Starting a Coffee Shop or Cafe

Opening a coffee shop or café is a popular choice amongst individuals who are keen to open their own business within the food service industry. However, there are many examples of lovely new coffee shops and cafes having opened, only to close their doors a short while later. When successful, coffee shops and cafes can become a wonderful and long-lasting source of income with many loyal customers. However, for many businesses, the rigours and difficulties of running a commercial food service business can prove to be very difficult indeed.

Firstly, the competition is fierce, and in addition to being in competition with other independent establishments, most coffee shops and cafes are also in competition with the leading chains. There are some essential steps to take if you want to start your own café and make a success of it.

1. Build your plan. This plan should contain every detail of your business, from the design and look of the establishment, to the accounts and even every item on the menu. Prices, costing, and overheads must all be calculated. The biggest mistake new business owners make is taking on a new café before they have worked out how many covers they would need to sell in a day to make a profit. Being good at baking and having an eye for interior design is not enough to make a successful business out of a coffee shop. A strong business mind and an understanding of how to sell prepared food at a profit is essential.

2. Commercial food businesses require the right equipment and this involves investment. A café or coffee shop will require many things in order to function properly. That is not just the tables and chairs for customers. Lighting, kitchen equipment like fridges, a multi-deck display fridge for desserts and cakes, freezers, cookers, chill cabinets, display counters, coffee machines and all the crockery, cutlery and glasses required to cope with a full café will be required. Many new cafes start out without having considered all these important details and planning all these vital purchases for the business. By planning the full menu, you will have a clear understanding of all the appliances and equipment you will need, to prepare it and to service it and sell it.

3. What will make your café or coffee shop different to the others on the high street? It’s not hard to make a café look welcoming and unique. But that alone will not be enough to keep the customers returning again and again. In addition to serving the highest quality of food and beverages, you will also need to develop a ‘hook’ or theme for your café. This could be organic produce, or it could be themed, like an English Tearoom. Whatever you decide upon, this identity, or ‘brand’ for your café, will be what makes it stand out in a crowd. With the right theme and a reputation for serving the best food, coffee and tea, you will quickly develop a regular customer base and news will spread. If you are not consistent in all these aspects, it can be difficult to build your loyal following and attract new customers on a consistent basis. Don’t forget, when the food and atmosphere is good, people talk about it and always come back for more.

Post time: 01-24-2017