop and what you should consider suitable for your workspace. This guide ensures that you are fully stocked and ready to serve the best coffee!

 

What Things Are Needed in a Cafe?

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

The list of what your 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. Accounting software 
  8. Wi-Fi 
  9. Oven 
  10. Toasters 
  11. Ventilation 
  12. Blender 
  13. Ice machine 
  14. Food processor 
  15. Mixer 
  16. Refrigeration and freezers 
  17. Containers
  18.  Shelves 
  19. Individual menus 
  20. Countertop menu 
  21. Plates and cutlery 
  22. Glasses and cups 
  23. Furniture 
  24. Cups and lids 
  25. Straws 
  26. Paper towels and napkins 
  27. Plastic and paper cutlery 
  28. Bags 
  29. Receipt rolls 
  30. Sinks 
  31. Dishwasher 
  32. Bins 
  33. Chemical cleaners 
  34. First-aid kit 
  35. Non-slip mats 
  36. Fire Extinguisher
 

How Much Does Coffee Shop Equipment Cost?

According to Background Specialty Coffee Roasters the average cost of a cafe start-up in Australia is around $500,000, with nearly $100,000 solely for commercial equipment and furniture. However, these costs can be changed by the kind of products you will sell, the size of your customer base, and the quality of your equipment, amongst others.

Financing Options

Financing options are available if the cost of supplying your coffee shop with equipment is daunting. These loans are often created to aid small businesses like coffee shops and their purchasing of equipment.

Equipment Finance

Both bank and commercial lenders offer equipment loans specifically for coffee shops. The items purchased can serve as collateral for the loan itself, which means additional security is rarely acquired. The terms of equipment finance usually go up to five years, making it a short-term business loan.

Small Business Loans

Some lenders offer loans specifically for small businesses, with the specifics of the term length and loan capacity dictated by the lender you sign with. These loans can provide more leeway for business owners with an easy loan process and fast approval.

Line of Credit

This option applies to anyone opening a shop or needing funds to restock their business. Your lender will provide you with a line of business credit, determining your limit by your current finances, background and risk. A line of credit is commonly used for those that may not have stable monthly revenue or are a seasonal small business.

Business Credit Card

Your business can acquire a credit card for any immediate financial needs. This financial support is easier to obtain than a personal credit card but may attract higher interest rates.

Coffee Equipment

Your business could only be a coffee shop with the equipment to make coffee. If you want to produce quality, barista-made coffee for your customers, you must include these items on your coffee shop equipment list.

1. Espresso Machine

Choosing the best espresso machine for your coffee shop can make or break your business. Australians enjoy the taste of barista-made coffee, so many shops choose semi or fully-automatic espresso machines, offering the ability to use specialty coffee beans during their brewing process. The cost of commercial espresso machines can vary, but you are looking at an overall price range of between $5,000-$30,000.

2. Grinders

While you can buy hand-held grinders for personal use, the commercial grinding process is usually done by bladed or burr grinders. These machines cost around $2,000-$4,000 from coffee equipment companies.

3. Coffee Press

For those looking to sell French press coffee, you will require a coffee press. Using a press ensures you will have a stronger brew, which can appeal to several customers, especially if you use specialty coffee beans. 

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

4. Scales

If you are the type to ensure your brewing process is down to the amount of coffee used, you may 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-$300 from department or coffee equipment stores.

5. Drip brewer

Not all coffee shops require a drip brewer, but it can be an appealing piece of coffee shop equipment for those who want to sell cold brew. A delight in the summer months, you can find these machines from coffee equipment companies for $100-$500.

 

Payments

Processing sales and running a business has evolved beyond the use of analogue equipment. Nowadays, your business will require various software and technology to be ready for opening day.

6. EFTPOS Terminal

An EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) terminal allows your customers to pay using mobile, credit and debit card payments. This hardware is essential for providing flexible payment options for your customer base and ensuring a smooth sale process. 

