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7 Cafe Essentials for Every Aspiring Cafepreneur

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

You’re an aspiring cafepreneur but on a budget. What are the essential items you’ll need to begin?

Are you thinking of opening your very own coffee shop? As daunting as that may sound due to the intricacies of deciding which essentials you’ll need, it all goes down to the basics. When you’re starting, you have a budget to consider, too!

Here at Bean & Barley, we understand that a wide array of options can more often than not, overwhelm you. You have the bean grinders, the espresso machine, personalized flatware, efficient storage conditions, and even a reliable POS system to think of. Getting your hands on what is truly necessary is critical especially when you’re new to the business. You don’t want items to go missing on your grand opening.

That’s why we have categorized what you need into 7 cafe essentials for starters. Here’s a quick list to ensure you are ready when your doors open to coffee-lovers.


Coffee and food beverage preparation is the essence of your business. Creating an attractive menu with appealing prices is one thing, acquiring reliable equipment and ingredients is another. You will want to invest in a good quality espresso machine, coffee presses, coffee grinders, commercial blenders, drip coffeemakers, icemakers, optionally an oven, toaster or a grill.

A good brew entails a machine that goes the distance and distinctly pulls its weight while producing a higher number of cups a day. Busy seasons will put strain on your staff and pressure on your equipment, so having a good quality espresso machine that supports the process is key.

For tips on how to best maintain your espresso machine in its top form, read this blog article.

Not sure which equipment to invest your money on? Start a conversation with us HERE.

Storage and Refrigeration

It goes without saying that you will be dealing with some perishable goods and different ingredients. This means you are going to need an efficient storage and refrigeration setup. The good news is you can pick something that suits your interior designs while still achieving the functionality you need. Refrigerators, a freezer moderate in size, insulated containers for cream and milk, industrial plastic wrap, shelving for dry storage and tightly-sealed containers for opened ingredients are some of the storage items you’ll need. Place them in an easily accessible location as it will affect traffic on the coffee counter especially during peak season.

Dishes, Utensils and Consumable Goods

This is the part where you get to be creative and find fun. Dishes and flatware in good quality will provide your customers a good dining experience in your cafe. Plates, mugs, cups and drinking glasses, napkins, insulated paper cups and lids, cardboard sleeves, eco-friendly straws, spoons, knives and forks along with barista spoons and pitchers are the basics you’ll need. You can even opt to have them personalized if there is a budget to spare. This gives a good reason for Instagram-worthy photo ops with your brand in them.

Efficient Conditioning System

Ventilation matters along with a memorable beverage drink. Give your customers a reason to come back and set the proper ambience. This goes without saying but an efficient ventilation and cooling system can make or break your cafe’s impression.

In a tropical country like The Philippines where the heat can be harsh, designing your cafe’s conditioning system will attract more customers for you. It will also maintain your staff’s performance at an ideal level.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tools

The goal is not just to provide the best customer experience upfront but to comply with the area’s health codes as well. You will need reliable cleanup and maintenance equipment and tools such as a three-compartment sink to divide rinsing, washing and sanitizing dishes, mop closet, mop sink, dishwasher, sanitized rags, industrial cleaning spray, trays for dirty dishes and dust bins and dust bags. You might want to consult with your local city hall and inquire about the relevant health guidelines and regulations before opening your cafe.

You will also have to train your baristas on proper cleaning and maintenance. This is a part of their training program and checklist which we have summarized for you here (hyperlink).

Basic Furniture and Decor

We are fortunate to be living in a time where less is more. Gone are the days where everything has to be decorated to inches. Nowadays, minimalism has made interior designing experience more affordable and practical for cafes while still maintaining a sense of aesthetic appeal. Aesthetics, after all, provide additional viewing experience for your customers as they sip that cup of coffee or take a fork-size bite of that luscious cake. You can play with the designs and keep it basic within your budget.

Stable Wi-FI Condition

Do you remember that time when cafes did not have wi-fi? Yeah, we neither.

A lack of Wi-Fi connection is almost a deal breaker for customers these days - and they have been for the past decade. From business professionals to your customers who are always on-the-go, a reliable Wi-Fi connection is simply a must and we can’t emphasize it enough. Attract your customer base by allowing them access to free internet in your cafe. This will even encourage them to stay longer and get another round of coffee or a meal. Your cafe can also be the favorite go-to of your loyal customers especially for those who are looking for a lunch spot or a meeting place.

That rounds up the basic cafe essentials you will need to get you started and closer to your launching day! It all boils down to choosing which equipment and tools you’ll prioritize. We take great pride in working with you to create the ultimate cafe experience for your customers. For a more comprehensive guide on cafe business solutions, message us HERE.


Café Startup Equipment Checklist: What You Do (& Don’t) Need!. (2017). Retrieved 19 April 2021, from


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