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Cafe Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Cafe Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Cafe business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Cafes.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Cafe business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

The Countryside Cafe is a startup cafe founded by Cheryl Nelson and Tammy Overton in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together they have over twenty years of experience in managing and operating cafes and they are highly skilled in the creation of menu items customers love, exemplary service to customers, and in their honed expertise in running efficient and profitable restaurants. Cheryl is the former manager of a family-owned restaurant, where she had oversight of the employees, ordering, systems and financial record-keeping for the restaurant. Tammy was the head staff person of a chain restaurant who managed the scheduling, training and day-to-day operations of the restaurant. Together, they have decided to bring a family friendly environment and classic menu items to Tulsa.

Product Offering

The following are the products and services that Countryside Cafe will provide:

  • Exemplary service for customers
  • Honest, reliable relationships with vendors and suppliers
  • Restaurant services 24/7 hours to accommodate all residents of the area
  • Discounted menu pricing and expedited service for first responders
  • Family-friendly menu items that everyone can enjoy
  • Day to day management

Customer Focus

The Countryside Cafe will target customers throughout the Tulsa region who enjoy eating comfort foods, such as they may have grown up eating. Secondary target customers will be those who enjoy the hometown-feel of a small cafe rather than a large or more modern establishment. Those individuals who occupy nearby businesses or government offices will also be targeted by the Countryside Cafe, as well as those who own farms or ranches in the region.

Management Team

The Countryside Cafe will be owned by Cheryl Nelson and Tammy Overton. Together they have over 20 years of experience in managing and operating a regional cafe and they are highly skilled in the creation of menu items customers love, exemplary service to customers, and in their honed expertise in running efficient and profitable organizations. Cheryl is the former manager of a family-owned restaurant and Tammy was the head staff person of a chain restaurant. Together, they have decided to bring a family friendly environment and homestyle, fresh foods to Tulsa. The menu will include breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, as well as popular favorites such as ice cream sundaes and homemade pies any time of day.

Success Factors

Countryside Cafe will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of Countryside Cafe
  • Comprehensive menu of meals for any time of day, including snacks, such as French fries and desserts, along with soda fountain favorites such as sundaes, malts and milkshakes.
  • Countryside Cafe will offer special discounted pricing for first-responders in Tulsa.
  • Countryside Cafe will offer a child menu and a play area for children while their parents enjoy their meal.
  • First-time visitors to the Countryside Cafe will receive a free dessert of their choice.
  • Countryside Cafe offers the best pricing in town. Their pricing structure is the most cost effective compared to the competition.

Financial Highlights

Countryside Cafe is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its cafe business. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the restaurant space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Restaurant space build-out: $20,000
  • Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph outlines the financial projections for Countryside Cafe.

Countryside Cafe Pro Forma Projections

Company Overview

Who is countryside cafe.

Countryside Cafe is a newly established, full-service homestyle cafe in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Countryside Cafe will be the most reliable, cost-effective, and efficient choice for individuals and families, as well as businesspeople in Tulsa and the surrounding communities. Countryside Cafe will provide a comprehensive menu of favorite meals, snacks and desserts for any diner to utilize. Their full-service approach includes a comprehensive menu and seating options to suit each family, including small children.

  Countryside Cafe will be able to serve over fifty people at one time. The team of owners and staff members are highly qualified and experienced in preparing, making and serving favorite family meals and snacks. Countryside Cafe removes all headaches and issues of finding easy, friendly and moderately-priced meals in Tulsa and ensures all appetites are satisfied while delivering the best customer service.

Countryside Cafe Management History

The Countryside Cafe consists of two experienced restaurateurs with distinctive areas of expertise: Cheryl Nelson and Tammy Overton have over twenty years of experience together in managing and operating a regional cafe and they are highly skilled in the creation of menu items customers love, exemplary service to customers, and in their honed expertise in running efficient and profitable organizations.

Cheryl Nelson is the former manager of a family-owned restaurant, where she had oversight of the employees, ordering, systems and financial record-keeping for the restaurant. Tammy was the head staff person of a chain restaurant who managed the scheduling, training and day-to-day operations of the restaurant. Together, they have decided to bring a family friendly environment and honest, favorite foods to Tulsa.

Since incorporation, Countryside Cafe has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Countryside Cafe, LLC to transact business in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Have a contract in place for a 20,000 square foot restaurant space in a family-friendly retail area
  • Reached out to numerous contacts to visit the Countryside Cafe upon launch and regularly after the launch.
  • Began recruiting a staff of eight servers and four office personnel to work at the Countryside Cafe.

Countryside Cafe Services

The following will be the services Countryside Cafe will provide:

Industry Analysis

The cafe and small restaurant industry is expected to grow over the next five years to almost $500 million. The growth will be driven by consumers who seek favorite foods they’ve always enjoyed. Consumers also want to be served in small, more intimate settings which are relaxing and comfortable. Customers with children will help grow the cafe industry because, as families, they are more relaxed in the informal “down home” comfort of a small cafe versus a large, more formal restaurant.

Costs will likely be reduced as cafes continue to expand and modify their menus to seek out the best, most desirable menu items for consumers rather than spending widely on menu choices that may not be well-received. Costs will also continue to go down due to lower prices on produce and beef within the Oklahoma area. As fresh fruit is more in demand, juices and smoothies will cost less to produce than in the past, as well.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

    Total population1,680,988100%
        20 to 24 years114,8726.8%
        25 to 34 years273,58816.3%
        35 to 44 years235,94614.0%
        45 to 54 years210,25612.5%
        55 to 59 years105,0576.2%
        60 to 64 years87,4845.2%
        65 to 74 years116,8787.0%
        75 to 84 years52,5243.1%

Customer Segmentation

Countryside Cafe will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Individuals and families within the region
  • Small business owners and employees within the region
  • City officials and those who work in the business of Tulsa
  • Farmers and ranchers in the greater Tulsa regions

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Countryside Cafe will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Mama’s Kitchen

Mama’s Kitchen was started in 1998 by Candy and Jamie Swanson. Originally intended as a truck stop, Mama’s Kitchen grew to include a larger restaurant area in 2005 and has served breakfast and lunch to travelers from that time to the present. Located on the main highway through the city of Tulsa, the restaurant receives many travelers who opt to stop for a meal.

Mama’s Kitchen is twenty-three miles away from the Countryside Cafe. There are a few similarities to the menus served by both restaurants, as homestyle fare is offered. The differences between the two restaurant businesses is found in the family-friendly dining-booth atmosphere of the Countryside Cafe, while Mama’s Kitchen has countertops and bar stools throughout. This makes seating for a family difficult and children are not able to reach the countertops on stools at Mama’s Kitchen, which creates discomfort for children.

Buddy’s Bar & Grill

Owned by Robert “Buddy” Gorman, Buddy’s Bar & Grill is a full-service bar with a small dining room attached. The restaurant is located six miles from the Countryside Cafe. Meals are served at Buddy’s Bar & Grill during lunch and dinner; however, the restaurant is not open for breakfast. Meals are geared toward grilled hamburgers, steaks and fried fish, while the bar menu is laden with appetizer choices served during happy hour each Tuesday afternoon. Robert Gorman is assisted by his sister, Babs, who acts as the lone server in the grill and is known for her fast service and quick wit, which customers find charming. Children are not allowed in the bar, but they can be served in the grill side of the restaurant. The children’s menu is limited to hamburgers or cheese sandwiches served with fries.

Howard’s Family Restaurant

Howard’s Family Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a small dining room attached to the golf country club on the outskirts of Tulsa. It is located ten miles from the Countryside Cafe. Most patrons of Howard’s Family Restaurant are golfers who want to enjoy a meal before or after playing golf. The restaurant is one of a chain of restaurants and, while the prices are higher than those of the other cafes and small restaurants in Tulsa, the restaurant is known by the national marketing of the parent company. Children are served a special kids’ play and dine menu and families are highlighted as the primary target of the chain.

Competitive Advantage

Countryside Cafe will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of the Countryside Cafe.

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Countryside Cafe will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Highly-qualified team of skilled employees who are able to provide a delicious meal in a pleasant surrounding for the entire family.
  • Countryside Cafe will offer special discounted pricing for first-responders in Tulsa, including police, fire and hospital staff. Doctors and nurses are also included.
  • First-time visitors to the Countryside Cafe will receive a free dessert of their choice, which helps guests feel welcome and comfortable.
  • Unbeatable pricing to its clients; they will offer the lowest pricing in the city.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Countryside Cafe is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals

Countryside Cafe has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to their clients, including guests of all ages. The personal contacts and business associates will follow the new owners to the new cafe and help spread the word of Countryside Cafe.

Professional Associations and Networking

The new owners of the Countryside Cafe, Cheryl and Tammy, will join the civic organizations and trade networks to help build their cafe to its potential. They will become active in the committees for city celebrations, as well, to help build visibility of their cafe and raise awareness of their specialty menu items.

Print Advertising

The Countryside Cafe will send a direct mail flyer to each home and business in Tulsa in the two weeks prior to the launch of the restaurant. The flyer will invite everyone to participate in special discounted offers during the first month of business and offer a free dessert for each person who stops by to check out the area’s newest cafe.

