5 Things to Consider Before opening a coffee shop

opening a coffee shop

So you’ve decided to start a coffee shop/cafe, but it’s not as easy as brewing coffee and opening your doors for business. That being said, it is a highly rewarding experience, one where you will be responsible for some brightened up mornings, where friends and family will have conversations over some freshly brewed coffee, and meetings will feel even more joyful!

But first, you need to know everything there is to know about opening a coffee shop efficiently, which is why this blog is the perfect fit for you!

Let’s start:

1. First things first- Research, Research, Research!

Remember opening a coffee shop takes a lot of time and money which is why it is crucial for you to spend some time understanding what is needed to run a profitable cafe. Here is what you can do:

  • Reach out to business owners and learn about their experiences, this includes information such as what has worked for them and what hasn’t. You can do this by visiting a lot of coffee shops to determine what your business should be doing.
  • Consider from the other businesses what you want to take and what you want to do differently from them.
  • Study your target audience/marker- Who are they? What are their needs? How is the demand? What time of day works best for coffee shops?

All this will help you figure out the business plan, create a menu, and also the prices you are going to keep for your items!

2. Select a Concept & Finalize Your Vision

The next step is deciding what the concept of your coffee shop is going to be. The concept is the theme you want your coffee shop to be in and if done right can help give you a competitive edge over your competitors.

The concept of your coffee shop includes:

  • The name of your cafe
  • How it will look i.e style of decor
  • Who is your target audience
  • What your menu will look like
  • How much are individuals willing to pay for coffee?
  • Do you want to provide food or not?
  • Is the coffee service going to be dine-in or to go?

Having a well-thought-out concept will help set up and start your cafe in the most efficient and successful way possible.

Read our next blog to find out more on how to decide the design layout of your cafe!

3. Building a Full-Proof Business Plan

A business plan is critical to know the kind of direction your business will take, and is required for any foodservice business that wants to succeed. Your business plan will help you make some really important decisions such as:

  • Finalize a concept for your cafe
  • Plan ownership/partnership
  • List your competitors and how you will stand out
  • Understand your finances
  • Create a great menu

That being said, your business plan should include the following elements:

  1. A summary of what your business stands for i.e the mission and vision statement, and how you plan on standing out.
  2. An analysis of your local market from customers to competitors
  3. Staff requirements i.e how many people are you going to hire and what you plan on doing yourself.
  4. A marketing plan that mentions the way you are going to get the word out by promotions, social media, print banners, brochures, etc.
  5. How much investment do you need to do initially and how you are going to obtain it.
  6. Projections of finances such as profit and loss as well as cashflow.
  7. Selection of location and decide if the property is going to be rented/leased or owned.

Sure, we know that’s a lot to think about but if these aspects are carefully thought about, it could be the winning factor for a cafe business.

4. Finding the Ideal Location

Finding the most ideal location is one of the most exhausting parts of opening a coffee shop but is absolutely essential.

There are three aspects that you need to consider when choosing a location for your cafe:

A. Foot Traffic and Target Audience

You need to pay close attention to how many people are moving around on foot, or how many are searching for a parking space, are there more people on the way to work or when they are meeting friends? Your concept could be a huge factor to decide your location.
It is always best to find out what makes your target audience in that area tick! Another important thing to consider is are there other coffee shops or similar businesses in close proximity to where you plan on setting up your cafe?

It’s also highly critical to understand the terms and conditions of the rental lease as this will majorly impact the resale value and profitability of your business down the road.

Don’t sign anything until you have a legal advisor to guide you through it.

B. Accessibility

When it comes to accessibility you want there to be enough clear walkaways and parking space i.e the location needs to be easily accessible from the road. This will also help you ensure that when you start your coffee shop, you receive a good amount of direct walk-in footfalls.

C. Visibility

Make sure that whether you have a signboard for your cafe or a banner it should be highly visible to people from the street and sidewalk. Also, set up a Google My Business account so individuals are easily able to find your coffee shops location.

5. Get Your Permits and Licenses

In order to start a coffee shop, you need to first ensure you have the permits and licenses from your local government to start selling to the general public. Also, keep in mind that your permits and licenses will take time and the waiting process maybe longer, so plan ahead.


These are a few of the things you will have to consider when opening your own coffee shop. It is such a wonderful opportunity to be your own boss, achieve profits and make relationships throughout the community.

The most important thing to keep in mind when opening a coffee shop is to stay efficient, organized and to follow the business plan religiously.

We hope this blog has helped you familiarize yourself with some of the things you need to know when starting a cafe.

Moiz February 8, 2021


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