Appreciate opinion on new store by the beach


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Apr 29, 2013
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I have been offered a 1,700 sq/ft store right on the sidewalk of a popular South Florida beach (not South Beach). I will be visiting the store in three weeks time but this is what I know so far:

1. Foot-only traffic with very limited auto-traffic.
2. Average 4,000 people per day on a week day and close to 9,000 on the weekends (no rainy days data available yet).
3. Unknown number of people on the beach during six month of the year (potential clients).
4. No coffee shops around. Just restaurants.
5. No Starbucks around on the same beach (5 mile radius). Makes me wonder if they know something I do not.
6. Mega hotel to be opened next door in 2015.
7. Store owners willing to invest in setting up the store and take a percentage of ownership.
8. Currently the store has a souvenir shop.

With this data I can safely assume that on a week day I will have roughly 100 clients and 150 on a weekend. Although the owners may also be willing to provide a few months of free rent to help me start up, I am still wondering how will I break even with just 150 people stopping by.

I know that blue seas, palm trees and sandy beaches may be an attractive place to sit down a have a cup coffee but when the day is over, no palm tree will keep the store in business if it does not makes a profit.

Where am I going wrong in my evaluation.

Your help is very much appreciated.
what other shops around?
Are there any busy food related business around?
What is the rent they are asking for the property.
Do you have any experience running a coffee shop or related business?
Are you planning on just coffee and espresso base or going to offer some type of food.
Are there many shops around who could be your customers?( like their workers, other business owners and etc)
how much of build out is he willing to help you out with?
Are there any other coffee houses near by?
If so, are they doing well or all failing.

There are few things for you to think about.

1. Why is he willing to invest? Did you ask him?
2. 100 clients might not be enough to support your business. If you think about your average ticket sales being around 3-5 dollars.
3. Will you be able to find employes
4. Do you have enough cash to survive 6-8 months without much of income.
Where in S. Florida? I lived there for 13 years and each beach community is different.
Would definitely get into cold brewing coffee for the hot months. Maybe check into a beer/wine license to appease all...if that works with your budget.
Who would you buy your coffee from?
South Florida peeps unfortunately reach for an energy drink before good coffee, but it's changing. I personally think the area needs more craft coffee shops but I also understand you need a crowd to support that.
Check with Topher, he's still down there in that area.
Let us know if you do open, I frequent all the time.
Good luck!
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CoffeeJunky, thanks for your quick response and valuable information.

The owners of the retail shop also own the hotel above the store. They want to class-up the hotel and have contacted us. There are five shops at street level and one at a time they are being leased to "better" stores. They do not want neither they know how to operate a coffee shops. We do.

The hotel is a typical South Florida small hotel by the beach. Excellent condition and very-frequented. Do not expect much business from it since it has 60 rooms.

We do have experience in running coffee shops and we will have up to 9 months of financial backing. We plan to offer 50% coffee and coffee related drinks and 40% breaded products. 10% soft drinks and others.

The rent is astronomical but store owners understand that there's no chance a coffee shop can succeed at these rent levels. They do want a coffee shop that's why they are willing to take partial ownership of the store.

There are no other coffee shops around. Just ice-cream shops (2) and they are doing well.

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bprotsman...Hollywood Beach is the city. The store is by the Broadwalk. We will install our small roaster in the shop (if allowed by the city) and roast coffee in house.

I am fully aware that it is a major risk but if we can survive the first months with the financial backing and adapt to what south floridians want, we will be ok.

Good to hear you will be roasting your own. Not that you couldn't source great roasted coffee near by, I just think it adds to the ambiance of the place. Not sure if they still do that big farmers market down there on boardwalk (josh's) but they could all be potential customers depending on where your located.
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Let's use a famous quote..."if you build it, they will come". There are no place to have expresso coffee around unless you go to a restaurant. It is a work-in-progress.

Senior citizens start coping the Broadwalk any weekday at 7:00 am and we think we can invite them in. By 8:00 am all joggers hit the Broadwalk before going to work. At 9:00, after kids have gone to school, you see all non-working parents walking with their strollers. By 10:00 am you already had 2,000 people wondering around with no place to go but home...or the closest Starbucks by car.

Let's just hope the stop by.

Will keep analyzing the project.

There seem to be good base of customers. 1700 square feet seem big when its all opened up but once you put in your coffee station, your stations for milk sugar and other product display, you will have less then 50 seating. Of course if you put restaurant type of tables all around, you could get more but I never liked that look.

I think you will have huge demand on espresso base drinks. Try to offer good Cuban coffee and very nice blend of coffee drinks to your customers beside typical coffee drinks. Also, I have tons of more demand for tea base drinks as well. Good luck
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Many thanks all for your kind help. Your advice will be considered. Most likely will post a new thread in a month once I have gathered more info.