Freshly Brewed Coffee in the Morning, Espresso in the Afternoon. Who Needs Sleep? Hopefully Not Your Coffee Cart!
Coffee consumption is on the rise, and mobile coffee carts are in higher demand than ever. But finding the power needed to keep on-the-go customers caffeinated with fresh-brewed gourmet coffees and espresso beverages can be a real challenge.
According to the National Coffee Association, overall coffee consumption is up by 5% since 2015, and 62% of Americans drink coffee every single day. While nine out of 10 coffee drinkers have a cup in the morning, people under 60 are twice as likely to have coffee-based beverages at lunchtime as well. This opens the door of opportunity to provide a caffeinated treat to customers looking for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, but only if you have enough power to keep your equipment running all day.
Mobile coffee carts can be found serving caffeine lovers in airports, pop-up and remote events, on the sidewalk on your way to work, in office buildings, schools, fairs and festivals, micro markets, and even weddings and private parties. However, these are mostly pre-brewed coffee carts and not necessarily the fresh-brewed gourmet coffee that really satisfies a true coffee aficionado.
Mobile Coffee Shops Require Power to Keep Customers Caffeinated
If you can get the power you need conveniently, gourmet coffee service is a great way to build an income stream because of its versatility and flexibility. Several different business models will work, and it’s usually quite lucrative to set up just about anywhere in a busy commercial or business district. However, serving gourmet coffee and espresso to customers wherever they are requires innovative power solutions for your mobile coffee cart.
Just boiling water can take up to 40 amps of electricity. Add heating milk, water filters and pumps, espresso machines, drip coffee makers, steamers, and POS systems that all require electricity, and finding a safe, convenient, reliable power source can be a serious challenge.
Barista machines require 220v electrical service (think of your electric stove or dryer). This amount of voltage is not readily available in many locations, and it’s expensive to install. Sometimes it’s just not feasible to serve espresso when you have to plug in or use a generator.
Power Options for Mobile Coffee Carts
The power supply for mobile coffee carts has traditionally been inconvenient at best and sometimes even dangerous.
Generators can be noisy and cumbersome to carry and operate, and some venues have banned them due to the nuisance they cause and their harsh environmental effects. No one wants to be that vendor.
Plugging in is not generally an option for coffee carts that operate outside, and older venues with poor electrical wiring may not be able to handle the required voltage. If you want to set up for optimum foot-traffic on a sidewalk, in a crowded building, or in a place where the wiring is more than 50 or so years old, wired electricity is not likely going to be an option for your mobile gourmet coffee cart.
Lugging a propane tank everywhere you go might not sound like a bad idea, but they are heavy and inconvenient. Propane tanks need to be refilled regularly. If you don’t have backups, running out of gas means you are out of business for the day. Additionally, they require proper ventilation in order to operate safely, and they can pose a fire hazard in certain conditions.
Sealed lead acid batteries are a popular option, but they also come with some seriously necessary safety precautions. If an SLA battery is not properly ventilated, it can leak dangerous gasses and even cause an explosion. Additionally, SLA batteries are impractical for remote locations because their lifetime usage diminishes significantly every time they are fully discharged, and they take a long time to recharge.
LFP Battery-Powered Solutions for Coffee Carts on Wheels Offer Flexibility and Safety
Lithium ion iron phosphate (LFP) batteries offer the safest, most reliable solution for powering your mobile coffee cart. They are the greenest battery available today, they can last all day, and they generally recharge in just a couple of hours.
When you use a cart designed for use with an LFP battery, you don’t need to worry about shorting out the electrical supply in older buildings, starting a fire, or causing a nuisance with fumes and noise. The batteries are lighter and more portable than SLA batteries and propane tanks, and they are compact so you can take them anywhere. Carts powered with LFP batteries allow you to deliver the gourmet experience your customers expect, with none of the electrical limitations.
Finding the Right Mobile Coffee Cart for Your Business Model
There are several things to keep in mind as you take your coffee cart business on the road and your power source should be at the top of your list. If you’re plugging in, you’ll need 220v electrical service. Other factors that will affect your decisions regarding power supply include the following:
- How long do you intend to operate each day?
- How many customers will you serve?
- Where will you be operating your cart?
- Do you have access to a water supply, refrigeration, and drainage, or will you need additional equipment?
- What are the local codes and regulations related to power supply?
Set Your Mobile Coffee Cart Up for Success with Ultimate Flexibility
Establishing a mobile coffee cart business serving gourmet coffees and espresso beverages can be a lucrative venture, but you need to make sure you are set for success from the start. Don’t overlook your power supply as you plan for your equipment!
Some power sources are outdated, impractical, or even dangerous; but using a system designed for use with an LFP battery system will help you deliver the greenest, safest, most reliable coffee cart service on the market. Learn how you can have the power to take your coffee cart anywhere by contacting us or requesting a demo today!