Coffee shops continue to increase in popularity, with over 11,000 coffee shops currently operating in the UK. This makes a coffee shop a very good choice when starting a business. However, a coffee shop involves the preparing and handling of food products. This will require being keenly aware of the laws set out by the Foods Standards Agency, as well as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, or HACCP. The details surrounding how you will acquire, store and handle food in your business plan are also crucial elements to include in your plan.
However, you will also need to demonstrate your knowledge of the products you will be selling. This could mean anything from types of coffee and espresso to the pastries and other food stuffs you will be offering.
Isn’t It Just about Making Coffee?
You may think that making coffee is as simple as…well, making coffee. You grind the bean, add hot water, and that’s all there is to it. But there really is much more to it. Fine coffee is much like a fine wine, with many complexities as far as bean type, quality, flavour and preparation methods go.
Aside from the coffee bean itself, there is the water. After all, over 98% of the liquid in a coffee beverage is water. That being said, the quality of your water source will be a crucial element of the success of your coffee shop business.
Among the things to consider when choosing a water source are the levels of chlorine, silica, total dissolved solids and pH. All of these will directly affect the taste of the coffee you will be serving.
Supporting Sustainability and Balance
In order to be sustainable, a coffee shop must be able to make thousands of transactions on a daily basis. Many elements will either work for or against this, such as the ergonomics of the actual shop, its location, and what else besides coffee it will sell.
The design of the coffee shop you choose will make a big difference to its profitability. Everything from the coffee-making area to payment system used must be efficient and designed to be conducive to human movement. Staff must be able to move comfortably from one area to another, and customers must have clear paths to order and pay for their items.
‘More than Coffee’ Strategy
If you wish to secure the sufficient turnover that spells sustainability for your business, having a strategy that includes the making and/or sale of other products in addition to coffee will be crucial. This will allow for more revenue to be generated from customers who may want something other than coffee. However, it’s important not to offer too many options, as this can confuse the customer and result in poorer product quality.
A fact of coffee shop ownership is wastage. And the reality is that keeping shelves scant and holding onto products longer than you should will not inspire customers to enter or return to your establishment. Customers will want fresh products as well as variety. Without these two elements, your business can quickly slide into failure.
You’re Not Selling Coffee
Of course, your coffee shop will sell coffee and other products. But it’s the intangibles that will keep customers coming back. Coffee and pastries are comfort food, there to help alleviate the stresses of everyday life. A coffee shop with its tables promotes connection. But so will your staff. How they engage with customers will be an integral part of the customer experience.
Your coffee shop will, of course, have many other aspects in addition to the ones mentioned above, all of which should be included and adequately detailed in your business plan so that the funding you require can be secured.