What You Need to Know Before Opening Your Own Cafe

Whether it's always been your dream to start up your very own cafe, or this is your entry into the world of hospitality, starting your own cafe is a big venture. It can be daunting starting out, but opening a new cafe should be a fun and exciting journey. To take away some of the stress of planning we've handpicked our favorite tips to help get you started and turn your dream cafe into reality.

Let's talk business

It's the small things that are going to make your cafe truly amazing. However, you can't ignore the big picture. Before you flesh out the fun details like theme and location, it is important to lay out a well thought out business plan. You will most likely need to create a business plan in order to secure a loan or pitch your idea to investors, but most importantly, a business plan is for you.


Start by considering your financials. You might not have hugely accurate estimates at this stage, with your future location determining your rent, but it is important to make a start. Consider your set up costs, equipment, fit-out, and make a rough estimate for rent in your area. Think hard about whether you want to keep your cafe independent or if you are happy to take on a partner or investors. Business plans will help you put into writing some of the harder aspects of opening a cafe. Don't be worried if at first, you are unsure of some aspects of your plan as it is something that will develop and change over time. There are plenty of great case studies and guides to creating business plans online, start a template now to keep the vision of your dream cafe strong and robust.


Location, location, location

It can be difficult to find a location that is both up for rent and fits your vision, but with a bit of persistence, the perfect location is out there. It is, however, important to think about some key details when shopping around. Consider the demographics in the area and what sort of foot traffic are you getting. Will you get commuters on their way to work, students on their way to uni, will you get foot traffic at all. If you already have a vision for what you want your cafe to be, consider how these demographics would interact with your vision.


Be sure to look at neighboring businesses. Ideally, you don't want to be opening a cafe right next to an existing one, but it can be really helpful to look at other cafes in the area. Get yourself a coffee, or breakfast and think about what you like and dislike. Think about what you could do differently and what will set your cafe apart from the rest. Don't let a lack of success early on put you off, finding the right place for your cafe will take some time, but with persistence come success.


Know what you want

It's important to keep your vision clear. It's the small details that will help tie your cafe together and keep people coming back. Consider a theme. A theme can be a great way of getting the ideas flowing early on. Whether you're going all out on a unique idea, or keeping your cafe elegant and high-end, having a clear vision will help you tie everything together. Think about what furnishings will suit your vision and add everything to the business plan. Be sure to keep durability in mind, particularly when purchasing outdoor furniture, such as outdoor tables and chairs. Your furnishings will get a lot of use, and the last thing you want is broken chairs a few weeks in.


Hire right!

Opening day will be a huge moment in both your life and the life of your cafe. You will want to make sure you have competent and experienced staff, particularly baristas. Your coffee is, after all, your brand. Consider how to recruit the best talent for your business. Recruitment agencies can be a great way to take some of the stress out of hiring the right people. Many companies also offer great deals for first-time customers, so it can be great for small businesses!


Starting your own cafe will be a huge moment in your life. Don't rush the process and be sure to enjoy the journey. Start planning now, and your dream cafe will be closer than ever.

About the author

Johanna is a freelance writer based in the windy city of Wellington, New Zealand. She has written on numerous topics, from travel and business, to home-living and lifestyle. See more of her published works on Tumblr.


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