How to Open a Coffee Cafe

Written by elizabeth martin
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How to Open a Coffee Cafe
The coffee business can be very lucrative. (Coffee shop image by Nicemonkey from

If you enjoy spending time at coffee cafes, you may have considered opening your own. A cafe has the potential to bring in a substantial profit. Starting a coffee cafe does not have to be out of your reach. It takes planning, research and the advice of those who are in the field. By following a few steps for operating a business, you can be on your way to opening your own coffee cafe.

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  1. 1

    Apply for a business license. After you have chosen a name for your business, obtain a business license. Requirements vary by state; contact your local government offices to find out what type of license and permits you need. They should have the necessary forms.

  2. 2

    Make a business plan. Write down your business goals and how you plan to achieve them. Explain the need your business fulfils and how you will make a profit. List and describe your competitors and address any advantages you will have over them. List your marketing strategies. Describe how you plan to use your business capital.

  3. 3

    Open a business bank account. This ensures that your personal and business finances are separate, and helps you avoid confusion when bookkeeping. A business account also makes it easier for tax purposes. Consult an accountant, who can help ensure you establish the proper accounting procedures.

  4. 4

    Identify what kinds of insurance coverage you will need for your business. If necessary, consult with a local insurance agent.

  5. 5

    Set up your business phone line. Activating a toll-free number will automatically give your business a level of professionalism. This also will help you separate your personal calls from the business calls. A business line can also be listed in the business section of phone directories.

  1. 1

    Pick the best location. No matter how nice your coffee cafe is, if it is in a poor location your business will suffer. The best locations for coffee cafes are those that have a lot of traffic. Consider downtown and college areas.

  2. 2

    Secure financial backing. There are many financing options available. Visit credit unions to compare pros and cons; their lending policies might be more advantageous that a bank. Research grants that are available to small-business owners. You could also ask your friends and family for a loan.

  3. 3

    Buy equipment for the cafe. You will need items such as refrigerators, espresso makers, blenders, ice makers, cash registers and furniture. These items can be expensive. Solicit advice from those experienced in the field so that you don't neglect any necessities.

  4. 4

    Hire the staff. The satisfaction of your customers relies heavily on the service they receive. Look for employees with positive attitudes and good work ethics. Tell friends and family that you hiring and ask for recommendations.

  5. 5

    Set-up a website. Register your cafe's name as your Internet domain name. Design your website to reflect the decor and tone of your cafe. Describe your business and give your contact information.

Tips and warnings

  • There are online resources that can help you create your own website.
  • Consider sources that sell used equipment for food service businesses.
  • Consider traditional and nontraditional methods for advertising, including local events.

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