This is a fun simulation game where players try to earn money running the Cafe Calypso coffee cart.
Each day use your prior savings to buy ingredients.
Adjust your coffee formula & pricing to maximize customer satisfaction and profits.
Take the learnings from each day into refining your strategy for the subsequent day.
Play Coffee Shop Game Online
Children and parents can play this simple coffee cart simulator game by clicking in the window below.
Alternatively kids and adults can play this coffee store entrepreneur simulation game for free as a web application here.
Coffee Shop Simulation Game for Kids Game Play Instructions
How to Play
Check the weather to estimate consumer demand, buy ingredients, create your formula and set your cup price. Repeat 13 more times to see how much you can earn in 2 weeks.
Starting the Game
Click the Play button on the game’s welcome screen.
On the first day it will run you through a tutorial on the goal of the game (making profits in 14 days), buying inventory, setting your recipe, and pricing.
Your web browser automatically stores your high score.
The game’s layout in prep mode changes based on which side of the screen your mouse is on.
If you scroll over recipe it will enable you to change your recipe. Click on the slider and drag it to adjust the amount used of any ingredient.
If you scroll over ingredients that will enable you to buy ingredients. Click on the quantity you want to buy for each cups, coffee, milk and sugar.
Your potential serving quantity and the limiting factor is shown in the lower left corner. As you buy ingredients or adjust your recipe it will change what your limiting factor of production is.
Your remaining budget is shown in the upper left corner.
If you make a purchase by mistake there is an Undo Purchase button in the lower left corner.
You can also set your pricing near the bottom of the screen. As a general rule of thumb around $1.40 per cup is ok if it is cool to warm and you can go to $2 or more if it is freezing.
Once the day begins you can see how customers respond and how your sales are pacing to determine if it makes sense to move the cup price slider in the upper left corner.
Use your finger like a mouse.
Current savings is shown in the upper left corner.
Day, time and weather are shown in the upper right corner.
Reputation is shown in the lower left corner.
Your remaining supplies are shown in the lower right corner.
The game lasts a total of 14 days.
The money you earn from one day (as well as any remaining savings you have going into that day) is your budget starting the next day. You are not required to spend all your budget and can save as much of it as you like.
The day starts at 7 am.
If you do not have robust sales by 11 am it probably makes sense to lower prices.
The day ends at 7 pm, though few customers come by after 5. At the end of the day it tells you tomorrow’s weather forecast.
At the end of each day it gives you a forecast for tomorrow’s weather.
On cold days people are willing to pay more for a hot cup of joe, so if it is freezing you can charge them more.
This in turn, also means it makes sense to be more aggressive with buying perishable supplies in bulk on cold days & less aggressive on warm or hot days.
Some of your ingredients like milk go bad daily while sugar or coffee often also go bad at the end of the day, so try not to carry much more than you think you will sell & lower your prices around 2 pm if you think you are going to have a lot of ingredients go bad.
A mental model for how this game is designed is you are lucky to break even on days when it is hot out and can make large profits on days when it is freezing.
You get zero credit for retained inventory on day 14 so try to buy the right amount of ingredients to last the day & put on a fire sale late in the day if it looks like you will have leftovers.
Cost of Ingredients
Each ingredient you purchase for your coffee has a purchase price which declines per unit as your purchase volume increases.
Cups are available in packs of 10, 25 and 50 at a price of $2, $4, and $6.
The unit cost drops from 20 cents to 16 cents to 12 cents as your purchase volume increases.
The cost savings buying in bulk is 20% to 40% and they never go bad.
Coffee is available in packs of 20, 40 or 60 tsp at a price of $10, $14, and $18.
The unit cost drops from 50 cents a tablespoon to 35 cents and then 30 cents.
The cost savings buying in bulk is 30% to 40%.
Milk is available for purchase in 10, 20 or 40 cup volumes at a price of $1, $1.8 and $2.
The unit cost drops from 10 cents to 9 cents to 5 cents.
The cost savings buying in bulk is 10% to 50%.
