How To Start a Café

someone holding a cup of coffee.

Here are the steps to take for starting a café, followed by a few things to consider.

Steps to Starting a Café

  1. Researching a Café – Getting An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start.
  2. Choosing a Café Location For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.
  3. Choose a Name for Your Café. See How to Choose a Business Name.
  4. Legalizing Your Business – See  How to Register your Business.
  5. Create Your Corporate ID – See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.
  6. Café Equipment – See The Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Café Equipment.
  7. Estimating Your Start-up Cost – See Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything?
  8. Writing a Café Plan – See How to Write a Business Plan.
  9. Set up a Business Bank Account – See, How to Open a Business Bank Account.
  10. Get the Funding for Your Café – See Getting a Small Business Loan.
  11. Software Setup – Check out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Café.
  12. Get Your Café Insured – See the latest Google Search Results for Café Insurance.
  13. Café Office Setup – See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office.
  14. Choosing Suppliers for Your Café – See, How to Choose a Supplier You Can Depend on
  15. Create an External Support Team – See, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business
  16. Hiring Employees – See How and When to Hire a New Employee.

Points to Consider Before Starting


As a Café owner, you will need to provide a desirable setting where you can provide a place for people to meet, take a break, and relax.

A thriving Café depends on how you welcome your customers and the type of atmosphere you provide.

People can have coffee at home or bring coffee in a travel mug while driving. The function of a Café is all about the experience. You want to make the visit to your Café a place your customers can call their own.

If they make it the place to meet, they will return, and they’ll return with friends. It’s essential to make them feel at home while giving them privacy and allowing them to say for a while. That’s something to consider when figuring out seating.

With that in mind, you’ll need to create a theme for your Café, based on the type of people you want to attract.

If you want to attract an older crowd, you may want to have a retro theme! So your customers can relate to their teenage years!

If you’re focused on a younger generation, you want to make sure you have a lot of screens up, high-speed WIFI, a fireplace with a seating area, etc. Your theme needs to be desirable to the type of customers you want to attract.

With many brick-and-mortar businesses, location is a crucial issue that will affect the success of your business. In the case of a Café, location is extremely important.

Imagine having the opportunity to open your Café in New York City on Wall Street, compared to opening your Café in a tiny town with a population of 150 people. Which do you think would be more successful? It’s location, location, location!

Another consideration you need to focus on is if you will be offering food, and if so, what type of food will you offer? Will it be baked goods, sandwiches, and soup, or something similar?


Employee Considerations:

Hours of Operation

It can vary from early in the morning to late at night or even a 24-hour operation.

Equipment and Supplies

  • Automatic espresso machine
  • Water softeners and filtration
  • Commercial espresso grinder
  • Coffee brewer, grinder, Airpots, accessories, filters
  • Insulated beverage containers
  • Blending station
  • Serving racks
  • Whipped cream maker
  • Hand tamper
  • Knock box
  • Steaming pitchers
  • Commercial water dispensers
  • Espresso shot glasses
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Iced coffee dispensers
  • Other standard kitchen utensils
  • POS System
  • Under counter refrigerator
  • There is also a lot more in the resources section of this page under Equipment

Monthly Expenses


Marketing Ideas

  • You can come up with unique flavors for your café, where you get your customers involved and you could even name flavors after a customer who wins the most votes for the flavor.
  • Offering a special of the day. Give out business cards with your specials of the day on the back.
  • Do a few radio interviews at a local radio station offering something free for listeners who drop by.
  • Post free coupons for something on your Facebook page.
  • Look for a neighboring business that requires people to wait for service. For example, if there is a local tire shop, you can offer their customers 10 percent off when they come to your Café to wait for their tire repair or new tire installation.

Pros and Cons

The Pros:

  • Fairly easy to run
  • Can be very profitable with a regular customer base
  • Can be rewarding if you enjoy meeting and talking with people

The Cons:

  • Long hours
  • Dealing with customers that stay too long and don’t buy
  • Takes time and effort to create a loyal customer base
  • You must compete with other established Cafés and if you don’t offer anything special, it’s hard to compete

Profitability and Revenue

Profitability also depends on your:

  • Service
  • Quality
  • Product Variety
  • Customer experience
  • Having a suitable location

Lacking any of the above will greatly diminish your revenue and profits.

Start-up Cost Considerations

  • There are many issues when it comes to the cost of opening a Café. Cost depends on how big the Café is, the location, and if you are going to buy or lease the building.
  • Other issues depend on if you are planning to run the Café yourself or hire employees.
  • Costs also depend on the variety you plan to offer.
  • The size of your Café will influence your startup costs.

Full-Time or Part-Time Business

  • Running a Café is a full-time business. Unless your customer base has certain hours that they come in, like an evening crowd, morning crowd, or a school crowd.

Home-Based Business

  • A Café is not suited to a home-based business environment unless detached from the home in a suitable location.


Here are a few resources to assist you when you start your business and when it’s up and running.

Trends and Statistics

Looking at industry trends and statistics related to a café business can provide insights and tips that you may not have imagined. Click Here for the Latest Google Search Results Related to Trends in the Coffee Shop Industry.


Knowing your industry is crucial for a business owner. However, you don’t have to learn every term from scratch. Glossaries can help you get started. Search Results Related to Terminology in the Coffee Shop Industry.


Your choice of supplies plays an important role in your success. A poor choice of supplies can hurt your business. See the Latest Google Search Results for Café Supplies.


It can be beneficial to join an association. Many organizations often publish news and publications. Many of them also host events you can attend to network with others in the industry.

Click Here To View Associations Related to the Coffee Shop Industry. We also have a page with tips and insights on Joining a Trade Association.

Top Cafés

Studying other businesses will give you a better understanding of what the market has to offer, as well as pricing and other ideas. There’s a chance you’ll come up with a unique idea or find something your business is lacking. Search Google for the Top Cafés in Your Area.

Marketing Tips

Running a business requires marketing. When you are a business owner, you can market your business by trying one technique at a time, testing, and doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Have a Look at the Latest Articles for Marketing a Café.

Café Tips

There is no harm in checking out the latest tips related to cafes, regardless of experience. Have a Look at the search results for tips related to cafés.


Use books as a source of information to boost your understanding of your industry. View the Most Recent Google Search Results for Café Books.


The more knowledgeable you are about your business, the greater your chances of success. Why not take a few minutes to see the latest courses related to café business training. Google’s Search Results Related to a Café.


Using Google News is an excellent way to find stories covered by the media related to a café business. See Google’s News Search Results Related to the Coffee Shop Industry.

Videos on YouTube

You can find videos on YouTube that provide you with tips and insights to expand your knowledge in your industry.

See the Most Recent Videos Related to a Café.