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How to open a coffee shop

Planning well will help you succeed.
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While it is tempting to open a coffee shop—or any retail business, for that matter—by just finding a space and putting in some comfy furniture in it, the benefits of having a well-planned store design and layout outweigh the presumed ease of DIY-ing your start-up café.


[related|post]Often, it is necessary to get the services of a professional design and architectural team to help you envision your dream café. Here are some of the benefits of having professionals on your side:


1. Plans designed prior to lease signing allow you to negotiate tenant improvements.
2. Well-prepared plans expedite the construction process, allowing you to avoid paying rent before opening.
3. Detailed plans result in more accurate contractor bids and lower construction costs.
4. Functional and efficient workspaces result in fewer employees and low labor costs.
5. Customers receiving faster service return to your café, thus increasing profits.
6.Efficient use of the kitchen and storeroom results in more tables in the seating area.


When you have the character and design of your coffee shop down pat, it’s time to move on to finding the right people, equipment and coffee for your store.


Equally important as planning the coffee shop’s physical set-up is finding the right people to help you run the store. There are two ways to staff a store—hire new employees and train them from scratch, or pirate trained personnel from other stores. Pirating employees often mean less time spent in training, so you can start operations right away. However, it entails higher labor costs since you must offer them salaries that are higher than their previous ones. In addition, experienced employees may not be able to adjust easily to your specific way of running the store.


Training new hires has both benefits and challenges. Training new hires takes anywhere between a month to three months, depending on the trainee’s knowledge and eagerness to learn. The crucial traits to look for in a potential baristas are dedication to customer service and passion for coffee.



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