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How to Choose the Best Equipment for Your Coffee Shop in 2024

How to Choose the Best Equipment for Your Coffee Shop in 2024

TLDR

One of the most important parts of your customer experience is the equipment you use to brew and serve coffee. When outfitting your shop, look to industry leaders like Starbucks and Blue Bottle Coffee for inspiration. Carefully select espresso machines, grinders, pour-over devices, and merchandising displays that match your shop's vibe and budget. This article will walk you through choosing the best equipment for your coffee shop in 2024, from sourcing to maintenance. With the right gear, you can craft incredible drinks, streamline operations, and design an inviting retail space. Follow this guide to level up your cafe.

Choosing the Right Coffee Shop Equipment in 2024

Essential Brewing Equipment

To produce high-quality coffee drinks, you'll need commercial-grade equipment designed for high-volume use. An espresso machine, drip coffee maker, and coffee grinder should be at the top of your list. For espresso-based drinks, invest in a machine with at least two groupheads and a built-in grinder. A high-capacity drip brewer and a burr grinder are must-haves for brewed coffee.

Milk Frothing and Storage

If you'll be making lattes and cappuccinos, a commercial milk frother is essential. An under-counter refrigerator provides ample chilled storage for milk, syrups, and other perishables. For larger operations, a walk-in cooler may be necessary.

Counter Space and Storage

In addition to equipment, you'll need sufficient counter space for preparing and staging drinks, including a work area for baristas to make espresso drinks. The shop should have storage cabinets, drawers, and shelves to neatly organize coffee beans, cups, lids, straws, syrups, and other supplies within easy reach of baristas. A point of sale (POS) system with a cash drawer or countertop credit card reader occupies a small amount of counter space near the ordering area.

Sustainable and Efficient Equipment

As environmental and cost concerns rise, opt for Energy Star-rated appliances and those made from sustainable materials. Smart technology like mobile ordering, digital menu boards, and cashless payments are gaining popularity among Gen-Zs. They provide operational efficiencies while enhancing the customer experience.

Branding and Merchandising

Branded merchandise, an eye-catching menu board, music, lighting, seating, and Wi-Fi all contribute to your shop's atmosphere and brand identity. A loyalty program like Square Loyalty, Per Diem mobile ordering, and a forecasting app like Lineup.ai can boost sales and build a loyal customer base.

By choosing equipment and designing your space with care and purpose, you'll craft an enjoyable, sustainable operation poised for success. With technology and trends rapidly advancing, revisit your options regularly to keep your shop on the cutting edge.

Designing Your Coffee Shop Retail Selection

Stock Merchandise That Compliments Your Brand

To maximize retail sales, choose products that reflect your shop’s brand and vibe. For example, shops like Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia are known for high-quality, artisanal coffee, so merchandise like handmade mugs, pour-over drippers, and whole-bean coffees are fitting. If you have a more mainstream appeal like Caribou Coffee, merchandise may include logo apparel, travel mugs, and packaged coffees. Identifying your brand allows you to curate a cohesive retail selection.

Offer Products For Home Brewing

Many customers will appreciate the ability to recreate your coffee at home. Whole bean coffees, drip coffees, and single-serve pods branded with your logo are all great options. You might also consider brewing gear like pour-over drippers, French presses, or stovetop espresso makers. Home brewing products are an easy way for customers to continue supporting your shop.

Include Impulse Purchase Items

Place smaller items like branded stickers, pins, or keychains near the register to encourage impulse purchases. For an additional revenue stream, you might offer third-party retail items like chocolates, teas, or gift cards. Bundling a free item like a sticker or pin with a whole-bean coffee purchase is also an effective way to boost sales.

Leverage Your Online Presence

Use your website and social media to promote new retail offerings, highlight bestsellers, and offer coupons or promo codes for your merchandise. A mobile ordering app allows customers to browse their retail selection while placing an order for pickup. An active online presence keeps customers engaged with your brand and fuels in-person sales.

With a strategic retail plan, you can turn your coffee shop into a destination for high-quality products beyond just a great cup of coffee. Curating a selection of on-brand merchandise, home brewing gear, and impulse items, and leveraging your online channels are all effective ways to build a loyal customer base and boost your bottom line.

