Posted by Jimmy Evans

When it comes to 2 group and 3 group coffee machines you will find there are pro's and con's to each option. So, how do you choose which one is right for your cafe?

In this video Jimmy talks through all the pro's and con's of each which include things like price, power, size, maintenance and ongoing running costs. They are all things you should understand and consider carefully when making the best choice for your coffee business.

 

 Video Transcript

 In this video.

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I'm going to talk you through the things
you need to consider when choosing between

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the two group coffee machine
or a three group coffee machine

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to go into your cafe.

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Let's start with size and space.

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Do you even have enough room
for a three group?

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If you're an existing cafe,

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you might have a bench space
that you've got to work with.

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But if you're building a cafe

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and you're thinking about how much space
you've got to work with.

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You've also got to think about the fact
that you might actually want a jug rinser

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and a second grinder or deli grinder
or Puq Press, they are also

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a three group, is around 250 millimeters
wider than a two group machine.

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So it is taking up a fair
bit more bench space.

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You do have to think about
whether a barista can actually stand

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in a good position on both steaming arms
because you do need

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to be able to use both steaming arms
and have enough room either side of you.

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So that doesn't always work in every cafe
scenario.

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Now don't forget that a two group coffee
machine is already quite heavy.

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A three group coffee machine can be
anywhere upwards from 50 to 60 kilos.

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So make sure you've built your bench
sturdy and strong

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and ready
to hold the weight of that coffee machine.

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If you are in a restaurant scenario
and doing a lot of dining,

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I do have some people

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that like the size of the machine purely
just for the cup warmer.

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If you're doing takeaway
cups, it's not such a big deal.

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But if you do need that cup warmer on top,

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that is maybe a reason
that the size is important to you.

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Just keep in mind that if you want to move
from a two to a three group machine

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in the future,

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you might

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be drilling holes in your benches
and cutting holes out for your jug rinser

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that is going to actually cause issues
for you

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when you switch two or three groups
so when you're doing your planning,

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keep it in the back of your mind.

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If you grow, what would happen
if you put a three group machine in?

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Is it worth

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if you've already got to upgrade to 20
amps of power, maybe you want to do the 32

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amps of power now
so you don't have to do it down the line.

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Maybe you need to make sure
you've got enough room

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in the side of the machine
should you grow into a three group machine

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it's definitely something
to think about early

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if you're not going to start with
the three group

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just had that in the back of your mind.

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If your business grows,
you'll be ready for it.

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Now let's talk about power.

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Power for a two group machine is around
20 amps, a three group machine is around

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32 amps and sometimes you can get up to 40
amps on a three group machine.

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Does your cafe have that much power?

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Do you have access to that?

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Is it already installed

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or is that another expense
that you're now looking at

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to be able to get a three group?

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You might be looking at anywhere
from $600 upwards

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if an electrician has to come
and upgrade your power.

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Some of the old buildings
might only have 60 amps of power available

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in the whole place, there is more expenses
that you might have to factor in.

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Now technical differences.

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If you're looking at the same model
of coffee machine

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like a two group, Linea Classic
or a three group Linea Classic,

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just remember that you're not actually
getting anything technically different.

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It's the same machine.

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You're just getting a bigger boiler,

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which means you have access to more steam
and better recovery time,

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but not necessarily more technicality
to that machine.

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It's not until you go from,
say, a Linea Classic

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to a Strada
or a KB 90 where you're introducing

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more technicalities in the machine
that are going to yes,

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improve your coffee.

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But that's not what we're comparing here,
we're comparing the same models.

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There is obviously advantages
to introducing a third group head

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in technical things, like if you wanted
to do a single origin on a dedicated head,

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you could actually adjust
that to its own brew recipe.

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You could adjust temperatures
if you've got a machine

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like the KB 90 in the La Marzocco range
and you can get very technical

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on one particular head
that way you've got three heads,

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two doing blends, one doing single origin
at it's best it can be.

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And that would be an advantage
from a technical point of view.

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But if you're comparing the same coffee
machine,

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there's no difference technically
between the two group and the three group.

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Now, workflow have you already got
a two group coffee machine

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and you're

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looking to upgrade to a three group
because you think your baristas

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will get faster.

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You might need to actually

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assess your area and you might find that
it's actually a workflow issue.

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I'll put a link in below to a video
we've done on workflow

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that will help improve
speed and efficiencies for your baristas

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and that might be the answer
you're looking for.

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Let's talk about speed
and the volume of coffee

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you can produce with a two group
or a three group.

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Now, most people have the idea
that if you get a three group,

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you can make coffee faster,
and that is just not true.

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We do training with people
on two group machines to get them faster

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at using both steam wands
and useing and brewing

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coffees at the same time
while using the steam wands.

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Now a two group

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with a good duel boiler can manage that up
to about 40 kilos upwards.

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I've seen machines do even more volume,
but we recommend potentially

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going to a three group after 40 kilos
of coffee because a two group duel boiler

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machine can manage the amount of steam
required in the brew head control there.

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So what we don't want to see is shots
getting made ahead

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of the steaming of the milk.
So we will always recommend

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people actually get both baristas
putting milk on.

