Opening a Cafe, Step by Step
Opening a Cafe, Step by Step
You've decided to open a cafe, and the sense of optimism fills you. You've begun your research – excellent! Cafes can be profitable businesses if they receive the necessary care and if you follow structured establishment steps. We'll share with you the steps for starting this venture properly.
Step 1: Start with Research
Research is an essential step before opening any business, and cafes are no different. However, you need to know what you're looking for. You're searching for competitors, exploring them, understanding their strengths, and knowing what their customers think of them. You're also looking for what potential customers are searching for, and you need to understand the tools to respond to their preferences.
Research will require you to visit cafes in your vicinity and take concise notes of your observations. When do people visit these cafes? Why do they visit, and what brings them back?
Step 2: Define Your Vision
Your vision is likely clear, but is it reflected in your visual identity, written values, and objectives? This step will determine your cafe's name, atmosphere, and what it offers. Everything depends on your vision, which should be reviewed after conducting your research and surveying.
Step 3: Create a Business Plan
What does your cafe offer? Where does it start, and how is it distinctive? What do market research surveys say? These are some of the questions you should answer through a well-defined business plan with a clear timetable. It tells you when each task should be completed, so you don't find yourself spending too much time on one task, leaving too little time for the next.
A good business plan answers a three-question formula at every step: "Who will do what, when?"
Step 4: Choose Your Location and Get to Know It
You may have chosen a location or own one already. Regardless, get to know your location. How many people pass by daily? How accessible is parking? Is your location clear and easily visible? What services are around, and are there companies you can attract as regular customers? What are the activities within the community where your cafe is located?
Remember that you may spend a long time on this task, but it's to ensure you integrate into the environment, become loved by those close to you, and stand out from competitors.
In this step, it's helpful to visit cafes near your location in the evening, place an order, and keep an approximate count of daily orders.
Step 5: Choose Your Suppliers Carefully
Finding reliable suppliers you can depend on is crucial for your cafe's health and sustainability. Depending on your cafe's type, search for the best suppliers. Get to know their products and prices and assess them at least based on quality and price. Start with product sampling.
Create your supply list first, and then start looking for suitable suppliers based on your budget.
You can learn more about the Piccolo Partners program here.
Step 6: Define Your Personality
What's your cafe's personality? What feeling do you want your customers to have when they enter?
Answer this question with the help of a professional decorator. Don't skimp on this task; this step and its consequences are essential for making your place distinctive and memorable.
The first step, of course, is...
Step 7: Create a Product List
Your product list should reflect your vision and lead your customers to a place you know well. It should be focused, with simple elements, accompanied by clear descriptions away from exaggeration. Determine what will make your product list stand out.
Step 8: Hire the Right People
Finding good employees and retaining them is one of the most challenging tasks. In this step, it's advisable to work with a human resources consultant first to create a well-organized work regulation list. Make work benefits attractive and distinct and establish a robust contract.
Look for well-mannered behaviors and a good attitude before searching for experience. Build your workplace with passionate people rather than ready-made skills.
Step 9: Start Marketing
Don't wait until the opening day. The marketing window opens when you've finalized your product recipes. Start by talking about your brand, creating social media accounts, taking photos and videos of different preparation processes. Always adopt a simple, cost-effective interactive style. Cafes are places of fun, so your accounts should show that.
Step 10: Launch
After months or even years of preparation and work, it finally begins! Plan for the opening, invite a list of guests, and highlight the opening day, making it simple and straightforward. Customers present on the opening day may be among your most important long-term supporters. Be ready with special promotions for them, and create a unique loyalty program for them specifically.
Also, prepare feedback forms to show customers that you value their opinions, and be open to various changes, especially in the product list during the first three months.