A piping hot cup of coffee is a drink that you can enjoy any time of the day. A mobile coffee stall business is one entrepreneurial option that gives you the ability to service the needs of people as they mill about and move from one place to another. The art of owning and running a coffee stall can be challenging if you don't get your business off on the right footing. Even though the business is more portable and takes up less space than a traditional coffee shop, you'll need to run it efficiently to turn a decent profit.
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Things you need
- Business plan
Write a business plan. Do this even if you don't need outside financing to fund your coffee business. Determine whether your coffee stall business will be an independent operation or a franchise. Weigh up all options before making a final decision. Decide whether outside financing is required and, if so, apply for a business loan based on expected start-up costs.
Get training as a barista if you will be selling or offering coffee beyond traditional brewed coffee. Take classes at a local college, cooking school or otherwise sanctioned facility that offers training and education for baristas. Practice the craft of coffee brewing and preparation to enhance your skills.
Apply for all necessary business permits and licences from the local council. Contact your council's food health department and verify requirements to legally operate your coffee stall. Register your business with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to ensure your tax affairs are in order.
Choose a location. Verify the availability of the location for use by a coffee stall vendor by contacting the local authority whose jurisdiction the location falls under. Before selecting the final location, survey the area for at least two full weeks to monitor the pedestrian and vehicle traffic that passes by the area. Take note of the busy and slow times of the day and keep notes of traffic patterns.
Buy or build a coffee stall. Select a cart that is large enough to house all necessary equipment for brewing and making coffee. Make sure the cart has large windows on at least one side so that customers can easily see you while you are tending to them. Make sure the cart has a shelf in front of the window to place coffee and other items during the customer transaction. Have the cart outfitted with the name of your business prominently displayed on the outside. Understand that not everyone enjoys coffee, so add other beverages to your menu, such as hot tea, water, juice and soft drinks.
Buy supplies and equipment to get the coffee stall up and running. Use your business plan to determine your budget. Buy coffee beans, a grinder, a coffee bean roaster, brewing equipment and cleaning supplies. Buy condiments traditionally used in coffee, such as sugar, sugar substitutes, cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and cocoa powder. Buy disposable, insulated cups in at least three sizes, with co-ordinating lids. Buy prepackaged items with a long shelf life to sell as additional items, such as cakes and biscotti.
Advertise your coffee business. Distribute flyers to businesses and buildings located within a mile of where your coffee stall will be located. Give out vouchers with your brochures. Get a website up and running. Have business cards made or make them at home and use a home office printer. Market and advertise your coffee stall. Include the location, hours of operation and menu item offerings on marketing material to attract customers.
Tips and warnings
- Understand that it takes time to establish a loyal customer base and run a successful coffee business.
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