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You can pump out shots as fast as you can
and that's the danger of a three group is

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you can get way ahead of your milk person
by just putting shot, shot, shots

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and as soon as that shot is ready
and the milk person is not, it's oxidizing

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and it's decreasing in quality,
you're losing flavors and aromas

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and that's actually going to become
a negative on your customer experience

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and taste of that coffee.

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So three groups
might make you get the shots out faster,

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but you're better off putting two people
on the steam on the milk

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on two group machine and consistently
getting those coffees out faster.

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So my experience from my cafes,
I've seen some great results

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from two group machines.

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I've it's meant that I've been able
to help them with other equipment

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that's improved their businesses,
and that's what we're going into next.

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The assets that you've got in your cafe
and the return they truly make you.

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If you're
looking at buying your own equipment

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and you want to buy a La
Marzocco Classic two

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group, you'd be up for about 14 grand.

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If you went for a three group,

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you might be up for around 16
and a half thousand dollars Australian.

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Now that's two and a half thousand
dollars, especially if you're a new cafe.

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That money really counts
and can you use that money to invest

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in a second grinder so you can introduce
single origins and freshly ground decaf?

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Is that expanding your options
for more product lines in your business?

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Maybe you would be better off
with a better grinder to produce

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better coffee or a jug rinser
that's going to help productivity

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and workflow for your baristas.

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You might be thinking that you're

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investing in the future of your cafe,
and that's definitely true.

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There is value in buying assets that are
obviously going to mean that you can grow.

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But in the early days

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it might be something to think about that
you do look at a two group coffee machine

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and you can use the spare money
to invest back into other areas

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of the business, that you can
then increase productivity,

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and that's the money that you will
then be able to sell the two group

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and upgrade to the three group

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once you've got the volume to,
that you need that three group for.

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If you're working with a roaster
that supplies equipment,

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they might be able to look at a scenario
for you where if you

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come on board at a lower volume,
you can introduce a two group machine

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and as you grow, you could work with them
and upgrade to a three group machine.

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That's going to suit your business
and see your growth and and a good roaster

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will help facilitate that facilitate
that for you.

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Understanding your demographic.

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Now, you need to look at the customers
you're going to be serving.

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If you're an existing business,

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you already know
what kind of coffee you're serving.

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But if you're not,
are you moving into a high volume area

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that you're going to be doing 16

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ounce cups and potentially needing
triple shots for a single cup?

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If you have a two group,
you are going to struggle with one person

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on the machine to be able to do two cups
with a triple shot in each.

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Maybe you do need that third head to
to be able to make sure you can do

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the volume of shots
you need for the size of cups you need

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or maybe you need a high cup machine?

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So there's other variables
to think about based on the coffees

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you're going to be making in your cafe.

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Now let's talk about servicing the labor
and the costs involved with that.

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Now a three group machine, it's
just a bigger machine.

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There's more to look after.

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There's more servicing costs.

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You've got seals and shower screens
and just general running costs

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of that machine.

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You have to factor those costs
into your business.

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And the other expenses

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you might not really think about now,
but is cleaning that machine.

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There's the cost of the chemicals,
but also your staffs labor and time.

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At the end of this shift,

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are you allowing enough time
in your workday for your baristas

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to clean, spend the extra time
cleaning that third group head?

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Now, I will say that in the case
of an emergency, if one of your heads

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was to get blocked on a three group,

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you've got two groups left
and you can carry on as business as usual.

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But on a two group, it does
leave you a little bit high and dry

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when you're back to one head.

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That's kind of hard to work with
if you are a busy little cafe.

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If you don't have a service technician
that you can call and have them

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fix that group head within 24 hours,
it might be something for you

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to think about that
you do need that backup head.

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And lastly, your brand and your asthetics.

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You might just be a specialty coffee shop
trying to look the part

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with all the bells and whistles.

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The three group machine
the deli grinder, the EK, the jug washer,

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and that's the look and feel that you want
for your cafe from day one.

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And that's fair.

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That's definitely reasonable
to think that if that's your thing,

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you can do what you like.

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Just be mindful that until you get that
volume, you might not be so profitable.

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You might not really need that three group
yet you still have to service

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the whole thing.

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You still have to clean that every day
and theres,

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that that might be an expense
in your business

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that you can avoid earlier
on in the process.

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But if it's a value to you, go for it.

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I'm not going to stop you from,

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I'm not going to talk
you out of being who you want to be

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in being the brand and the look and feel
that your business is.

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Just be mindful
that might be an additional cost to you

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that you're going to have
to factor into your business.

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Now, are you in Australia?

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Are you looking for coffee equipment?

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Are you trying to decide
between the two group and a three group

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and maybe I could be of more help
or my team.

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I'll put our contact details in below
because we work with commercial equipment

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and domestic equipment.

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We also can can help you decide
what's the best thing for your cafe.

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So put our contact details below,
but be sure to put any comments

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that you have in below as well
so that we can answer them

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in the community, the community can answer
those questions for you as well.

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If you haven't already, be sure
to subscribe to the channel like the video

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and hit the bell icon
so you get notified of all future videos.

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Thanks for listening
guys. I'll see you next time.

 

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