5 Insider Tips to Opening a Successful Cafe or Coffee

When I ask prospective coffee shop owners why they want to open a cafe, they often tell me, “I thought it would be cute.” And my response usually is

“It sure is cute spending your life savings and then spending 80 to 90 hours each week trying to earn enough to make payroll.”

If you’re considering opening a coffee shop or cafe, consider the following questions: Do you have a great business plan? Do you have about $150,000 for the initial build out? Do you have an additional $50,000 in the bank for payroll and other unexpected expenses? If you were able to answer yes to these questions, read on for the most important actions to take before you open your doors.

1. Get yourself a great logo

This is obviously the first step which we would love to help you out with. Symbols are a succinct and efficient way of communicating information about your business. A logo is an important part of your shop’s brand, and makes a significant impact on a cafe’s public perception. In fact, a logo is one of the most important branding investments a business can make.

2. Find an awesome coffee roaster

A great coffee roaster should not only roast coffee to perfection and deliver on time, but will answer your questions by e-mail, social media, phone, and throughout the day. If you find a coffee roaster with those qualities, grow that relationship and then make sure you always pay them on time. It’s also smart to buy your own coffee equipment so if there’s ever a misunderstanding or a need to make a change, you can easily break up with your beverage supplier.

3. Become a coffee geek

Train yourself first on brewing coffee, tea, or whatever beverage you will serve. Be a geek about everything that you are selling. Learn everything you can about the coffees—the altitude of the coffee plants, the coffee varietal, name of the farm, cupping notes, and recommended brewing styles. Read every book, search the web, and ask a plethora of questions about your product. You should be “the expert” about your products. Also share your knowledge and passion about coffee and the cafe with your staff. If they’re not passionate about your product or services, they will not help your bottom line.

4. Pricing products

Pricing is complicated, but it’s not rocket science. Think metrics all of the time. How many cappuccinos, lattes, cups of coffee, or espresso shots do you need to sell in order to break even? How much do you need to sell every day so that you, the owner, also gets paid? What is the replacement cost for your products? Are you delivering coffee to customers? There is a holy business axiom that teaches you how to price your products: If everyone complains about your prices, they’re too high. If no one complains about your prices, they’re too low. If just a few people complain, they’re priced perfectly. This process is not a one-time process—it’s eternal.

5. Know your competition

Everyone sells coffee. Thank about the Blue Ocean Strategy—how will you set your cafe apart from the competition? Research the competition that exists within a 50 mile radius and keep an eye on any new businesses. Ask yourself daily, “Who else does this?” If the answer is “no one does this,” then you’re on the right track.

6. Be passionate

Above all, there needs to be great joy in your business. There is a Jewish saying, “You can change the world with a smile.” If you, the owner, are always smiling because you love your business, products, and customers, then you will sell more. Your customers want to buy things from happy people.


The credit for this article goes to Melanie Woodward who is the creator of the popular Event Planning Blueprint. here is the link to the article: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/event-management-ideal-startup-1223366

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