How to Open a Coffee Shop from Scratch
This is the third and final article in a series about how to start a coffee shop. You will find parts one and two here.
Invest in Homemade Baked Goods
In order to turn a decent profit, you will need to have customers come in and out of your shop continuously. Of course this means you’ll keep your coffeemaker running throughout the day. You will be busy focusing on serving your customers coffee beverages or pastries. In fact, at least 80% of the workday will be occupied by serving. Therefore it is crucial to plan ahead in regards to baking homemade treats to sell. When can you make time to bake? Can you enlist a family member or other staff person to do the baking for you? Remember that in order to boost your earnings, selling quality homemade cakes and pastries is a proven method of attracting more customers. Many shop owners have success if they schedule baking for the night before. Then the treats are fresh and ready for the next day’s customers.
Wow! Relaxation is a complicated topic to discuss. During the workday, you will need to offer stellar service and quality food and drinks to your customers. This helps word of mouth get around the city about your shop. When customers talk about your shop, you want them to all agree that it’s a fantastic place to have a cup of coffee or to spend their time. When your last customer leaves, you still have more work to do! You’ll need to clean the coffeemaker or espresso machine, wash the cups, disinfect the tables, mop the floors, clean the restrooms, and do many other things. Check your stock, and throw away any pastries no longer suitable for sale. Make a note of how many fresh items you will need for the next day. Remember to schedule a deep cleaning of the coffeemaker or espresso machine every couple of weeks. Plan to do this when the shop is not open so that service to customers is not interrupted.
After everything is completed you can close the shop and go home. However, depending upon your lifestyle, there may be a long list of domestic chores waiting for you at home. The truth is that you are bound by the shop. But you will still need to plan adequate time to pick up your kids (if you are a parent) and prepare supper. You may want to browse the newspaper or read a book, but your time may already be claimed by other duties. And don’t forget, you also have to keep your accounting records, legal records, and tax records current. You also need to schedule time to visit the bank and make deposits, as well as make sure your own house note or rent is paid monthly. And you’ll be required to prepare the weekly or bi-weekly payroll for your staff.
Do you have a dog or a cat? They need to be walked and fed regularly, even while you are running a coffee shop. Some pets don’t like to be ignored! And there may be times when you realize at midnight that you forgot to prepare a fresh cake or three batches of scones before bedtime. But in order to have a less hectic morning, you’ll have to face the fact that the bloody dishwashing must be finished before you can finally sleep. It’s all part of the larger commitment of owning a café.
You should face the fact that once you own a business, your holidays will most likely come to an end, at least for a few years.
Your staff may have paid vacation days. But unless your shop has been successful for a number of years and you can hire a manager to take over in your absence, vacations may have to be sacrificed. Thinking of your family’s living wage and considering how much care you put into running the shop well, you can expect to work without a holiday for an extended period of time.
Still a Great Occupation
Owning a coffee shop remains a great business, though some of the details may be challenging at times. With the growth of your business, you will have profits gradually. It may be two or three years after you first open, but you will finally see a profit if the business is well managed. Eventually you should be able to pay others to cover such tasks as cleaning, payroll, accounting/taxes, marketing, and so on. These additional perks are all based upon your profit margin, but they are future goals that you should keep in mind.
If you want to have some fun and work very hard doing it, take a chance and open a coffee shop. The experience could be unbelievable.