Marketing Your Coffee Shop Products and Brand

Promote Your Merchandise on Digital Platforms

Feature photos of your products prominently on your website and social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. Run special promotions offering discounts on merchandise for customers who follow you on social media or sign up for your email newsletter. Top coffee chains have found success with this digital marketing strategy.

Implement a Mobile Ordering System

A white-label mobile ordering system allows customers to place orders on their phones for pickup in your store. Popular chains like Philz Coffee and La Colombe Coffee Roasters have fully-functional mobile apps for this purpose. Offering mobile ordering and convenient payment options creates convenience for your customers and can increase average transaction amounts since customers may add on merchandise or snacks when placing their orders.

Start a Customer Loyalty Program

A loyalty program that offers rewards like free merchandise, discounted menu items, or exclusive events for your best customers can boost retention and sales. Many customers will spend more to earn points or status in the program. Top programs from Intelligentsia Coffee, Think Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters offer reward tiers based on dollars spent. Consider giving bonus points for purchases that include your merchandise to further incentivize those sales. With an effective loyalty program in place, your most devoted customers will become ambassadors for your brand.

The strategies above, when combined with high-quality products in an inviting space, will elevate your coffee shop to destination status where customers come not just for the coffee but for the entire experience your brand offers. With the right approach to marketing your merchandise and loyalty building, your coffee shop can foster the same level of enthusiasm and community as the leading specialty chains.

Here's a brief guide on creating a good loyalty program for your customers.

Final Thoughts

You now have the key insights to upgrade your coffee shop's equipment like the big chains. Follow their lead, choose high-quality gear that matches your brand, train staff on using it properly, and promote your new tools on social media. With sleek new machines, you'll brew better drinks, work more efficiently, and stand out in your area. Customers will appreciate your dedication to their experience. Take the leap to refresh your shop in 2024. The investment will keep people coming back for that perfect cup of coffee at your local favorite.

Check out our step-by-step guide to calculate your coffee shop's break-even point.

TLDR

One of the most important parts of your customer experience is the equipment you use to brew and serve coffee. When outfitting your shop, look to industry leaders like Starbucks and Blue Bottle Coffee for inspiration. Carefully select espresso machines, grinders, pour-over devices, and merchandising displays that match your shop's vibe and budget. This article will walk you through choosing the best equipment for your coffee shop in 2024, from sourcing to maintenance. With the right gear, you can craft incredible drinks, streamline operations, and design an inviting retail space. Follow this guide to level up your cafe.

Choosing the Right Coffee Shop Equipment in 2024

Essential Brewing Equipment

To produce high-quality coffee drinks, you'll need commercial-grade equipment designed for high-volume use. An espresso machine, drip coffee maker, and coffee grinder should be at the top of your list. For espresso-based drinks, invest in a machine with at least two groupheads and a built-in grinder. A high-capacity drip brewer and a burr grinder are must-haves for brewed coffee.

Milk Frothing and Storage

If you'll be making lattes and cappuccinos, a commercial milk frother is essential. An under-counter refrigerator provides ample chilled storage for milk, syrups, and other perishables. For larger operations, a walk-in cooler may be necessary.

Counter Space and Storage

In addition to equipment, you'll need sufficient counter space for preparing and staging drinks, including a work area for baristas to make espresso drinks. The shop should have storage cabinets, drawers, and shelves to neatly organize coffee beans, cups, lids, straws, syrups, and other supplies within easy reach of baristas. A point of sale (POS) system with a cash drawer or countertop credit card reader occupies a small amount of counter space near the ordering area.

Sustainable and Efficient Equipment

As environmental and cost concerns rise, opt for Energy Star-rated appliances and those made from sustainable materials. Smart technology like mobile ordering, digital menu boards, and cashless payments are gaining popularity among Gen-Zs. They provide operational efficiencies while enhancing the customer experience.

Branding and Merchandising

Branded merchandise, an eye-catching menu board, music, lighting, seating, and Wi-Fi all contribute to your shop's atmosphere and brand identity. A loyalty program like Square Loyalty, Per Diem mobile ordering, and a forecasting app like Lineup.ai can boost sales and build a loyal customer base.