Small business EFTPOS machines typically come with several features, such as portability, contactless payments and surcharging. EFTPOS costs commonly include fees and charges that could cost your business thousands of dollars annually. However, with Smartpay, you can process transactions free of charge by passing on a  small cost to your customers, and never pay terminal rental. You could also opt to use a POS (Point-Of-Sale) system, which can be integrated with your EFTPOS terminals. 

Learn more about our Zero-Cost™ EFTPOS solution here.

7. Accounting Software

Utilising accounting software can help your business with invoicing and expense management, freeing up more time to run your business. With this software, you can track expenses, send invoices, create service reports, plan your cash flow, manage budgets, and more. This reduces space for human error and increases efficiency. 

While costs vary for these services, they all follow a subscription model. Depending on your selected package, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20-$60 per month for accounting software.

8. Wi-Fi

While you can offer wi-fi to your customers as a bonus to their cafe experience, you may also require a connection for your business to run. Without wi-fi, you will need to leverage systems that have built-in SIM backups, like Smartpay’s EFTPOS terminals, which can operate without a wi-fi connection, however having a back-up if the network goes down ensures you can keep transacting. There are several providers that you can choose from with varying levels of service and speed, so it’s critical that you find a solution that works best for your business.

Food and Drink Preparation

No coffee shop equipment list is complete without the tools you need for your products. It can be hard to remember every utensil and appliance you need for your baked goods and specialty drinks, so this section will provide a comprehensive list.

9. Oven

If you are hand-baking your pastries, you will require an oven. $1,000 can get you a compact oven, whereas $70,000+ can get you an oven big enough to make your whole store’s stock in one go. You can find these ovens at kitchen and cafe equipment shops alike.

10. Toasters

If you are selling sandwiches at your cafe, you may be interested in buying a toaster to offer your customers the option to have them hot and crunchy. You may choose a cheap toaster at your local department store, but commercial toasters are more expensive with an average cost of $300-$800.

11. Ventilation

Australian food standards dictate that all food premises must have a suitable ventilation system for the safe preparation and storage of food, as well as peoples’ wellbeing. You can choose from hoods, exhaust fans and makeup air systems, with the cost of these appliances averaging around $2,000-$4,500.

12. Blender

For coffee shops with frozen drinks on their menu, a blender is a necessity. Unless it is a particularly popular drink, you can use a common kitchen blender from a department store for under $100. Commercial blenders from kitchen equipment companies, however, can produce significant quantities of drinks at around $250-$600.

13. Ice Machine

Cold or frozen drinks also require ice, which can be achieved by installing an ice maker into your coffee shop. They can be found at your local appliance store for $100-$200.

14. Food Processor

To make certain food preparation tasks like shredding or dicing easier, you can buy a food processor from your local kitchen appliance or department store. A cheap processor only costs around $30, but a quality processor for your business is around $100-$300.

15. Mixer

If you are making pastries at your coffee shop, you will require a mixer to make stirring, whisking or beating batter more efficient. Stand mixers are common for coffee shops and are offered at appliance stores for $700-$900.

 

Storage

Keeping your produce fresh and safely stored away is vital for health codes and your business organisation. Your choice of storage often relies on your estimated stock levels and the available space in your establishment.

16. Refrigeration and freezer

To protect your foods from contamination, and at the right temperature to safely eat, you will need to invest in a refrigerator and/or freezer. Some coffee shops may choose to invest in a walk-in cool room, but a commercial refrigerator or chest freezer will work just as well. You can buy these at a kitchen appliance outlet, ranging from under-counter fridges at $850, to industrial combination fridge-and-freezers at $35,000+.

17. Containers

Storing food safely requires containers, which can come in various sizes. You can find plastic food containers 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 3 for as little as $40-$50.

18. Shelves

Shelving is integral to maintaining neat storage, especially in shops with limited space. You can find suitable shelving for your store’s environment at most furniture stores from as low as $100.

