Every month we get approached by someone wanting to run a coffee cart or setup at an event. We dabbled in this for a few events before deciding we prefer to concentrate on sourcing great coffee, sustainably and responsibly.
Since we are asked this regularly we have thrown together a costing and GP sheet, which you can download and use.
Explanation of sections
It is designed in rands, but you can change it to what you like. It is broken down in to these sections:
- Fixed costs: Costs that you will normally always have, regardless of the amount of coffee sold. Standard rental of a stand (construction etc), equipment rental (or depreciation), rental of the space at event, transport to event and back, and any wages or salaries due for the event.
- Per cup costs: Every cup you served has a consumable cost. Included is most of what you should consider. Assumptions are 8 cup per litre of milk (for milk based drinks), and an average coffee size out to 220ml (for the water). All other items are rounded up per cup. It is assumed that while you buy in bulk you will eventually use all the cups and other goodies.
- Gross Profit: Uses per cup cost and cost per each milk, or black coffee drink is sold compared to the per cup cost. You can guestimate the number of each you expect to sell, be conservative here.
- Fix costs factored in or Net Profit: Uses the above to calculate the real cost and hence net profit.
To use the spreadsheet
Update the costs you are aware of, change the prices you are charging for milk based and black coffees. The the GP and NP lines will reflect as per the numbers entered.
Things not considered
Things we have not included in the calc are:
- If you use filter coffee brewing, this can be more cost effect, and will speed up your queues. Consider this solution for large events.
- Consider the extras you should be selling. Baked goods, prep-prepared foods etc, can make a difference to you net profit.
- Expanded your offering. Teas, hot choc and cold drinks are easy to add and add an extra amount of profit
- Sponsoring of banners and the like may be worth investigating.
- Hire trained staff, and train them for the event. Staff get sick and you need to have contingency for this.
The spreadsheet as promised:
Here is the spreadsheet as promised, right click to download: Coffee Cart Event Profit Calc…