Opening a cafe: Things you need to know

If you have always dreamed of leaving the rat race and opening a quaint coffee shop on the high street, then you will need to know how to make those dreams a reality. If you want to start a cafe as your full time business the first step will be to create a business plan.

A cafe business plan is usually a comprehensive document which contains the business’ aims, what is is about and how you plan to make a profit. This will also include things like the competition in the market, what kind of growth you want to achieve and where you will spend your initial investment. It can take a huge amount of time to come up with a document like this, which is why to start with you may want to streamline the plan into a one page pitch. This will be what you use if you decide to try and gain funding from the bank for your project. You are effectively outlining your goals and telling the bank why they should invest in your startup.

opening a cafeOnce you have managed to make a business plan for your cafe, you will want to look at the location of your new venture. Ideally you will want to find somewhere which is fairly central to the city and largely populated. You are much more likely to attract customers if you are in an area where lots of people congregate. It can take you a long time to find the right spot for your coffee shop. Whatever you do don’t rush the process. This is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the business process so make sure it feels right to you.

Once you have found your ideal location you will need to get to work designing a floor plan. If you are simply serving drinks- then all you will need is the till and barista area, some chairs and tables and a toilet. However if you plan to sell food too; you will need space for a kitchen behind the till area to prepare your food.

Think about the equipment you are going to need to bring into the building. You might need multiple coffee machines, a fridge freezer, cooker, grill, fish Skinning machine, deep fat fryer… it all depends on the type of food and drink you plan to sell. The crucial thing is to make enough room for your customers to sit and enjoy their food and drink. You could extend upstairs and outside to suit each person’s preference.

Once you have designed and fitted out the cafe, you are going to need to start gaining some interest from the local community. Place a sign outside the store and make sure your banner is big enough and clear for people to see. Create a social media campaign to share your business and then invite people to the launch of your new cafe. You will soon gain that interest and start to see customers flooding through your doors every day.