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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    3

    Open a coffee shop - need adv

    Hi, I want to open a small cafe shop with one of my co-worker. We both working as waiter/waitress in diff restaurant but we never been in the coffee business.
    I always have been fascinating by the art of coffee but never have a chance to have a job in the business.
    We have the idea about 3-4 months, I have been reading some book about running a coffee shop - do some research online also.
    Im trying to get a part time job in a coffee shop (which still not be done)

    There are a lof of option out there and idea of opening a coffee shop.
    Im 26 and this is my 1st business, I am jumping in a new thing here - Im learning to swim in the business plz help me

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    978
    Hello!

    This should keep you busy for awhile, come back when you've completed the first 5 steps.

    1) Hurry and save $150 - $200K if you haven't already

    2) Use the "search" function on this forum, and Google. Read. Learn. Assess. Apply. Repeat.

    3) Travel locally, and abroad and visit various successful coffee shops to see what it is they all have in common.

    4) In lieu of working at a coffee shop, attend SCAA, SCAE, or SCAJ coffee events as well as CoffeeFest or similar for at least 2 years consecutively. Avail yourself of all the training and educational seminars they have.

    5) Take classes in basic bookkeeping.

    6) ... and 95 more steps.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    twitter.com/caffedbolla

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    3
    Unfortunate that I dont have 100-200k :/
    I dont plan to open a big cafe either - we want to have our own cat cafe around 1000-1200 sf with capacity of 25-30 places.
    Im still looking for "best" location which fit in my budget meanwhile I want to learn more about the coffee it self

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    545
    two people will not be able to handle 30 people sitting. Not knowing where you are opening so just a guess on an average lease a 1200 sq ft building is going to be between 10-15.00 a square foot and then there is triple net which some landlords charge. heat and lights, rubbish pick up. That is what you are going to have to pay monthly whether or not you have customers or not. So if you and your partner can live without paychecks for the first 6 months and pay the basic overhead and your own living expenses then move forward, if not then you will be in financial trouble. Check with the town's zoning before you sign any leases. Equipment should be Ul/UTL approved, but I have seen non UL equipment in shops. Inspectors can shut you down if you do not have the proper equipment. Grinder, Brewer, Espresso machine, hot water dispenser new will cost around 10K for quality equipment. Some towns/cities require a certified kitchen which can be huge dollars, special sinks, dishwashers, venting, etc....
    If you a short of funds I would consider a smaller size shop and have take out only until you grow out of it and can offer sit down services.
    Just my pennies worth!
    Charlie
    If you are afraid of failure or losing money, quit while you are ahead

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Hollywood Fl
    Posts
    380
    I suggest you travel to a few cities known for coffee bars and check out every coffee bar you can find. THEN you will need take all the ideas from your visit and decide what you want to build.

    After you know what direction your looking for then the real fun starts.

    Next that you need to have some sort of business plan, how many drinks can you sell, how much do the drinks cost to make and what can you sell them for. Having a coffee shop is like any other business, IT IS A BUSINESS.

    If you are willing to put in the hard work and learn about running a business then go for it. If you want to hang out and be cool your probably not going to last long. What I can say is save your money because whatever you do is easier with $$$ Even with money you need to have some business since and drive to be successful.

    Good luck. You can do it, others here and my self do it you can to.
    Great coffee does not just happen!
    South Florida Artisan Coffee Roaster

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    3
    I'm also in the process of opening up my own place and I can tell you two things that have been hugely helpful to me:

    1) Get a SCORE advisor. SCORE is a free service from the Small Business Administration that pairs retired business executives with small businesses. You can do this in person or remotely. They have been a HUGE help! There are also lots of other free or low cost programs to advise new businesses and I highly encourage you to search them out. You could start with the city or town government in the place you are going to open.

    2) I had worked in various food service positions but never as a manager and never at a place with really good coffee. I didn't know how much I didn't know until I got a management position at a well respected and very well run shop. I highly highly recommend doing this!

