Mobile or Pop-up coffee?

We’ve noticed a big increase in enquiries since we founded Camper Cafe in 2010.  We’re amazed by how much coffee has taken off and that people now desire (or expect) a top quality coffee wherever they are. Our latest event was at a rugby tournament for school children ranging from 11-18. Parked in a car park, we were busy all day with parent who were “so pleased to see us”. It’s lovely to give people so much pleasure, which is part of what makes our business such a great one to work in.

If you’re looking for a coffee provider for an event or on a regular basis, do you know what the difference is between a pop-up coffee provider and a mobile coffee provider? Here are some insights into what to look for to help you get the right supplier:

  1. A pop-up coffee business offers a good cross between a mobile and a permanent coffee shop. It can often be put up in a couple of hours, but is aesthetically more pleasing than just a van as there is likely to be a counter, display areas, a till and a more advanced set-up than a mobile coffee van. Great for exhibitions, business events where coffee is required for more than a few hours (possibly just a day), a pop-up coffee shop may require a water and power feed. Running off mains power may limit where you can use a pop-up coffee shop, but once up and running you’re likely to get a good throughput. If you’ve got a really busy event where you’re expecting to make a few hundred coffees then a pop-up shop with a power and water supply may be best.
  2. A mobile coffee van should be entirely self-sufficient and able to move quickly and easily from one location to another. Suitable for coffee rounds, it should be able to make multiple stops in a day. Often simplified so it is just a few tables to set up at each stop, moving between locations should be quick and easy. Some vans come with Wi-Fi built in which makes them ideal for sales promotion tours where sales teams can log on and demonstrate products and services to customers over an artisan coffee. Mobile coffee vans are great for an entire day in the same location or, for the likes of film sets where locations are moved throughout the day, or where there is no powe available. Some clever vans can run the coffee machine on the engine so that they maintain pressure whilst driving. This means no hanging around in-between stops for the machine to warm up again. The majority of machines are run on gas so take a good half an hour to heat up from cold before you can get that first coffee of the day out of them. If you’ve got a particularly busy event, look at the output of coffee. Ask what their limitations are as machines that run solely on gas will struggle if they are busy non-stop, some small breaks may be needed to let the machine catch up.

If you’d like help sourcing a coffee van, pop-up shop, or even a mobile Wi-Fi solution for your event please contact us as we’d love to help.