How to Open a Cafe — Ultimate guide

How to open my own cafe

Before embarking on specific practical steps, it is very important to think over the idea and the future business “inside and out” as much as possible.

The first idea to consider is the concept of your future cafe. This will help eliminate extra thoughts and ideas and focus on the main goal. When considering a cafe concept, you may choose between a mono-product or a diverse menu cafe. A mono- product is when a cafe specializes in one dish. The opposite of this approach is, accordingly, a cafe with a diverse menu consisting of different types of dishes.

Next, it is worth deciding on the format of the cafe — this is a full-fledged cafe, self- service, fast food, or street food. The format determines the target audience and prices. For example, if you have a fast food cafe, the average check will be low, and your main customers will be students and employees of nearby business centers. Moreover, fast food doesn’t need waiters, which cuts down the expenses.

Need a business plan template? We recommend using the step-by-step guide world dramatically. When opening a cafe, restaurant or bar, you need to be prepared for the inevitable problem of competition.

Dozens of new establishments are closing and reopening every day around the world, making capturing the attention of customers a top priority. In this race, the winners are usually the points where every detail is carefully thought out — and this applies not only to the menu, location and way of promotion, but also to the design.

In the evaluation of cafes and restaurants, the interior and exterior play just as important a role as the cuisine. However, today many restaurant critics point to an interesting trend: the amazing external similarity of most establishments. This phenomenon is usually associated with the fact that many today simply do not have the time to look for something special or just good — and try to choose what is predictable, at least visually.

Perhaps such mimicry is quite reasonable, but those who want to create an institution with a unique concept and for true connoisseurs still look closely at the current trends in the design of bars and cafes when opening or renovating their own establishment. We invite you to evaluate the design trends in the catering industry for 2021, based on the core values ​​- comfort, adaptability and a unique story.

Prepare a Cafe Business Plan.

The next important step to take is to prepare a thorough cafe business plan. The cafe business plan needs the maximum attention, regardless of whether you are going to invest your own savings in the cafe or use third-party investments. But even choosing a ready-made solution, for example, a franchise, or entrusting this side of

the matter to someone else, do not be too lazy to figure out the main points on your own.

Analyze the initial costs of opening: the cost of renting premises and equipment, salaries of employees, the cost of purchasing food and other goods, garbage disposal, security, cash desk maintenance.

Estimate the amount of investments in renovation, preparation and receipt of all the necessary documents for opening a cafe.

Calculate your revenue based on the average check and projected traffic. This will help determine the payback period of the future establishment and the profitability of the project.

T o project your finances, you may need help to be able to maintain income and revenues. A good idea will be to use a ready- made financial model, which saves your time.

All you need to do is to input necessary data into a cell, and everything will be calculated for you.

Need a business plan template? We recommend using the step-by-step guide → Cafe Business Plan

Each entrepreneur draws up an individual business plan for their cafe, since the level of investment differs greatly depending on the format, size of the establishment, and the dishes served. It is more practical to focus on the list of mandatory costs associated with the opening of any catering point, and on the average market indicators (number of visitors, average bill, payback period).

A Cafe Location choice

This choice depends on your concept. You might choose a location near the city center, to be within easy reach from business centers, or universities. Your cafe should be suitable and well-thought, to be able to win customers’ hearts.

When you chose a place — it is time to look for the best equipment. Here again consider your concept, as you might need a lot of additional items. For example, if you want your cafe to sell freshly baked pastry, you will definitely need to purchase special ovens, mixers, and prepare a room for the pastry to rest. The amount of investment in equipment depends on the concept of the establishment and constitutes a significant proportion of the total costs.

Need a business plan template? We recommend using the step-by-step guide → Cafe Business Plan

The average cost of equipment for a cafe takes about 20–30% of the total investment. For a small cafe (up to 20 tables), where some of the dishes are planned to be prepared from semi-finished products, the costs will be about 300 thousand rubles. In addition, it is advisable to calculate in advance how much money is needed to purchase furniture for a cafe, dishes, tablecloths.

How much does it cost?

Let’s do some calculation here. Generally, there are two types of expenses in any business:

  • one-time investments,
  • fixed costs of maintaining operations.

One-time investments include: technological project design (re-equipment), business registration, license for alcohol (plus an independent examination of the premises and obtaining an opinion), repair, engineering re-equipment, signboard, purchase of equipment, dishes, furniture, organization of accounting: cash registers, computers, software, order (development) of technological maps for dishes.

While fixed costs include: rent, utilities, internet, staff salaries, including taxes and insurance payments, purchase of products, payment for the musical group, or dj/animators, taxes, and one of the most important -advertising and promotion.

Need a business plan template? We recommend using the step-by-step guide → Cafe Business Plan




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