Countryside Cafe will fully utilize their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Countryside Cafe provides. The website will also list their contact information and list their menu and pricing, along with delivery options. The website will engage in SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “homestyle cafe” or “cafe near me,” Countryside Cafe will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Countryside Cafe will be moderate and below or on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their products and services. Certain items, such as the childrens’ menu items, will be priced at a reduced profit margin in order to facilitate larger families that want to visit and can afford to do so with the reduced prices.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Countryside Cafe. Operation Functions:

  • Cheryl Nelson will be the co-owner and president of the company. She will oversee all business development and manage client relations.
  • Tammy Overton will be the co-owner and vice president of the company. She will manage the operations and oversee all staff members.
  • Tyler Grant will be the Office Manager who will manage the office administration, client files, and accounts payable.
  • Tommy Tucker will be the maintenance employee who will provide all maintenance and repairs at the property.


Countryside Cafe will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.

  • 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease restaurant space
  • 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Countryside Cafe
  • 6/1/202X – Finalize contracts for Countryside Cafe vendors and wholesale accounts
  • 6/15/202X – Begin networking at industry events
  • 6/22/202X – Begin moving into Countryside Cafe restaurant
  • 7/1/202X – Countryside Cafe opens its doors for business

The Countryside Cafe will be owned by Cheryl Nelson and Tammy Overton. Together they have over twenty years of experience in managing and operating a regional cafe and they are highly skilled in the creation of menu items customers love, exemplary service to customers, and in their honed expertise in running efficient and profitable organizations.

Cheryl Nelson is the former manager of a family-owned restaurant and Tammy was the head staff person of a chain restaurant.Together, they have decided to bring a family friendly environment and homestyle, fresh foods to Tulsa. The menu will include breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, as well as popular favorites such as ice cream sundaes and homemade pies any time of day.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Countryside Cafe are the fees they will charge to customers for their products and services.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff Countryside Cafe. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, inventory, office supplies, and marketing materials.

Key Assumptions

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of restaurant customers per Month: 1,000
  • Average revenue per Month: $25,000
  • Office Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement.

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Total Revenues$360,000$793,728$875,006$964,606$1,063,382
Expenses & Costs
Cost of goods sold$64,800$142,871$157,501$173,629$191,409
Initial expenditure$10,000$0$0$0$0
Total Expenses & Costs$291,815$416,151$454,000$483,240$514,754
EBITDA$68,185 $377,577 $421,005 $481,366 $548,628
Depreciation$27,160$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
EBIT$41,025 $350,417 $393,845$454,206$521,468
Interest$23,462$20,529 $17,596 $14,664 $11,731
PRETAX INCOME$17,563 $329,888 $376,249 $439,543 $509,737
Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Use of Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Taxable Income$17,563$329,888$376,249$439,543$509,737
Income Tax Expense$6,147$115,461$131,687$153,840$178,408
NET INCOME$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703 $331,329

Balance Sheet

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Accounts receivable$0$0$0$0$0
Total Current Assets$184,257$381,832$609,654$878,742$1,193,594
Fixed assets$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950
Depreciation$27,160$54,320$81,480$108,640 $135,800
Net fixed assets$153,790 $126,630 $99,470 $72,310 $45,150
TOTAL ASSETS$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744
Debt$315,831$270,713$225,594$180,475 $135,356
Accounts payable$10,800$11,906$13,125$14,469 $15,951
Total Liability$326,631 $282,618 $238,719 $194,944 $151,307
Share Capital$0$0$0$0$0
Retained earnings$11,416 $225,843 $470,405 $756,108$1,087,437
Total Equity$11,416$225,843$470,405$756,108$1,087,437
TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744

Cash Flow Statement

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Net Income (Loss)$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703$331,329
Change in working capital($19,200)($1,966)($2,167)($2,389)($2,634)
Depreciation$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
Net Cash Flow from Operations$19,376 $239,621 $269,554 $310,473 $355,855
Net Cash Flow from Investments($180,950)$0$0$0$0
Cash from equity$0$0$0$0$0
Cash from debt$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow from Financing$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow$154,257$194,502 $224,436 $265,355$310,736
Cash at Beginning of Period$0$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550
Cash at End of Period$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550$1,149,286

Cafe Business Plan FAQs

What is a cafe business plan.

A cafe business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your cafe business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your Cafe business plan using our Cafe Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Cafe? 

There are a number of different kinds of cafe businesses , some examples include: Take-Out Cafe, Restaurant Cafe, Casual cafe, and Coffee Shop.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Cafe Business Plan?

Cafe businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Cafe Business?

Starting a cafe business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

  • Develop A Cafe Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed cafe business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  
  • Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your cafe business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your cafe business is in compliance with local laws.
  • Register Your Cafe Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your cafe business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 
  • Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your cafe business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 
  • Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 
  • Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 
  • Acquire Necessary Cafe Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your cafe business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 
  • Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your cafe business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful cafe business:

  • How to Start a Cafe

how to make a business plan for a cafe

  • Restaurant Website Builder

></center></p><h2>How to Write a Successful Coffee Shop Business Plan (with Template)</h2><ul><li>By Tam Nguyen</li></ul><p><center><img style=

Table of Contents

Dreaming of opening a coffee shop? You’re not alone. The coffee industry is bustling with passionate business owners eager to make their mark. However, becoming successful coffee shop owners requires more than just a love for the brew. It demands a clear vision that differentiates your coffee house in a saturated market. A well-crafted business plan not only gives life to your idea but also sets your business on a path to thrive. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur, this guide, complete with a free template, will help you craft a business plan that markets and propels your coffee venture to success.

What is A Coffee Shop Business Plan?  

A coffee shop business plan is a comprehensive document that explains what your business idea is, how you intend to penetrate the coffee market, and the strategies you’ll employ to run your coffee shop successfully. When opening a cafe, many aspiring cafe or coffee shop owners underestimate the value of a structured plan. However, this document does more than just outline the needs to open a coffee shop; it gives a detailed roadmap for your new business, offering clarity on every aspect of its operation.

More than that, presenting a well-structured business plan to potential investors is essential. It not only showcases your commitment but also your understanding of the industry, making it a vital tool for securing funding. While crafting a business plan can seem daunting initially, it’s the foundation that both clarifies your idea and sets your business on the trajectory for growth and success in the competitive world of cafes and coffee shops.

Why A Business Plan Is Important For A Successful Coffee Shop Business?

1. Clear Vision and Objectives

When you set up your coffee shop, having a business plan establishes a clear vision and defines your objectives. It is the backbone that steers every decision you’ll make. Without a clear outline, you may find yourself swaying from one idea to the next. With a detailed business plan, you can present a clear business proposal to stakeholders, ensuring them and yourself of the path you plan to tread.

2. Financial Planning

A comprehensive business plan is imperative for accurate financial planning. It will include information on how much capital is required to start, what your ongoing costs will be, and the revenues you plan to generate. If you’re seeking external funding, investors will want to see how you plan to use their money, and most importantly, how you plan to make a return on that investment. If you plan to sell specialty blends or unique treats, the financial section can also help you plan a strategy for pricing, promotion, and sales forecasts.

3. Operational Efficiency

Operational efficiency is the linchpin that holds all business operations together. A business plan will map out every detail, from supplier agreements to employee schedules. You may want to create special events or loyalty programs for regular customers, and this is where a business plan can help you plan a strategy for success. It becomes the reference point, ensuring that daily tasks align with the broader objectives, guaranteeing that resources, time, and efforts are used optimally.

Step-by-step Guide To Write A  Coffee Shop Business Plan

1. Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is like the introduction of a novel – it provides a snapshot of what is to come. Typically, you write the executive summary last, even though it appears first in your business plan. It encapsulates the essence of your coffee shop’s mission, objectives, and financial overview, succinctly explaining what your business concept is about. This section is crucial because many coffee shops fail to engage potential investors right off the bat. Ideally, it should be concise – a page or two.

What should you cover in an Executive Summary?

  • Introduce Your Coffee Shop or Cafe: Provide a company overview, giving readers insight into what makes your coffee shop unique from the myriad of coffee bars in the market.
  • State Your Mission and Vision: Describe what drives your coffee business and where you see it in the future.
  • Outline Your Objective: Define clear, measurable goals that you aim to achieve.
  • Provide a Financial Overview: Highlight projected profit margins, a brief balance sheet, and other pertinent financial data.

2. Coffee Shop Business Description

This section paints a picture of your coffee shop. It’s where you elaborate on how you plan to infuse the local coffee market with your unique brews and pastries.

What should you cover in the Coffee Shop Description section?

  • Coffee Shop Concept: Dive into the types of coffee drinks you plan to offer, whether it’s a rich espresso or a classic brewed coffee.
  • Unique Selling Proposition: Discuss what makes your coffee shop stand out, be it a special blend of coffee beans, a unique roasting method using a specific coffee roaster, or artisanal pastry offerings.
  • Operational Plan: Briefly touch upon how you’ll manage your coffee shop, from sourcing beans to serving cups of coffee.

3. Market Analysis

Before pouring your first espresso, performing market research before starting your coffee business is essential. This section dives deep into understanding your potential customer base and the coffee industry landscape in your area.

What should you cover in this section?

