5 Things to Know Before Opening a Café

Business Tips

Opening a café is an exciting idea, especially for those who love a good chat and the rich aroma of the coffee machine brewing away in the morning. It can also be extremely rewarding; after all, you’re working for yourself and creating delicious new dishes. What more could you want? Yet, creating the hottest new café – and ensuring that it remains successful – takes a lot of preparation and ongoing optimisation. There are endless things you’ll need to learn along the way to ensure your café ends up being a hit.

While opening a café usually means lots of work, there’s no need to be intimidated. If you have a passion for great food and fantastic people as well as a knack for running a business, you can work the rest out along the way. 

So, keep scrolling to discover the most important things you need to know before opening a café and figure out how to make sure people keep coming back to your venue time and time again.

Choose your location wisely

First things first; a great café requires a well-chosen location and a café concept that reflects the demographic of the local area. Sure, marketing can help, but there’s very little that will compel patrons to visit a café in the middle of nowhere (unless it’s in a touristic destination). Location is crucial, especially when you’re just starting out. 

You also need to think about the other cafés in the area. Do you really want to launch your café alongside seven other cafés, or is it a better idea to set up shop further away (but not TOO far as mentioned above…)? Think carefully about foot traffic, parking, local competition, and whether your café concept fits the area you’re considering. Do your research into the local community. There’s no point in setting up a healthy vegan café in a meat-heavy community.

Start saving your start-up costs now

Not all business owners understand just how much money is required to set up a café. The amount that you’ll need depends on what kind of café you’re setting up and where. 

When you’re opening a café, you’ll need to fund:

  • The business lease
  • Any shop fit-out costs
  • Licensing fees
  • Staff and training
  • Initial supplies
  • Furniture and equipment 
  • Insurance 
  • Lighting and electricity
  • Advertising and marketing

Not only that; you also need to account for the fact that in the very beginning you’re not likely to be making a huge amount of money. Even if your café is located in a busy area, it will take time for locals to find you and pledge their loyalty.

Success won’t happen overnight

Some café owners make starting their business sound super easy, but that isn’t always the case. Even if you get lucky enough to find a prime location, you’re likely to have a lot of expenses for your café. You’ll need to offset those costs with healthy profits.

Consider whether or not you could focus on a unique concept for your café. So, for example, you might want to open a café that specialises in cold brew coffee, hard-to-find organic coffee beans, or luxurious Insta-worthy cakes. Think about what will set your café apart, especially if you’ll be operating in a very busy area.

You’ll need to take your time creating your menu

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can create your menu overnight. A top-notch menu will require careful consideration of your café concept and how that ties into your menu. Ideally, you want a mixture of classic café favourites and unique dishes to ensure patrons keep coming back for more.

Of course, your menu doesn’t need to stay the same forever, adapting to seasonality is even recommended to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. You can always refine and develop your menu based on feedback, however, it’s a good idea to get your menu as close as possible to where you’d like it to be from the beginning. That way, you can build up a solid reputation straight away.

Find the right suppliers – from the very beginning

When you’re creating your menu, you’ll also want to ensure that you price it correctly. Yet this can’t happen unless you find the right suppliers. If you’re completely new to the industry it might be difficult to find the right contacts who can supply you with all the cost-efficient goods you need. 

That’s where Foodbomb comes in. Foodbomb makes it easier for business owners and chefs to find a wide variety of products from local suppliers. So, rather than wasting time ringing different suppliers and filling long credit applications, all you need to do is log in to Foodbomb, compare products and prices and place your orders. Our suppliers are carefully hand-picked based on quality, price and reliability. Better still, any delivery issues will be taken care of by our bomb squad, which means you can spend less time worrying about orders and more time improving your business.

Whether you’re opening a new venue or you’re simply looking to try a new supplier, get in touch with our team of industry experts here to start off on the right foot or simply create an account to start browsing suppliers in Sydney and Melbourne.


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