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How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

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  • How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

    Tonight as I was walking back to my hotel I noticed a well known cafe in King St Sydney had 75 empty 2 litre milk cartons waiting to be put out in the rubbish.

    I got thinking. 150 litres is a heck of lot of milk in one day. They do fairly small coffees there, so assuming 150ml per coffee, incl wastage, that's 1,000 coffees in one day. If they do 2/3rds of their coffee trade between 7am and 11am, that's say 165 coffees an hour, or one every 22 seconds.

    I think that's a little too quick for even a super efficient line, perhaps 30-40 seconds is the limit? So either they waste a lot of milk or they average a lot more than 150ml per coffee. (Or they don't get rubbish collected daily and it includes Monday's waste as well)

    I've got no idea what the answer is, I just found it interesting to think of the quantity of milk being used. (Procal BTW)

    I can only imagine how many kilos of coffee they get through, perhaps 20?

  • #2
    I would imagine that there isn't any rubbish pickup during the weekend and you were probably looking at 3 day's worth.

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    • #3
      Hi Jonathon,
      Very interesting........ I would have assumed that this would be a cumulative total - most garbage services are not daily and that seems like an unattainable daily figure, especially when some coffees have soy and many don't have milk. But, to be honest that is just an assumption and you now what they say about those.... How many machines and groups per machine I wonder? Again, assuming they have one machine with three groups, they would need 30 seconds per group for extraction, 10-15 seconds for grinding and packing the portafilter and another 10-15 seconds for discarding grinds and wiping out basket. So if the barista was really good they may be able to make 3 in about 1.5-2 minutes give or take. I am not a busy barista, I'm a sailor who drinks too much coffee (hence replying to this post at midnight) and likes to watch how the baristas ply their trade in busy coffee houses.

      I m certainly very interested as to the answer and will be watching this thread to find out.

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      • #4
        is it posibal the milk is used for other things?
        If the cafe makes/bakes things milk may be used for that as well.

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        • #5
          I'm impressed you counted them!!

          Pete

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          • #6
            On good equipment a coffee every 20-30 seconds or so is possible. When we are really under the pump at work we can have 3 people on one machine. One person extracting, another texturing milk and a third person pouring coffees from the other side of the counter. It takes me 15-20 seconds to pack a portafilter, so on a 3 group machine there is no waiting at all. If people are having standard coffees thats 6 shots a minute although it never really works out that way. 3 coffees a minute is more realistic allowing for stong, large, refilling beans etc.

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            • #7
              How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

              Originally posted by Pete39 View Post
              I'm impressed you counted them!!

              Pete
              They were in crates, perhaps to be returned to the milk supplier, so counting them was pretty easy.

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              • #8
                How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                Originally posted by muppet_man67 View Post
                On good equipment a coffee every 20-30 seconds or so is possible. When we are really under the pump at work we can have 3 people on one machine. One person extracting, another texturing milk and a third person pouring coffees from the other side of the counter. It takes me 15-20 seconds to pack a portafilter, so on a 3 group machine there is no waiting at all. If people are having standard coffees thats 6 shots a minute although it never really works out that way. 3 coffees a minute is more realistic allowing for stong, large, refilling beans etc.
                I went back this morning and counted 10 coffees in 4-5 minutes (timed on watch, not stopwatch), and they were far from flat out busy, so a coffee every 20-25 seconds sustained over a long period would be very possible. This particular cafe have a single machine, a 3 group mistral, but 2-3 people manning it, as described above.

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                • #9
                  How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                  On the Slayer website they have some really good videos. The last 5 min of this one show a really busy cafe with a 3 group slayer. One pulling shots every 17.6 sec and another steam 3 pitchers of milk in under a minute.

                  http://vimeo.com/45143454

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                  • #10
                    How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                    Hi Jonathan,
                    Whatever made you go back to count how many coffees they made in a given time period seems an odd thing......kind of thing I'd do. Thanks to your efforts I will be involuntarily counting shots for every barista at every coffee house I visit now........

                    Anyway, nice work.
                    Regards, Mariner.

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                    • #11
                      How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                      Originally posted by Mariner View Post
                      Hi Jonathan,
                      Whatever made you go back to count how many coffees they made in a given time period seems an odd thing......kind of thing I'd do. Thanks to your efforts I will be involuntarily counting shots for every barista at every coffee house I visit now........

                      Anyway, nice work.
                      Regards, Mariner.
                      I don't normally do that type of thing, honestly, I was just intrigued by how many milk cartons I'd seen there.so I was keen to get a feel for their turnover.

                      Incidentally, they'd be one of the busiest cafes in Australia, no exaggeration, with a steady stream of customers queuing yet they bash the coffees out really quickly.

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                      • #12
                        then add to the figure the coffee's with no milk.

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                        • #13
                          How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                          Originally posted by Jisgren View Post
                          On the Slayer website they have some really good videos. The last 5 min of this one show a really busy cafe with a 3 group slayer. One pulling shots every 17.6 sec and another steam 3 pitchers of milk in under a minute.

                          http://vimeo.com/45143454
                          It's filmed at The League of Honest Coffee, a fantastic cafe in Melbourne, part of the Padre chain. You won't find a better cafe with nicer people, including Shane, the owner.

                          But the video quotes 2,000-2,500 drinks per day. They're maxing out at 18 seconds per shot, which is 200 per hour, and that's at their absolute rush hour, let's say 7am to 9am, then they ease off a little throughout the rest of the day.

                          It's not my everyday cafe, but I do go there about once a week or so and there are often times, particularly in the early afternoon, when they might only do one drink every minute or two, so I'd guess they do more like 1,000 drinks per day.

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                          • #14
                            Beware of deliberately misleading information freely given in promotional videos (and sales brochures). Anyone wanting a realistic picture would need to stake out the place for a few days and do the maths.

                            There is no answer to the topic question because it depends on anyone's definitions.

                            1000 coffees a day = by rule of thumb 10 kilos per day if they are using regular cafe size filters (for our market). That really is busy and is not common except in busy metro areas / office precincts / only cafe in a food court etc (Oz).

                            An interesting phenomenon is cafes using the largest possible coffee filters (bigger than regular oz market cafe size) and some of them using all of the double (whether regular size filter or deepest type) for each one coffee. Some coffee companies promote that kind of thing and is part of the image they want to market. So there are some cafes using a large number of kilos for a much smaller number of brews.....and are far less "busy" for the number of coffees / day / kilos they do....

                            Also there are plenty of cafe's doing between 25 and 35 kilos per week for a 5.5 day week that are very busy, because in the main cafes are not coffee houses they are eateries with a coffee machine so there will be people lined up out the door during peak periods and they are not all necessarily getting a coffee. Food is a big part of our cafe thing. They can be run off their feet but there is a good mix of products sold incl coffee.

                            We tend to call anyone doing above say 15 kilos a week as being "busy", and perhaps what most non industry people may not realise is there is a very big spread of kilos used in cafes with a great many small cafes in the 3 to 10 kilo weekly average. They do just fine with few staff and low overheads, and most of them dont have the "baristatude" that often seems to go hand in hand with large turnover businesses. There are thousands of cafes that size in our market...

                            Hope that helps.
                            Last edited by Fresh_Coffee; 9 March 2013, 07:23 PM.

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                            • #15
                              How many coffees in a day for a busy cafe?

                              Hi F_C,
                              Very interesting. Good to read the usage figures. I am genuinely fascinated by this. I wonder how much of that kg figure is wastage and how much it varies from cafe to cafe? I don't suppose many of the empty milk bottles would be wasted....

                              Thanks for the info.

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