Opening a coffee shop would be profitable if you do it right. Normally, there are 3 basic options to start including purchasing a franchise, buying an existing business, and starting from scratch. As for investing in a franchise, many main business choices are decided for you while you will be given a turnkey business at a location determined by the franchisor. Another option for obtaining a turnkey operation is to purchase a shop that is in need of renovation or for sales. However, it is not an easy process to find a profitable business for sales. Conversely, starting a business from the scratch takes the greatest time and work, but it also provides the most flexibility and possibility for maximizing profits.

Regardless of whatever choice you choose, the same basics for success apply. If you are a coffee lover and looking for running a coffee shop opportunity, this article would be your guide to start and make it a success.


1.      Locate A Nice Location At A Reasonable Price

It is very important to understand the reason why coffee shops are so popular before you create one. To begin with, coffee shops are fantastic places to socialize with friends, to pass the time by surfing the web or reading while people can enjoy a snack or beverage. The caffeine shop is also well known for informal meetings like business or students who want to catch up to discuss school assignments. Not only that, but you will also see a group of students brainstorming the school work or a realtor pursuing listings with a customer there.

When choosing a site, consider how near and convenient it is to your target customers.

Even though you will not have much influence in location when you are buying an established firm or franchising, but you should still conduct your own research in order to choose whether the chosen site is desirable.

You might also have some doubts about choosing whether location or rent.

Keep in mind that the most central locations are not always the most cost-effective. The greatest competition and highest rents usually happen in malls as well as other high traffic areas. Besides, the storefronts are an ideal location for coffeeshops business because they can provide the most exposure, offer lower-cost rents than malls, especially you can determine your own business hours rather than being dictated.

In terms of parking, you have to talk it into account. People want to have easy parking when going to the coffee shop. At malls, you will not have the issue there. But if you want to run your business at storefronts, make sure you have to have secure and easy parking space.

2.      Offer high-quality products on a regular basis

Specialty coffee has expanded in scope in recent years, from cold-blended beverages and classic espresso variants to encompass new trends like cold brew, nitro, CBD infusions, ready-to-drink, and various non-dairy additives. According to the research conducted by the National Coffee Association of America, the standard drip coffee fall behind specialty coffee products in popularity in 2010, and the normal drip coffee has been steadily decreasing since then.

Moreover, customers appreciate sustainability more than ever, which in the caffeine business includes environmentally friendly packaging, practices, and fair trade beans.

The chances of attracting customers for coffee shops are slim because of the discriminating clients unless you have to deliver high-quality items and keep up with the trends plus consumer values. Thus, you have to:

  • Keep up with the latest trends in your industry (wifi, seasonal drinks, occasional products, etc.)
  • Purchase high-quality equipment (grinders, espresso machine, Water filtration systems, etc.)
  • Choose from a wide range of freshly roasted beans
  • Maintain a knowledgeable and well-trained staffs
  • Serve fresh snacks and pastries
  • Offer a variety of trending drinks, client favorites, and your unique creations

3.      Provide A Wide Range Of Snacks

Despite the large markup on tea and coffee, a coffee business cannot sustain just coffee sales. Most successful retail businesses and foodservice understand the need of diversifying their products.

To gain additional purchases from customers, you can have a variety of high-quality snacks on hand at the counter. Coffee matches well with most bakery goods; consider beyond the usual pastries and muffins if you want to expand your brands and boost sales. Here, you can consider cooperating with local sandwich businesses or bakeries, and it is easy to purchase wholesale from them.

Additionally, food products should be purchased from other vendors or pre-made to save time. As for the made-to-order meals takes time and affects the total sales volume, especially during peak times.

4.      Provide Excellent Customer Service

As for great customer service, counter service is used by the majority of successful coffee businesses. To reduce your labor expenses, customers can order and pay in advance, and they would be called when their snacks and drinks are ready. It is a better solution to handle during busy periods.

Regarding the table services, even though it is slower and requires more labor-intensive, but it is suited to restaurants where customers purchase complete meals and spend more time in your place. And it is an opportunity for upselling and would be a good fit for your business strategy.

5.      Establish A Loyalty Program

Offering a loyalty program can help customers to feel recognized and encourage them to return with rewards incentivize. This benefits your bottom line in the following ways:

  • Increasing the frequency of purchase from regular customers
  • Encouraging the chances of a once-in-a-while consumer picking your shop over competitors
  • Increasing more sales by encouraging consumers to spend more

Your loyalty program can be set up in different ways. If you follow the transitional method that utilizes cards with stamps for each transition, make sure to select high-quality cards with your business name and have a clear logo, and they won’t disintegrate easily in the purses or wallets. Alternatively, newer digital systems can record the information of consumers instantly at the point of sale, reducing the number of items customers need to carry.

Final Thoughts

In the United States, almost a hundred million people enjoy drinking coffee which is no more surprised why the coffee industry is booming. So if you are looking for a coffee opportunity, with these tips, you will be in a better position to invest in a coffee shop and make your cafe dreams a reality.


How to Start a Successful Coffee Shop |  The Balance Small Business | Susan Ward