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Advice for a lunch bar

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  • Advice for a lunch bar

    Hi peeps,
    My girlfriends stepfather has just bought a lunchbar. They had their first week last week and have been in discussions with lavazza and braziliano about getting a machine off them in return for buying beans from them. One of them uses pods. As much as this disturbs you guys it might not be a bad idea as they wont have a decent barista and the quantity of coffee making they do will be minimal.
    My thoughts are that they should talk to dimmatina and look into getting a fully automatic azkoyen ( I have no idea how much that costs) or get a decent machine/grinder for around $2000. Assume youve got monkeys making the coffee, how best can they do this for a corner lunchbar?

    And 2, assuming the monkeys are intelligent and want to learn does this change your advice?

    The clientele will be mostly tradies so its not a cbd setting but Id like them to do the best coffee, for the least price for the uneducated. Asking too much?

  • #2
    Re: Advice for a lunch bar

    monkeys........ thats the name for your staff.....

    guess the "care about the best for the customer" focus might have a name as well... MUGS ???

    maybe try a can of great profit margins in it...


    • #3
      Re: Advice for a lunch bar

      Originally posted by 363A333E3E375B0 link=1298798761/1#1 date=1298805389
      maybe try a can of great profit margins in it...
      They do a "Caterers blend" that is cheaper....

      In all seriousness, Im of the opinion that if you cant do something well, dont do it at all. Either put the effort in the training and proper machinery, or dont bother. If you do a poor job of coffee, then the customers wont buy enough of it for you to make a profit on it, and it will just be a time consuming process in a busy lunch rush.

      Nothing ticks me off more than going to a place for a quick lunch bite, only to watch the person behind the counter stopping to fumble their way through making a single terrible coffee for the customer in front of me.


      • #4
        Re: Advice for a lunch bar

        Get an industrial drip machine, a good grinder and train the staff how to get the best out of this simple system. This way you can source quality beans roasted locally and still make a handsome profit on the cup price. Most tradies I know dont want a Latte anyhow and if you give them something that actually tastes good itll keep them coming back.


        • #5
          Re: Advice for a lunch bar

          Hello Tony.

          You havene mentioned what location / city?

          My own CosmoreX Coffee roastery, retail warehouse and coffee house is in......a fully industrial area no where near cbd. We get alot of tradies, lemon vests are all the go here and....they know what they want, are willing to pay, want it to be good, and will wait in line.

          Suggest you talk to an experienced professional local roaster that can listen to your step father and advise on an appropriate course of action. Taking the wrong course of action will not show up the sites potential, and not listening to sage professional advice when you are new in the field could be fatal.

          FWIW some companies are trying hard to get the
          "pod show" on the road here in Australia but I am afraid this market has resisted strongly for whatever reason. Look beyond the "pods are clean and also efficient for portion control" pro arguments because no amount of podding will mask coffee made by operators that dont have any understanding of the principles of coffee making whether it be espresso or instant, and who may be using "the pod" as a crutch to mask their lack of expertise. If you educate your operators, they will then move away from pods.

          Cliche of the day: if you are going to do things, do them well as they dont take any longer to do well than to do badly!

          Of course, these are only my opinions in a public forum.

          very first CS site sponsor


          • #6
            Re: Advice for a lunch bar

            I once tried a pod coffee from a commercial machine (by accident); it was horrid and I never bought coffee from there again.


            • #7
              Re: Advice for a lunch bar

              I have had pod coffee twice at pod machine demos.

              Both times I was disappointed as it tasted stale to me. Nothing like the great shot I am drinking at home as I post. Freshly roasted and freshly ground.

              While pods may produce a consistent quality coffee, I believe it will be consistently mediocre coffee.

              Get a decent machine/grinder and go for a good roaster to supply beans etc.

              If their name is on the cups, umbrellas etc they will want good quality coffee to be associated with their name and often will train the staff to achieve this. You can even train monkeys to a degree.

              While I am often disappointed with cafe coffee, I believe that the quality has improved a lot in the last ten years or so, as more people now know about good quality coffee.

              I can only tell you about how I make and like coffee. I have never run a coffee business.

              You could also talk to people running similar businesses to get their opinions.



              • #8
                Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                First thing Tradies know good coffee as they generally drink a fair bit of takeaway each week.

                Coffee is not just a service or a thing to flog, done properly with some care and attention how it is done it will increase the turnover of the lunch traffic while making $$ in its own right. Good Coffee is a positive, rubbish coffee refer to the tin of caterers blend above.

                Like the others fully autos and pods are average to poor at best and even a hacker/monkey with a little training will outstrip them for quality with a manual machine and a little care for less $$ in per cup.

                FREE machines are never FREE like windbreaks umbreallas etc you pay for it somewhere.

                Yes for $2k you will start to get some decent s/hand gear but make sure it is reliable whatever you look at.


                • #9
                  Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                  As a tradie, my employees and I get heart-broken when we end up spending a fair bit of time at one site (over a week or so) and there arent any good coffee places about.

                  Please wont someone think of the trades


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                    sorry tony maybe its just me, but its a weird post to be honest.....
                    dunno what youre after here.


                    • #11
                      Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                      Some of my most knowlegable and particular customers are Tradies.....never underestimate a Tradie!!


                      • #12
                        Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                        We tried a pod machine at work for a while. The coffee that came out was weak and very average. Think weak french press coffee made from pre grounds. Each coffee pod cost $1 and had to use 100 of them a month minimum. The supplier clearly had no idea about coffee and the packaging on the pods was bright colorful and loud. There was also that common spelling mistake where pretend coffee suppliers use an x in their name in place of an s!!!!

                        If they really want to just provide coffee as an option but dont want to put in any effort they could try a coffee vending machine. At a deli/lunch bar near my parents they have a coin operated machine that does everything automatically. That way they cant be blamed for the bad coffee and presumably there would be no outlay and ultimately there could be a profit call it rent.

                        or the best option is to just do it properly and buy/lease a machine and make proper coffee. BTW I wouldnt use any of the suppliers you mention.

                        I think the assumption that tradies dont know the difference would be a massive mistake. I reckon tradies would be bigger consumers of takeaway coffee than the office crowd. Tradies spent big amounts on takeaway foods and I reckon good coffee could just sway them from one lunch bar to another. Lets face it without the coffee lunch bars sell the same salad sandwhiches the same meat pies the same coca cola and redbull so unless there is a hot chick behind the counter the tradies will just go to the closest one to them. Great coffee could just be the thing to pull them through the door.


                        • #13
                          Re: Advice for a lunch bar

                          Originally posted by 7E4147405D5A6B765B4D5851340 link=1298798761/11#11 date=1298957581
                          Each coffee pod cost $1

                          Bloody hell, there goes much of your margin right there.

                          Question: Do the people running the bar like coffee?

                          Agree with everyone here. Tradies will be your most loyal customers, will spend money and will bring their mates. But do 1 bad coffee and......