  • Target Market: Describe your ideal customer. Are they local residents, office workers, or students?
  • Location: Discuss the significance of your chosen location. Are there many coffee shops in the area? How does your location cater to your target market?
  • Competition: Analyze existing coffee shops. What coffee and food products do they offer? What pricing strategy do they employ? How will your coffee shop compete or complement them?

4. Organization and Management

Behind every successful coffee shop is a robust organizational structure and a competent management team.

What should you cover in the Organization and Management Plan?

  • Coffee Shop Ownership Information: Highlight the business’s legal structure.
  • Profiles of Your Coffee Shop Management Team: Include details about your baristas, perhaps a part-time accountant, and someone to manage marketing. It can be helpful to create profiles for each role, detailing responsibilities and expertise.

5. Sample Menu

Your menu is the heart of your coffee shop. It’s more than just a list of coffee and tea; it’s an expression of your brand.

What should you consider when creating a Sample Menu?

  • Menu Items: Detail the types of coffee, espresso drinks, and pastries you plan to offer. Maybe consider including non-coffee items like teas or specialty drinks.
  • Unique Selling Proposition: Reiterate what makes your coffee or food items different from other coffee shops in the area.
  • Menu Pricing : Discuss your pricing strategy, keeping in mind profit margin, competitors’ prices, and your target customer base.

6. Marketing Plan

To brew success, it’s not enough to have a fantastic coffee product; you must effectively market it.

What should you cover in a Marketing Strategy for your Coffee Shop Business?

  • Define Your Brand: What voice, theme, or emotion do you want your coffee shop to evoke?
  • Lay out your plans for social media campaigns, local partnerships, loyalty programs, SEO for website, and other promotional strategies.
  • Considering using an  online food ordering system  in your food truck
  • Create a  digital menu with QR code  to make your menu easy for your customers to access online

7. Operations Plan

Efficiency is key to the daily grind of running a cafe. The operations section provides a detailed look at the day-to-day operations of your coffee shop business. 

What Operational Issues should you address in your Business Plan?

  • Supply Chain: Where will you buy your coffee beans? Who will be your coffee roaster?
  • Operating Hours: Consider the best times to cater to your target market.
  • Staffing: Detail roles, such as barista, manager, and part-time support.
  • Equipment: List down essential equipment, from espresso machines to ovens.

8. Financial Plan

In this crucial section of your business plan, delving into the financial specifics is paramount to lay out a concrete roadmap for the fiscal aspects of your coffee shop.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Coffee Shop?

Starting a coffee shop is not just about brewing the perfect espresso; it’s also a substantial financial commitment. The cost for opening a coffee shop can range from $80,000 to $250,000. These costs can vary widely based on factors such as location, size of the establishment, equipment quality, and inventory requirements. Moreover, the process of opening a coffee shop might also involve unexpected expenditures, so it’s essential to account for some buffer in your budget.

How Many Ways to Fund Your Coffee Shop?

There are multiple avenues for funding your coffee venture. Traditional bank loans, personal savings, angel investors, crowdfunding campaigns, and partnerships are just a few options. It’s crucial to assess which option aligns best with your business vision and financial situation.

Important Questions to Consider When You Create Your Funding Request If you’re seeking funding, there are several questions you’ll need to answer in your business plan:

  • How much money do you need to start and maintain your coffee shop until it becomes profitable?
  • What will the funds be used for specifically?
  • How do you plan to handle financial challenges that might arise?
  • How do you plan to repay any loans or provide a return on investment?

9. Financial Projections

The financial projections section of your business plan forces you to translate your coffee shop vision into numbers, ensuring you’ve accounted for all key metrics that can make or break your venture.

Break-even analysis:

This is the point where your coffee shop’s total revenues equal its total costs. Simply put, it’s when you neither make a profit nor a loss from selling coffee. 

Use this formula:  Fixed Costs / (Price – Variable Costs) = Break Even Point

Projected profit and loss statement:

This will provide a forecast of your expected income and expenses, giving a clear view of your venture’s profitability.

Cash flow analysis:

Essential for understanding the liquidity of your business, this tool is especially crucial for coffee shops, considering the fluctuating expenses and incomes coffee shops offer. When drafting this, consider who will read it, as stakeholders like investors or lenders might have specific expectations.

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template 

  • Mission: To offer the community high-quality coffee in a comfortable and vibrant environment.
  • Vision: To become the go-to local coffee spot that fosters community connections and coffee appreciation.
  • Coffee Shop Description: “Java Junction” will be a modern coffee hub that emphasizes direct-trade coffee beans and a relaxed, inclusive atmosphere.
  • Costs: Estimated initial costs are $125,000.
  • Profits: Projected annual profit by year two is $75,000.

2. Description of the Coffee Shop

  • Coffee Shop Concept: A community-focused café emphasizing artisanal methods.
  • Coffee Shop Name: Java Junction
  • Coffee Shop Type: Sit-down café with an adjacent mini-library.
  • Location: Main Street, Downtown Area – chosen for its high foot traffic.
  • Order Fulfillment: Orders taken at the counter with table service for food.
  • Working Hours: Mon-Fri (7 am – 9 pm), Sat-Sun (8 am – 10 pm).

3. Menu Offer

  • Type of Food and Drink: Coffee, teas, pastries, and sandwiches.
  • Offer: From classic espresso shots to unique blends like “Lavender Latte”.
  • Unique Selling Point: Every coffee product uses direct-trade beans, ensuring farmer fairness.

4. Market and Competition Analysis

  • Market Analysis: The local population includes a mix of professionals, students, and tourists. Many search for quiet spots to work or relax.
  • Target Customer: Professionals aged 25-40 and students.
  • Size of the Target Customer: Approximately 15,000 individuals.
  • Competition Analysis: Three established coffee shops within a mile.
  • Size of the Competition: Ranging from small boutique coffee shops to a larger chain.
  • Competitors’ Offer: Basic coffee drinks, with limited specialty items.
  • Competitors’ Prices: Average of $4 for a coffee drink.

5. Investment Plan (Detailed Cost Analysis)

Investment Cost (One-off): $75,000

  • Equipment: $30,000
  • Renovations: $20,000
  • Initial Stock: $10,000
  • Licenses: $5,000
  • Miscellaneous: $10,000

Operating Costs (Monthly): $17,000

  • Rent: $3,000
  • Salaries: $10,000
  • Utilities: $1,000
  • Stock: $2,000
  • Marketing: $1,000

6. Financial Forecast

Year one is projected to break even, with a profit of $50,000 expected in year two, and $75,000 in year three, considering growth and expanding customer base.

  • Owner: Jamie Smith, a coffee enthusiast with a business degree.
  • Manager: Alex Brown, previously managed a successful coffee chain for five years.
  • Baristas: A team of 4 skilled individuals passionate about coffee.

8. Marketing Plan

Java Junction will use a mix of social media marketing, local print advertising, and loyalty programs to attract and retain customers. Regular events, such as “Buy Our Coffee Day” and collaboration with local businesses, will drive foot traffic and community engagement, integral components for starting your coffee shop and making it successful.

This coffee shop business plan sample is hypothetical and serves as a template. Tailoring specifics to your local market, vision, and unique aspects will be necessary. Every coffee shop has nuances that can make them successful, whether it be the coffee products they sell, the environment they cultivate, or the events they host. Focus on what will make your coffee shop stand out and be sure to engage your community.

Tips For Writing a Business Plan For a Coffee Shop

Your business plan becomes the blueprint of your vision. Here are essential tips to consider:

Comprehensiveness is Key: Ensure your plan encompasses all sections you should include, such as marketing, financial projections, and operations. A well-rounded plan provides a holistic view of your business.

Tailor to Your Audience: If you’re presenting to potential investors, focus on profitability and growth projections. For a landlord, emphasize the benefits your coffee shop will bring to their property.

Specialize in Marketing: Given the competitiveness in the coffee industry, it’s crucial to have a solid marketing plan. If marketing isn’t your strength, consider hiring someone to do marketing for your venture. A strong online presence, loyalty programs, and community engagement can set you apart.

Research Your Market: Understand what nearby coffee shops include in their offerings. Identify gaps in the market and strategize on how your shop can fill them.

Stay Flexible: While a business plan provides direction, remain adaptable. The coffee industry is dynamic, and your ability to pivot can prove invaluable.

Separate Sections for Clarity: If your plan becomes too dense, you might want to create a separate document for specific sections like a detailed marketing strategy or an in-depth market analysis. This makes your primary business plan concise and more readable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how profitable is owning a coffee shop.

Owning a coffee shop can be profitable, depending on factors like location, quality of products, and management. On average, after expenses, many coffee shops report a profit margin of around 3% to 5%, with some successful ones achieving even higher. However, it’s essential to factor in initial setup costs, ongoing expenses, and market competition.

2. How do I start a coffee shop business plan?

Starting a coffee shop business plan involves multiple steps. Begin by defining your coffee shop’s mission and vision. Conduct market research to understand your target audience and competitors. Then, detail out sections like your product offerings, pricing strategy, marketing plan, financial projections, and operational procedures. If you’re thinking of opening a coffee shop, a well-thought-out business plan is indispensable.

3. What is a business plan for a coffee shop?

A coffee shop business plan is a detailed document that outlines your coffee shop’s objectives, strategies, and operational procedures. It acts as a roadmap, guiding you from the startup phase to establishing a thriving business. Moreover, if you need a coffee shop business loan or investment, this plan becomes crucial in convincing stakeholders of your venture’s viability.