 

Signage

Many coffee shops boast unique signage of their goods, which can be a fun design project for many new business owners. This signage should display your wares prominently, with added descriptions and dietary warnings.

 

19. Individual menus

Every coffee shop needs menus on each table, listing available menu items with a description of their ingredients. There are menu templates available online, or you can get a quote from a menu designer. 

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

20. Countertop menus

A menu at the counter will also help customers who are slightly unsure or do not remember what they want to order. It should be a larger version of the individual menus you have placed on the tables.

 

Non-Disposable Goods

If you offer takeaway, non-disposable goods are an important purchase for your coffee shop equipment list. These can be consumable paper or plastic goods, available for the safe distribution of any of your shop’s products.

21. Plates and cutlery

Plates and bowls should always make the coffee shop equipment list, with matching sets showing cohesiveness and forethought. You can buy sets at your local department store, or through cafe supply services, for $30-$70. 

Meanwhile, cutlery can be bought in sets for relatively cheap, each utensil set only costing $15-$20 from kitchen outlets. However, you can splurge on more aesthetically pleasing sets for a higher price.

22. Glasses and cups

Every cafe requires coffee cups, as well as glasses for the various types of drinks on offer. An individual cup and saucer can come as cheaply as $6 from a department store, but nicely made sets from cafe equipment outlets can go for $80 on average.

23. Furniture

Most coffee shops choose to furnish from standard furniture or department stores, but there are also options to choose from coffee shop equipment stores. The type of material and quality used will affect the price, as well as the quantity needed to fill the space. Always check your budget before looking at potential furniture.

 

Disposable Goods

When offering takeaway, you must include a range of disposable goods on your coffee shop equipment list. These supplies should be able to store any of your products for transport safely. Disposable goods may also be used in the venue for cleanliness or utility.

24. Cups and lids

Takeaway coffee is vital for anyone on the go, so it is important you do not forget disposable cups and lids on your equipment list. Partnering with a food packaging or container company is the easiest way to get your supplies, with bulk buying coming to $60-$80 a box. While paper cups are common for coffee, plastic cups can be used for cold or larger drinks

25. Straws

Straws can come in plastic, bamboo or paper from the same stores you buy your other disposable goods, costing roughly $40 for a 2,000 carton. This supply is necessary if you have cold drinks for sale, whether for takeaway or at the shop.  Please check your local state government website for the types of straws you can supply.

26. Paper towels and napkins

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

27. Plastic and paper cutlery

Plastic or paper cutlery is used for takeaway orders, coming in bulk in separate utensil cartons from suppliers at $30-$40 per 1,000 cartons. However, more eco-friendly choices like wooden, bamboo, plant-based bioplastic, and recycled materials are more costly, coming closer to $60-$70 a carton.  Please check your local state government website for the types of cutlery you can supply.

28. Bags

Plastic or paper bags are used to store food for travel in various sizes. A carton of 250 varies in cost, ranging from $70 to $130 when bought from suppliers.  Please check your local state government website for the types of bags you can supply.

29. Receipt rolls

When processing sales, you will require receipt rolls for purchase history. Receipt rolls can be bought from paper or ink specialty stores, which can add up in cost over time.  However, if you choose Smartpay you can elect to turn receipts off, which could save you hundreds of dollars per year.

 

Cleaning

Coffee equipment must go beyond products, food storage, or a functional storefront. Cleanliness is vital for any hospitality business, with a certain level of sanitation legally required. To do this, you will need to invest in the right equipment to keep your place fresh and sanitary.

30. Sinks

According to sanitary laws, all employees must have access to hand washing facilities, as well as an area to wash dishes and sanitise equipment. Sinks can be bought from appliance stores or kitchen supply outlets. A hand basin averages $200, while a full bench set up costing $700-$1,000.

