Things to consider if opening a coffeehouse

If you’re considering opening a coffeehouse, there are a few key things you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge. From location and staffing to product selection and vendor relationships, running a successful coffeehouse requires careful planning. Here we look at some key things you should keep in mind when setting up your own coffee business.

 

Find a great location

As they say in real estate, it’s all about location. When selecting the spot for your coffeehouse, make sure it is easily accessible and visible to potential customers. A prime spot near high-traffic areas, such as universities or shopping centres, will draw more customers than an out-of-the-way location that people may not discover until much later.

There needs to be easy access to pedestrian traffic, so anywhere that is near a transit hub is also a good spot. Make sure that the rent in these areas isn't too high – you don't want to spend too much of your budget on rent alone!

 

Follow a good financial plan

It’s important to create and follow a good financial plan for your coffee business. A great way to get started is with a solid business plan. This is a document that explains the business setup and how it plans to grow in the future.

A good business plan should include an estimation of the start-up costs and ongoing expenses, projected profits for the first year, and other targets such as sales goals. Once you have a comprehensive plan in place, you’ll have an easier time securing financing and budgeting for your coffeehouse.

When exploring the different financing options, you need to think about what you need and what you can commit to. Whether you are investing your own funds, applying for a bank loan or seeking an investor, you should have a good idea of what kind of financial support you require.

Hire the right people

You will also need to think about who you will hire for your store’s staff. Depending on the size of your coffee shop and its hours of operation, you may need one or two part-time baristas or several full-time employees with different roles and responsibilities. These could include wait staff, kitchen employees and even a cleaning crew to keep things tidy.

Make sure whoever you hire is passionate about customer service and is experienced with working in the food and hospitality business. Baristas with a good knowledge of different coffees, the kinds of beans and how they're prepared are always welcome additions. You want customers to return because they feel valued every time they enter your store.

 

Partner with reliable vendors

Vendor relationships are important when running a successful coffeehouse – after all, this is where you get your raw ingredients, such as your beans, from! Research various vendors so that you can find one that fits both your budget and quality standards. Stale beans won’t do any favours for your business.

You should also decide which types of drinks to offer. Do you want to serve just coffee-based drinks, or maybe some teas? You might want a simple food menu with sandwiches or salads that require fresh ingredients. Choosing the right suppliers can feel overwhelming, but with careful research, it can save you money in the long run.

Buy the right kitchen equipment

Finally, you will need to invest in the proper kitchen equipment to make and serve your coffeehouse’s drinks. Investing in quality supplies such as professional espresso machines , coffee grinders , milk frothers and other tools of the trade can be costly but necessary.

You may also want other appliances to serve drinks with, like fresh juice and sodas. For example, an orange juicer makes your fresh juice stand out. You'll also need to invest in an ice maker or drinks fridge to ensure cold drinks stay that way.

If you want to serve a few food items, like soups or salads, then you'll also need to invest in a large catering-size fridge . Smaller appliances will also be necessary, like a deep fryer for French fries, a toasted sandwich maker or a blender to make delicious soups. Whatever you invest in, make sure whatever you buy is reliable, energy-efficient and easy to clean.

Don't forget to market yourself

A great marketing strategy can help you get the word out about your coffeehouse and draw in potential customers. Create a website, post on social media regularly, or even set up a loyalty program to reward frequent customers. These are just a few of the many ways to market yourself and promote customer engagement.

You could also look at hosting events at your coffeehouse to bring in more customers. Book clubs, poetry readings or live music not only add to the ambience but also let customers connect and build a community – with your business right at the heart of it.

Opening a coffee shop is no small task. Many factors need to be considered before getting started. Keep this list in mind, and you'll be off to a great start. Although the food and drink business can be difficult to break into, with careful planning and consideration, anyone can open a successful coffeehouse.