Given the relative pricing between 20 cups and 40 cups it almost always makes sense to buy 40 cups at a time & then adjust your recipe to make it a bit creamier if you would otherwise have milk left over at the end of the day.
Sugar is available in packs of 10, 20 or 50 tsp at a price of $3, $5 and $8.
The unit cost drops from 30 cents to 25 cents to 16 cents.
Given the cost savings buying in bulk & that mice only rarely attack it is typically worth buying sugar in packs of 50 if you can afford to.
Each cup is a cup which can cost as little as 12 cents, but every other ingredient has a range you can adjust for how much is used. All cost information shown presumes ingredients were bought in bulk.
Coffee: 1 to 4 tsp, which costs 30 cents to $1.20 per cup.
Milk: 0.0 cups to 2 cups, which costs 0 to 10 cents per cup.
Sugar: 0 to 4 tsp, which costs 0 to 64 cents per cup.
Total cup cost
Presuming you buy in bulk and make the most expensive cup possible it would cost you $2.08 per cup.
If you had all ingredients in the middle it would cost $1.24 per cup.
Given how cheap milk is I like to go full on the milk meter.
I tend to adjust the sugar formula on a day to day basis to try to have it and the milk just about run out by the end of the day
Given how expensive coffee is I tend to run that more toward the middle or low range.
Your cups rarely if ever go bad, making it make sense to buy in bulk when you can afford to.
Your milk goes bad about 100% of the time at the end of the day.
At the end of the day 30% of your remaining coffee frequently goes stale. On some days 100% can go stale.
Ants get in your sugar about once every third or fourth day. You can sometimes lose 70% of your sugar from ants.
When customers walk by they leave feedback bubbles.
A green border means good and red is bad.
If around half or more are red that means you are giving away most of the market and should lower prices.
If fewer than 1 in 6 are red that means you can likely raise prices.
Customer thought bubbles also include a picture in their thought bubble: the sun, a dollar sign, coffee, milk, or sugar.
Some customers also have a magnet in their thought bubble, indicating they will help attract other customers.
You can (and should!) adjust your cup pricing on the fly repeatedly throughout the day.
If you are running low on ingredients you can raise prices.
If you look like you have a lot of left over ingredients which may spoil you can lower prices to sell at break even or a slight loss rather than having that spoilage.
Realistic or not?
This game does a good job teaching children about supply and demand curves, maintaining inventory, unit pricing, inventory spoilage & marketplace reputation.
Three things that are perhaps less than ideal about the game are what a big impact the weather has, recipe variation encouragement, not considering inventory in daily stats & lack of fixed business costs.
In real life we have ice and billions of dollars of iced coffees are sold every month, so weather has a much smaller impact on consumer demand than this game shows. However the variability of the weather helps teach kids about externalities and anticipating consumer demand shifts.
Many large businesses maintain a fairly stable recipe or customize each order to the particular consumer’s preference. The variability in day to day recipes here does not teach the value of continuity and setting stable consumer expectations as well as one might hope, but there needs to be some variability for the player to feel in control of the game.
Unless the first day is freezing you will likely lose money on it based on a straight profits and losses basis if you do not count the value of any inventory. By not counting the value of remaining inventory the game can make a decent first day sound bad even if a person nearly broke even on it while building inventory.
Every business has fixed and marginal business costs. This simulation only focuses on marginal costs, which is a way of under-estimating the roll of fixed costs like rent or debt servicing. It also does not have a marketing budget feature, which is a primary cost center for many new small businesses.
This game is fun for fans of simple simulation games.
Teachers can use this game to help teach consumers about demand curves and inventory.
Coffee drinkers can use this game to get them ready for their coffee break.
There are no adult themes in this game.
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Mobile Friendly Cross Browser Support
This game is rendered in mobile-friendly HTML5, so it offers cross-device gameplay. You can play it on mobile devices like Apple iPhones, Google Android powered cell phones from manufactures like Samsung, tablets like the iPad or Kindle Fire, laptops, and Windows-powered desktop computers. All game files are stored locally in your web browser cache. This game works in Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and other modern web browsers.
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