Coffee Carts

the business of coffee houses

Coffee Carts

Postby Sandy on Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:11 am

We are in the planning stages of opening another spot on campus, but this time, it's going to be a coffee cart in a very busy section of campus.

I've searched through the coffeed archives and only found this: http://coffeed.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=419&hilit=coffee+carts and the internet only shows me purveyors of coffee carts.

I want to know who has experience running a cart? I understand that the Champion of the World does it. Blue Bottle does it. Who else does it?

We've chosen this unit (with a side module) http://www.mobilevendingunit.com/products/MVU_Mobile_Vending_Unit/food%20and%20beverages.html and will be purchasing a two goup Linea with a couple of Mazzer's and a Fetco Extractor
Register system is secure - NCR POS 70

That's all i've got covered for now.
though i feel that i might have a pretty good idea of what to expect, i can definately benefit from first hand experience.
What are the day to day operations like? what are the pros and cons of behind the counter operations? is stocking and storage a true nightmare or is dumping waste worse? counter space seems to be severely limited.....or is it?
what kind of water filtration is best for this type of unit? I appreciate any feedback or suggestions of places to check out.


thanks all,
Sandy
Sandy Hon
supervisor, coffee bar operations
Johnson County Community College
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Re: Coffee Carts

Postby Matt Milletto on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:51 pm

Sandy,

I wrote an article a while back for barista magazine on carts and kiosk operations. I started my barista career working in a cart back in 1991. There is some good info in the article and I hope it is helpful. The article is attached to this post below.

Do you have a location picked out, is it on your campus? I like the unit you link to, looks cool.

- Matt
Attachments
carts article.pdf
Carts & Kiosk Article - Matt Milletto (Barista Magazine)
(374.97 KiB) Downloaded 453 times
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Re: Coffee Carts

Postby Sandy on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:23 pm

Hey Matt,
thanks for the article. i appreciate that.
We do have a spot chosen indoors on campus. We're planning to run it for a while with the potential of maybe moving it in the future if necessary for further development of the area that we plan to park.

What i'm curious about from those of you that have ran carts through standard operations, catering, etc., is how did (do) you deal with the water issue? we will not be plumbed in. do most use filtered water from the culligan man, or would you recomend tap water running through a filter? how much business before dumping? how do you rinse steaming pitchers.....
built in sink? espresso machine? dump bucket?

i ask these questions because i'm getting mixed reviews locally and am wondering what the norm is....


recomendations or referals, anyone?
Sandy Hon
supervisor, coffee bar operations
Johnson County Community College
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Re: Coffee Carts

Postby Deferio on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:47 pm

Sandy,
For the water you can try to use 1/5 Spring water and 4/5ths distilled...play around with the ratio until you get the desired number of grains of hardness...around 3-6 "grains".
This is what we do for our machines at the school that are not plumbed but are hooked up to a flow-jet and static tank...
because we in Muncie have 25 grains from the tap! (that's a lot btw).
As for pitcher rinsing...you may want to talk to Terry Z about the pitcher rinser...the hand sink, though, would be available for use with more than just pitchers so you may want to stick with that.
-Chris
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Shop Operations
Sunergos Coffee
Louisville, KY
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Re: Coffee Carts

Postby Thom Cooper on Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:32 pm

Have you purchased the MVU yet? If not we have one for sale... We used a 35 gallon still water tank that fed a 2gp Mirage and a Bunn DBC twin with a Shurflo pump and 2 gallon pressure tank. The water system also incorporated a two stage filter and 8 liter softener can. I have to take pictures of the filter setup. But here is an image. PM me and i can answer any questions you have in greater detail.
Thom
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