October 6 - 8, 2023 / Metropolitan Pavilion
03 September 2015
Want to open a coffee shop? Here’s how.
Thinking of starting your own coffee shop, and wondering how to make it a success?

The team at Nobly POS offer their advice for future entrepreneurs.
Thinking of starting your own coffee shop, and wondering how to make it a success? The team at Nobly POS offer their advice for future entrepreneurs.

Don’t do it for the love of coffee!

Crazy, right? Wrong. If you want to open your own coffee shop, do it for the money you could make doing it. Coffee seems simple and straightforward, and people who drink it can’t seem to get enough of it. In many cases, they’ll dig deep to pay for it, even as they walk. What could go wrong?

The answer is: Lots. So in addition to remembering this one crucial “don’t,” here are several things to keep on your “DO” list:

Location, location, location

Small business retailers know that finding a great location is crucial to their success, but the definition of “great” for a coffee house might surprise you. Many people think they need to be in a high-traffic area, when in fact this can often backfire.

In a high-traffic area, people are generally in a rush to get where they’re going, and a successful coffee house is a destination. Even if customers don’t hang around long enough to take advantage of your WiFi, they generally don’t see coffee as an impulse purchase. If they want or need it, they’ll go past the crowds to find you.

Consistent Excellence is Key

You can probably run a successful quick service restaurant with quality that is 80% as good as it gets, but with coffee as the product drawing customers, this goes up to 100% as you are relying on your coffee itself to set you apart.

Find a great roaster who will answer questions, deliver on time, and consistently roast your coffee perfectly. Then invest in top quality espresso machines, and hire the most passionate, trainable staff you can find and pay them well enough to stick around.

Do the Math

One of the reasons you should start with a business is that it will force you to crunch the numbers as if you’re trying to sell your business to potential investors. Even if your only potential investor is you, your goal should be to feel confident that you will meet your expenses and still thrive.

What does it typically cost to open a coffee shop business? Well obviously, it depends upon your market.

If you don’t have a clear picture of the math involved in making your business a success, you’re going to struggle, but what if you’re not very good at math? Then what?

Surround Yourself with Experts

You don’t need to be an accountant, tax attorney, or even the best barista around to open a successful coffee shop, but you do need to appreciate the value of these experts.

If you’re not sure how or where to find these experts, do a little detective work. Join community groups of entrepreneurs and network with them.

Just whatever you do, don’t try to do it without the right guidance… It’s not “just a cafe,” it’s a business.

Which brings us to our final point… As much as we said not to do it for the love of coffee, you should do it for your love of life–your life!
2022 Sponsors
Barista Attitude
Battenkill Valley Creamery
Bluestone Lane
Counter Culture
East One Coffee
Espresso Parts
Global Coffee Institute
Guatemalan Coffees
Mr. Black
Pacific Foods
Print Cup USA
San Remo
Slayer Espresso
Project Waterfall
Big Picture Media
World Coffee Portal
Patron Tequila
© 2023 Allegra Group Ltd.
Keep in touch
Sign up to our newsletter
for the latest line-up updates
No thanks