Cafes can be a fantastic investment if you’re willing to put in the hard work to get it to the point where it’s profitable. The popularity of coffee is on the increase; more than 95 million cups of it are consumed daily in the UK. Many of these are dispensed by cafes and coffee shops, which stand to make a huge profit from our nation’s love of the hot beverage. In fact, 16 percent of consumers visit one every single day (British Coffee Association).
This puts café owners in a powerful position. However, there is a huge amount of competition in the coffee industry too. If you’re going to survive in this crowded market, you’ll need a unique vision, a quality product and a foolproof business plan. This can be off-putting to potential business owners, but we’re here to tell you why you should invest in a café business.
1. Become part of the local community.
One of the main reasons why entrepreneurs opt to start a café business over anything else is its sociable aspect. As a coffee shop owner, you’ll be able to welcome customers from a range of different backgrounds and get to know them. Cafes aren’t frequented by one particular demographic; they’re popular among people of all ages, genders, nationalities, sexualities, classes and backgrounds.
Cafes are a key part of the community. They are a place to be social and feel safe. Many associate them with the chance to escape from everyday life, curl up with a good book or finally make a start on that project they’ve been planning. For others, it’s a destination to meet up with friends and family over a steaming hot drink.
>> Read more:
By starting a coffee shop business, you have the chance to play a part in the local community. It’s likely that your premises will witness key moments in the lives of your customers. Your latest customer might reminisce with their mother, meet their future partner, indulge in a sweet treat while getting over a break-up or get together with friends to celebrate a new job.
For this reason, running a coffee shop business offers more than just a profit. It gives you the chance to meet new and interesting people, offer locals a welcoming and safe space and play an active role in the community.
2. Grow the business as time goes on.
The beauty of a café or restaurant business is that your product offering can evolve as you develop your business. There is no obligation to open on day one with an extensive and diverse list of food and drink options. In fact, it might serve you well to focus on one particular type of product first. It’s much better to offer a few fantastic items that you’ve really perfected than to launch a whole range of substandard ones.
For example, you might choose to simply offer coffee and a few branded snacks first of all. Once you’ve established yourself in the market and developed a customer base, you could start to add more drinks onto the menu. Experiment with different variations of herbal tea or hot chocolates with different toppings, for instance. Then, start to increase your range of homemade cakes and pastries. If these go down well, you could even try incorporating light meals into your offering.
By building up slowly, you can learn as you go, making sure you develop a high-quality food and drink selection. You will probably also find that your customer base will increase as your product range does, as you’ll be able to accommodate the hankerings of more and more consumers.
3. Encourage additional purchases.
The beauty of a café business is that you can use your product selection to boost your profit. By laying out an enticing array of sweet treats, such as cookies, muffins and croissants, next to the tills, you can encourage customers to impulse-buy one of them. Many people won’t be able to resist purchasing a tasty snack to nibble alongside their hot drink.
4. Be creative.
Starting a café business gives you the opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. Not only will you have to compile a tempting menu, but you’ll also have to consider the theme and décor of the coffee shop. You’ll have the freedom to create whatever type of café you want.
This means you could end up with a cosy café with lots of reading nooks and comfy armchairs, or a modern one with a pared-back aesthetic and plenty of houseplants. Or you might prefer to launch an American-style coffee shop, with high tables and room for waffle makers!
5. Create a long-lasting business.
Coffee has been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and it’s unlikely that it will go out of fashion any time soon. Unlike entrepreneurs that build a business around the latest trends and fads, you can build one that has the potential to stand the test of time. If you manage to develop a great business model and loyal customer base, you will be able to sell your business on whenever you want to, giving you a healthy pay out for your next project or retirement fund.
If you become a café owner, you’ll also gain all the benefits that come with running your own business – on top of the five we’ve just listed. This means you’ll be your own boss, have the freedom to develop your business in the way you see fit and choose your own working hours. Ultimately, you’ll have the power to influence the profit your company makes.
Bear in mind…
We can’t encourage you to start your own café without listing a few of the possible downsides. It is worth noting that starting a coffee shop business is a huge undertaking, and one that demands hard work and dedication. There will be challenges along the way and, if your company fails, it is likely that you’ll lose much of the money you invested in it.
Launching and managing a business in the food or hospitality industries is also extremely time-consuming. To an extent, you’ll be able to choose your hours, but if you want your business to succeed, you’ll probably have to work at unsociable times, such as evenings and weekends.
Become a café franchisee
Take a look at our best café business opportunities right here at Point Franchise.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©