4. What are the 4Ps in a coffee shop business plan?

The 4Ps stand for Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. In the context of a coffee shop:

  • Product: What type of coffee and related products will you offer?
  • Price: How will you price your coffee? Will it be premium or competitive?
  • Place: Where will your coffee shop be located? Is it accessible to your target audience?
  • Promotion: How will you market your coffee shop? Will you offer promotions or loyalty programs?

These elements help in creating a marketing strategy tailored to your coffee shop’s unique needs and market position.

Launching a coffee shop is not just about brewing the perfect cup but weaving a narrative that resonates with your community, fostering an ambiance that people gravitate towards, and maintaining a seamless operation that drives profitability. The meticulous creation of a business plan is a pivotal step in this endeavor. It’s the beacon that guides budding entrepreneurs through the complexities of the coffee industry. In such a competitive marketplace, a well-structured, comprehensive business plan can make the difference between a fleeting venture and a thriving institution. To potential coffee shop owners, embrace the process, let your passion shine through in your plan, and remember that every great coffee shop started with a simple idea, much like a single coffee bean ready to brew greatness.

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Cafe business plan template + PDF

In this article, you will find an exemplary business plan for a cafe, offering a detailed framework to guide you through establishing and managing your own cafe. It's crucial to understand that while all names and numbers in this cafe business plan template are invented for illustrative purposes, they can be adjusted to suit the specific needs and realities of your cafe business.

Additionally, for ease of use and customization, a "Cafe Business Plan PDF" is available for download. This article serves as an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs who are keen on developing a robust and practical strategy for launching or growing their cafe, providing a clear roadmap and comprehensive insights into the industry.

Cafe business plan

Cafe business plan

How this cafe business plan sample was created.

To create a personalized business plan for your cafe, all you need to do is click on "Get your business plan" . You'll be prompted to answer a few questions about your cafe, providing essential details about your business. Our advanced AI system will then use this information to generate a comprehensive business plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. This process takes only 5-10 minutes, after which you receive a fully structured plan. The beauty of this system lies in its flexibility; you can edit and customize the plan to perfectly align with your vision. Once finalized, you have the option to save it to your computer, ensuring that your cafe/restaurant roadmap to success is just a few clicks away.

cafe business plan: questionnaire

Cafe business plan sample

Executive summary, business description, market research and analysis, swot analysis.

  • Organizational Structure and Management Team

Products or Services

Marketing and sales strategy, operations plan, financial projections, risk analysis.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

In today’s bustling cafe industry, standing out entails more than a robust business model; it calls for a compelling executive summary that captures the essence and potential of the venture. BizCafe is built upon this very vision—a cutting-edge oasis for young professionals and students seeking a coffee experience that is both gourmet and homely, in addition to an efficient workspace. Positioned in the heart of New York, BizCafe is poised to challenge the conventional cafe atmosphere by combining specialty coffees, artisan teas, delectable pastries, satisfying light meals, and indispensable modern amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations.

Despite challenging industry dynamics such as fierce competition, economic volatility, supply chain obstacles, and shifting consumer tastes, BizCafe’s strategic plan remains solid. It thoughtfully balances the appeal of our signature products and brand-building initiatives, employing distinctive branding and customized loyalty programs to build a devoted customer base. These offerings are intended to meld effortlessly into the lives of our target clientele, creating a sense of community and loyalty. In the event of heightened risks, our backup plans include diversified menus, local sourcing, and continued product development.

Within a varied competitive landscape that includes Java Junction, The Study Spot, Green Leaf Tea House, and Urban Grind, understanding different market positions is crucial for honing BizCafe’s competitive edge and creating a space that is both unique and adaptable.

Operations form BizCafe’s core, with exhaustive planning that ranges from securing key supplier partnerships to appointing trained baristas and support staff committed to unmatched customer service. Our operational strategies underscore regular quality control, smart inventory management, adhering to health and safety standards, and fiscal responsibility with recurrent assessments and careful budgeting.

Our financial projections suggest a positive outlook. We anticipate reaching a break-even point by the end of the first year and foresee a promising 20% revenue increase by the third year. With the projected growth, we aim to pursue expansion and diversification, setting a course towards a $1 million revenue milestone by the end of the fifth year.

Marketing and sales are integral to introducing and embedding the BizCafe brand in public discourse and consumer habits. An ingenious blend of social media activity, loyalty incentives, local events, and partnerships with nearby businesses is designed to uphold and celebrate the BizCafe ethos. This is supported by a robust digital foundation that ensures convenience through online ordering platforms and sustains community engagement with impactful email communication.

Driving this promising enterprise are seasoned leaders such as Co-Founders & CEOs Alex Taylor and Jordan Lee, who bring a wealth of experience in business management and finance. Operations Manager Riley Kim and Marketing Director Casey Morgan complete the leadership team, guaranteeing seamless operations and strong, consistent brand visibility.

As an LLC, BizCafe benefits from the agility needed to adeptly manage the unpredictable nature of the cafe industry, all while taking advantage of a tax structure that encourages growth.

In conclusion, this executive summary portrays BizCafe not just as another cafe in New York’s tapestry but as a beacon in its cafe culture—a sanctuary for today’s discerning, digitally connected patron and a strategic investment opportunity for tomorrow’s wise investor.

Cafe business plan sample

Located in the bustling heart of New York, BizCafe is primed to become the go-to destination for the city's energetic young professionals and the academically inclined student population. Designed as a Limited Liability Company, BizCafe harmoniously balances the vibrancy of an artisan coffee hub with the tranquility of a focused work sanctuary. This innovative cafe caters to the tastes and lifestyles of customers aged 20-35, offering an array of specialty coffees, artisan teas, as well as a handpicked selection of pastries and light meals.

Embraced by the convenience of high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations, BizCafe is not just a place for savoring a cup of freshly brewed java but is also an inviting space for clients seeking a comfortable place to work, study, or unwind. With a central location, this cafe capitalizes on the fast pace of New York City, becoming a social landmark that facilitates productivity and leisure.

BizCafe prides itself on mitigating anticipated industry risks. Facing competition from establishments such as Java Junction, The Study Spot, Green Leaf Tea House, and Urban Grind, BizCafe differentiates itself through its unique branding and customer loyalty programs. In the event of increased rivalry, the management plans to diversify the menu and enhance loyalty incentives to retain customer fidelity. Economic fluctuations will be met with competitive pricing and value deals, while supply chain disruptions are countered with established relationships and buffer stock, complemented by local sourcing as a contingency measure.

Looking to the next 3-5 years, financial projections are optimistic. The first year is focused on reaching the break-even point, with a revenue aim of $500,000, setting the stage for profit as the brand gains recognition. Steadying itself for moderate growth, BizCafe expects to increase revenue by 20% annually in years 2 and 3 and is planning an expansion that may include a second location or enriched services by year 5, hoping to surpass the $1 million revenue mark.

Within the café, operations pivot around supreme supply chain management, premium staffing, unwavering quality control, and sophisticated inventory management. Staff are selected for their skills and commitment to customer service, with a rotational shift system ensuring comprehensive coverage. In-house financial and customer service processes are evaluated routinely to align with the cafe's high standards.

The marketing and sales strategy is equally robust with a dynamic approach to embrace digital platforms. Social media marketing, loyalty programs, community engagement, collaborations, and a formidable digital presence all form pillars of BizCafe's promotional endeavors. Customized email marketing further personalizes the brand experience, resonating with the targeted clientele.

Leadership is the backbone of BizCafe's operation. Co-Founders Alex Taylor and Jordan Lee embody the essence of keen business acumen and financial mastery, while the operational finesse of Riley Kim and Casey Morgan's marketing expertise provides the momentum behind customer-centric initiatives.

Together, the tapestry of a digital-friendly environment, savvy marketing, responsive risk management, and a crystalline growth trajectory present BizCafe as an enterprise that blends traditional café culture with the innovative spirit of modern entrepreneurship. With a client base that revels in quality and a company ethos grounded in adaptability, BizCafe is on the verge of becoming a cornerstone in the cafe industry, directing its compass towards success in the years to come.

In a city renowned for its perpetual motion and varied tastes, BizCafe emerges as an innovative player in the cafe industry. Market research indicates an uptick in demand for spaces that offer both premium refreshments and conducive environments for work and socialising. By focusing on the 20-35 age group, BizCafe taps into a market niche of young professionals and students who seek quality, convenience, and experience in their choice of hangout spots.

Competition within New York's café landscape is intense but distinct. Java Junction is a chain with a time-efficient service model that resonates with customers on-the-go. BizCafe's strategy of personalised service and loyalty programs sets it apart, fostering a unique community feel and customer retention. The Study Spot, with its quietude and scholastic environment, draws in a specific crowd; however, BizCafe's added value of specialty beverages and high-speed Wi-Fi conducts a broader appeal. Meanwhile, Green Leaf Tea House and Urban Grind border on niche appeals, the former stressing on health-centric offerings, the latter on aesthetic ambiance. BizCafe strategically positions itself as a service-centric and versatile establishment that can address the shifts in consumer patterns by adroitly adapting its menu and atmosphere.