31. Dishwasher

A commercial dishwasher keeps your business supplied with clean utensils and plating. The costs depend mostly on the size of the dishwasher, with appliance and specialty stores offering between $3,000-$10,000.

32. Bins

Sanitary laws also require the correct disposal of waste in venues, and sanitary or kitchen companies offer a range of bins for your convenience. They can range from $50-$150 when used for inside everyday waste, but commercial bins for outside often have to be bought through sanitary companies. They quote costs upon application.

33. Chemical cleaners

Cleaning chemicals are essential for your business’ sanitary needs, and are used in various ways: dishwasher fluid, bleach, multi-purpose cleanser, stainless steel spray or floor cleaners. It can be costly to collect the full range of cleaning chemicals necessary for your business, but they can be bought in bulk from commercial suppliers to lower the cost.

 

Safety

Workplace injuries must be prevented at all costs, especially when it comes to the high risk of hospitality. There are work and safety legislations in place that outlines what your business needs to be considered safe for work.

 

34. First-aid kit

Every business requires a fully stocked first-aid kit, which can be found in commercial health and safety suppliers. You can stock the kit based on the risk you think your employees or customers may come to, which is then supplied with a quote.

35. Non-slip mats

A non-slip mat is necessary to prevent any potential falls if there are liquids in use. These can be bought from commercial companies in various sizes, with the rubber mats costing between $50-$100 on average.

36. Fire extinguishers

With fire being a potential hazard in any enclosed building, especially using heat, a coffee shop requires a fire extinguisher. They can be bought from commercial suppliers or department stores for around $100 a bottle.

 

Key Considerations Before Investing in Cafe Equipment

Before making those final purchases, it is important to consider several aspects of the equipment thoroughly. Careful consideration will ensure you get the best quality equipment for your shop and its proposed design while staying within budget.

Business Model

The type of coffee shop you wish to create plays a significant role in what kind of equipment you are required to purchase. Your business model may focus solely on takeaway orders, so you will not have to set aside a budget for outdoor furniture, plating or ceramic cups for coffee beverages. Instead, you can look to solely buying disposable goods for your customers. A clear idea of your business model will allow you to plan your coffee shop equipment list accordingly.

Quality

Making the perfect cup of coffee often requires quality coffee brewers and beans, which can shape the list of equipment required to buy. However, if you have a budget, you will need to carefully weigh the cost of such quality against your vision of specialty drinks or pastries. It can be hard to walk away from your dream coffee machine due to costs, but you can choose to save money through the quality of other equipment. For example, buying your furniture secondhand can save you money while still looking aesthetically pleasing.

Cafe Space

If you are converting a newly bought or leased building into your ideal cafe space, there are several rules to comply with for approval. After you get council approval, a food authority licence, and more, you can begin looking for equipment to fill this space. When beginning to buy equipment, especially appliances, you will need to consider how much space your cafe has to store them. This will take measuring and creating designs to see how your coffee shop will look when furnished. After this, you may need to make some constructional changes. However, you need to carefully consider this choice and get a permit for it before you start remodelling.

Suppliers

It is integral to know who your equipment suppliers are, as you will be creating a long-term partnership with them. You can ask yourself several questions whenever you consider signing onto a new supplier, including:

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

How Smartpay Can Reduce Overheads for Your Cafe

At Smartpay, we are dedicated to providing small businesses with an EFTPOS solution that suits their business. Our Zero Cost™ EFTPOS solution works to reduce overheads by automatically passing on your merchant fees to customers, letting you put the savings back into growing your business!

Smartpay is trusted by cafes, bars and restaurants across Australia, who are saving thousands on EFTPOS fees. If you are interested in saving on your cafe’s merchant fees and terminal rental, you can begin today by enquiring online.

Want to know more about surcharging?

If you’re keen to learn more about how surcharging on EFTPOS works, or what you could save, find out more about SmartCharge. To talk about how surcharging could work for your business get in touch with the team at Smartpay.