Operating Expenses


New member
Aug 5, 2009
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Hey everyone,
I have loved all your posts and have gotten so much helpful info so far to help me in starting my business. THANK YOU! I wanted to know what I should expect to be my average operating expenses per month for a smaller coffee shop....my guess is about $14,000 but I wanted to get your input??? Any suggestions/advice is ALWAYS welcome!


Nov 12, 2008
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At startup, your operating expenses are (greatest to smallest)

1. labour
How many hours of operation ? How many of those hours are you working ?

2. food costs

3. rent

4. coffee costs

John P

Active member
Jan 5, 2007
Salt Lake City
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There are SO many different styles and sizes of "small" shops that the location (City), size of shop, number of employees, efficiency of design, efficiency of electrical, HVAC.. will determine operating costs.

Generally you are looking at Labor, COGS, utilities, and rent. Realistically, unless you paid cash for everything, include your debt service as part of your operating cost.

We are a small, quality focused shop (not volume sales based), about 1100 sq feet right in the heart of downtown, and we have been open for just over five years. We are extremely efficient. We put most all our profits back into the business. We are open 6 days a week. Our operating costs, including debt service, are about $7-$8K per month. We're pretty unique, so we're probably an aberration.


New member
Jul 6, 2008
St Augustine Fl
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Agree with John P. We have no waste, a great location, my buildout was minimal, My nieghbors are second to none. My operating costs are 6-7k a month. And thats about what I make. I serve expensive drinks and make no apologies. So this is a very expensive hobby, but I can honestly say I tried. Not many people can say that, although it was at a huge expense.