13 Tips for Starting a Coffee Shop

If you are going to open a new coffee shop, you may have many doubts in your head.

If you are reading this article it is because it is true.

Luckily for you, I’ve rounded up 13 of the best tips for starting a new coffee shop and getting you started as soon as possible.

Keep reading to discover these tips.

1. Create a “Good Enough” Business Plan

If you want to be successful you need to develop a business plan for your coffee shop. This will help you to have a wide vision of your goals and you won’t surrender easily over the first adversity.

You will want to create a plan that can tell you who are your ideal customers, your milestones, your competitors, and your budget.

However, keep in mind that you don’t want to look for perfection, you have to create a “good enough” business plan to get started as soon as possible.

2. Find the Right Equipment

If you want to open a coffee shop, you will need to invest in some equipment.

There are lots of things that you can buy:

  1. Espresso machines
  2. Cooking equipment
  3. Refrigeration and warewashing equipment
  4. Coffee smallwares
  5. Disposable supplies
  6. Cleaning and maintenance supplies

Make sure to buy the best quality equipment possible, but do not spend too much, you might want to buy only the necessary equipment to start moving the wheels.

3. Focus on Quality

Quality is what differentiates a good coffee shop from a bad one.

Your coffee should be of the best quality possible, as well as your snacks and customer service.

This will attract more customers in the future and will place your brand in your customer’s brains.

Let’s say that quality is the cornerstone of your coffee shop.

You can create an excellent business plan and you could find the best location in the world but if you don’t have quality on your products you are a “good enough coffee shop”.

Your main goal should be to be an “excellent coffee shop”.

4. Hire the Right People

The flesh and bones of a coffee shop are its employees.

Having good employees could be a huge factor when determining your success too. You might want your employees to be productive and to offer the best quality possible on everything they do.

But how do you do this?

First, you need to be prepared to interview them, you have to create a list of the ideal qualities you want for your employees.

Next, once you have hired a small staff, you might create a system to keep your employees motivated and excited to work for you every day.

You can offer them bonuses for hard work, vacations, and other interesting rewards.

5. Give a Great Customer Service

People often overlook the importance of good customer service.

Just think about it.

Do you remember the last time that you were treated well in a coffee shop? And the last time you were treated badly?

I am sure that you do remember both.

That’s the point. You want your customers to remember your coffee shop as a comfy place where they are treated like kings.

Also, having great customer service will contribute a lot when it comes to bringing back your customer over and over again.

6. Offer Lots of Snacks

If you want to bring back your customers over and over again you need to offer a variety of snacks.

For example, let’s say that one client visits your shop almost every single day every morning.

In order to not bore that client with the same snacks, you have to create a wide variety of products that he or she can choose from every single day.

Also, you can make snacks depending on the season. This could be a great idea to attract seasonal customers to your coffee shop.

7. Measure Your Progress

Measuring your progress is essential when it comes to reaching your goals and optimizing your processes.

There are several ways to measure the progress of your coffee shop:

  • Cost of goods
  • Labor percentages
  • Top-line sales

Also, if you are going to apply digital marketing efforts into your coffee shop marketing campaign you could use these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

  • Impressions
  • Follower count
  • Likes
  • Comments

8. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles

Social media is an incredible tool when trying to find more customers. It is intuitive and not very expensive.

I am sure that there are hundreds and hundreds of potential customers on Facebook and Instagram that are not in your location but might want to visit your coffee shop.

Also, by verifying your business social media profiles you generate some trust in your customers by saying that you are the official brand.

The best thing about all of this is that you can expand your services to an online environment.

Maybe you can start offering your products online and shipping them around your city without your customers having to visit your physical location.

When it comes to social media, the possibilities are endless.

9. Create a Comfy Atmosphere

One of the most important parts of a coffee shop is for you to make your customer feel at “home”.

A lot of people like to visit their preferred coffee shop for relaxing, working, and even hanging out with their friends.

One of your main goals should be to provide an incredibly cozy environment for your customers to just relax and enjoy their coffee.

10. Make Sure That You Won’t Have Legal Problems

When you are in charge of a coffee shop, you need to be aware that there is some legal stuff implied.

This legal stuff can vary a lot depending on your location and the services and products you offer.

For example, some things that you need to take care of are your business license, employee identification number, food services license, etc.

Make sure to do your research and have all your licenses and permissions to avoid unnecessary fines.

11. Find the Best Suppliers

Finding a good supplier will be key to your coffee shop’s success.

Make sure to focus on quality and not quantity and also make sure that your suppliers are trustworthy.

Read the small words in the contracts and make sure that they give you the right to work with several suppliers at the same time.

If you can find a local supplier it will be great since the costs will be lower due to the shipping cost.

12. Accept That You Will Encounter Issues Along the Way

If you want to open a coffee shop you have to keep in mind that you will encounter issues along the way.

Maybe an employee will steal something from the kitchen, a supplier didn’t deliver the supplies on time, you found roaches in your kitchen, etc.

If you want to open a coffee shop it means that you are going to be an entrepreneur, so you need to be resilient and find the solution for every problem without demotivating you.

13. Create a Really Nice Looking Exterior of Your Shop

People usually judge a book for its cover. This fact applies to coffee shops and restaurants in general.

If your coffee shop has many decorations and is well cared for on the outside, it will increase the chances of generating trust and attracting new customers.

One of the worst things in the world for repelling customers is having a bad exterior appearance.

Final Words

I hope all of these tips have helped you in your journey of starting a brand new coffee shop.

Opening a new coffee shop is difficult, it needs a lot of preparation, relationships, and attitude. Definitely, it is not for everyone.

But if you are determined to open this new business and you are confident in yourself then take note of these tips and start implementing your ideas as soon as possible.

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