In Australia, café culture is alive and well. We are a nation of coffee lovers; and despite the most recent economic downturn, many of us are still committed to our daily latte (or is addicted a better word?). Starting your own café is a huge endeavour, but if you love coffee, and are passionate about good food, running a café will allow you to tap into your passions on a daily basis. Here are five tips to help give your business the most successful start.
Owning your own café may appeal to you for a number of reasons. But don’t jump into the deep end without having worked in a café before. You’ll be surprised at how physically fit you need to be, and exactly how long the shifts are. Working weekends will take some getting used to, too. If you’ve worked at a few cafes before and still love it, then not only are you ready to take the plunge, but you’ll also have a wealth of experience to draw on for your own venture.
Conduct a break-even analysis, to determine how many lattes you need to sell, and at what price. Firstly, add up the costs you’ll incur by doing business. Include your weekly rent and utilities, staff salaries, and food costs. Next, estimate how many sales you’ll make in a week. Divide your weekly costs by the number of items sold per week, and that’s the price you need to sell each coffee for to break even. It is advisable to seek the services of a professional business consultant before opening your doors, as there are a myriad of financial considerations to be made before launching your own business, which can prove costly if overlooked in the early stages of operation.
Carefully research the location of your café, as this will make or break your business. If you know of an area crying out for a café, where local workers take turns to do the morning coffee run, there’s a ripe opportunity. Office blocks such as those managed by Corporate House have a plethora of employees needing their daily caffeine fix, so do your research and look for gaps in the market.
Put some effort into researching and sourcing your beans. Your customers will expect you to be an expert, so be one! It takes many cups of coffee to become a connoisseur, so be prepared to travel the delicious road of taste testing!
Aim for a small, high-quality menu that boasts consistency, a few signature dishes, and some classics prepared to perfection. Source the best quality produce you can access, and make the investment in a cook or chef who can deliver the goods.
Owning a café is a tough business, but very rewarding if you are passionate about good food and coffee. It’s a labour of love, but with some prior research and experience, you’ll have the best chance of your café being a roaring success.