Lately, few visitors has mentioned about looking for used, second-hand espresso machine.
Here are a few thoughts of mine:
1. Generally, commercial espresso machines are very well-built and can last for years if properly maintained.
2. They also have very good resell value due to the quality of their built. Hence, if your reason to look for a used machine is that you wanted something cheaper, you may be disappointed. Any thing that has good resell value means that the used product will not be cheap.
3. Instead of seeking out a used espresso machine to cut cost, it would be better to work out in your business plan the money you are willing to spend.
4. If for example, you only willing to spend RM10K, therefore you thought of finding a used 2-group espresso machine for RM10K, it would be better to consider a new 1-group machine that cost RM10K.
5. I have seen SO MANY small or independant cafe using a 2 group espresso machine WHICH are VERY MUCH UNDER-UTILIZED. In fact, they could have bought the Vibiemme Domobar Super HX and still under-utilized them. With its’ 4L water tank, you can make almost 50 cups of espresso before you need to refill. And if you are making 100 cups of espresso based drinks a day, you are running a very successful cafe business already. Many cafes don’t even sell 50 cups a day. And a machine like Domobar Super or the La Scala Eroica 1-group model, they hardly break a sweat making 100 cups continually.
6. The problem with single or 1-group machine is that you can make 2 shots or 1 cups of coffee at a time. Let’s say it take 1 minute to prepare 2 cups of cappuccinos at a time, it will take you 5 minutes to make 10 cups. Therefore, if you have a single order for 10 cups of cappuccinos, your customer will need to wait 5 minuted. Therefore, if your business is like Starbucks with many people lining up to order, then make sure your use a 2-group machine. But if you think you rarely get more than 4 cups per order, a 1-group machine can handle sufficiently well.
Don’t start by thinking what type of machine you need.
Start by imagining your business, the type of crowds, the maximum you are willing to spend and etc.
I have seen a small cafe using a 3-group used machine that cost them around RM18K (if I remember correctly). They closed their business after about 9 months, serving probably an average of 50 cups a day. Why did they get themselves a 3-group machine? Well, the sales guy tell them it is a good deal. A new 3-group machine probably cost around RM30K.
For RM18K to RM20K, you can get a new and decent 2-group machine .
For RM10K to RM12K, you can get a new and decent 1-group machine.
Disclaimer: This post is not to be seen as an accurate description of budgeting process of your business plan. The decision on how much to spend on a machine, the type of business you visualised, the growth process is more complex than the above. I am merely attempting to demonstrate that seeking for a used-espresso machine to cut the cost of starting a business may not be the best way to start business. More importantly, get reliable consultants. Sometimes or some sales people may not have your business best interest in mind other than fulfilling quota.