By choosing equipment and designing your space with care and purpose, you'll craft an enjoyable, sustainable operation poised for success. With technology and trends rapidly advancing, revisit your options regularly to keep your shop on the cutting edge.

Designing Your Coffee Shop Retail Selection

Stock Merchandise That Compliments Your Brand

To maximize retail sales, choose products that reflect your shop’s brand and vibe. For example, shops like Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia are known for high-quality, artisanal coffee, so merchandise like handmade mugs, pour-over drippers, and whole-bean coffees are fitting. If you have a more mainstream appeal like Caribou Coffee, merchandise may include logo apparel, travel mugs, and packaged coffees. Identifying your brand allows you to curate a cohesive retail selection.

Offer Products For Home Brewing

Many customers will appreciate the ability to recreate your coffee at home. Whole bean coffees, drip coffees, and single-serve pods branded with your logo are all great options. You might also consider brewing gear like pour-over drippers, French presses, or stovetop espresso makers. Home brewing products are an easy way for customers to continue supporting your shop.

Include Impulse Purchase Items

Place smaller items like branded stickers, pins, or keychains near the register to encourage impulse purchases. For an additional revenue stream, you might offer third-party retail items like chocolates, teas, or gift cards. Bundling a free item like a sticker or pin with a whole-bean coffee purchase is also an effective way to boost sales.

Leverage Your Online Presence

Use your website and social media to promote new retail offerings, highlight bestsellers, and offer coupons or promo codes for your merchandise. A mobile ordering app allows customers to browse their retail selection while placing an order for pickup. An active online presence keeps customers engaged with your brand and fuels in-person sales.

With a strategic retail plan, you can turn your coffee shop into a destination for high-quality products beyond just a great cup of coffee. Curating a selection of on-brand merchandise, home brewing gear, and impulse items, and leveraging your online channels are all effective ways to build a loyal customer base and boost your bottom line.

Marketing Your Coffee Shop Products and Brand

Promote Your Merchandise on Digital Platforms

Feature photos of your products prominently on your website and social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram. Run special promotions offering discounts on merchandise for customers who follow you on social media or sign up for your email newsletter. Top coffee chains have found success with this digital marketing strategy.

Implement a Mobile Ordering System

A white-label mobile ordering system allows customers to place orders on their phones for pickup in your store. Popular chains like Philz Coffee and La Colombe Coffee Roasters have fully-functional mobile apps for this purpose. Offering mobile ordering and convenient payment options creates convenience for your customers and can increase average transaction amounts since customers may add on merchandise or snacks when placing their orders.

Start a Customer Loyalty Program

A loyalty program that offers rewards like free merchandise, discounted menu items, or exclusive events for your best customers can boost retention and sales. Many customers will spend more to earn points or status in the program. Top programs from Intelligentsia Coffee, Think Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters offer reward tiers based on dollars spent. Consider giving bonus points for purchases that include your merchandise to further incentivize those sales. With an effective loyalty program in place, your most devoted customers will become ambassadors for your brand.

The strategies above, when combined with high-quality products in an inviting space, will elevate your coffee shop to destination status where customers come not just for the coffee but for the entire experience your brand offers. With the right approach to marketing your merchandise and loyalty building, your coffee shop can foster the same level of enthusiasm and community as the leading specialty chains.

Here's a brief guide on creating a good loyalty program for your customers.

Final Thoughts

You now have the key insights to upgrade your coffee shop's equipment like the big chains. Follow their lead, choose high-quality gear that matches your brand, train staff on using it properly, and promote your new tools on social media. With sleek new machines, you'll brew better drinks, work more efficiently, and stand out in your area. Customers will appreciate your dedication to their experience. Take the leap to refresh your shop in 2024. The investment will keep people coming back for that perfect cup of coffee at your local favorite.

Check out our step-by-step guide to calculate your coffee shop's break-even point.

Doron Segal
Doron Segal

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky
Tomer Molovinsky

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Ashley Rodriguez
Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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