How to Start a Coffee Shop


If you love coffee and people, running your own coffee shop would be the perfect career choice. Coffee shops have remained popular despite the downfall in high-street retail. However, their popularity means that there’s a lot of competition within the sector.

If you’re looking to start your own coffee shop, you’re going to need to find a way to stand out above your competitors. There’s also a lot of factors you’ll need to consider. To help, here you’ll discover some of the main things to focus on when looking to start your own coffee shop.

Do you have the right experience?

The first thing you should ask yourself is whether you have the right level of experience to open a coffee shop. Do you have managerial experience for example? Being able to make a great cup of coffee and having impeccable customer service skills will only get you so far. You’re also going to need to manage your books, as well as handle the day to day running of the business.

If you don’t have any experience working within a coffee shop environment, you might want to rectify this before opening up a shop.

Choosing the best location

Once you know you’re well-equipped to handle the running of a coffee shop, it’s time to choose the best location. This is going to make a huge impact on how successful your shop is.

Ideally, you’ll want to pick a location which isn’t already inundated with coffee shops. Unless you’ll be providing something totally different from your competitors, your start-up will struggle against more established venues. It should also be placed in an area which is easy and convenient for your customers to get to.

Investing in high-quality equipment

When you’re running a coffee shop, you’re going to need high-quality equipment. This can be pretty expensive, so the cost is definitely a factor to consider. You can pick up professional coffee shop equipment from companies such as Nisbets. At the very least, you’re going to need a very good quality coffee machine.

Will you serve food?

Are you planning to serve food at your coffee shop? Even if you’re only planning on serving sandwiches and light refreshments, you might need a license. You’ll find it useful to look over the “Safer Food, Better Business” leaflet produced by The Food Standards Agency. This gives you pointers on cleaning, cooking, contamination, chilling and managing food prep. It’s really important to ensure you’re aware of the legalities before launching your coffee shop.

Understanding your niche

Finally, it’s crucial you understand your niche. Focusing on one particular niche will help you to become much more successful. So, for example, you could focus on vegan coffee. Or, you could open up a coffee shop focused on sustainability. Once you have a niche, you can better market to your target audience. It can also help you to stand out from your competitors.

These are just some of the things you’ll need to do before setting up a coffee shop. The more you research and plan ahead, the more successful your coffee shop is likely to become.


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