7 Things to Consider when Opening a Successful Cafe

7 Things to Consider when Opening a Successful Cafe

A cafe is the home of …coffee. Coffee is darkly coloured, bitter, slightly acidic and has an amazing stimulating effect in humans, primarily due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and it can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways (e.g., espresso, cappuccino, café latte, filter coffee, Turkish coffee etc). A coffee shop or a cafe is not only about the drink, but about the service, the conversation, the pleasure…Still every year cafes appear and disappear. What is the secret? Is there a formula of the success?
Based on our catering suppling experience, we have formulated a set of tips to help you open a cafe that is profitable and lasts!

Tip 1 Do your homework!

Before opening the cafe of your dreams, where you would love to work or sit, start by making a business plan. The “feeling” that is going to work does no longer function in a very competitive environment. It is thus necessary to firstly set up clear SMART objectives. The business plan must include : a detailed description of your idea and your concept, the market to which you are addressing, the necessary investment, the expected benefits, the options for finance, the marketing strategy. To all these you need to add a research of the competition and the location.

Overwhelming ? It might be here are some questions to start with:
1.Who is my customer ?
2.Where does he/she take their coffee?
3.How does he/she like it ?
4.How much would he/she pay for the coffee?
5.Where do they like to go for it ?
7.What do we need to serve “that coffee” ?

This is just the beginning, but these are all a good starting point.


Tip 2 Location, location …location !

The ideal location, considering the questions above is where the ideal customer like to drink his/her coffee. Here are few suggestions of elements to consider when choosing your location:
1. Choose a place that is easily accessible, especially in the morning. According to studies the large majority of coffee lovers (more than 80%) will have their first coffee in the morning.
2. Take time and analyse traffic in area at different times of the day!
3. Keep an eye on competition around, think how you would be different and better.
4. Rent should not be more than 10% of sales.
5. There should be a good balance between the cost of rent and the necessary space for serving inside, the place for storage and for production, for installing the machines.
Super tip : a location that is in the corner (accessible from two large streets) will generate 30% more income than the others.

Tip 3 Be aware of legal obligations !

Health and safety regulations, licences, hygiene rules, local council rules and regulations, rules and laws regarding signing and marketing…Stressing, yeah…, but necessary and you need to know it before as they all influence the success and the financial and administrative planning. You should approach the local Council and the Chamber of Trade as they generally will provide the necessary advisory regarding this part.

Tip 4 Consider several options to finance your business

There are various options to finance your cafe: using savings, finance from local banks, start up loan from the government, finding an investor…All these options have pros and cons and you need to analyse them in advance, calculate and make a decision. Banks generally require a business plan, so go to tip 1 and put your concept on paper. Also you need to consider yourself or yourselves from an entrepreneurial perspective. What makes you a successful potential entrepreneur ? Why ? It’s time to update your CV with skills and experience that add up to the business plan.

Tip 5 Be organised !

A good organisation and a good general management is essential to ensure the success of your cafe. If your service is efficient, the customers will be happy and will come back. Your staff must be qualified and , trained. Each person must know her/his role and how to use the equipment. The process of preparing food and drinks must be a high quality one and compliant to the regulation, respecting the hygiene and safety rules.

Tip 6 Choose the right suppliers !

The ambiance, the service and the products determine the success of a cafe and remember that each customer desires a unique experience. Calculate your costs and your prices, propose quality and exclusive products. For this carefully analyse the suppliers and choose the best ones : affordable quality should always come in your mind as a principle. When you can, reduce costs ! Building a long lasting, based on trust relationship with your suppliers will facilitate your work and you will be able to benefit from better prices and faster deliveries.

Tip 7 Attract new customers and keep the ones you have

How can you attract customers even from the fist day ? Well, have a Facebook page, locate your cafe on Google My Business and, very important on Trip Advisor! Post and distribute flyers in the area and invite the staff of the companies located in the area for the opening . Offer time limited discount vouchers.

We sincerely wish you good luck! Thank you for reading and please feel free to add your thoughts, ideas, comments here bellow.

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If you would like to learn also about opening a restaurant, please click here.


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