If this is your first time to invest in the coffee business, it may be worthwhile to learn from the experiences of other start-up coffee business shop owners. You have to watch out for pitfalls that others businessmen have fallen into. |
Do not use all your money to buy very expensive state-of-the-art kitchen appliances right away. It may be wiser to put your money to better use by spending on the areas of marketing and customer experience. State-of-the-art equipment are good things to have. However, they may wipe-out your budget in one single swipe without clear assurance of making your business financially sustainable. In the same manner, put value on the essentials. Service that is fast, reliable, and friendly is more important than coffee art.
You have to plan out your shop’s lay-out carefully. Some owners just pay attention to making the shop look attractive. While there is nothing bad about this, you also have to bear in mind that ergonomics is just as important. You have to make sure that everything is efficient – from taking orders, to preparing and serving food, to settling of bills.
Although you are in the coffee business, you have to use the coffee-plus strategy to generate more profit. Expand your menu to accommodate instances when people would want drinks other than coffee. Have soda, tea, and juices on hand. Make sure that you have delicious bakery items to accompany the drinks.
Do not focus irrationally on wastage. A well-run café will have wastage, whether you want it to or not. Many businessmen who are new in the food or coffee business are appalled by wastage. They try to avoid this by reducing the number of products that they put on display or by holding on to food that have gone beyond their “best by” dates. Bear in mind, however, that customers are not attracted by nearly empty shelves. They are not likely to return to your coffee shop either if they experience even the slightest suggestion of food gone stale.
Do not make the mistake of focusing on just making profits, especially at the beginning. Some businessmen who do so tend to choose suppliers who give them the lowest price, not caring if the supplies they get are of a distinctly lower quality. They also tend to be obviously stingy with portion size, worrying more about making a bigger profit than on making the customers happy. If you are able to cultivate satisfied customers who will loyally patronize your coffee shop, you will eventually win the game.
Charles works at Cafe2u, a company which provides franchise opportunities for anyone looking to start up their own mobile coffee shop. He enjoys writing blog posts giving tips and advice on how to go about starting your coffee business.
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