Results 1 to 22 of 22
Like Tree21Likes
  • 2 Post By chokkidog
  • 1 Post By sprezzatura
  • 2 Post By sprezzatura
  • 4 Post By Yelta
  • 3 Post By TC
  • 4 Post By TOK
  • 1 Post By TOK
  • 1 Post By TC
  • 2 Post By Bosco_Lever
  • 1 Post By chokkidog

Thread: Need help with setting up a coffee stall at markets?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Drouin, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1

    Need help with setting up a coffee stall at markets?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Okay, so I'm 22 and am looking into my own business opportunity. I've worked in a successful cafe for the past 6 years and I absolutely love it and am an avid coffee drinker. Generally we take in $300-$400 an hour in the mornings and I handle it incredibly well.

    I'm looking to start small, hopefully at a market stall. I'm a graduate of graphic design. branding and marketing and I worked in sales for 2 years with great results aswell.

    I know how to sell is my point.

    What I don't know, is the mechanics of it all. I have no clue as to what coffee machine to purchase for a market stall, I've been told i need 15 amp power supply and a rotary pump. I don't know where to even begin finding one of these, I'm from victoria, and also need to know about permits. I want to serve premium barista coffee, ive been spending alot of time researching espresso coffee at my local markets. all are pretty much old men in the back of dodgy vans. i hasn't seen anything appealing. ive made my business plan but at the moment i just need to know how to get set up.

    So I need to know what machine/s (cheapest as possible) to buy, also how will I connect the water supply? just a bucket of purified water? I will also be selling an assortment of three with sandwiches, muffins and cakes. Will I need a food permit?

    Any advice will be helpful! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffrrr View Post
    all are pretty much old men in the back of dodgy vans. i hasn't seen anything appealing.
    Any advice will be helpful!
    Don't go looking in the back of dodgy vans.... no place for young whippersnappers like you.

    If you're asking for advice on CS ..... be careful...... you might be asking dodgy old men.

    Ahhhh to be young and precocious ... again! ;-D
    Andy and Dimal like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Posts
    930
    I had a laugh! Watch out for these dodgy old buggers here
    chokkidog likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Posts
    930
    Research power supply before anything else. I've a friend who espressos at markets with a diesel generator and a lot of (dodgy old men) absolutely crack it because they can't hear what their customers are asking about the selection of potatoes on offer.
    Andy and koshari like this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Moonta SA.
    Posts
    6,866
    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffrrr View Post
    Okay, so I'm 22 and am looking into my own business opportunity. I've worked in a successful cafe for the past 6 years and I absolutely love it and am an avid coffee drinker. Generally we take in $300-$400 an hour in the mornings and I handle it incredibly well.

    I'm looking to start small, hopefully at a market stall. I'm a graduate of graphic design. branding and marketing and I worked in sales for 2 years with great results aswell.

    I know how to sell is my point.

    What I don't know, is the mechanics of it all. I have no clue as to what coffee machine to purchase for a market stall, I've been told i need 15 amp power supply and a rotary pump. I don't know where to even begin finding one of these, I'm from victoria, and also need to know about permits. I want to serve premium barista coffee, ive been spending alot of time researching espresso coffee at my local markets. all are pretty much old men in the back of dodgy vans. i hasn't seen anything appealing. ive made my business plan but at the moment i just need to know how to get set up.

    So I need to know what machine/s (cheapest as possible) to buy, also how will I connect the water supply? just a bucket of purified water? I will also be selling an assortment of three with sandwiches, muffins and cakes. Will I need a food permit?

    Any advice will be helpful! Thank you!
    Oh dear, the brashness of youth, all the theory in the world with little practical experience won't get you far, what were you doing during your 6 years working in a successful cafe? surely your powers of observation would have helped you glean a few hints about what would be needed in a business venture! did you talk to fellow workers, sales people, customers, use your powers of observation? surely normal human curiosity came into play.

    Google is a great research tool, we constantly hear how much more skilled young people are at using electronic media compared to us dodgy old men, suggest you use the medium you (grew up with) and do a bit of research.

    This bought a smile to my face: "also how will I connect the water supply? just a bucket of purified water? I will also be selling an assortment of three with sandwiches, muffins and cakes. Will I need a food permit?"

    I would suggest if you need to ask these questions here in a public coffee forum your simply not ready for the venture.