Navigating potential risks necessitates diligent planning. BizCafe recognises the threat of economic downturns, intense competition, supply chain volatility, and fluctuating consumer tastes. Each risk is counterbalanced by a strategy designed to not only mitigate but also to create opportunity from adversity. Unique branding and diversified menus cater to competition risks, whereas competitive pricing and efficient operational adjustments safeguard against economic variance. A robust supply chain buffer and local sourcing answer the call of disruptive external factors.

Financial projections posit a promising horizon for BizCafe. Upon surpassing the break-even point in its inaugural year, a steady climb in revenue suggests sustainability and growth. By years 4-5, expansion plans are on the horizon, contemplating a secondary venue or enhancing service diversity, paving the path toward a revenue benchmark of approximately $1 million.

BizCafe's Operations Plan is a well-oiled machine, prioritising impeccable supply management, adept staffing and training, and rigorous quality control. Inventory is precisely managed with cutting-edge software, neatly dovetailing with meticulous facility maintenance and customer service excellence. Financial health is overseen by an experienced CFO whose oversight is crucial in navigating the fiscal waters and securing profitability.

The marketing and sales approach is multifaceted. From savvy social media campaigning to targeted loyalty programs and community engagement, BizCafe understands the value of creating a narrative that resonates with its clientele. Partnerships with local enterprises and colleges further entrench the café within its commune, while an efficient digital presence caters to the tech-savvy customer base.

Leadership is paramount in orchestrating this symphony of business components. A management team with a fusion of experience in business administration, operations management, finance, and marketing provides the tactical expertise necessary to propel BizCafe into a mainstay of New York cafe culture.

In summary, BizCafe is positioned to carve out its market share in the energetic New York cafe scene. Through strategic risk management, financial prudence, operational excellence, and innovative marketing, BizCafe is poised for growth and success in the ever-evolving café industry.

Cafe business plan template

Cafe business plan template

Specialty coffees, artisan teas, pastries, and light meals.
Central New York, attracting young professionals and students.
High-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations enhance customer experience.
Significant initial investment and ongoing expenses.
Fluctuating customer traffic.
Reliant on local demographics.
Rising demand for quality coffee and work-friendly environments.
New locations and diversified services.
Enhancing online presence and customer engagement.
Numerous established local cafes.
Impact on discretionary spending.
Adhering to health and safety regulations.

Organizational Structure and Management

At the heart of BizCafe’s operations is a meticulously designed organizational structure blended seamlessly with a strategic management approach that nurtures the establishment’s vision of providing premium refreshments in a conducive environment for work and relaxation. Responding to the needs of young professionals and students in New York, BizCafe emerges as a bastion of social interaction and productivity, coupled with the indulgence of gourmet coffees and teas.

The organizational design of BizCafe is anchored in clear-cut roles and responsibilities that promote a collaborative work culture while ensuring efficiency at every managerial and operational level. The leadership team is composed of seasoned professionals with complementary skills and expertise, shaping a cohesive unit that drives forward the company’s objectives.

Alex Taylor, the Co-Founder & CEO, brings a decade of hospitality industry experience and astute business management know-how. Alex’s insight into customer service excellence ensures that BizCafe not only meets but exceeds customer expectations. Jordan Lee, Co-Founder & CFO, with an MBA in finance, navigates the fiscal waters with precision, laying down a robust financial groundwork that underpins the projected growth of the venture.

Directing daily activities is Riley Kim, the Operations Manager, whose operational management prowess and in-depth knowledge of the food and beverage sector ensure that the café operates like a well-tuned engine. With a focus on implementing efficient operational workflows, monitoring inventory, and ensuring staff training is up to par, Riley forms the backbone of BizCafe’s organizational prowess.

Bringing the brand to life is Casey Morgan, the Marketing Director. With a rich background in brand development and digital marketing, Casey is instrumental in carving out BizCafe’s space in a crowded marketplace, pioneering innovative strategies that encapsulate the brand’s ethos and resonate with the target audience.

In confronting industry-specific challenges, BizCafe leverages a proactive risk mitigation framework. To counter fierce competition, the café distinguishes itself with unique branding and customer loyalty programs whilst remaining adaptable, with plans to diversify the menu and refine loyalty rewards should the need arise. Economic downturns are confronted with competitive pricing and keen value deals, backed by strategies to slash operational costs without compromising quality. The threat of supply chain disruption is addressed through multi-faceted supplier relationships and the maintenance of a buffer stock; contingency plans include procuring supplies from local purveyors. Changing consumer preferences are met with a continuously evolving menu informed by customer feedback, with rapid adjustments poised as a standby response to market trends. Regulatory changes are attentively monitored and promptly adhered to, with staff training ensuring compliance.

Projected financial targets are optimistic yet grounded, aiming for a break-even in the first year with subsequent annual growth. Strategic planning anticipates not just the upholding of a strong financial position but also the potential for expansion within the next five years, including the prospect of opening a second location or augmenting service offerings, buttressed by solid profitability and a well-entrenched brand reputation.

Marketing and sales imbue BizCafe with vibrancy, harnessing the power of social media marketing, community engagement, and digital outreach to create and nurture a loyal customer community. Loyalty programs incentivize repeat patronage, and partnerships with nearby businesses amplify the café’s presence and appeal.

In sum, BizCafe stands as a paradigm of a well-structured and astutely managed establishment, blending operational excellence and strategic acumen to deliver an unparalleled café experience and robust business performance. With an eye toward sustainability and another on innovative expansion, BizCafe is well-poised to become an emblematic landmark in New York’s coffee culture landscape.

BizCafe, endeavoring to become the favored haunt for the city's spirited young professionals and scholars, is a burgeoning sensation in the cafe industry. Our establishment seamlessly marries the artistry of specialty coffees and artisan teas with freshly crafted pastries and light meals that answer the call of diverse palates. BizCafe is more than just a retreat for coffee aficionados; it is also a nexus for connectivity, offering high-speed Wi-Fi and ample charging stations, crafted for those who yearn for a comfortable niche to work and study.

Our "Products and Services" section is designed to highlight the values and operational tenets that set BizCafe apart in an industry teeming with competition. We present an inviting atmosphere, friendly to both brisk morning commutes and leisurely afternoons. The sumptuous café offers an expanse where work, study, and informal meetings can unfold in comfort—a rarity in the frenetic pace of New York.

Economic downturns, competition, supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer preferences—the cafe industry is no stranger to these potential risks. To safeguard our venture and flourishing brand against these, we employ strategic forethought. Our robust branding and customer loyalty programs act as our shield against competition, with contingency plans to further diversify our menu and bolster those same loyalty offers if the market demands. We counter economic challenges with competitive pricing strategies complemented by precise operational cost management. We have fostered relationships with a broad network of suppliers and stock contingencies to ensure consistent provisions, with local sourcing as a standby plan against supply chain challenges. We keep our ears to the ground, adapting our menu to reflect market trends and customer feedback, always ready to implement rapid adjustments to meet evolving tastes.

Operational efficiency is the linchpin of our endeavor. With a keen eye on quality and customer satisfaction, we meticulously manage our supplier relationships, staff expertise, inventory, facility maintenance, and regulatory compliance. Our Operations Plan details the measures in place to maintain excellence all-round—from sustainably sourced coffee beans to the engaging customer service delivered by our handpicked team of baristas—all to orchestrate the perfect cafe experience.

BizCafe navigates the marketing arena with as much acumen as it brews espressos. Our Marketing and Sales Strategy is a keen fusion of online dazzle and offline substance. We utilize the sticky webs of social media to captivate our audience, forge loyalty through rewards programs, engage our community through vibrant events, and amplify our reach via collaborations with local businesses.

The coalescence of ambition and management comes into play when we shine a light on the key members of our team. Alex Taylor and Jordan Lee at the helm, their seasoned expertise in business management and financial acumen respectively, ensure that strategic direction and economic stability are a part of the company's bedrock. Bolstered by Riley Kim's operational oversight and Casey Morgan's dynamic marketing campaigns, BizCafe is a testament to exemplary leadership and team synergy.

Financial projections for BizCafe elucidate a narrative of growth and success. We anticipate a breakeven by year-end, which sets the pace for progressive revenue increases in the following years, ideally pivoting towards a significant milestone—potentially reaching a projected revenue of around $1 million by the fourth or fifth year.

Summarily, BizCafe is an enterprise that reverberates with the promise of quality, comfort, and connectivity, grounded firmly on the bedrocks of strategic risk management, operational integrity, and customer-centric growth plans. As we chart our course in New York's dense cafe sector, we remain dedicated to serving not just cups of specialty beverages but also fostering a dynamic hub of activity and relaxation that resonates with the city's beat.

Café business plan

Café business plan

In crafting the Marketing and Sales Strategy for BizCafe, we begin by addressing the fundamental attributes that set BizCafe apart. Our diverse offering of premium specialty coffees, artisan teas, savory pastries, and light meals is crafted to align with the tastes of our target demographic: young professionals and students who desire a blend of quality, convenience, and comfort. With facilities like high-speed Wi-Fi and readily available charging stations, we cater to the productivity and connectivity needs of our customers.

