A cafe can be a popular destination for people of all ages, and opening one can be profitable for the business owner. Your cafe can be a meeting place for friends and business colleagues to enjoy hot and cold drinks, baked goods, or a tasty lunch. Here are some important steps to take before you can open up for business.
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Learn as much as you can about running the business before you get started. Work at a cafe, in different roles if possible, to gain an understanding of how each element of the business works.
Create a business plan, or have one created for you. This will act as a guide for every aspect of your business from the company profile, to the financing, to the marketing plan.
Select a location for your cafe. Try to find a spot that is in a high-traffic area, or at least is visible from a main road and can be reached easily. Also check with local government about any licenses or permits you will need, and be sure your building is up to fire code.
Rent or purchase the equipment you will need to run your cafe. You will need a small kitchen with a proper exhaust hood, burners, an oven and maybe a grill. You will also need different coffee makers, tea pots, a dishwasher, and other small appliances. A seating area will have to be created for customers. A counter with stools can also be considered.
Research suppliers for food, coffee, and other related items you will need on an ongoing basis. Contact non-competing cafes in other areas and ask which suppliers they have had success using.
Create a menu and hire staff. Try to find staff with at least some experience to minimise training times, and create a small menu that is easy for staff to prepare when you are busy.
Promote your new business. Distribute business cards and flyers with "just opened" specials to encourage new customers. Consider having a grand opening event and inviting the press and a local politician. Create a website to showcase your menu and start an online newsletter in exchange for e-mail addresses for e-mail marketing.
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