Startup Thoughts

jeffh

New member
Mar 29, 2017
1
0
Visit site
Hi everyone. So while not a traditional coffee shop, I have been thinking about starting a small cafe in a large office building in my city's downtown area and I'm looking for some feedback.

It is a small (~500 sq ft) retail space in the main floor of an office building. Without knowing for sure, I think the office building would be home to approx 300 office workers. Some fixtures appear to be included.

My intention would be to keep operation very simple. Serve drip coffee along with typical other drinks (tea, soda, water, juice, etc). I would also serve pre-packaged sandwiches and baked goods made by a local producer, as well as serve pizza (purchased from a local pizzeria and delivered daily just before lunch and kept warm in a pizza server). In addition, I would have a chip rack, bar/candy/gum rack, as well as newspapers and a lotto terminal.

The office building is open Monday - Friday, and I would expect my hours of operation to be from 8:00am - 2:00pm, I would probably arrive around 7:00 and go home around 4:00.

Does this seem like a viable one-man operation to you professionals, or am I completely out to lunch on this?
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,753
79
Kansas City
Visit site
These types of scenarios are impossible to reply without really digging into the numbers. Take your hours open x estimated sales per hour - expenses (lunch / labor costs (even yours)... sit down and really think about how many drinks/food items you will sell. With 300 office workers if you capture 10% each day that's 30 customers... my initial gut says it would be tough unless you have walkin traffic.
 

Stonewall123

Member
Aug 6, 2014
62
1
Visit site
Not enough people. I sell to a lobby coffee shop, the building has 800 plus people. They only sell 60 lbs per month. Set your sites much higher..
 

Missjune75

New member
Mar 30, 2017
23
0
New York City
Visit site
My feeling is forget the pizza and just make the best darn coffee you can. Ditto the sandwiches. The small coffee businesses that Ai have seen thrive make fabulous coffee and have a nice atmosphere. They sell a few cookies and maybe some juice or bottled soda but thhey make their money selling coffee (their beans too) coffee makers that are simple and good like the carafe one that I can't think of the name right now.
I'm embarrassed to say how much I have spent on some bags of great coffee beans.
Best,
MissJune75
 

Ramiel

New member
Jan 22, 2021
24
2
Melbourne
Visit site
My coffee shop was also in the office building. When I bought the space on the second floor, I thought I would have more customers, but I don't think I ever had more than 80. People worked even during lunch breaks, and very few came in to sit in the cafe. Most just ordered a coffee and left. So then I decided to move my coffee shop elsewhere. After discussing this question with a friend who works for a company that offers information on co-working space, I moved to a mall. There I saw more perspectives, and indeed now I have more clients.
 
Last edited:

Albertr

New member
Jun 25, 2021
15
1
Visit site
My coffee shop was also in the office building. When I bought the space on the second floor, I thought I would have more customers, but I don't think I ever had more than 80. People worked even during lunch breaks, and very few came in to sit in the cafe. Most just ordered a coffee and left.
Did you purchase coffee to sell or did you make your own?
 
Top