Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 11:16am Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
ok i understand what you guys are saying. well its just the first week since i looked into the equipment i need to start, thats why i dont know a lot about them. let me tell you why we considered to put up a coffee shop,.....
First, have you even looked into business insurance? Liability alone may make the rest look like sofa-change. After the first claim it could double. What about local health codes and the requirements that may prohibit a machine that is not NSF rated?
You don't expect high volume of customers? That might explain the low rent.
$1000 for the espresso machine? I have one that sells for closer to three times that for home use. A commercial grinder is another $700-2000.
Suggestions: Visit some local shops, check what equipment they are using. There is a reason you see what you do. Check local commercial roasters and see what they have in terms of equipment leasing or sales of used commercial equipment.
Your lack of experience and business knowledge is, to risk being redundant, the recipe for failure.
You need to spend some time doing research.. Lots and lots of research. Then pay someone who knows how to set up a business to help the planning and implementation. It is your enthusiast's attitude that is a big part of why such a great percentage of food-oriented businesses fail within the first two years.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 1,727 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II Grinder: MacapM4T, Macap M4, OE Lido,... Drip: Espro press; Aeropress Roaster: internet
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 11:30am Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
another thing to consider...
If you guys really want to serve a decent espresso and have your customers come back, you will need consistency throughout your staff. To achieve that, you'll need at least one person to attend a good barista course and then train all the other employees. Even better would be sending each employee for adequate training.
If you just buy a superautomatic, not only will you be serving mediocre drinks at best, but you'll be offering nothing people can't get at the ever-so-ubiquitous international chain that put a shop on every corner and in some places has two shops across the street from each other.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 2,320 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: Vario W
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 11:32am Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
I looked at what it would take to run a coffee shop money wise. And there are a lot of articles out there that tell you what the amounts to get started are are what to expect to spend money wise and what to get back. One of the biggest things I got from one of the best articles I read said something to the effect off "make your rent in 3 days or less and cover all your expensives in the first week of the month. If you can't do that just close up shop." And almost all of them said it need the owner to work the shop at least to start with. Revenues for starbucks shops are much higher than I thought. Even in small markets they can pull down 40k gross a month.
I would get a working used commercial machine with 2 heads, the Oscar is rated for low volume but it is NSF rated. And that is not your goal right? I see a lot of used commercial machines for coffee shops that did not get off the ground or have upgraded. Where I am I see coffee carts/trailers with everything on them selling on craigslist. I would probably try to pick up a deal like that, they will have the odds and ends you need already. Those odds and ends stack up.
Then find a good espresso bean to sell, don't just sell the first commercial coffee vendor you stumble across. There is no point in doing this unless you are going to offer something better than they can get 10 feet away at the nearest charbucks.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder. My coffee treasure map... Click Here (maps.google.com)
Madurodave Senior Member Joined: 3 Feb 2012 Posts: 141 Location: NH Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup Drip: Mr Coffee, perculator Roaster: HotTop B, West Bend Air...
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 12:12pm Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
I see a lot of used commercial machines for coffee shops that did not get off the ground or have upgraded. Where I am I see coffee carts/trailers with everything on them selling on craigslist. I would probably try to pick up a deal like that, they will have the odds and ends you need already. Those odds and ends stack up.
There is a reason (or reasons) you see a lot of used equipment from failed businesses. Either their business plan was bad, poor location, poor product, could not cover costs or some combination of these reasons.
The main thing, regardless of your location, is to do some research and get a realistic plan. Visit successful coffee shops and ones going out of business if possible.
And ty to make some yourself first! Try it, have your friends try it and ask if they would pay for what you are making!
Then factor in supplies, rent, utilities, insurance etc and see what you really need to charge and how many per day. Don't set it up to just barely hit that number - you need room for growth, learning and the occasional refund! And as mentioned above, you need a roaster or a good source for fresh roasted coffee! Also supplies (cups, etc).