    I know I'll be jumped on for being harsh, so be it, all the sugar coating in the world won't help when creditors start knocking on the door.
    Andy, chokkidog, TC and 1 others like this.

  6. #6
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Love a little enthusiasm!

    My advice? Do your homework because even with it, you are heading for a baptism of fire. A (hugely incomplete) checklist for you.
    • Food handling and then a food safety supervisors course
    • Small business course
    • Learn about machines. You may know how to use one, but you have a whole heap more to learn. You might need onsite running maintenance so as to not lose a day's trade. Who's going to do this?
    • Talk to your local council
    • Talk to event operators/organisers
    • Observe successful outdoor operations

    I have done plenty of what you propose to do. Don't think that just because you can make coffee that you can run a successful operation. More small businesses fail than succeed and I have seen wealthy people blow their dough when they start and run cafes with little or no actual experience.

    Baby steps and good luck.

    Chris
    Andy, chokkidog and DaveD like this.

  7. #7
    TOK
    TOK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    697
    Welcome to CS.

    Wasnt it Willy Nelson that is supposed to have said something like "...old age and treachery trumps youth and good looks everytime..." ?

    Guys dont worry about it.....to someone that's 22, anyone past 26 is "old" perfectly normal.

    Mate, if you have been working in cafes for that length of time and you say you know what you want to do, then I guess you have a coffee supplier in mind.

    That is the place where you need to seek advice....your coffee supplier. The smaller ones who are ONLY cafe/roasters or micro roasters usually dont do equipment, but the moderately larger ones that have some years under their belts have usually branched out with growth into equipment, training, whatever, and have ties with subcontractors that do fit ups etc etc etc etc. They are the ones you need to direct your questions to. You would be mad not to purchase equipment form someone that can SERVICE you when problems arise....no private purchases please or you will ne going it alone...

    Good luck with it.

    Oh and one more thing...regarding your quote "...I need to know what machine/s (cheapest as possible) to buy..."

    That would be big mistake number 1. If the sign over your door (figuratively speaking of course) reads "CAFE", the the equipment is one of the most important aspects of your venture. Reliability and ongoing service are paramount, so I'm a afraid "cheapest possible" does not compute. If I had a dollar for every tme I hear that gem from newcomers that want to start up a coffee venture, id have quite a bit of pocket money !

    Anf of course it depends on what you mean by cheap. Bottom end but NEW with guarantee & ongoing service , or cheap used rubbish. Cheap used commercial rubbish is not what you want.
    Andy, Dimal, chokkidog and 1 others like this.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post

    If I had a dollar for every tme I hear that gem from newcomers that want to start up a coffee venture, id have quite a bit of pocket money !
    TOK , have another dollar ( go get yourself a coffee ) :P, i actually want to start up a coffee venture too and yeah 21 >_< . but i have no plans on it till im like 30. You are right tho, there is so much aspects to it than what it seems on the surface, Unlike OP, i don't have 6 years experience working in a cafe ( mostly because i can't find a job for it - even if i did, they needed experience ;_.
    So i've just been quietly observing, talking to barista on what they know, gathering information here and there, and piecing it together,
    Maybe you should do the same OP
    I guess having a few barista friends always helps in decreasing the amount of thoughts on how to do the coffee venture,
    As much as i probably am against getting friends into the cafe business. They influenced me to start drinking coffee, and well, lets just say, i know that they know their stuff,who knows, they may be co-owners of cafe. :P

    Currently doing Masters in Business IT
    Last edited by luvmidnite; 17th December 2014 at 01:53 PM. Reason: thought changed

  9. #9
    TOK
    TOK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmidnite View Post
    TOK , have another dollar ( go get yourself a coffee ) :P,

    ........who knows, (my friends).....may be co-owners of cafe. :P

    Currently doing Masters in Business IT
    Good luck with your degree. In terms of your looking into a cafe business venture some time in the future and the selective quote I've taken from your post. Just keep in mind that Big Mistake number 2 is where someone goes into business with a bunch of mates/friends. I have seen enough groups of friends do this and cant make ends meet because everything has to be split up equally between them. If there are 5 of you doing something that pays just enough for a couple of partners but you have to split it 5 ways, there is no future in it.