Our marketing framework is designed to communicate these core benefits effectively to our target market. Recognizing the inherent risks in a competitive industry, we've laid out strategies to mitigate these and developed contingency plans. Against competition, we counter with our boutique branding and tailored loyalty programs to foster a strong customer base. Should the competitive landscape intensify, we are prepared to diversify our menu and amplify our loyalty program benefits, further differentiating BizCafe.

In dealing with economic downturns, we focus on positioning our offerings as competitively priced without sacrificing quality. We also streamline operations and collaborate with cost-effective suppliers to maintain healthy margins. For supply chain disruptions, we've cultivated relationships with multiple vendors and maintain buffer stock levels. As an alternative if needed, we have contingencies to source locally.

To keep pace with evolving consumer preferences, we employ ongoing dialogue with our clientele, maintaining flexibility to adapt our offerings swiftly. To ensure readiness for any regulatory changes, we maintain an informed and proactive stance, with training programs to quickly bring staff up to speed on new requirements.

Our approach to market penetration and growth is multi-faceted. We blend organic and paid strategies, including:

  • Social Media Marketing : We prioritize engagement on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where our visual content can shine and resonate with the younger audience. We plan to utilize targeted ads, influencers, and content marketing to bolster our online presence and drive foot traffic.
  • Loyalty Programs : We leverage loyalty programs to maintain high customer retention rates, offering rewards that incentivize repeat visits.
  • Community Engagement : We understand the value of an integrated community; hence, we host events and workshops aimed at building relationships and encouraging networking within our space. These events range from coffee tastings to productivity workshops, appealing to our demographic of professionals and students.
  • Collaborations with Local Businesses and Educational Institutions : Partnering with like-minded businesses and local colleges allows us to extend our reach through cross-promotion while also tapping into existing networks of potential loyal customers.
  • Digital Presence and Online Ordering : Given the proclivity of our audience for digital convenience, we maintain a strong digital presence through a user-friendly website and online ordering capabilities for pickups and deliveries.
  • Email Marketing : Through carefully curated newsletters, we share updates, promotions, and exclusive offers to maintain engagement with our existing customer base, ensuring that BizCafe remains top-of-mind.

In parallel with these efforts, we recognize the need for a firm foundation. The organizational structure of BizCafe, an LLC, offers flexibility in management with personal liability protection for the owners. Our key management team members, each expert in their field, ensure operations align with strategic goals.

In summary, the Marketing and Sales Strategy for BizCafe is robust, diversified, and perfectly tailored to our target customer's lifestyle. It intertwines BizCafe’s core service offerings with innovative promotional tactics that are set to carve out a significant market share, promising growth, and an irreplaceable spot in our community's daily routine.

BizCafe, nestled within the vibrant streets of New York, is set to reinvigorate the traditional café experience by aligning it with the contemporary lifestyle and preferences of our target market—students and young professionals aged 20-35. Our operations plan is conceived to underpin this dynamic business model by ensuring efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction.

Our strategic location—a nexus of cultural diversity and a hub for millennial activity—provides BizCafe with the advantage of tapping into a rich customer base yearning for a unique café experience. The provision of high-speed Wi-Fi and charging stations distinguishes us from traditional coffee shops, catering to patrons who seek a conducive place to work or study while indulging in our specialty coffees, artisan teas, and an assortment of pastries and light meals.

Addressing the operational execution, BizCafe will adopt a meticulous approach towards supply management. We shall form strategic alliances with reputable local suppliers to ensure a consistent supply of premium-quality coffee beans, tea leaves, and fresh ingredients for our culinary offerings. These partnerships will enable us to maintain our commitment to quality and sustainability—a fundamental trait of the BizCafe brand.

We recognize that our staff are the ambassadors of our brand. Hence, we will employ skilled baristas and support staff who exhibit a combination of technical expertise in coffee-making and a passion for customer service. A rotating shift system will be implemented to optimize staff utilization across our business hours, ensuring that our service quality does not waver during peak times.

In our quest for excellence, quality control remains paramount. Routine training sessions will be conducted to educate our staff on food safety and the meticulous preparation of our beverages, thereby upholding our promise of consistently high-quality products. We shall leverage advanced inventory management software to monitor stock levels, minimize waste, and streamline the replenishment process.

Realizing the necessity of maintaining an inviting and operational facility, we commit to routine maintenance checks of our café space and the upkeep of our coffee-making equipment. This ensures a pleasurable ambience for our customers and uninterrupted service delivery.

Our financial management, spearheaded by our CFO, will involve regular reviews and proactive budgeting to keep our financial goals on track. This financial foresight, coupled with the implementation of a comprehensive customer feedback system, will enable us to respond adeptly to market demands and elevate our service offerings.

Health and safety compliance is non-negotiable. We pledge to adhere rigorously to local health and safety regulations, conducting regular staff training and audits to foster a safe environment for both our patrons and our team.

BizCafe’s operations plan is not merely a blueprint for daily management but a reflection of our commitment to excellence in providing a compelling café experience. With this at our core, we set forth on a path to build BizCafe into a revered brand synonymous with quality, innovation, and unmatched customer service.

Cafe business plan example

Cafe business plan example

The Financial Projections section provides a forecast that is essential for understanding BizCafe's potential for growth, profitability, and financial stability. This forecast is based on a comprehensive analysis of the current market, comparable business models, consumer behavior, and the broader economic climate. While projections inherently contain assumptions and estimations, they aim to present the most probable outcomes given the business environment and strategies in place.

BizCafe’s financial journey commences with the strategic objective of reaching its break-even point by the end of the first operational year, which aligns with projected revenues of approximately $500,000. Achieving this milestone will signify the successful penetration of BizCafe into the cafe industry and establish a strong foundation for subsequent growth. To facilitate this target, marketing efforts will be ramped up to raise brand awareness and drive traffic to the storefront. Cost management will also remain at the forefront, ensuring expenses are aligned with our growth strategy.

The following years, two and three, are projected to herald a period of steady growth. With established brand recognition and an expanding loyal customer base, we anticipate revenue growth of approximately 20% annually. This growth will be driven by a combination of factors, including an increased adoption of BizCafe's loyalty program, the introduction of new menu items in response to market trends, and strategic marketing campaigns designed to expand our reach. During this period, we anticipate revenues to reach approximately $720,000 by the end of year three, and we project improvement in profit margins due to enhanced operational efficiencies and economies of scale.

Years four and five mark the expansion phase for BizCafe. Fortified by a strong, loyal following and increased cash flows, this chapter will explore new avenues for expansion, which may include the opening of a second location or diversifying service offerings to cater to additional segments, like corporate catering or evening social events. These growth opportunities could further augment revenue, with a possibility of surpassing $1 million by the close of year five.

Throughout this five-year span, BizCafe will remain steadfast in executing our marketing and sales strategies to support these financial goals. Our multi-channel approach, which includes establishing a substantive digital presence, engaging with the community, partnering with local businesses, and consistent brand messaging, will be instrumental in driving sales and increasing profitability.

In preparing these financial projections, we also recognize and plan for potential risks and have formulated mitigation strategies. From the outset, BizCafe will establish a contingency reserve to safeguard against unexpected economic downturns, competitive pressures, or supply chain disruptions, ensuring operational stability and financial resilience.

The projected performance is reliant on the strategic execution by our experienced management team, who will maintain vigilant oversight of financial health. CEO Alex Taylor will lead the charge with a focus on cultivating a high-performing team and elevating the customer experience, while CFO Jordan Lee will enforce rigorous financial controls to safeguard against overspending and cash flow shortfalls.

In summary, BizCafe’s financial projections are rooted in a blend of conservative assumptions and strategic optimism. Our envisioned growth trajectory capitalizes on market opportunities and prudent financial management, positioning BizCafe as a compelling new entrant in the New York cafe sector with robust prospects for enduring success.

Risk management is a critical component for the success of any business, and BizCafe is no exception. Our risk analysis outlines potential challenges that BizCafe may face and establishes mitigation strategies and contingency plans to navigate these risks effectively.


The café sector in New York is highly competitive, with several key players such as Java Junction, The Study Spot, Green Leaf Tea House, and Urban Grind already established in the marketplace. Each competitor brings strengths to the table: Java Junction's wide variety of coffee blends appeals to busy professionals; The Study Spot attracts students and academics with a quiet atmosphere; Green Leaf Tea House draws in health-conscious clientele with organic offerings; and Urban Grind is favored for its trendy ambiance among young adults.

To mitigate this risk, BizCafe’s strategy hinges on unique branding and building a strong customer loyalty program that incentivizes repeat visits. Our contingency plan includes diversifying our menu options and enhancing loyalty programs to retain customers and attract new ones, even in a saturated market.

Economic Downturns

Providing luxury discretionary products such as specialty coffee, economic downturns could pose a significant risk to BizCafe’s profitability. Customers may cut back on non-essential spending during these periods.

Mitigation for this risk involves offering competitive pricing and creating value deals that are attractive to customers looking for affordable luxury. Our contingency includes reducing operational costs, such as renegotiating leases or finding cost-effective suppliers without compromising the quality of our products.

Supply Chain Disruption

Supply chain volatility can affect the availability of critical inputs like coffee beans, specialty teas, and baked goods. This risk could be caused by global events, natural disasters, or other unforeseen disruptions.

