Many people want to own their own restaurant or bar, but the start-up costs can be extremely high. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit but not a lot of cash, opening up an espresso and coffee stand can be a great idea that ends up being lucrative if done right. While an espresso and coffee stand has lower startup costs than a full restaurant or bar, it is still important to be organized and as prepared as possible. With the right planning, you can open up your new coffee and espresso stand successfully. If you’re interested in operating an espresso and coffee stand, use the following tips.
Understand Local Regulations
A person is not allowed to just set up an espresso and coffee stand anywhere they want, any time they want. Most cities and municipalities have strict regulations for new businesses, especially ones that serve food and beverages. Thus, before you invest any money in your espresso and coffee stand, take the time to learn about the rules and regulations in your area so you can ensure that you comply. You may need to apply for a business license, obtain a food handler’s card, and get a permit to set up your stand at a specific location.
Find the Right Cart
If you want to run an espresso and coffee stand, your best option is to invest in an espresso and coffee cart. One of the good things about a mobile coffee and espresso cart is the fact that it can easily be moved, so you can opt to operate from different locations depending on foot traffic and the business of an area. Take your time when searching for a mobile espresso and coffee cart in order to ensure that you find one that has all of the features that you need at a price point that you can comfortably afford.
Create a Menu
If you want your espresso and coffee stand to take off, you will need to offer things that your targeted customers want. Thus, it is very important to carefully consider your menu offerings and ensure that you use high-quality ingredients. If you want to offer blended, iced, or flavored coffee and espresso drinks, try out several recipes until you find the best one. Many successful espresso and coffee stands also offer food that goes well with espresso and coffee, such as scones, biscotti, muffins, and other baked goods, which is something that you may want to consider.
Choose the Right Coffee Beans
From bars to cafés, today, diners expect great coffee. Serving fresh, flavorful coffee can increase the time your customers linger, ordering dessert and another cup. Once you have chosen your brewing machines, follow these guidelines to choose the coffee beans that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Drip vs Espresso Brewing
The type of coffee beans and roast you choose depends on whether you plan to drip brew or use an espresso machine. If you are using both, you may need to order multiple types of beans.
An espresso blend is often made from several varieties of beans and roasted in a very specific way. Espresso roasting further caramelizes the beans for a deep, balanced flavor. Espresso roasted beans will also grind up to a finer powder.
On the other hand, a single variety with a lighter roast is better for drip coffee. Single varieties that are lightly roasted allow the true flavor of the bean to come through. Taste test a few varieties and blends before you order beans in bulk.
Order Whole Bean Coffee
By ordering whole bean coffee, you’ll get a fresher, fuller-flavored cup. You can order whole bean Colombian coffee in a number of different roasts, such as French roast and espresso roast. To maintain freshness, only order two to three weeks’ worth of whole bean Colombian coffee and refrigerate it in an air-tight container. For example, you might want to buy packs of 2 lb bags of whole bean Colombian coffee in order to keep each bag as fresh as possible. This will ensure a fresh, flavorful cup every time. However, don’t re-freeze or refrigerate beans that have been thawed. Condensation can result, ruining the flavor.
Choose the Right Coffee Grinder
The typical home coffee grinder is a blade grinder; it has blades that spin at very high speeds to chop up the beans. On the other hand, a burr grinder is like the old-fashioned box grinders you’ll find at an antique shop. Burr grinders produce a consistently-sized coffee ground, which produces a consistently-flavored cup of coffee. If you’re running a cafe, a commercial burr grinder is the right choice.
Properly Store Your Ground Coffee Beans
Once your beans are ground, store them in an air-tight, opaque container, placed in a cool, dark place. However, do not refrigerate your coffee once it is ground. Keeping ground coffee in a freezer can cause condensation. Also, to ensure the freshest flavor, only grind enough coffee to last a few days.
When you’re looking at opening a new espresso and coffee cart, you need to plan carefully. You need to understand your local requirements for this kind of venture, how to set up your cart, your new menu, and how to choose what kind of coffee beans you’ll use. Neglecting any of these things can hurt the profitability of your cart. Using quality, whole coffee beans roasted and ground to perfection is just the beginning. You’ll also need to keep your brewing equipment clean and train your staff in the art of coffee-making.