How to Start a Coffee House
The Starbucks coffee house chain was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. Today it operates
23,768 locations worldwide with 2017 Q2 Revenue of $5.3 Billion. A coffee house may be one of
the more simple businesses to start among businesses in the food and beverage industry. Your
small business may never rival Starbucks, but if you can meet the needs of your customers,
you will be able to create a successful business that will endure over time.
Write a Business Plan
Write a business plan that is detailed and specific concerning all aspects of your coffee
house endeavor. Financing, menu options, operating hours and employment considerations should
be fully explained, along with details about the name of the business and anything else that
will help prove that the coffee house will be a viable business opportunity. If this step proves
to be troublesome for you, contact the Small Business Administration. Their experts can help
you draft your business plan and find financial support.
Pick a Location
Pick a location for your coffee house. The location should have plenty of parking available
and be energy efficient. You will want to be located where there is either a lot of drive-by
traffic or foot traffic in order to increase your visibility to potential customers. If you
are considering offering a drive-through window, your location should either already have this
option or be located where a drive-through window would be accessible to drivers.
Furnish Your Coffee House
Furnish your coffee house with tables, booths, chairs, couches or any other options you
wish to offer to customers for seating. Build your kitchen, keeping in mind what you plan to
offer on your menu. Purchase dishes, glasses, silverware and mugs for serving. Basics such
as a cash register, napkin holders and other restaurant staples are part of this step.
Create Your Menu
Maybe you just plan on offering coffee with various options. Or, you might like to offer
muffins or pastries along with coffee. Some coffee houses offer sandwiches and soup. Determine
ahead of time what your basic menu will include. Set prices accordingly.
Order supplies that you'll need to create your menu selections, along with carry-out
containers and basic supplies like napkins, coffee stirrers and other miscellaneous items.
Do your homework to learn which vendors offer more economical prices and delivery options that
best fit your needs. These requirements may change as your business evolves and grows, but
this is one of the most important initial steps that will help you succeed in your business.
By ordering from well-researched vendors, you may save a substantial amount of money.
Hire employees to help staff your coffee house, if your budget allows. High school or
college students often make excellent employees, depending on the hours they can work. In the
beginning, your coffee house will need fewer employees. But, just because you may need fewer
employees at the on-set, do not settle for employees who do not meet your standards of excellence.
Hold an Opening Event
Hold an opening event to help iron out any last minute details or problems. Invite a
small group of people for a free sample during a pre-determined time. For instance, a soft
opening event might occur on a Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Offer a free coffee or tea (or other
sample from the menu).
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