Have you always dreamt about opening a coffee shop? Are you convinced that you have the drive, enthusiasm and commitment to make it work? If so, congratulations, you’re already well on your way to starting your own successful business.

However for your newest venture to be a success there are a few important things to consider. In order to help, we made a quick list for you. Here are Pollards top ‘5 Things To Consider When Opening A Coffee Shop’:

1. Location, location, location

No, not that annoying daytime TV programme, you need to consider exactly where the shop will be located. The foot-fall, demographics and other businesses in the area all need to be taken into consideration. For example, it wouldn’t be the wisest decision to open a new coffee shop between a Costa and Starbucks, neither would it be wise to offer a high priced, old fashioned cafe in an area predominantly consisting of student residential property.

Think about who your target market is, where they visit, when they visit that area and why they visit.

2. What is your unique selling point?

A unique selling point (USP) is something that makes you stand out from everyone else. It could be the type of music you play, the fixtures and fittings of the cafe. But more likely it will be about the quality of what you serve.

I advise that you spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it, before opening up the cafe.

3. Be Consistent

There is a saying that “you are only as good as your last cup of coffee”, and I believe it’s true.

When you start a business you set a standard for what customers can expect from you. As consumers ourselves, we know that just one bad experience is enough to put customers off for good, worse still is that they could tell all their friends about it. However, if you consistently impress customers they will make the effort to revisit and maybe bring their friends.

It is hard enough winning customers so don’t loose them by failing to meet their expectations. Be sure to consider training for all your staff and nominate a member to police these standards.

4. Cash flow

Setting up a coffee shop can be an expensive job. I recommend saving enough funds to cover the rent, rate, utilities and purchases for at least 4-6 months. Because it can take time for people to get to know about you and change from their usual coffee shop. Failing to organise this cash flow efficiently, so as to protect a fledgling business, is probably the most common reason new businesses fail in their first year. Unfortunately, for a coffee supplier and roaster who have been trading since 1879, we have seen many promising business fall at the ‘financial hurdle’. So consider finances before opening your own coffee shop.

5. A business plan?

You will probably be told that a business plan is critical to success, I personally disagree. For myself, business is mainly about doing, not planning. Despite saying this, I will admit that there are parts of a business plan that can be extremely useful especially to a business ‘newbie’.

A plan can be useful to calculate costs, selling prices and gross profit. A financial plan is just as vital as considering competitors, opportunities and threats. Remember be careful with any predictions, no one can see into the future and predict growth. Which means most plans are out of date the moment they are written. If you do create a thorough business plan, update it as you get real data and never take it for granted!


I hope this has made you think a little about your plans, if you have any questions just leave a comment or drop me an email. If you are looking for a quality coffee supplier and coffee roaster, feel free to have a look around the Pollards website, including our products page full of wholesale coffee, loose leaf tea, sundries and more. If you’re looking to train your staff, consider coming on one of our barista training courses and have a look round the roastery whilst you are here.

Good luck opening your coffee shop!