Free Stuff

Hulkster

New member
Jun 16, 2005
13
0
I was reading a thread that mentioned that a smoothie company will loan you blenders if you use their products. I know that's a common practice in the coffee business and that leads me to my question. What equipment can I get for free without compromising my product? I know I will have to buy my own espresso machine, but grinders and blenders seems like something that won't "crappify" my products. Also, if anyone knows of a smoothie company who would buy me a blender or two, please let me know. I don't want to sound like a cheapass, but I'm looking (probably like everyone else) to cut costs as much as possible and still have happy customers at the end of the day. Thanks in advance.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,557
0
Des Moines, Iowa
Island Oasis will give you an ice shaver / blender if you purchase their minimum product order every month. Otherwise you can buy it out right but it is very expensive.
 

Comfy Place

New member
Jul 15, 2006
73
0
Bloomer, Wisconsin
I may have an unpopular stand on this one, but here it is: don't always go for the free stuff, as it may cost you more in the end than if you just outright purchased your equipment.

I can definitely appreciate your desire to keep costs down so that you aren't a zillion dollars in debt when you open. But, you also don't want to get stuck with a piece of equipment (or 2, or 3, ...) that isn't up to the demands of your business just because it was "free" from the product supplier. We own all of our equipment, rather than renting or getting it "free", and it is one of the best decisions that we made. We know that our equipment is some of the best on the market, and that's because we had researched some of these items before hand. We knew that we would have to put out the money to do this, but we found other ways in which to cut costs but still have a nice place for our customers.

By all means, do investigate these offers from the product companies to see if they might fit the bill for you. However, just be aware that what you get might not be the best item for your business. Research, research, research!
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
Hulkster said:
I was reading a thread that mentioned that a smoothie company will loan you blenders if you use their products. I know that's a common practice in the coffee business and that leads me to my question. What equipment can I get for free without compromising my product? I know I will have to buy my own espresso machine, but grinders and blenders seems like something that won't "crappify" my products. Also, if anyone knows of a smoothie company who would buy me a blender or two, please let me know. I don't want to sound like a cheapass, but I'm looking (probably like everyone else) to cut costs as much as possible and still have happy customers at the end of the day. Thanks in advance.

Actually, to get equipment "free" you will need to meet a minimum order quantity. And they are not free, they are factored into the cost of the products. Some coffee suppliers have two prices, one with equipment, one without. You will see most of the time, they will make their money back on the equipment in less than a year. Also, coffee grinders will crappify your products. Try different brands and decide what work best for you. If your supplier offers them fine, if not buy them yourselves.

I think most smoothie suppliers have a blender program. In Island Oasis's case, they have a one price policy so if you use their product you might as well use their blenders. They have their cool looking ice shaver and other commercial blenders. I like the Blendtec Smoother or Hamilton Beach Tempest blender better, but a few of my customers like the ice shaver better, so that's what we use.
 
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Hulkster

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Jun 16, 2005
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thanks for your help. we're probably going to end up buying almost everything that we use. I now have another question. We have REALLY limited space with a high level of in-and-out traffic (maybe 1-2 tables). These will be mostly business people on foot heading to work. I think if we are going to do well, we need to get people through asap. Are the smoothies going to take too long to do to make it worthwhile?
 
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Hulkster

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Jun 16, 2005
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Granita machine seems to be the way to go due to speed. Does anyone have any idea if ugolini makes a good product? Also, I think I would definitely take one of these for free if someone knows of a mix supplier who would give me one.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
Hulkster said:
thanks for your help. we're probably going to end up buying almost everything that we use. I now have another question. We have REALLY limited space with a high level of in-and-out traffic (maybe 1-2 tables). These will be mostly business people on foot heading to work. I think if we are going to do well, we need to get people through asap. Are the smoothies going to take too long to do to make it worthwhile?

With enough pitchers, I find we can do a smoothie in about 50 seconds which is a little longer than it takes for us to make a cappuccino. If we really make the work space more efficient, I think I can cut the time down to maybe 40 seconds.
 
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