5 Hacks to Start a Coffee Shop From Scratch

guide starting a coffee shop from scratch cafe business

When you're thinking about starting a coffee shop, it can seem quite daunting at first. However, it doesn't have to be, as long as you bear in mind a few key processes.

Starting A Coffee Shop

Starting and running a coffee shop isn't easy, but there are ways we can keep ourselves ahead of the curve and go storming to success. Keep reading for our best coffee shop tips and hacks!

Franchise? Existing Shop? Start From Scratch?

First things first. You have three options when it comes to starting a coffee shop business, and they all have their own benefits and drawbacks.

If you go with a franchise, you'll already have the brand name, but less control in decisions relating to menu, decor and prices. Buying another coffee shop is an option that leaves you with less building and construction to do, but these can be quite hard to find.

Starting your own coffee shop from scratch might seem pretty risky, but you get to control everything, and if you're dedicated enough, the effort may well be more than worth it in the end. 

Create Your Business Plan

Once you've made your decision, you'll need to form a clear and thoughtful business plan. Consider the business structure you'd like to go for, marketing and sales plans, and of course the financial side of things.

Instead of going in blindly, you'll have a clear idea of everything you need to do to make your coffee shop a success. Your business plan will form the building blocks for every other step of the process.

Form a Clear Brand

Of course, if you're running a franchise, the brand identity will already be strong and instantly recognisable to consumers. However, it's a little different when you're starting from scratch.

Who are you aiming towards? What's your unique selling point? What values do you want your coffee shop to embody? 

These are all questions you'll have to answer, and be sure to utilize social media and word-of-mouth to get your name out there too.

Find a Supplier - or Roast Your Own

This is another important aspect of owning a coffee shop. You could roast your own beans, in which case you'd lower supply chain costs and could potentially start your own roastery and develop your brand further.

Alternatively, it can be less work, and definitely easier, to find a good supplier. If you do go down this road, don't just go with the first supplier try. Your coffee is the focal part of your business, so the beans should be perfect for you.

Floor Plan, Location and Atmosphere

Your coffee shop's environment is important. First off, it's vital to find a suitable location that's accessible, the right size and in your budget. Then, consider the floor plan for your cafe.

Do you want to maximize interaction between baristas and customers, or would you rather prioritize showing off high-quality equipment like your commercial espresso machine? Consider workflow and counter space too, to make your coffee shop experience both simple and aesthetically pleasing. 

Then, you'll need a pleasant cafe atmosphere that will keep people coming back again and again. Whether they're students, working professionals, romantic couples or friends catching up, you'll want them to feel comfortable and at home in your coffee shop.

Setting Up Your Coffee Shop for Success

With these tips and hacks in mind, you should be feeling more confident about starting a coffee shop or cafe. For more advice on building your cafe, food service, or restaurant business please check out our other posts right now!

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