Hi, I have been working for a long period of time to get my coffee shop café open. Due to my theme it has taken some time in regard to the location. We have 3 spots which are promising for different reason. This is my need. Can someone be a mentor? I have done a great deal of researched but there is so much I don’t know. I have questions such as: what are the best tables to purchase; how should I set up the counter area what should the POS warranty contain; what should my espresso warranty contain, which credit card company you feel is reasonable? Okay, those questions are for starters 

I am working on my employee handbook. When I went to coffee fest I purchased an allege employee. However, these cd’s did not have a manual. Where can I obtain a coffee shop manual and compared and/or add to my current manual? What is the best practice?

I am purchasing a 3 head La Marzocco from my roaster. Which model is best? My expectation they will install and train on the machine, is this common?

Anything you can help a newbie is appreciated. There is no information too minimal.

You can check out my website to get some information about me and the mission.
www.diversityden.com

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I would check with your roaster. Most roasters will provide that information for you, and walk you through the process from start to finish. That should include layout, as well. As far as an employee manual, you will probably have to write that one on your own, as most shops create theirs based on their own coffeeshop culture. As far as the "best" LM machine, you will find different opinions, and it really is based on what's best for you. Your roaster should be able to help you with that, as well. I like the Linea. It's a classic machine that is easy to maintain, and makes great shots. Again, best of luck as you navigate the waters of a new shop. If your roaster can't provide that for you, I would check around, in Charlotte, coffeehows.com provides some of those services you asked about. Ask for David. Cheers.
Nice website. I like the feel you are going for and if the finished cafe matches that feel you'll be headed in a good direction.

I'd definitely agree with Jason. You'll want someone local too, that can check out the space, taste your coffee and drinks, etc. Your roaster is your best resource... they more than anyone have a vested interest in your success and they should be happy to help. If not, you'd better find a new one quick.

For tables and chairs, check out Superior Products north of Charlotte.

Drink recipes are another biggie. Your roaster may or may not provide these, so you should check.

Re the machine install, their training will most likely cover basic shot pulling and milk. There is much more down this rabbit hole. If you are not an experienced barista, plan on some more involved training before open.

Good luck. Look forward to seeing your store.
If you would like to come by our training center I can show you two different LM. I have a Linea and a FB80 here that you can play with. I can probably answer a lot of your questions also. You should also consider taking some of our espresso labs, we offer them for free.
btw our training center is on Morehead in Charlotte
So you've now heard from two of the three bigger roasters with presences in Charlotte.

We use Dilworth coffees, so we have gotten lots of operations and training help from Jason and others there. I've also gotten machine-related assistance from Bruce at CoffeeWorks, who sells and services LM and Astoria machines (I refurbished an older Astoria for our shop). Operationally, we used our friend's (and my former employer) Dilworth Coffee shop as a template. We do many things differently, but had his processes as our starting point.

I'm certainly not trying to turn this into a sales pitch, I'm just backing up what I said earlier about getting help. We honestly would be in rough shape or not open if not for the help we got from these three sources.

Good luck.
My offer is free. If you choose to use Counter Culture Coffee that's great if not that's fine also. We will still offer free training and you can still come check out the LM espresso machines. If you would like to come by please send me a message as we are not always there.
Have you been to the American Barista and Coffee School? I'm an Oct 2006 grad still working toward opening our shop (because we are building from ground up). We have their a lot of their DVDs and their big book that came with the course. It has been very helpful! (coffeeschool.org)

Here is a furniture company you can look at... Contract Furniture.
Read other posts on here about equipment and look at CoffeeHouseTalk.com for more forum questions with folks in the business.

POS talk to Selby Soft, they can answer a lot of questions.
Could I receive some info about Counter Culture Coffee? I am still looking for a roaster... especially for espresso roast.
Hey Denise, I'm just jumping in here.

The American Barista and Coffee School will get you experience on different machines. If you want to be embedded into a coffee culture, it's a perfect route to go. It's also great for consulting work and preliminary location scouting and purchasing.

I would recommend that you make sure that who ever you work with is knowledgeable on all of your equipment including brewing systems. Technical service in Charlotte is not cheap and can run upwards of $75 an hour. And typically takes $75 just for the service tech to agree to come. So, free service calls, and a company who can uphold a manufacturer's warranty for at least a year is wicked important. I would recommend that you have this agreement in writing before signing to a roaster.

Just a thought.

Let's hear more about your shop, and where in Charlotte are you looking to open? I would love to come by and see it's progress.

Cheers.
Your question was posted in May. Are you open yet?
If you are not open where are you in the process? If you are open, how is it going?

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