    hope that helps
    TC likes this.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Good luck with your degree. In terms of your looking into a cafe business venture some time in the future and the selective quote I've taken from your post. Just keep in mind that Big Mistake number 2 is where someone goes into business with a bunch of mates/friends. I have seen enough groups of friends do this and cant make ends meet because everything has to be split up equally between them. If there are 5 of you doing something that pays just enough for a couple of partners but you have to split it 5 ways, there is no future in it.

    hope that helps
    Thanks , Yeah, I've heard stories like that, thats why , i probably will only do it with 1 other friend, since both my friend and i knows how to make coffee, i think that might save a bit on hiring a barista till at least we are successful enough. As far as i can observe, either the internet has been trolling me, and the profit margin of cafe are actually decently high if successful, or its kept a secret,
    For a 1000 cups of coffee a week at $3.50 per cup ( assuming small). thats 3500, which minus water and electrical bills ( lets say 600 just cause coffee is mostly water), neglect barista cost, idk how much buying coffee beans by the bulk cost, cups is like 100 for like a stack?, rent on the coffee machine and grinder, cafe rent, hiring staff. maybe like 1000 dollar left at the end of the week? and that is assuming a semi successful store maybe?
    you split it with a friend 500 each, for a month you get 2,000, which is pretty low, considering the rent of living in the city in melbourne, thats why there are other products for sale to increase the profit margin i assume?

    I've done thorough thinking through different factors, unless im missing important factors, please do let me know.

  11. #11
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmidnite View Post
    ....and the profit margin of cafe are actually decently high....
    oO Famous last words!
    chokkidog likes this.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    oO Famous last words!
    Its probably not that high is it, it takes time to build and everything and to even reach breakeven point,
    -seeks to find all the information first before deciding whether it is an applicable dream
    even if i had like a little layout plan in my head, there is just sooo many factors

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    QLD
    Posts
    441
    Hi luvmidnite,
    Many aspire to own a cafe, but without prejudice, here are some cold hard facts:
    -Rent in Australia is astronomical, landlords want a high return on their asset.
    -Wages and associated costs of super, workcover are very high.
    -fitout costs are huge.
    -tradesmen charge an arm and a leg, due to the previous shortage of skilled labour in the mining and OGP sector. This will decline as jobs become scarce, but they have high upkeeps, they all want to drive V8 utes etc.
    -the market is over saturated.
    -work out the costs to run the place per week. This is your fixed overheads. Assume you will have no turnover for 52 weeks. This is the absolute bare minimum reserve of cash you will need.

    If still keen, scale down, consider a market venue or similar to start off with. Have a point of difference, be an innovator, not a sheep.
    chokkidog and TC like this.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    15
    I do not plan to do it in Australia, there is too much existing competition, and promoting the same beans, even with using the same supplier,there is just too low buying power, when competiting with other already well known cafes in Australia/melbourne.
    I plan to tackle places like indonesia and singapore (well not really singapore - its emerging abit too fast with mediocre quality no offense, Singapore brunch places, are overpriced, and there is only like 3-4 cafes that serves amazing coffee ). but yeah, its difficult to start a business in Australia,
    With the new generation of youngsters popping out of bellies, coffee is like an emerging trend in both of intended places, less competition, slightly cheaper rent, and still an existing market
    But thank you for alll the facts, definitely keeping them in mind

  15. #15
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmidnite View Post
    For a 1000 cups of coffee a week at $3.50 per cup ( assuming small). thats 3500, which minus water and electrical bills ( lets say 600 just cause coffee is mostly water), neglect barista cost, idk how much buying coffee beans by the bulk cost, cups is like 100 for like a stack?, rent on the coffee machine and grinder, cafe rent, hiring staff. maybe like 1000 dollar left at the end of the week?
    I've done thorough thinking through different factors, unless im missing important factors, please do let me know.
    1000 (@ 20 gm dose) coffees a week plus waste = 22kgs = somewhere between $550 - $660, insurance, power, phone/IT, milk ( about 120 litres for 800 x