To counteract this, BizCafe will establish relationships with multiple suppliers and maintain a buffer stock to safeguard against short-term disruptions. The contingency plan focuses on developing local sourcing alternatives to reduce dependency on distant supply chains.

Changing Consumer Preferences

Consumer tastes in the food and beverage industry are constantly evolving. Failure to adapt to these changes can result in loss of market share.

Our approach includes staying abreast of industry trends and customer feedback to adapt our menu accordingly. As a contingency measure, BizCafe is prepared for rapid menu adjustments and the roll-out of new products, keeping our offerings fresh and aligned with customer preferences.

Regulatory Changes

Operating in the food and beverage industry, BizCafe must comply with numerous regulations concerning health and safety, labor laws, and food standards. Regulatory changes could impose additional costs or require operational adjustments.

Our mitigation strategy involves staying informed of regulatory changes and ensuring full compliance. Should significant regulatory changes be implemented, our contingency plan includes swiftly revising operational practices and investing in staff training to meet new requirements.

Financial Management

BizCafe’s financial health is paramount to its success. Poor financial management could lead to cost overruns, inadequate cash flow, and ultimately, business failure.

To mitigate this risk, regular financial reviews and strict budgeting practices will be instituted, overseen by our experienced CFO, Jordan Lee. Our risk-averse financial strategy involves conservative projections with room for agile adjustments to the market’s ebbs and flows.

In conclusion, BizCafe's risk analysis is comprehensive, taking into account a multitude of factors that could influence the café's success. By employing proactive mitigation strategies and having robust contingency plans, BizCafe is poised to address these risks effectively while remaining focused on delivering exceptional service to our target market.

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How to Open a Cafe: The Ultimate Guide

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a freelance writer and editor. She has written on everything from finance to travel for publications including Fundera, LendingTree, SoFi, MagnifyMoney, LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual, among others.

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Robert Beaupre leads the SMB team at NerdWallet. He has covered financial topics as an editor for more than a decade. Before joining NerdWallet, he served as senior editorial manager of QuinStreet's insurance sites and managing editor of In addition, he served as an online media manager for the University of Nevada, Reno.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

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Starting a cafe is no small endeavor, but anyone who appreciates the Parisian way of life can tell you how integral a local, welcoming cafe is to any community. But when you’re starting a business, there are several things to consider and processes to complete to make it official.

Wondering how to open a cafe in your neighborhood? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll provide the tools to help you learn how to open a cafe and build a successful business.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Know your competition

There are over one million restaurants and over 30,000 coffee shops in the United States. New cafe owners can expect some steep competition. Of course, these dining options are more concentrated in some areas than others. Your neighborhood may be in desperate need of a great new cafe. That’s why your first step in starting a cafe should be to get to know your competition.

Maybe there is an obvious need you can fill, or perhaps you can take a look at what isn’t working for other local cafes and create a superior option for consumers. Look back at your town’s business records. Which cafes have closed in recent years? Do you know why they closed? Scour review sites like Yelp to see why your competition is being praised and criticized. But most importantly, make sure your business can contribute to local life before you invest too much time or money toward starting a cafe.

Create a business plan

No matter what type of business you want to start, creating a business plan is key to launching any successful endeavor. Your business plan is made up of eight sections, but you can alter your business plan to suit the specific needs of your cafe. The goal is to create a plan that will keep you on track, organize your research and prepare to prove your value to potential investors. Here are some of the topics you'll want to hit.

Executive summary

The executive summary gives you a chance to summarize your company’s value proposition. While this section leads your business plan, you will likely write it last as a summary of the subsequent sections of your business plan. You’ll use this section to explain what your business does, as well as what your current state of affairs looks like. You will also give a financial breakdown for where you see the business in three to five years. And of course, you can't forget to include what factors will drive your business's success.

Market analysis

This section builds on our first step and offers a more in-depth and higher-level analysis of your industry , market and any potential competitors. Utilize this section as an opportunity to prove your knowledge of the market and what unique void your cafe will fill.

The number one reason businesses fail is a lack of market need for their products or services, so make sure there’s demand for your cafe before you continue with the next steps.

How much do you need?

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We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Marketing and sales plan

If you want your business to succeed, you’re going to need a little more than word of mouth to reach new customers — at least when you’re first starting out. Once you’re more established, word-of-mouth marketing can be an effective way to gain new customers.

Your marketing strategy and sales plan should have a two-part approach. Positioning and promotion. How are you going to position your products to customers? What makes your goods or services special or valuable? Now that you know what your sell is, come up with a promotional plan that will get your brand in front of the eyes and ears of customers.

Financial plan and projections

When you share your financial plan and projections, you’ll give a glimpse at the current state of your business finances. You’ll also project where you see your finances going in the future based on your expected sales, expenses and more. Existing businesses that are creating, or updating, a business plan can use data from their past financial performance. They may want to include information such as income history, cash flow and balance sheets. If you’re just starting your cafe, you’ll likely have to use research and estimations to complete this section.

Learn the rules

Like any food services business , operating a cafe comes with an added degree of responsibility to your consumers, which is why the government will hold you accountable for cleanliness and safety. Before you open a cafe, learn more about the food services regulations in your state . Each state has different rules in place, so make sure you’re familiar with your state’s and devise a plan to comply. If possible, talk to other small business owners in the food services industry to be sure you have all the information you need.

Get the proper licenses, permits and insurance

You’re well on your way to starting a cafe, but before you can continue you’ll need to make sure you’re legally allowed to operate your business. The legal requirements of registering and licensing your business will vary based on your industry and location. However, you will likely need multiple business licenses at the state, federal, and local levels when starting a cafe.

Again, because you’ll be handling and serving food, you’ll be required to obtain more licenses and permits than a non-food services business, including food and health code licenses, health department permits, and more. If you plan on serving alcohol in your cafe, you’ll also need a liquor license. Additional licenses or permits may apply, including building, zoning or land-use permits; signage permits; and more.

If you plan on hiring employees to work in your cafe, you'll also need to obtain an employer identification number, or EIN. This will be required for tax purposes, among other things, but even if you don’t plan on hiring employees, there are several benefits of getting an EIN.

Additionally, you will need to obtain some type of business insurance for your cafe. If you have employees, you’ll be required to carry workers' compensation, unemployment, and potentially disability insurance. General liability and commercial property insurance are also common types of coverage. However, for the food services industry specifically, you’ll want to look into even more insurance policies, such as liquor and auto liability, fire, and food contamination insurance.

If you haven’t consulted with a business lawyer yet, now is a good time to do so to ensure you’re starting a cafe that is compliant with the law and protected from any potential issues down the road.

Hire the right people

A good cafe can make you feel right at home. And no one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own home. Thus, it’s important to hire cooks, servers, cashiers and management that will commit to maintaining your brand’s level of quality so that both you and your customers feel comfortable.

Not only do you want to hire the best employees, but you also want to create a productive and safe work environment so you can retain your talent. And if you’re new to hiring, avoiding these mistakes can help the process go more smoothly.


Start Your Dream Business

Find small business funding

At some point along this journey, you likely wondered, "How much does it cost to open a cafe?" The costs will depend on your cafe’s location, renovation, marketing, employment and supply needs. There’s a very good chance you’ll need to find a business loan for your cafe to help with startup costs. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to business funding, so take your time when you consider what path you want to take. You may find the following funding options are a good fit for your business.

Business loans: While some business loans , such as SBA loans , may be out of reach for a brand-new business, if your cafe has been operating and profitable for a few years, these could be a great solution to your cafe’s funding needs.

Business lines of credit: With more flexibility than a standard business loan, a business line of credit gives you a set amount of money from which you can draw to cover your business expenses.

Business credit cards: A business credit card is a good option for startup business owners whose lack of credit history and time in business may put more traditional funding options out of reach. In fact, a 0% intro APR credit card can be treated almost like an interest-free loan. Just make sure you have a plan to pay off your balance before the introductory offer ends.

Equipment financing: Starting a cafe comes with significant upfront costs due to the equipment required, including kitchen appliances, furniture and more. With equipment financing , a lender fronts you the money specifically for the purchase of equipment, which then serves as collateral on the loan, making this type of financing easier to qualify for than other options.

Startup funding: There are some types of startup financing that cater toward new businesses, such as SBA microloans and some business grant . You may also turn to crowdfunding to get your cafe business off the ground.

Find and manage supplies

Whether you’re all about the farm-to-table movement or will be offering a very specific item, you need to get your suppliers settled before opening your cafe. How you source your ingredients, as well as less thrilling supplies like to-go containers and utensils, is an integral part of running a cafe. You’ll want to sit down and calculate how much inventory to carry, as well as how much it will cost and where you’ll source it from.

Don’t forget to look up reviews of your suppliers or ask for customer testimonials. You need to work with suppliers you can rely on. Feel free to make the rounds in your local entrepreneur network, as well. Recommendations from business owners you trust are a great place to start.

Next, you’ll have to create an inventory system that is easy to follow and reliable. Any cafe worth its salt knows you can’t risk accidentally running out of coffee filters on a busy Sunday morning. A good place to start may be with an inventory management app so you can keep track of what’s going in and out of your cafe, and when.