    3) Ok, I guess I have a third thing too. Find a good roaster to partner with. I'm not sure where you are located but if you can, find a roaster that is either local or has a local presence that will provide you with technical assistance and training. In my experience a good roaster will provide you with all sorts of technical assistance and barista training - which is essential!

    Good luck and keep us posted!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    1,787
    Quote Originally Posted by outsidecoffee View Post
    I'm also in the process of opening up my own place and I can tell you two things that have been hugely helpful to me:

    1) Get a SCORE advisor. SCORE is a free service from the Small Business Administration that pairs retired business executives with small businesses. You can do this in person or remotely. They have been a HUGE help! There are also lots of other free or low cost programs to advise new businesses and I highly encourage you to search them out. You could start with the city or town government in the place you are going to open.

    2) I had worked in various food service positions but never as a manager and never at a place with really good coffee. I didn't know how much I didn't know until I got a management position at a well respected and very well run shop. I highly highly recommend doing this!

    3) Ok, I guess I have a third thing too. Find a good roaster to partner with. I'm not sure where you are located but if you can, find a roaster that is either local or has a local presence that will provide you with technical assistance and training. In my experience a good roaster will provide you with all sorts of technical assistance and barista training - which is essential!

    Good luck and keep us posted!!
    All those are great points but second on the list is one of the hardest things to do.
    How would you go by looking for that position.
    Do you come clean and ask for help?
    Or do you act like you need job?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
    Posts
    1,787
    Quote Originally Posted by John P View Post
    Hello!

    This should keep you busy for awhile, come back when you've completed the first 5 steps.

    1) Hurry and save $150 - $200K if you haven't already

    2) Use the "search" function on this forum, and Google. Read. Learn. Assess. Apply. Repeat.

    3) Travel locally, and abroad and visit various successful coffee shops to see what it is they all have in common.

    4) In lieu of working at a coffee shop, attend SCAA, SCAE, or SCAJ coffee events as well as CoffeeFest or similar for at least 2 years consecutively. Avail yourself of all the training and educational seminars they have.

    5) Take classes in basic bookkeeping.

    6) ... and 95 more steps.

    Opening a coffee shop is not a game we play for fun.
    When you start a business in leased location, you need to understand your financial obligation will be until end of your lease term.
    So no matter what happened to your business, you will owe that money until you paid that up or file bankruptcy.

    First you can to help yourself is to search this site.
    This has been answered many time over and over again.

    150-200k is NOT out of the line to open a small coffee shop.
    You will spend more if you are going to open a bigger shops.

    This is typical cost of opening a small 1000 sqft. Lets just say you are not doing too much do the building.
    So you can configure around 5000-8000 in plumbing.
    another 5000- 10000 in electrical.
    another 3-5k in painting(you can do this yourself)
    Flooring 3-5k
    Ceiling 3-5k
    Decoration 3-5k
    Now you already spent 25,000 before you even start doing anything about the chair, table, counter top, equipment, sign, inventory, lease, employee, and your utility.

    I have little extra time today so I will go little further.

    Equipment> 25-45k depends on what you are going to buy. espresso machine, coffee brewer, espresso grinder, coffee grinder, display case, counter top, these would be basic. You would also need other things depends on what you want to do or serve.

    Product inventory for 1 - 3 weeks. 5-10k. Coffee, flavoring, milk, soy milk, cups, lids, sleeves, and other things to run daily business.

    So you think 150-200k is out of the line?

    Good Luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    978
    And as far as the money goes, if you're not willing to put it on the line, then you may not be cut out for starting a business.

    What I mean is that all your decisions need to be make from a position of strength rather than a position of weakness. If you have any fears, or doubts, it changes how you make your decisions. It will always lead to poor decision making, and ultimately failure. So plan wisely. Have solid expertise in espresso/coffee making AND business before you open, and continue to improve both after you open.

    Opening is the easy part of having a business. Staying open, relevant, and profitable is far more work and takes much more skill.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    twitter.com/caffedbolla

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    6
    its a good idea, as people love coffee instead of tea these days !!

 

 

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