Coffee shops can be wonderful little businesses if they are set up correctly. Unfortunately, too many people think it is an easy, cheap option for starting a business and then they are surprised when the business fails. If you are considering starting a coffee shop or café, this article contains some excellent tips to get you started.
The first question you need to ask yourself is simple. Are you any good at making coffee and what will you feed your customers? You need to establish what type of café or coffee shop you are going to open, the type of customers you are hoping to attract, and you need to think about what will make your coffee shop the one passing customers will choose.
Most high streets have many coffee houses to choose from, and if you look at them, they will all be slightly different. Think about your passions. Do you love baking delicious pastries? Or do you prefer making dainty tea cakes to enjoy over afternoon tea? Your coffee shop should play to your strengths.
You could also think about a café. It could be a breakfast and lunch stop diner, or it could be an organic café serving healthy snacks and lunches. A café or coffee shop is a place to rest, relax, buy refreshments and eat good food. The types of customers you attract depend entirely upon the type of food and beverages you serve.
Starting a coffee shop involves investment. You will need to purchase the correct cooking, serving, and storage equipment. You could consider a state of the art coffee shop display fridge so customers can easily see the delicious selection of cakes and pastries to choose from. You will need a properly equipped kitchen too, with plenty of surfaces, a fridge, freezer and cooker. Commercial kitchens are very different to domestic kitchens and the appliances are different too.
If you are not sure, spend some time learning about it. You could take a short course at a nearby catering college or you could get to know another café owner and ask their advice. The more information you can gather before you start to purchase equipment the more likely you are to buy the correct items.
Spend some time looking at the other establishments in your town or in nearby towns. Consider what has already been done and try to offer something different, slightly better, and unique. The café business is highly competitive, especially with so many popular coffee chains dominating every corner on every block. What can you do to compete with the big chains?
Specialising in a certain produce is one way to stand out. This may be speciality teas or coffees, or it may be that your coffee shop doubles as a charming antique store, or boutique. There are many books shops and galleries that also have coffee shops, but if you think about your audience and the types of customers who may pass by your place, you will soon think of ideas that will attract the right clientele.
Develop a business plan which has all the details in it. This will be your guide and help you stay on track with timings and money. It is an involved project and takes time, effort and research. However, once you have made all your carefully detailed plans, you will find it much easier to get started and enjoy the dream of owning your own coffee shop or café.