Dave Harley rider, Espresso drinker, Primo XL grill
coffeegeeknoob Senior Member Joined: 21 Mar 2012 Posts: 4 Location: hp Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 8:31pm Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
guys thanks for the input. i think this is getting a bit too off topic now, i was asking for a recommended machine, after reading a little more i guess the $1000 was for home use, i guess we need to stretch it to $2-3k budget for the machine.
i didnt put any details on what other information we have regarding the business plan since the case very different here in asia, cheap rent, cheap salary (even on starbucks) but still you get quality, business insurance is non existent etc. ok im not asking business advice here because like i said it is different here, im just interested on what machine i will use. i got a couple of sale people from saeco, breville, and delonghi to present to me and all of them say that small coffee shops use their semi automatic - full auto machines within $1000, but i assume that this will produce only mediocre tasting drinks like you guys pointed out, well thats not what we want, we want quality (not the best of the best quality) but you get what i mean, same with the grinder we will definitely attend the best barista course available in the area and be the one hands on teaching the staff. but guys im not here to talk about on how to do the shop, we just want to know what is a recommended machine that is relatively cheap that can produce above than mediocre quality drinks, and has a capacity to serve a small coffee shop (assuming around 50 or more servings a day), there are a lot of stuff we can talk about if we go into detail like marketing, license, furniture, etc, but thats for another day, assume thats it will all be taken care of. i only mentioned 10 drinks a day to point out that by just selling so few drinks, we are keeping up with rent what more if we sell 50 or more aside from the other pastry and food we plan to sell there.
again thanks for the advice but what i really want to have is a shortlist of machines that we can use
VolatileBeans Senior Member Joined: 20 Feb 2012 Posts: 11 Location: Pensacola, Florida Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Mar 21, 2012, 8:47pm Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
I'm a barista at a locally owned coffee shop. We do extremely well. And one of the ways that I constantly see business happening is by word of mouth. You might start off with 10 drinks on your first day, but if you make the customers there feel as if this can be their second home, they'll come back. And they'll bring their friends.
And that's why you should consider something that's good enough to do more then 10 drinks. The shop I work at uses a Nuova Simonelli Auerila 3 group machine. It's the price of a small car. And it's sitting on the counter. You should spring for the 2 group machine for sure. It will shoot consistent shots by volume. If you get the tamp right, then the machine works perfect. We back flush and cafiza every night and the thing hasn't broken down in the time I've been there. I also recommend two Nuova Simonelli (NS) Mythos grinders. They'll grind a proper amount of espresso grinds for a double shot in +/- 3 seconds depending on roast. The tamp is built in and delivers 30 lbs of pressure automatically.
I don't want to sound like a NS advertisement, but while you're getting those machines, you can also get the twirly spoons, thermometers, and pitchers you'll need from NS.
You should also remember to grab a "knockbox" as this will greatly speed up service time.
For syrups we use Monin syrups and Ghiradelli chocolate and caramel sauces.
Hope this helped you out--it was sort of meandering.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 5,685 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Veneziano A1 Grinder: Many different commercial Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Milita, Bunn&Curtis... Roaster: Cast iron pan, gas burner
Posted Thu Mar 22, 2012, 6:03am Subject: Re: looking into buying an espresso machine
Your clear lack of knowing anything about the equipment that is required for the business you are trying to enter has all of us wondering just how much ELSE you do not know. This is why all the "other" topics are brought up.
By asking to run a business on a starter home machine (regardless of what the sales people of the equipment makers say) it is kind of like saying,
"I want to start a taxi business to take families to and from the airport, what kind of MOPED should I buy?"
You really are that far off the mark. The total lack of knowing anything about coffee, again, makes us wonder about the rest of the story. We really do have your best interest at heart, you can NOT use a home machine in a business, it just is not able to do the job, again, regardless of what the sales people say, their main interest is to sell machines, not help you be a winner in the lottery of small business.
In real life, my name is Wayne P.
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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