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What Equipment Do I Need To Open A Cafe?

If you’re thinking of opening a café, there’s a lot more to it than simply getting your hands on a coffee machine and some cups then opening up for business. To help you get on your feet and cover all the basics right from the get go, we’ve put together a handy checklist of the essential equipment you’ll need.

Coffee Machine

What’s a café without the right equipment? To make that delicious cup of coffee that will keep your customers coming back consistently (and we all know it’s all about creating loyalty), then you’re going to need top-notch machines and accessories. Think quality coffee brewers and espresso machines, not your run-of-the-mill variety.

But it’s not just about the quality of the cup. Because customers also care about how quickly they’re served, your equipment also needs to be blazing fast. Make it easier for staff to keep your equipment in peak condition by looking at the ease of cleaning the units themselves as well as the accompanying bits and pieces.

The installation process is also not something that should be ignored. You must always check that your equipment is compatible with both the plumbing and the electrical setup. It’s always suggested you opt for professional advice when it comes to this area, as it can be a little tricky for the amateur DIY-er!

Make sure that the coffee machine you buy:
● produces good quality coffee
● is fast and can produce multiple cups easily
● compatible with your cafe’s plumbing

The Furniture

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is the type of furniture you want for your café. Most people tend to focus on the aesthetics alone, forgetting about the practical aspect entirely. That’s a mistake.

As with your equipment, look for furniture made of materials that are easy to clean. Your furniture is going to require a decent investment, so it’s important you consider longevity as well. For example, that fabric upholstery may look nice, but it won’t last beyond your opening weekend!

Remember, you also want your establishment to be flexible. Large party suddenly arrives? Family wants some extra space for their young children? Your furniture should be light and easy to move around so that you can cater to a wide range of circumstances.

Good cafe furniture is:
● easy to clean
● durable
● light and easy to move


When it comes to serving food and drink (think milk for your coffee!), refrigeration should be near the top of your priority list. You not only need a brand that’s reliable and built to last, but its design should also be discreet and provide easy access for staff.

Cafe refrigerators should:
● have plenty of storage
● be discreet and/or placed in a convenient place
● reliable

Cups, Cutlery, and More

Yes, an obvious one, but something worth thinking about. Try and find a happy balance of looks and the practical. Don’t spend too much money per piece (you’ll be surprised just how many will break!), and replacements should be easily sourced if and when you require them.

Don’t forget about the other items that make up cafe cutlery: Napkin dispensers, spoons, menu holders, table numbering, and other such details that are easy to overlook.

Cafe cups and cutlery should:
● look great
● be easily sourced
● be affordable

Wi-Fi – Every Coffee Shop Needs It!

Finally, don’t forget to ensure your establishment has a stable and secure Wi-Fi setup. These days, people love to grab a cup or two while checking their emails or catching up on work. If you don’t offer a wireless connection, you’re going to miss out on a huge chunk of your potential customer base.

This equipment list covers the essentials and should give you a head start in the planning process. Of course, the particular market you’re planning to cater to will call for additions and modifications. Just make sure you consider the involved costs, how easy it is to expand as necessary, and whether your purchases work with each other and the building.

Find this interesting? Check out these other blogs:
Quick Tips For Making Your Cafe Efficient & Profitable
Cashing In On Australia's Robust Caffeine Economy
Restaurant Design: Exploring Trends In Restaurant And Café Decor

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