10 Things To Think About Before Opening A Cafe

Starting a cafe business has tons of perks. In addition to the fact that cafes are enjoyed in all areas, all over the world, they can also be lucrative. It offers the chance for you and all employees to engage with the community and build a business that stands the test of time.

However, like all other businesses, running a successful cafe will take time and effort. There are many things you should consider before jumping in the deep end. Here’s what you need to know.

Standing Out

Although all cafes are capable of being successful, there’s no denying how many cafes there are. With a cafe on every corner, you’d better make sure that yours stands out from the crowd. With this in mind, spend some time thinking about the theme of your cafe or the type of atmosphere you want to create.

If you can set your cafe apart from your competitors, you’re more likely to establish a loyal base of customers you can rely on to bring in a profit.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan is essential for many reasons. For instance, if you want to secure funding for your business, you’ll need a business plan to show potential lenders. It’s also a good way to start thinking about your business goals and how you will reach them.

Sitting down to think about how your business will pan out is a good way to distinguish between realistic goals and pipeline dreams. There are many different templates you can find online to get you started.

Choosing a Venue

Location is tremendously important when it comes to opening a cafe. The first thing you need to consider is the amount of traffic in the area to keep your business running successfully. Is it easily accessible for all potential customers?

You should also consider the size of the location. Are you opening a walk-in cafe or would you like to offer seating to customers? Find out where the nearest cafe is to the location so you can check out your competition.

Equipment Investment

Your cafe will need a lot of equipment to run efficiently. Whether you’re offering just hot drinks or broadening your menu to food as well, the organization of the preparation area takes a lot of consideration. For instance, you’ll need appliances to help with food and drink preparation and washing of dishes.

Choosing the best commercial dishwasher will be vital for keeping your health and hygiene ratings high. Avoid purchasing second hand equipment that could fail when you need it most.

Register and Licence

Before you open your cafe, you’ll need to register your business and make sure the government knows you intend to start trading. As you’re serving food and drinks, your premises will also need to be inspected regularly for health and hygiene purposes. This is so the general public knows your rating before stepping into your cafe.

If you intend on serving any alcoholic beverages, you’ll need to apply for a licence to do so. You can apply online for this licence but it can take time to be accepted so you’ll need to do it in advance.

Work On Your Menu

Now is a great time to start thinking about what you want to offer your customers. If you have a theme for your cafe in mind, make sure your menu is in-keeping with your theme. Perhaps there are specialities you like to cook or maybe you want to cater for a special diet.

Whatever your niche is, make sure that there’s something on the menu to please everyone. It’s also worth thinking about where you will get the produce you need to make your menu work. If you can’t find what you need, you may have to go back to the drawing board.

Find Suppliers

Before you open your cafe is the best time to network with local suppliers. If you find suppliers in your area, you may be able to negotiate on prices. For instance, if a local farm supplies you with milk, you may be able to get a discount on the bulk price.

Having said this, when it comes to other supplies, like napkins or to-go cups, you may find a better price outside of your locality. Do your research ahead of time and find the suppliers that suit your needs for the long-term.

Hire Your Team

Running a cafe takes more than one pair of hands. You’ll need a team that offers excellent customer service and can represent your brand well. Depending on your menu, you may also need chefs that specialise in what you’re hoping to offer.

However, if you’re only offering drinks and a small food menu, it’s worth training all of your employees how to make the whole menu. Most importantly, your team should know exactly how to treat your customers and strive to make the atmosphere pleasant.


At this point, you’re ready to get the word out. There are many ways you can advertise the opening of your cafe. You can go down the traditional route and hand out flyers in the local community or you can use social media to spread the news.

When you start to build some traction, prioritise building a website with all the information customers need. Customers often like to view the menu before visiting the store.

Launch Day

A great way to open your doors for the first time is with a soft launch. You can invite friends and family to the soft launch as a way of trialling the cafe and ironing out any kinks before opening the doors to the general public. When you think you’re ready, have an official launch.

Make sure you have branded items for customers to take away. For instance, children love to take away balloons or adults may like to take a pen with them. It’s a great way for your business to stay fresh in people’s minds.

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