Setting up your own mobile coffee cart or coffee catering business needs a lot of planning as much as setting up a restaurant would. There are permits, licenses, and clearances that you need to complete for any type of food business in Singapore, including a coffee push cart.
You will also need a list of equipment and other items that you will need for a mobile coffee cart or coffee catering to function properly. Not only will your items be decided by the type of food and drinks you will serve, but also the estimated number of customers, the location of the coffee cart, your budget, and even the additional services you’re planning. If it is a coffee catering business for example, you should be able to provide both hot and cold drinks at any type of event whether the venue is indoors or outdoors.
This is a guide to the list of requirements to start a mobile coffee cart in Singapore.
Considerations for a Mobile Coffee Business
Planning is essential when starting a mobile coffee cart business, that is why you need to prepare for everything down to the last detail. That way, you will be able to anticipate and plan for any problem in the future. Next, you should decide what you want on your menu, but it’s not simply writing a list of what you think might sell to the customers. Be specific with the names of the food and drinks and then list down the ingredients.
Look for vendors you will be working with, such as the supplier for your coffee, milk, cups, straws, plates, napkins, and others. You could also contact a trusted coffee roaster like mobile coffee cart from butler coffee in Singapore so that you will always have a consistent good quality coffee. Your mobile coffee will also need several kinds of milk, such as whole milk and skim milk. It’s better to contact a trusted supplier for milk so you can be sure that you will always have enough supply. Finally, study ideal locations for your coffee push cart, such as areas near offices and schools where most people can easily see your coffee cart. You should also observe possible mobile coffee cart competition within those areas.
You should also be an expert in the coffee-making process and all types of coffee drinks besides the usual latte, mocha and cappuccino, because coffee lovers are always on the lookout for something new and exciting. Learn how to select the best coffee beans and the effective processes that will bring out the best in coffee. Sometimes it’s not about the equipment, but the love and dedication you put in the preparation of the coffee drinks.
Food Business Requirements
There are requirements in Singapore that you need to complete when setting up a restaurant, café, and food and beverage business. Once you have completed your mobile coffee business plan and decided on the location(s) of the coffee cart(s), you should get the licenses and registrations listed below.
1. Food shop license
2. Registration to import food and equipment
3. Halal license
4. GST registration
5. CPF registration
6. Liquor license
7. Business incorporation
Essential Coffee Cart Equipment
It’s going to be difficult to compete with other mobile coffee cart businesses in the country, that is why most newcomers are advised to create something unique in the market that the customers will remember. However, you do not need expensive items and brands to set up a unique coffee push cart. Since it’s a mobile coffee business, you need not worry about staying in one place because you can reach a lot more customers than other food business ventures.
The following are the essential items a mobile coffee cart business needs.
1. Commercial Espresso Machine. This can be semi-automatic, auto-volumetric, mechanical, electronic, digital, or group commercial.
2. Commercial Espresso Grinder. This can be flat burr, electronic doserless, conical burr, and doser.
3. Drip Coffee Makers. Purchase a drip coffee maker that includes a carafe system.
4. Coffee Brewer and Grinder. This machine combines both the grinder and brewer into one system to save space and energy.
5. Refrigerator. Cold storage is important for any food business, including a mobile coffee cart. Choose those that are designed for small spaces, such as an undercounter refrigerator.
6. Ice Machines. You need machines that can create ice for your cold drinks.
7. Blender, Juicer, and Juice Dispenser. These will help you prepare ingredients for other food and drinks in your menu.
8. Frozen Drink Machines. If you’re planning to sell other types of drinks in your coffee cart, frozen drinks can be profitable, too.
9. Airpots. Coffee airpots are essential for any coffee business. These will keep your coffee fresh, hot, and ready to serve.
10. Display Cases and Shelving. Your coffee push cart should be equipped with all the necessary shelves and cases that can hold all your equipment and ingredients.
11. Portable Sink. Pick commercial portable sinks designed for mobile food businesses.
12. Containers and Pumps. Since your coffee cart business will need a lot of water, you should have all the necessary tools to store and dispense it.
13. Oven Toaster and Other Cooking Equipment. If you’re planning to sell cooked food, you should also purchase all the necessary cooking equipment for them.
The espresso machines are very important for any mobile coffee cart, because majority of the customers will be looking for a cup of latte, mocha or cappuccino. There are coffee lovers, however, who will look for plain black coffee, so you should also invest in a quality commercial coffee grinder. Purchase only the quality kitchen equipment that you can afford, because you don’t want to invest in items that will not last for a long time. You can add other equipment and tools to this list later if you’re planning to expand your menu.