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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2

    Advise Please - Need Brutal Honesty..I really want to open my own coffee shop.

    So happy to have come across this forum! Well, here ya go, first post! Ok, so I want to open a coffee shop...HA! With that said, I do have years, and I mean years of experience working for someone else. You know what I mean, you loved their business more than them! You worked all the hours, etc...I also, have worked in the restaurant business as well for many years! I have not had less than 2 jobs for the last 15 years, sometimes 3. Ok, so I have always wanted my own place, and well, now that I am embarking on "older age", I feel I am ready to do it. Actually looking at a space today. My question is, am I totally nuts? It is a small space, around 700 sq ft. Located in a quaint little town that I have had my eye on for the last 10 years. There is nothing like this in the area, and I am not looking to be a giant. Just an older gal who is looking for something to call her own, and maybe...maybe make a few pennies down the road. I guess with that said, my question is this: Upon opening your store for the first time, when did you start seeing a profit? Be it ever so small, or great, at what time did your shop make money? I will have so many more questions for my seasoned shop owners here, but I am just curious, am I really out of my mind? I am going to be self funded in this project, and to start I plan on being the only employee, only open till 3 or 4 pm. No cooking, but outsourced pastries and goods. As I type this I know this may sound ludacris to some of you, but I have watched this foot/car traffic for years and feel confident in knowing what hours would work!...HELP! Do I need an intervention now??? Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    4,511
    Hi Room For crean,

    Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

    If you feel you're ready to do it, and since it's something that you've always wanted to do.... just take the plunge, and do it.

    Even though you plan to be self-funded (you'll probably need a lot more money that you anticipate), I'm not sure about your plan to be the only employee. You may need to rethink that.

    Wishing you the best of luck.

    Rose

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    1,043
    Find more than one space, but it's ok to prioritize.
    Have vision. Execute your vision by doing your homework. EVERYTHING is about preparation. Take your time.

    Find a good roaster, and even if you are looking at something simple, the coffee/espresso you are using is the most important aspect from the beverage side of the business.
    Understand the business and pricing models. Understand value in comparison to quality of drink, quality of service, etc.
    Buy based on value, not based on price.
    Get solid, proven equipment that someone locally can service. Stay away from most used equipment unless there is documented maintenance - it's just not worth saving pennies over.
    Budget for everything. After accounting for every possible expense, add an additional 10 to 15% on top of that, just because. And, for a small shop, I would recommend somewhere around $10 to $15K extra just for cash flow.
    YOU need to be the expert.

    My wife and I opened our shop some 14 years ago, saw first profit a few months in, but not immediately. We started with a cash reserve and things moved in a positive direction from day 1.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    caffedbolla.com

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    34
    My friend has started and sold 2 very successful coffee shops (in Florida).
    He is currently on his third very successful coffee shop.
    He says that you should have enough money to completely fund the shop for the first 6 months, assuming no income.
    Starting without a decent cash reserve is why most restaurants fail.
    Even if the place is good, it takes a long time for the word to spread.

    I would also agree that you will need staff.
    A lot of coffee shops do good business early in the morning (on-my-way-to-work crowd).
    If you open at 7am and close at 3pm and are open 6 days per week (I recommend 7), you will kill yourself.
    Consider how much work it requires outside of opening hours too.
    Most successful owners of restaurants are not only good at their business, they are also good at team building.
    Hiring and retaining good staff will keep you alive and sane.

 

 

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