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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Non-Profit Looking to open Coffee Shop

    Hi All,

    I've been a lurker for the past many months on Coffee Forums and have been taking in all of your great advice in spades - thank you! I decided to register today as I have some questions I haven't seen answered recently, and was hoping for some advice. I also emailed TopherModerator as he seems quite the pro, so hoping to hear back!

    I work for a non-profit organization situated in a large civic building. We are need of additional revenue to keep the organization running, and we have the existing infrastructure within the building to open a coffee shop. We would need to purchase the needed production equipment but the space would be rent-free and the chairs, tables, lighting, etc are already in place.

    What Im hoping you can help me with is understanding what basic baseline costs are for various speciality drinks - basic coffees, espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas etc. and what type of profit margins exist for these options? I'm looking for the basic current cost breakdown of each needed item.

    As well, if you had any suggestions on what equipment are best value for the best price. As we are a non-profit, we cannot buy the best, but Im hoping there are items out there that are excellent for a reasonable price point.

    As none of us are experienced in the foodservice business, we want to make sure we know what we're getting into before we do it and of course, understand potential margins and costs. As a non-profit, we really don't have the funds to hire a consultant, which would be ever so helpful!

    I thank you all in advance for your insight.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I am not much help when it comes to equipment recommendations, thought I know you can't skimp on grinders and espresso machines..... But as for breaking down costs, this is something you will need to do a lot of research on. You need to know how to make each drink you want to serve, that way you have an actual understanding of the cost breakdown. Most coffee shop owners are told it's a great idea for them to do work in some type of similar job so they can gain experience and insight. Once you learn that, you can figure out how much milk is needed per drink (and drink size) and then use basic math to figure out that cost. Do the same with pulled espresso shots, cups, lids, pumps of flavor, and so on. When you figure your costs and also your menu, you will have your profit margins. It will be different for each coffee shop, depending on location (cost of food in texas is not the same in california) and what type of menu you are going for.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Thanks so much for your reply! I really appreciate it.

    Is there a website anyone can recommend that would have an approximate cost breakdown per drink? As we aren't in the cafe business and haven't been up to this point, we are hoping to get just a very general idea so we can determine if it will make fiscal sense for our non-profit.

    Ideally, something of a breakdown of cost per drink of: coffee, milk, cup, lid, water, cup collar, etc. Is there anywhere that might have just a general idea on this, as we need to base our initial talks off of these numbers.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    There are a several different "How to start a cooffee shop" books out there and several have charts etc. For you to use to fill in the COG (cost of goods).
    Unless you have someone in house who is excited about coffee or already has some background I think you will be better off hiring a consultant to help you work through the process and get things started. Otherwise you could end up throwing money away and having a roped off area with great equipment that is closed because no one could stand the coffee or you lost to much money and had to pull the plug to stop the bleeding.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Where are you located?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    I've also thought about opening up a coffee shop but am so intimidated by the presence of the big names. I think it would be hard to compete but think people are ready for something different with a more personalized touch.
    Last edited by PinkRose; 03-16-2021 at 05:21 AM. Reason: Removed URL - Possible Spammer



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