I'm involved with opening a coffee shop in early October. Most of the main line stuff is coming together nicely but I'm concerned about having a backup machine for our 2-group LM. We can't afford to be down for two weeks if we need repairs.
I've been considering the purchase of a factory refurbished Rancilio Epoca S1 as a backup. Are there other options I should look at? I'd like to stay within a $2500 budget (preferably well within it).
We are getting the service contract that includes a loaner, but it will take a minimum of two days to get it to us and installed. From the standpoint of service continuity for our regular customers, we can't afford that gap - particularly if it happens during the first few months that we're open.
A good thing also would be to get very familiar with the internals of the machine. It's surprisingly easy to replace parts yourself. This is invaluable if for some reason your machine wen't down and the repair company was swamped.
That's a reasonable suggestion, but it would probably take as long to get the parts as to get the loaner machine and it would only address a subset of possible problems. The LM is a very high quality, highly reliable machine but I suspect that, as with other complex electro-mechanical devices, if we have any significant problems, they will occur during the fist few weeks of operation. If the business grows as we hope it will, we may expand to purchase a second two group machine, at which time we can sell the backup machine and recover a significant percentage of its cost.
I do appreciate the suggestion, though, and it may be worthwhile to have a few spare parts on hand (fuses/breakers at least).
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