    150ml ), sugar, napkins, cleaning products & consumables, takeaway cups/lids, cocoa, tea, chai, soft drinks/juice, breakage, wastage, staff @ $20/hr, food to

    have with coffee plus wastage of leftovers, rent on fridge & food display, council permits (if required), accountant/bookkeeping costs.... and that's just for

    starters!! ;-D

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    15
    probably end up using 18 g ( that still dpeending on coffeee, insurance ( i get that ), power ( part of electrical bill,), Phone bills + internet sure. IT i can handle it ( else i'll get a friend to do it for me at a cheap price :P).
    Milk, yeah...
    screw tea, staff ( minimum wage man, minimum wageeee)
    accountant and bookkeeping part of IT,
    yeah,, i haven't figured on the leftover bit yet,
    Marketting and attracting the customers, make only a limited amount first so start with small amount to minimize wastage and then , if first few days has a good amount of customers increase the supplying amount?

    im too young to think that much :S

  17. #17
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Chokkidog going into minimum wastage mode.....over and out! ;-D

  18. #18
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    Bottom line out of all of this is if you can run a cafe with staff and get a 10% return on your investment, you're a wizard.

    Many go bust and the overwhelming majority of those in operation are marginal businesses. Get busy, require more staff and it's a cycle so to speak. Overheads are massive and once food is in the mix, profit margins are low due to competition.

    The best and shrewdest make money. Many work their arses off to barely break even and the rest end up back at work having blown their dough.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    Research power supply before anything else. I've a friend who espressos at markets with a diesel generator and a lot of (dodgy old men) absolutely crack it because they can't hear what their customers are asking about the selection of potatoes on offer.
    this. looking at the practicalities

    you will need to know if you have a powered site, what the cost for the power will be, if you go off grid generators are noisey and inverters/solar need a lot of panels/sun/batteries.

    Sell to your market. And the people I see at markets don’t appear to be the type of coffee drinkers that are over conscious of their coffee. I would imagine an above average repeatable hot beverage at a reasonable price would be all most of them seek.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by koshari View Post
    Sell to your market. And the people I see at markets don’t appear to be the type of coffee drinkers that are over conscious of their coffee. I would imagine an above average repeatable hot beverage at a reasonable price would be all most of them seek.
    Coffee snobs go to markets, no question.

    Never underestimate your clientele....
    ErinMor likes this.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Coffee snobs go to markets, no question.

    Never underestimate your clientele....
    Reminds me of a poem I once heard, "this little coffee snob went to market" ........

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockingham W.A.
    Posts
    1,380
    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmidnite View Post
    probably end up using 18 g ( that still dpeending on coffeee, insurance ( i get that ), power ( part of electrical bill,), Phone bills + internet sure. IT i can handle it ( else i'll get a friend to do it for me at a cheap price :P).
    Milk, yeah...
    screw tea, staff ( minimum wage man, minimum wageeee)
    accountant and bookkeeping part of IT,
    yeah,, i haven't figured on the leftover bit yet,
    Marketting and attracting the customers, make only a limited amount first so start with small amount to minimize wastage and then , if first few days has a good amount of customers increase the supplying amount?

    im too young to think that much :S
    Hi luvmidnite

    Just some thoughts:

    1) You must pay yourself a living wage. Do all initial costings based on paying yourself & friend a decent wage. In the real world: on a bad week, you may have to take a pay cut...
    2) Best international figures show that for every staff member you pay $1, the associated overheads just for that staff member alone (i.e. not counting any allowance for building etc.) add another 80 cents to $1. It is really the same for your own "drawings as wages". FWIW, in my own IT empire, it was closer to $2.50 cost per $1 in wages thanks to Australian laws (compulsory workers comp & superannuation etc etc etc: it is a very long list here). Check your location's laws very carefully indeed.
    3) Most cafes make very little money. Partly that is poor financial management, partly the small revenue of the "over the counter item" and partly a number of nasty hidden items.
    4) Espresso machine boilers chew a huge amount of power compared to the actual energy needed to make a cup of coffee. These days, power bills are going sky-high everywhere. Generating your own may be a smart medium term move (if possible under the lease).
    5) Fitout costs (already mentioned in other posts) can be horrendous. My 3.5m by 7m computer workshop cost $85K to fitout, not counting the specialised IT parts. A medical waiting room of similar size cost $650K without medical gear. Both in 1990 dollars. Scary!
    6) Occ Health & Safety regs can become a millstone... check them out carefully.

    I agree with the "cost it at 52 weeks without revenue" idea as it will ensure you have enough capital to last long enough to see if your business model is truly sustainable.

    Looks like a bit of extra analysis is needed to fill in your odd moments during the silly season (and so on).


    TampIt



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •