How to Start a Coffee Service Business

By Tim Searles

Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world, with over 400 billion cups consumed each year, according to Coffee is consumed at home, in the office and in cafés and restaurants worldwide. Starting a coffee service business is one way to be part of this lucrative industry by delivering coffee to individuals or businesses, usually in sizable quantities, or delivering coffee-making equipment to companies.

Clerk presenting cappuccino
credit: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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Step 1

Consider start-up costs, which would range from $10,000 to $50,000, according to Starting the business from home would save on the cost of leasing or renting office space. You also would need a vehicle to transport equipment, most likely a van with room for eight to 10 people.

Step 2

Decide if you want to sell coffee equipment or coffee products. Some coffee services provide the equipment necessary for the person or organization to have coffee; some coffee services provide the coffee and filters to use in the machinery; some do both. You may want to start by selling coffee products and add coffee equipment to your product line over time.

Step 3

Determine the method of delivery. Deliver products to local customers in person when possible so you can get to know them better. Customers tend to feel more comfortable with vendors they meet face-to-face. For out-of-town customers you need to ship products. Establish contacts in key areas to deliver products for you to save the cost of delivering individual packages. You could ship bigger packages and let the key contact separate and deliver for you in person.

Step 4

Consider teaming up with a certified, bonded plumber. Offer your customers the option of having water filtration devices installed in their building or home.

Step 5

Make your business stand out. Perhaps you offer equipment that gives people the option of cold or hot coffee. You could also offer light pastries in bulk, along with the coffee. Add tea products to your offerings for a wider audience. Provide coffee mugs with logo and contact information on them to new customers.