Coffee Industry Expert Shares Secrets of Successful Coffee Shop Equipment Layout

Efficient equipment layout is essential to starting an independent coffee shop. With over 31 years of industry experience, award-winning coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea consults with coffee shop owners to help lay out their equipment for maximum customer satisfaction and profitability.

Designing an efficient coffee shop equipment layout is a vital step in learning how to open a coffee shop, according to Steve Bayless, a coffee shop startup consultant for award-winning coffee roaster Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea.

Over the past decade, Bayless has helped open over 140 independent coffee shops all over the country, has conducted training at another 75 coffee businesses, and has developed the coffee bar layout for dozens of shops.

He said the ideal layout fits into the choreography of the business, promoting success by creating:

  • Happy customers, who receive delicious espresso-based coffee drinks in a matter of minutes.
  • Happy employees, who serve customers with an economy of motion and without bumping into one another.
  • Happy owners, who sell more drinks with less labor and enjoy increased business from happy customers.

Bayless offered three basic tips for efficient coffee shop equipment layout:

1. Because people follow their eyes, the first thing customers should see is the espresso machine. Lead customers to the espresso machine, and then locate the menu nearby.

2. The cash register should be two steps away from the espresso machine, with enough counter space between the register and the espresso machine to allow for exchanging money and serving the beverage.

3. Everything — including the espresso machine, cups, spoons, syrups, a refrigerator with milk, etc. — should be within the barista’s reach.

Over the past 31 years, Crimson Cup has helped set up over 300 independent coffee houses in 30 states, saving owners thousands of dollars by teaching them how to lay out a coffee bar for maximum customer and employee satisfaction – and profitability.

Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert discusses coffee shop equipment layout in more detail in his book, Seven Steps to Success: a Common-sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee Industry.

Now in its second printing, this guide is the foundation of Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps program, which includes consultation on writing a coffee shop business plan, choosing the right equipment, coffee shop layout, hiring and training staff and much more.

Unlike an expensive coffee shop franchise, Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps program allows business owners to operate a coffee shop that reflects their individual style, from equipment layout to menus, marketing and more.

“We offer all the support of a franchise without the franchise fees and loss of control,” Ubert said.

“As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shops, we also provide award-winning coffee, the best syrups, powders and other coffee shop supplies in the business, and ongoing support to help coffee businesses thrive,” he added.

“If you’re thinking about opening a coffee shop – or if you have an existing coffee shop that is not yielding the profits and lifestyle you desire – give us a call at 888-800-9224. We’d be happy to chat about your goals and how we can help you achieve them.”

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Founded in 1991, Crimson Cup is at the forefront of the coffee industry. Its attentive roasting, startup support and global partnerships are consciously designed for the greater good of communities around the world. Among other national recognitions, the company has earned 2020 and 2017 Good Food Awards, the 2019 Golden Bean Champion for Small Franchise/Chain Roaster and Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year.

Crimson Cup travels the world searching for the perfect cup – driven by meaningful relationships, honesty and a shared vision for the future. Its Friend2Farmer initiatives foster respect and decency through mutually beneficial collaboration across local and global communities.

Through its 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program, the company teaches entrepreneurs how to open and run independent coffee houses in their local communities. By developing a coffee shop business plan, entrepreneurs gain insight into how much it costs to open a coffee shop.

Crimson Cup coffee is available through over 350 independent coffee houses, grocers, college and universities, restaurants and food service operations across 30 states, Guam and Bangladesh. The company also owns several Crimson Cup Coffee Shops and a new CRIMSON retail flagship store. To learn more, visit, or follow the company on Facebook and Instagram.

Contact Author


Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Full Name
Phone Number

  Spam Protection