Considering Hospital Carts

Docthomas

New member
Nov 6, 2007
3
0
TEXAS
I''ve been lurking here for a while, just registered and I wanted to toss out my latest idea.

I am a physician in a 400 bed hospital with no coffee servcie outside of the cafeteria and the horrible vending machines. We have an adjacent 400bed hospital I am not asscoaited with but my partner is. I am not going to be able to do this full-time initially but I hope to one day be able to expand to the point it replaces medicine entirely.

Town is close to 100K with 3 starbucks and 4 or 5 smaller private places in town, all doing very well. Nothing in the hospitals at all.

So we have the opportunity and I think the chance to do both hospitals simultaneously. We have reasonable relationships with the administration, as we are both on various committess within the hospital. I know medicine, and I know coffee only in as much as I know my day is not complete without a great cup (or three) to start my day and often, where possible a good pressed cup in the afternoon.

I seriously explored the option of a franchise through a growing company in the SE, USA,. I met financial #s and the toen met demographics but they were not interested in bridging the gap across the 3 or 4 states to support us. They also wanted NOTHING to do with a cofee cart or kiosk. That was actually in the agreement!

SO I am back to the possibility of a cart in one or both of the hospitals. I think it cold be a profitable endevour for us, I don''t think we NEED a franchise, but honestly I/we need some education in the industry.

Carts/Equipment: Size, ammenities (health dept regs excluded), equipment?
Labor: estimate costs? both of us are physcians and will be unable to spend more than casual time at the stands. I want to be involved but I will not be able initially to leave my obligations to run the store more than a week or two as it gets going.
Lease:Not sure what to ask hospital for space. Do I ask for a set monthly rent for the space or a % of sales? If a % what is customary?
Education:eek:utside of this forum, where can I go to educate myself and future staff as to proper technique and mgmt of the business.

I''ve seen \"turn-key\" setups online for upwards of $48,000 and that seems a bit much, but it did include cart, Training, and \"on-site consultation\"

I''m a hands-on guy and I think a pretty quick study, I can''t imagine I need an extra $20-30K in consultation for the business.

So my questions: Does this seem like a viable option? What kind of industry norms can I expect in terms of sales/profit for a hospital based cart/kiosk in a facility this size. Should I try and do both in simultaneous/quickly staged openings, or do one and wait to open the other? Concern is once mine is open, someone else will snap up the other facility quickly.

I don''t know what I don''t know at this point. I would appreciate any guidance you could give an eager, motivated, coffee lover.

Thanks

Shawn
 

crema123

New member
Mar 10, 2007
31
0
Cook Islands
Hello,

I would recommend heading to Coffee Fest or the SCAA convention (in April?) ... you can learn about everything and it's a great investment. You're lucky to have such resources in the US.

Good financial planning is the key. Hospitals are generally good for carts, and I personally like how a lot of them will donate a percentage to the hospitals foundation - that's also a nice bargaining chip when you're talking to the administration - you can say that 5% of your gross sales will go to the foundation - you can market that to your customers - and that gives you leverage for lower lease rates ... be careful though with your numbers and don't do a % gross lease unless it really makes sense or is capped.
 

AlisonD

New member
Sep 18, 2007
35
0
USA
Docthomas, just a little input--I work as an ICU RN in 5 different adult units at several hospitals. The hospitals all offer coffee in the cafeteria (bad as it is) and 1 also has a kiosk in the lobby. Our town is apporx. 125k and there are 5 main coffee coffee shops including $bucks and then a few smaller ones scattered throughout suberbs. The hospital cafeterias all have several roast/blend selections and the one with the lobby kiosk severs coffees, lattes, caps, etc. I work a variety of shifts so I come and go at various hours and truthfully, I rarely see anyone at the kiosk--even after a night shift when most employees are coming in for the day. It seems alot of coffee is sold in the cafeterias and I have to wonder if that is simply because it's there when employees/families/visitors take a break, get a snack,etc. Also I do know that all of the floors and units have coffee makers in their employee breakrooms and patient/visitor kitchens so staff rarely goes to the cafeteria for coffee. Just a few thoughts.
 
OP
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Docthomas

New member
Nov 6, 2007
3
0
TEXAS
  • Thread Starter
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thanks, that is a concern, we're hoping for a spot just outside the common entrance to the cafeteria so hopefully we'd deflect some of that cafeteria coffee crowd. you are right though, coffee is free flowing on all the floors, but our research shows that it is wanted/needed.
 

JDuella

New member
Nov 30, 2011
6
0
Why not buy a coffee vending machine, place it in locations you think will do well, and then continue providing the office coffee service to replenish the machine? For example, in our office we have a KCup (Keurig) Vending Machine we purchased through KCupVending.com , and the selling point for us is the ease of the new system, an affordable service to replenish it for us, and who doesn't love a freshly brewed cup of coffee? I'm not saying your idea is bad by any stretch, just throwing some ideas at you to get your creative juices flowing. Good luck in your endeavor!
 

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