Cafe Entrepreneurship

Some New Brew: Tips on how beginners can open a cafe business


Some New Brew: Tips on how beginners can open a cafe business

You have just daydreamed about the job you long for – your passion, your ikigai. You want to commit yourself to something that you’re passionate about and make profit out of it. 

Or maybe you are just really determined to make your goals and vision into cups and commissions. The chances of these two scenarios happening is quite possible because you are here reading this article. 

As a matter of fact, read on to help yourself sort out all of the knots in your mind about the whats and hows of your dream cafe business. Here are some useful tips to guide you on this new venture.


Think Smart. Think Investment.

Before all else, it is imperative to study and plan carefully where you will be investing your hard-earned money; your short- and long-term goals, as well as where your passion lies should be considered. 

An article by Philstar Global says that there is an increase in the number of Filipino families growing their cash remittances from an OFW family member by investing. With 11% of Filipino households from the previous 6.1% investment increase, it occurs simultaneously as countries reopen again. Another article by Philstar Global implies that the Philippines is a good market for a cafe business as it is forecasted that an increase in coffee intake by Filipinos is up by 32% from previous estimates. With this in mind, if you are an OFW and wish to help your family and create profit at the same time, continue reading this blog and we might just have the facts you need in making that dream come true. 

In many and any business venture, planning accordingly and consistent effort should be of essence. After all, these ventures are investments that should not only add numbers to your bank account today, but can also provide the secured feeling of having a source of income. 

So if you are determined to run your own business as an investment, you can add opening a coffee shop to the list! Not only will you enjoy making and sharing coffee to more people, but you also get to make profit out of it. 

Let’s be honest, coffee shops are not just for drinking coffee per se nowadays, but can also become a place for business meetings or a place where people can enjoy either having their me-time or quality time with loved ones!


Plan. Strategize. Project.

As in any case, conducting research before making important decisions will help you strategize and plan. Weighing factors that may affect your cafe business is the first step to prevent losing tons of capital. 

As you plan for your cafe, consider the market competition in your targeted location. During the course of your business planning, understanding factors that may affect the business can help you figure things out such as what kinds of equipment you should invest on, the marketing strategies for your target market, and monetary projections like ROI or possible bumps on the road among others.

Writing down your business plan can help you untangle step-by-step the what-ifs you have in mind. Planning, strategizing, and projecting can help you create concepts now and build further on your soon-to-be established business. Remember this line: frameworks can help. 


Spot the best area

The point of your new business is to share your well-loved coffee to others! 

You can start by determining a target location. You can observe customer traffic or maybe even the overall vibe of the community! Finding out the demographics of your target market can help you strategize the physical design of your cafe as well as fair pricing of your products. Do you want it to be in central business districts where office workers can get their coffee in the mornings? Or do you want it near colleges and universities where students can enjoy espresso while group studying? 

Aside from the target market, considering kitchen supplies and services proximity can help too. Will the space fit your kitchen? Will it have enough comfortable space for the customers’ tables and chairs? At the end of the day, cafe-owners want customers to get the best coffee AND to have a nice ambiance for them to enjoy.


Get heavy-duty, commercial-quality materials

Choosing the right ones after making thorough research does not end with just the location! Your market will look for the space and feel the ambience, but for sure, they will stay for the coffee you serve them. Undoubtedly, you need the right ingredients and the right equipment to make that right drink for them. 

Get the best quality coffee from a good source of coffee beans! Your coffee beans and equipment (such as espresso machines) suppliers should be reliable as these will be your partners in your cafe business journey. Getting the most suited espresso machine for your projected market is a must! All these proper decision-making on spending will pay off in the future, for sure.

Aside from equipment, you’ll also have to look for the right supplier for the raw materials. Being able to determine the right flavors of milk (fresh milk, oatmilk, soymilk, almond milk, etc) or pastries (savory and/or sweet) to pair with your drinks can go a long way for sure! Preparing for other essential supplies like cups, stirrers, napkins, and the likes should not be forgotten as these will all affect your overall cafe concept and ambiance!


Look inside out

Designing your cafe does not end with knowing where to put the tables and chairs and where the counter is for the cashier and prepping station. As we know, there are already coffee shops established out there. But you may want to look into giving your cafe its own personality and story. 

You may want to invest in nice signages and other things that may make your cafe– your cafe; even other furniture to amp up that cozy ambiance. You may want to check on the lighting also as this is vital to both baristas and customers certainly. The result of giving some effort on cafe designing may effectively help your customers and passers-by notice and remember your new business (and remember stopping by to get their own cup of coffee!)


Curate the menu

Curating, in simple terms, is a process of selecting and arranging certain items or works for a collection, etc.  You can (and should!) curate your cafe’s menu, the right quality coffee beans for the high quality coffee. And because you know your coffee, you most probably do know what the best food is to partner with that great drink. Whether that be a simple bread, a flavorful toast, or a luscious slice of cake –  good pairings turn a simple afternoon bite into a memorable one.


Choose the right people

As a business owner, you definitely want to avoid stressful situations in any aspect as much as possible. It will help you in the long run to find people that would be willing to share their coffee making skills and still be open to learning more.

When hiring, consider the skill set of the potential employees. Teaching them your vision to make every cup more memorable can help the cafe establish its own personality.

Training new or even experienced employees with proper coffee-making, how to describe flavour profiles, and other selections does not only help them be better at their jobs, but can help you in overall management as well. 

You can hire baristas with experience and you can still train new staff that are willing to be taught (not only about coffee drink recipes, but also about great customer service!)

It is important to look after the quality of your cafe’s products served by your staff, as well as your staff’s welcoming vibe when greeting and taking a customer’s order. 


Remember that…

Your cafe will be a place where people will enjoy good coffee paired with delicious pastries, where people will enjoy conversations and stories, the list goes on. 

This vision can be where people can make memories with the people they enjoy coffee with. So carefully plan and make wise decisions for yourself – because this is your investment and your dream cafe. And for the people who will be having memorable meals in your soon-to-be established cafe.

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