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  • Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

    HI everyone, Im a 19year old coffee enthusiast, and over the past month have been writing a business plan and cash flow to see how profitable a cafe could be to me, actually, just whether it would survive!

    Turns out it will, but I am not getting into this business for the money, more the experiece and to perfect my coffee skills.

    I am really just after some advice for opening my cafe, and where the hidden costs will be!?
    Also, milk.. Where is the cheapest nice creamy milk for coffee..

    I have so many other questions!! I gues Im just after general advice..

    Thanks a lot,

    Adam.

  • #2
    Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

    Id suggest working as a barista in a small cafe/coffee shop before opening your own. You said youd like to perfect your coffee skills and that you arent in it for the money, so why go through the hassle of opening a cafe?

    What costs have you anticipated to open your cafe?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

      I agree with JRC about gaining some experience making coffee first.

      My father was an exceptional businessman and I could work with him but know I could never run a business the way he could.

      Has anyone in the cafe business gone over your business plan?
      Writing one is a good start but there may be many costs youve missed.

      My son works for an auction house that makes its money selling up failed businesses.
      They hold a catering equipment auction almost every week.

      There are many people out there with shattered dreams.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

        Simple start up costings, work out what you think it will cost and how long it will take then double both and you should be about on the money. (goes for how long you will need to work to look after all the back end stuff too.) ;D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

          You really need to get experience in a cafe environment before you even consider starting your own cafe. Making coffee commercially is a way different beast to domestically. You must be able to balance speed versus quality effectively - if one of these is not there you will either be serving your customers swill or having customers complain about how long it takes to get their beverage.

          You really need to get to know your roaster and know you can trust them, particularly if you are going to rent your equipment from them.

          And most of all you have to really love what you are doing, if you cant smile after 5 hours of non stop shot pulling then you really need to reconsider.

          It is harder work but seeing someone really enjoy the coffee you have just served them makes it all worthwhile. Once you have the bug you cant go back.

          All the best in your endeavors
          Jered

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          • #6
            Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

            Also location location location, passing traffic will send business your way no matter how good the coffee is. It also helps reduce the amount of advertising you want to do.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

              Originally posted by 5B5E5B57495F574A565F3A0 link=1248155487/0#0 date=1248155487
              Turns out it will, but I am not getting into this business for the money
              While I have never set up a cafe, I have worked in many and run several other businesses. Id respectfully suggest that any business plan, no matter how passionate you are about the product category, that isnt focused on generating profit is flawed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                Given the relaxed tone of the start of the thread and the fact that he is not sure if he wants a cafe or an espresso bar this is not a serious idea (yet).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                  The majority of small business fail in the first 24mths.
                  Be prepared to work ALOT for not ALOT!!
                  Passion is great, stress is not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                    Hi Adam,
                    Like you i one day would like to open my own espresso bar. So, what i have done in the way of advancing my endeavor to do this I have been actively involved in working for other espresso bars. The next thing that i have done is, over the last two years any spare time i have had i go on cafe crawls, where i take note of the things i like and dont like about a cafe. This can include many things such as:
                    -quality of coffee (of course)
                    - Type of machinery
                    - Aesthetics (how does the cafe make me feel)
                    - How did I find the cafe, did it draw me in?
                    - Is there an outstanding point of difference that distinguishes this place from the others?
                    - Menu or lack of?
                    I suppose what i am trying to get at here is get out there and see what other people are doing and see what is working and what isn’t. A good start would be to go to the cafes which have been recommended here on CS.
                    Milk? Which state are you in?
                    Good Luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                      Plenty of great advice from our knowledgable CS members Adam, working in the cafe environment and getting plenty of experience is the way to go--good luck.
                      cheers
                      Trevor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                        Hi Adam, welcome to CS. Congratulations on your enthusiasm and prep with a business plan. Cant help you with the cafe scene, although I also love all things coffee.

                        Once you have the majority of the information on your business plan you think you need, its highly worthwhile running it past a financial planner (and worth the fee) who sees profits/losses all the time and has to negotiate with peoples incomes and futures every day to work out the best future direction for them; and lets not forget tax minimisation strategies (why pay too much tax through ignorance when you dont need to by law? $$$ are better in your cafe). When choosing a financial planner, youll need to choose one who is an excellent entrepreneur in their own right - rapid or steady profitable expansion of their own business...

                        Just ask around your friends to see whose parents are into accounting or financial planning and start up some preliminary discussions about whos good in the industry.

                        Good luck, and good planning.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                          Remember that owning/running a cafe is a lifestyle not a money maker.

                          be prepared to wear the proverbial wedding ring with your other life partner - your cafe/espresso bar.


                          luke

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                            Originally posted by 70574D5C5555505D5C494D51390 link=1248155487/11#11 date=1248261238
                            financial planner
                            Or GOOD accountant I have had my dealings with some incompetent ones. I didnt like paying for their time and teaching them what to look for as well. That makes me grumpy. I now have one who charges me lots, but its worth the money.

                            Originally posted by 70574D5C5555505D5C494D51390 link=1248155487/11#11 date=1248261238
                            Just ask around your friends to see whose parents are into accounting or financial planning and start up some preliminary discussions about whos good in the industry.
                            Not sure Id ask my friends or parents, unless they are in hospitality.
                            I think I would ask someone in the industry who they use as that accountant would have experience dealing with the industry.

                            Also remember to look at marketing and ASSET PROTECTION.
                            I can not stress this enough, the correct structure can save you everything.... literally.

                            Good luck

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Opening a new Espresso Bar, any tips?

                              ^^ exactly correct about business structure.

                              Adam, do you have any more details about the setup of your business? Youve seen to have gone a bit quiet..

                              Dont think about setting up the business as a sole trader, or even a partnership. Your entity ie you and whoever the business is setup as will be liable if anything goes wrong. Look at setting up a Pty Ltd, that way you can write off your wages against any taxable income, you have limited liability, etc.

                              There may be business startup groups in your area or town/city, so it would pay to check them out and listen in and gain some valuable knowledge.

                              To me, it just sounds like you want to setup a cafe and have it running smoothly and have a little cash cow. While that would be nice, it wont be the way things will go if you dont have the commercial experience. Perhaps have a chat with a local cafe, express that youre interested in becoming a barista and gaining commercial experience and want to look at ways to promote/increase business on a profit share arrangement.

                              Cant hurt.. The worst thing is that theyll say no..

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