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What Equipment You Need for Starting a Café in Melbourne

by Aiza
cafe melbourne

So you’ve decided to enter the competitive market of the Melbourne café scene.

You’ve written a well-thought-out business plan, sourced a good location and come up with the perfect name and logo. All you need to do now is furnish your shop!

What you need will vary according to your licence and the kind of venture you want to run. But there are some essential items that every new coffee business should have. In this article, we will highlight some of the main ones.

1. Coffee Machinery

Probably the most important piece of equipment you need to source to run a café is your coffee machinery.

This includes an espresso machine, an espresso grinder, a regular coffee grinder and coffee brewers. You will also need airpots, coffee roasters, satellite servers, decanters and a hot water dispenser.

For colder drinks, smoothie and frappe blenders, as well as Iced Tea brewers and dispensers, will also be required.

This equipment impacts the quality of the beverage you will serve, as well as the speed at which you do so. For this reason, it is important to choose wisely based on their performance and not just aesthetics.

2. Barista’s Tools

As any good barista will tell you, they need a range of tools to enable them to make the most artistic cup of coffee they can.

The likes of espresso tampers, frothing pitchers, knock boxes, portion scales, measuring spoons and cups will all help them create a masterpiece. Lemon wedge bags, tea ball infusers, syrup pumps and frothing thermometers are also essential requirements for those extra special finishing touches that will elevate the beverage to another level.

3. Machine Maintenance Tools

Serving coffee is your core business. However, some of your specialist apparatus will require specific equipment that will quickly and efficiently clean your machinery.

Without it, you could miss out on valuable orders, as Melbournians like their coffee to be served immediately. These cleaning mechanisms will also ensure your appliances are kept in good condition for several years. Therefore, reducing the likelihood of you needing to replace them.

There is a range of specific coffee pot and equipment cleaners you should look at getting. It is also a good idea to equip yourself with espresso cleaning equipment and maintenance kit, a steam wand and milk frother cleaners.

Water filters and cleaning brushes for your hot beverages are also must-haves.

4. Kitchen Equipment

As well as fantastic coffee, many cafés in Melbourne also offer an excellent selection of food items.

If this is something you want to do and you have a licence that allows you to do so, then you will need to source some cooking equipment. This may include a high-speed oven, countertop convection, deep fat fryers or toasters, which will enable you to offer freshly baked treats, sandwiches or full meals.

A refrigerator is also a necessity as you will need to store your milk and food items. While you may want to have a commercial dishwasher on the premises too, as this will save valuable time and money.

You should also consider getting an ice machine for your frozen drinks and iced tea or coffee.

5. Display case

If you are going to be selling food like croissants, sandwiches or sweet treats, you will need a display case to keep them in.

Depending on what you intend to offer, you might want to buy one that can present a mix of non-refrigerated and refrigerated food items together.

Display cases come in a range of shapes and sizes. Many of them can also fit your checkout till on them.

6. Payment Machine

Talking of checkout tills, you are going to need one in your café to accept payments from your customers.

There are several solutions available, but many cafes in Melbourne find Smartpay to be very beneficial. This system gives them an EFTPOS machine that allows them to process instant contactless payments at zero cost.

7. Hand Sanitiser Machine

As we live in Covid times and coffee shops by nature have plenty of coming and going, you might want to invest in a hand sanitiser machine.

This way, you can reduce the potential risk of your business having to temporarily shut down for a deep clean if an outbreak is traced back to your premises.

8. Security System

Unfortunately, it is a sad reflection of the times, but every business in Melbourne needs a security system.

Not only does this help safeguard your premises and assets, but it also ensures your customers and employees are in a safer environment.

To reduce the risk of a crime occurring, you may want to install burglar alarms and CCTV cameras. This could be done both inside and outside your café, depending on your location.

9. Cooling and Heating System

If it is not already installed on the premises, you may need to factor that into your café setup.

Melbourne can get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. So you should ensure all your customers feel comfortable whatever the weather.

Depending on what systems you get, they can even be a USP for your business. Particularly for those individuals who do not have access to them at their homes.

10. Wi-Fi Connection

Not so long ago, a Wi-Fi connection was perceived as an extravagant expense for a coffee shop. But now, it is seen as a real necessity.

Most savvy coffee shop owners realise that offering free Wi-Fi is a way to keep customers on their premises for longer and therefore spend more money. It is also a way to ensure they come back on a regular basis.

You are going to need Wi-Fi to run your cafe. So you might as well upgrade your capacity to allow everyone to use it.

11. Accessories

There is a host of other equipment you will need for your Melbourne café that can fall under the umbrella of accessories.

This includes everything from mugs, cups, sugar pourers, creamers and coffee filters to takeaway carriers, straw holders, paper or plastic cups, stirrers and coffee sleeves.

You will also need containers or jars to keep your perishable supplies like tea bags, coffee and sweeteners fresh and safe as well.

12. Cleaning Equipment

Unless you are going to get a professional cleaning crew in regularly, you will also need some equipment to keep your premises looking spic and span.

A hoover is something you will require if you have carpet. While brooms, mops and dustpans are needed for floors. If you have bathrooms, a toilet brush is a must.

Countertops and surfaces will also need to be wiped down with the most appropriate equipment.

There you have it, your 12 essential equipment needs for starting a cafe! If you’re thinking about starting your own coffee shop, be sure to check out our guide on the 5 best cafes around Melton for inspiration and an idea of the competition in Melbourne.


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