Putting that outdoor set up has been very good advertising for me. I was lost on this street because my building is so small, but by adding the frontage I have increase my customer base even if not many of used it yet. I get my beans from Double Shot Coffee in Tulsa, OK. Have you seen this trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpATFtKcQxw&feature=PlayList&p=B815876E27736744&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3
DoubleShot is featured in the film. We are all about light roasting. And you?
Gabriel, good luck with your new shop! I just recently started working for an indy shop using a manual machine after four years working at Starbucks (don't hate me, the benefits were great). I can tell you that a barista who knows what he is doing will always get better espresso from a manual machine, but there is a lot more that you can do wrong. If you are working alone, the full auto is a must. It will also allow you to do a much higher volume of customers with only two people working. The most important thing to consider is what your customers expect. If they are used to big chain cafes, they should have no problem with your drinks. If they do, it is likely your beans.
As for the full automatic machines, at the bux we used a pair of Verissimo 801s. They were very tough machines. I was in charge of maintenance in my store and kept them pretty clean, but I saw some bad stuff in other locations. We had equipment techs, so I didn't get to do as much tinkering as I would have liked. I guess the only advice I can give is the obvious: follow the manufacturer cleaning and maintenance schedule and if you hire any help impress upon them just how much you spent on that machine and what you expect of them.
It is starting to pick up, but we are the opposite. We sell mostly espresso drinks and hardly any drip. We are using a French Press now to keep from wasting coffee. I have become their Starbucks replacement.
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