How To Open A Cafe

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Image of a cup of coffee

What you need to consider before starting a cafe

Cafe Business Overview:

As a cafe 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 successful cafe 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 cafe is about the experience.

Skill Set and Traits Required For A Cafe Business:
Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

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

Equipment and supplies during start-up phase or in the future:
  • Automatic espresso machine
  • Water softeners and filtration
  • Commercial espresso grinder
  • Coffee brewer
  • Coffee grinder
  • Insulated beverage containers
  • Blending station
  • Airpots
  • Coffee accessories
  • Serving racks
  • Coffee filters
  • Whipped cream maker
  • Hand tamper
  • Knock box
  • Steaming pitchers
  • Commercial water dispensers
  • Espresso shot glasses
  • Cleaning brushes
  • Iced coffee dispensers
  • Other standard kitchen utensils
  • Cash register
  • Under counter refrigerator
  • We also have a lot more in the resources section of this page under Equipment
Monthly Expenses To Consider
Licenses:

 

Marketing Ideas:
  • You need to develop a niche to compete with existing cafés. You can create a theme for your cafe to attract a certain type of audience. For example:
    • A certain country or culture.
    • Themes that are related to eras, e.g. the 50s.
    • Themes related to an industry or clubs, car buffs, computer enthusiasts, etc.
    • o Themes related to clubs, e.g. book clubs
  • 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 that drop by.
  • Post free coupons for something on your Facebook page.
  • Look for neighboring business that requires people to wait for a service. For example, if there is a local tire shop, you can offer their customers 50 percent off when they come to your cafe to wait for their tires.
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 cafes and if you don’t offer anything special, it’s hard to compete
Profitability and Revenue Considerations:

Profitability and revenue depend on a number of issues.

For example, if your location is poor and in a low population area, then how much business can you expect? It would be difficult to become successful.

On the other hand, if you are located in an excellent, highly populated area, your success rate is greatly increased.

Profitability also depends on your:

  • Service
  • Quality
  • Product variety
  • Customer experience

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 cafe. Cost depends on the how big the cafe 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 cafe yourself or hire employees.
  • Costs also depend on the variety you plan to offer.
Full-Time or Part-Time Business:
  • Running a cafe 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 cafe is not suited to a home-based business environment unless detached from the home in a suitable location.

Resources

Starting Your Business

A List of Important Steps You Must Consider When Starting A Business – Take a couple minutes to go over this list of issues to consider when starting a business.

Questions To Consider Before Starting A Business – 10 key issues to look at before starting a business. Starting a new venture blindly is asking for headaches! Know what to expect before you start!

 

Business Plans:

Cafe Bistro Coffeehouse Business Plan Sample | Bplans

Cafe Business Plan | Fast Business Plans.com

Sample Business Plan: Moose Mountain Cafe | NH Small Business Development Center

 

A Day In The Life of An Cafe Owner:

A Day In The Life of A Coffee Shop Owner | Canstarblue.com.au

A Day in the Life of the Beth’s Cafe General Manager | Eater Seattle

 

Cafe Owners Interviews:

15 Coffee Business Owners Speak Out | “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Coffee Shop”

Interview With The Owner of Orange Cat Cafe | Gensfallsregion.com

20 Questions with Linda Gomez, co-owner of Inza Coffee in Scottsdale | Arizona Coffee

Maid Cafe NY: An Interview With Owner Satoshi Yoshimura | Nextshark.com

Meet Zahra Saleh, The Vibrant Longtime Owner Of Cafe International | Hoodline

 

Cafe Market Research:

Coffee Shop Research Report – U.S. Small Business Administration

Bakery Cafes in the US Market Research | IBISWorld

Cafés/Bars market research, trends, and statistics | Euromonitor.com

 

Cafe Trends:

2016 Coffee Shop Trends | Stocktongraham.com

New Coffee Industry Trends | Refinery29.com

6 Café Design Trends & Ideas | Sound of Architecture.com

2016 Coffee Trends | Camano Island Coffee

Everything You Must Know about 2016’s Coffee Shop Trends and Café Customers | Entity

Coffee Shops Around the World | Euromonitor.com

 

Opening a Cafe – Start-up Tips:

10 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Cafe | ladyironchef

My coffeehouse nightmare | Slate.com

Want to Open a Coffee Shop? Read This | Fox Business

Opening a Cafe – Business Support | My Business 1st

10 Things To Know Before Opening a Cafe! | European Coffee Trip.com

What’s The Secret To A Successful Coffee Shop? | Forbes

Opening a Coffee Shop | Espresso101.com

Changing the Way Cafe Owners Think | CoffeeGeek

 

Cafe Article Mix:

5 Essential Tips for New Coffee Shop Owners | Serious Eats

Simple tips to build a successful café | Smart Tips and Solution

8 Essential Tips for Owning a Regional Café Business | Jamaica Blue

9 Must-Know Energy Saving Tips For Cafe Owners | Smallbusinessfirst.com.au

Marketing A Cafe:

50 Restaurant Marketing Ideas & Tips From the Pros | Fit Small Business.com

20 of the Best Cafe Marketing Ideas | Corehospitalityfurniture.com.au

How to market your café | Five Senses Coffee

Coffee Shop Marketing Ideas: Social Media Strategy | Blue Cricket Media

6 Coffee Shop Marketing Strategies that cost less than $100 a Month | Handground.com

The Café Owner Whose Ignorance Is Killing Her Business! | Jims Marketing Blog.com

 

Training Tips & Resources:

Five Practical Barista Training Tips from Heather Perry | Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Top 5 Tips for Café Owners and Baristas | Refreshmentsystems.co.uk

American Barista & Coffee School | Barista Training, Coffee Business Consulting

 

Cafe Equipment:

Commercial Espresso Machines | Seattle Coffee Gear.com

Coffee Supplies & Equipment | akitchen.com

Coffee Shop Supplies & Equipment | Webstaurant Store.com

Coffee Shop Equipment | Catering Equipment Suppliers

Full list of Equipment for your Coffee Cart or Kiosk | Cmcespresso.com

Wholesale Coffee Equipemnt | Coffee Am.com

Espresso Parts | Espresso Parts.com

Restaurant Furniture | Restaurant & Cafe Supplies Online

 

Cafe Supplies:

Coffee Syrups & Coffee Makers For Home or Business | Barista Pro Shop

Coffee Machine Cleaner | Espresso Machine Cleaner

Kiva Han Coffee Wholesale | Kivahan.com

Coffee Wholesale Suppliers | Kaldi.com

Wholesale Coffee & Supplies | Espresso Zone

Fresh Wholesale Coffee, K-Cups, Pods, Bunn Brewers | Coffee Wholesale USA

 

Cafe Insurance:

Cafe Insurance & Coffee Shop Insurance – Nationwide

How Much Does Coffee Shop Insurance Cost? | Sample Insurance Quotes

Coffee Shop Business Insurance | Business Insurance USA.com

Coffee Shop Insurance | Bolt Insurance

Cafe Insurance – Business Insurance Quotes | Compare The Market

Compare Cafe Insurance Quotes | Commercial Insurance.net

 

Established Cafe Sites and Business:

America’s Best Coffee Bars | Food & Wine

Best Coffee Shops in America | Thrillist

Best coffee shops in the US – Business Insider

Best coffee shops in America for espresso, latte and more | Timeout.com

The 15 Greatest College Coffee Shops in America | Travel + Leisure

The 40 Best Coffee Shops in the U.S. | The 40 Best Coffee Shops in the U.S.

America’s 15 Best Indie Coffee Shops | Fodor’s Travel

These Are the Best Coffee Shops in America | TIME

 

Cafe News, Industry Publications & Popular Sites:

Fresh Cup Magazine

Tea & Coffee Trade Journal

Barista Magazine Online

Coffee Chemistry

Roast magazine

Cafe Culture

BeanScene

Coffee Review

 

Cafe Books:

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template eBook

Start & Run a Coffee Bar (Start & Run Business Series)

12 Steps to Cafe Success

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting And Running A Coffeebar

 

Cafe Glossaries:

Coffee and Espresso Terms | Coffee Review.com

Coffee Glossary and Definitions | Coffee For Less.com

 

Cafe Associations:

National Coffee Association

Specialty Coffee Association of America

Barista Guild of America

Roasters Guild

 

Cafe Franchise Opportunities:

10 Coffee Franchises to Challenge Starbucks | Smallbiztrends.com

Café Franchise Opportunities | Franchise Direct.com

Cafe & Coffee Franchise Opportunities | FranchiseSales.com

NY Bagel Cafe & Deli Franchise Opportunities | Nybagelcafe.com

Sunny Street Café | Sunnystreetcafe.com

Another Broken Egg | Another Broken Egg.com

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe | Kekes.com

 

Cafe Businesses For Sale:

Cafe Businesses For Sale | Bizquest.com

Coffee Shops For Sale in USA | Businesses For Sale.com

Cafes For Sale | BizBuySell.com

Cafes For Sale | BusinessBroker.net

Cafes for Sale | WeSellRestaurants

Cafe, Cafeteria For Sale in California | Bizben.com

 

The Latest Cafe Related Videos:

Starting A Cafe

Cafe Marketing Tips

A Day In The Life of A Cafe Owner

Cafe Owner Interviews

Tips For Running A Cafe

 

Cafe Forums:

Coffee Forum

The Magic Cafe Forums

CoffeeGeek

Barista.com Forums

Cold Brew Coffee Forum

Too Much Coffee

 

Cafe on Social Media:

Videos

Cafe Facebook Videos

Twitter

Coffee Shop Tweets

Pinterest

Cafe Business

Coffee Shop

Coffe Shop Design

Coffee Shop Designs Architecture