10 Important equipment required to start a cafe


Coffee lovers can be found flocking around their favorite coffee brands sampling different coffee drinks and initiating deep conversations. However, everything that is in there in a coffee shop is a result of synchronized use of various types of equipment. They make both the drink and the experience special. So if you also want to own a coffee shop where everyone would like to come to and have a great time, here’s what it must have.

Some of the important equipment required to start a cafe are as follows:-

Drip Coffee maker

That’s the one you also thought about. Right?

Well, since most of the customers demand black coffee as soon as you got to open your store and throughout the day, you would be right to make a purchase of a drip coffee maker that is:

  • Sturdy to withstand daily busy demands
  • Fast enough to deliver orders in a jiffy
  • Large enough to create in batches as per your need for the day

You can keep as many blends as you like but to keep your sanity in place, most of successful  coffee shop owners suggest keeping three to four blends at a time. This would assist you for a whole day (if you do not having a real busy day ahead)

Espresso Machine

The machine that creates fine dark coffee is the busiest machine of all sometime. And as almost all the coffee drinks has part of coffee that comes from Espresso Machine, it should be a robust model. In the market, you might find it difficult to buy a espresso machines since the number of choices, brands, models are just overwhelming. These can even disrupt your budget. You need to be really careful and choose smartly after going through reviews and testimonials of true users.

Coffee Grinder

The one found in your home would be insufficient for the business purpose. You would want to ground your coffee beans within seconds to prepare a batch for your enthusiastic customers. A grinder of industrial grade would be great choice. After all nothing matters more than delivering your guest a freshly strongly brewed coffee sourced from your grinder.

Equipments for snack preparation

A coffee well accompanied by a side dish can fulfil as a great breakfast or even in the space between lunch and dinner. So you can have a toasters and ovens. This would cover you for quick preparation of a snack and even reheating if you are offering a pre-packaged one.  So for these purposes, you need to have a good quality machines to help you feed your customers.


Since you would need to keep your dairy products and cooked and uncooked food items (like veggies) fresh, a refrigerator is a must as well. These units could be with a display to show food items while still keeping them cold; or a counter fridge behind the bar to help baristas quickly access it. One of the most important things to consider here is that this machine should look as a part of design and not seem out of place. Not complementing the design can negatively impact your brand image in the mind of yours guests.

Portable ice maker

Since your customers can be a fan of cold coffee in various flavours and recipes, keeping a portable ice maker can save you a lot of trouble if you have buying ice bag on mind. These machines can make ice as quickly as in 6 minutes, so your budget would not be affected badly. You do not need a commercial ice maker in this set up.

Boxes, Containers and bags

No coffee shop is done without these because you need something to hold your inventory and deliver things in their respective carriers. You would benefit from buying in bulk by contracting a local supplier. You would also require pumps for syrups of different flavours for topping up the coffee. So make a list as per your expected consumption and purchase accordingly.

Racks and shelves

Though not equipment particularly, a smartly designed shelving system is a great necessity to run a coffee shop hassle-free and without going crazy looking for things in no designated places. Baristas need to reach out to things in order to fulfil orders, which if stored farther than the counter can hurt the overall productivity of the barista and thus the shop.

He also needs to sell products such as coffee beans in bulk, French press, and brand merchandise such as mugs and t-shorts (which brand loyal people love to hoard). And displaying all of these things requires a properly sized and placed racks and shelves.

A high grade juicer and blender

Coffee shop these days are not limited to coffee only these days but have gone two-three steps ahead in catering to the customers who are looking for non-dairy and non-caffeine drinks such as smoothies and juices.

There are many brands and models of blenders available in market and you need to find a sturdy machine to assist you with the blending of the unique recipes. You need to be sure about its toughness so that it doesn’t break when you need it most.


When there are dishes in which the recipes are served, there has to be a commercial dishwasher that has a serious role to play. Without these, there would be no re-using of the serving dishes and the shop would not be functional at all. Since most of the serving dishes and bowls would be of fragile porcelain, you would need a commercial dishwasher that can take care of that.

The above catering equipment directly contribute to the business. However, there are those that also need to be installed to make the shop relevant. These are:

  1. Security System: You need to put a proper security system in place which includes CCTV and related hardware and software. And then securing the cash points is also a part of it.
  2. Point of Sale: POS has very much evolved since people are now paying digitally most of the time. So you need to be ready for customers paying any mode of preference.

The above list has all the essentials of a cafe but it’s not comprehensive since you might want to position your brand differently and need to customise as well. For example, you might want to be showcased as a book cafe, a music cafe or a comedy cafe. You would need to be designing your cafe with equipment accordingly.

About the Author:-

This article is written by Benjamin Tolmer. He is an content strategist at Ascot Wholesale. He is more interested and focus to share his knowledge and views to restaurant and hospitality based audience and readers.