Choose a POS system

You’re likely dreaming of the day you’ll make your first dollar. While you may want to hang that dollar up on the wall, you’re also going to want to have systems in place that ensure you receive payment properly for every sale you make. A point-of-sale system will be essential to process these payments. While there are various POS systems to choose from, you’ll likely want to opt for one geared specifically toward business in the food services industry. Finding a good POS system for your cafe is a business necessity and will help all of your transactions run smoothly.

Build your dream cafe

When you first started thinking about how to open a cafe, this is likely what you imagined. Now that the paperwork and less creative work has been established, it’s time to do the work you love: Find your perfect location, hunt down the decor that gives you all the good vibes, build the perfect menu, play around with ideas for how to make your cafe stand out.

Visit other cafes and take notes on what you like and dislike. Is free Wi-Fi a must? How about comfy chairs or pretty plants? Do you like a menu with a lot of versatile choices or a more specialized one? Stay true to your vision and beliefs and you'll create a cafe that customers will flock to.

The bottom line

There will be countless long days spent making your cafe dreams a reality. Hopefully, this guide on how to start a cafe business will give you the jumping-off point you need. With these steps accomplished, you’ll be in a great position to start welcoming customers into your new cafe. Where you take it from there is up to you!

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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Cafe Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Cafe Business Plan Template

Cafe Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their cafes. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a cafe business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What is a Cafe Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your cafe as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan for a Cafe

If you’re looking to start a cafe or grow your existing cafe you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your cafe in order to improve your chances of success. Your cafe business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your cafe grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Cafes

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a cafe are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a cafe is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Your cafe business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of cafe business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a cafe that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of cafes.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the cafe industry. Discuss the type of cafe you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target market. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of cafe you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Take-Out Cafe: this type of cafe doesn’t have seating (or has limited seating) and is mostly visited by customers looking to grab a coffee and/or bakery item on their way to work or elsewhere.
  • Restaurant Cafe: this type of cafe is most similar to a restaurant and offers a full, sit-down menu in a nice atmosphere with a full wait staff.
  • Casual cafe: also known as a corporate, student or co-working cafe, this type of cafe typically offers food and drinks from a counter with no waiters or waitresses. Patrons purchase items and consume them in the cafe, often while performing work on their laptops or conversing with friends or colleagues.
  • Coffee Shop: This is a popular type of cafe. Coffee shops usually offer a selection of tea, coffee, pastries and other drinks

  In addition to explaining the type of cafe you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business? What is your business concept? What is your unique selling proposition?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the cafe business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the cafe industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards cafes with ultra high speed internet connections, it would be helpful to ensure your location could offer such a service.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your cafe business plan:

  • How big is the cafe business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in the market?
  • Who are the key local suppliers in your market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your cafe. You can extrapolate such as figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The market analysis section of your cafe business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: local office workers, college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the target audience you choose will have a great impact on the type of cafe you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most cafes primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other cafes (and restaurants and/or bakeries depending on the type of cafe you operate).

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes restaurants, supermarkets and customers making coffee and bakery items themselves at home. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone in your target market will visit a cafe each day.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other cafes or coffee shops with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be cafes located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

  With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to stand outside your competitors’ locations and ask customers as they leave what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior cafe products?
  • Will you provide cafe products that your competitors don’t offer?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a cafe business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of cafe that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, will you offer pastries, soups, items such as café latte, cappuccino, espresso or macchiato?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the menu items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your cafe. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your cafe located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.

Promotions : the final part of your cafe marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your cafe’s front store extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Distributing samples outside the cafe
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
  • Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., gym members get a free cup of cafe with each pastry they purchase)
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your cafe such as serving customers, procuring supplies, keeping the cafe clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 10,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your cafe’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the cafe, coffee shop and/or restaurant business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in cafes and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your cafe, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 catering contract, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for supplies, equipment rentals, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180 day period, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a cafe:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of fixtures like chairs, tables, signage and cafe decor
  • Cost of equipment like grinders, espresso machines, blenders, refrigerators
  • Cost of ingredients and maintaining an adequate amount of supplies
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint or location lease.

Summary Putting together a business plan for your cafe is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, you will be able to prepare a winning cafe business plan or a coffee shop business plan. You will really understand cafe business planning, business operations, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful cafe.

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In the not-so-distant past, independent cafés and coffee shops were rapidly growing alongside popular franchises and chains.

While the pandemic has had a significant impact on the sector, slowing progress and sending plans askew, recent forecasts for hospitality are looking a lot brighter.

With business optimism climbing to its highest level since 2015, entrepreneurs across the UK can finally exhale and start to take measured steps towards brewing their business idea into a tasty reality.

Household spending on eating out remained strong, with those businesses tapping into e-commerce left better prepared to weather the storm.

As the economy recovers, that spend is set to increase as restrictions ease, markets stabilise and more disposable income becomes available.

According to the Accenture/HIS Markit Business Outlook , hospitality has jumped up to the most confident sector following a far less positive outlook towards the end of 2020.

Commuter towns, for example, are likely to see a huge surge in demand as people are able to spend time outdoors, and continue working from home .

Getting started

If you’re dreaming of setting up your own café , a thorough coffee shop business plan is the place to start.

You will need one if you are looking for partners, investors or lenders, and it’ll help you stay on track as you work towards your goals.

A business plan also helps you understand the purpose and nature of your company and competitive environment, plus your:

  • Unique selling points (USPs)
  • Strategic goals
  • Milestones.

Jim Winship, director of the Café Life Association, says a business plan is especially important in this sector because many people start cafés and coffee shops without any business experience.

“They have a dream that they can do it better than others but don’t think enough about the business side,” he says.

“This puts you at risk, in terms of the business liabilities, if the dream is unrealistic. So, a business plan is critical to help manage this risk.”

This article will help you create a business plan for your café or coffee shop. Here’s what it covers:

How to write a coffee shop business plan

Executive summary, business overview, audience and market, products and services, updating and adapting your plan, coronavirus and coffee shops, start building your café business plan, your one stop shop for starting a business.

Thinking about starting a business or already putting your ideas into action? We’ve got the resources, expertise and software to help you achieve your goals.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

There are no set rules about what a business plan should include.

Jen Walker, founder of  The Split Screen Coffee Company , says: “It doesn’t need to be overly formal but putting your ideas on paper is always useful and helps bring clarity.

“I have ideas flying around my head constantly and organising them has always served me well.

“As well as helping figure out what makes you special, it can feed into your market research, which is essential before making any big financial leaps.”

Before writing your proposal, search online for business plans of your favourite successful cafés and coffee houses to see how they did it.

Kick things off with your personal story.

Use exciting words to sell your idea and draw the reader into the narrative. Be creative with visuals, branding and design features as well as words, but always back this up with realistic detail.

If you want to secure funding , readers will also expect it to contain the following sections.

This should capture the reader’s attention and cover the key points about your business, like an elevator pitch.

Summarise your overall vision and where you fit into the market: the competition, market opportunity, your USP, and why and how you can build a profitable business.

Include details on the funding you’re looking for and how you plan to use it. If you already have some funding, summarise these details.

This section includes more detail on the above, plus a look at how you intend to execute key areas such as marketing, advertising, sales and operations.

It could also include exterior and interior designs, plus your website and other brand collateral.

Summarise the size of the market and sales of comparable products in your area and country. Identify any risks and challenges your company might face and how you plan to address or mitigate these issues.

Consider location, passing traffic, and any local amenities such as offices, universities, or business parks, as these will all play a part in how successful your venture is.

“Your café is a business, so you have to approach it that way,” says Jim. “For example, you need to understand the liabilities – of leases, employees and other standing costs – and whether you can support that risk with the likely sales volume.”

Summarise your short, medium and long-term goals with performance measures and milestones.

Include daily sales targets and consider how you can increase both volume and revenue by selling extras such as coffee mugs, branded bags of your house roast, or even tote bags.

Say how you will meet these goals and make sure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.

Track your progress against these goals regularly – and throw in customer or stakeholder feedback while you’re at it.

Your café or coffee shop needs a great location and a clearly defined target market, large enough to support your income needs.

Provide in-depth customer analysis, including your target audience’s needs, preferences and priorities.

Show potential investors why there is a viable market in your target area.

Look at how many work premises are nearby, and how many might need sandwich deliveries, catering services, or provide footfall business.

Count how many people walk past at peak times and get demographic information about the area.

“There may be a good reason for one area having lots of coffee or sandwich shops and there may be room for another,” says Jim.

“But do your homework. Stand on the street and see what people are doing to understand the footfall.

“Where are they going to and from, at lunchtime, if it’s a sandwich shop, or while shopping if it’s a coffee shop in a shopping area. Prove there is sufficient volume to make it viable.

“Also, analyse the competition and whether your shop will be sufficiently different and attractive that people come to you instead.

“You need to do better than competition, which is difficult, or offer something unique.”

Include details of menus and any other products you sell, plus some information on where you will source materials and ingredients from, and how you’ll market your products.

Show how you source, price and present your goods to attract your target market.

Post-pandemic, it’s more important than ever to consider how delivery, click and collect, and ecommerce factor into your business.

This has been a lifeline that kept doors open and jobs secure for the majority of cafés and restaurants, and your reader will be looking for this kind of foresight.

Mention of all your key people, with skills and experience, and any roles you plan to hire for, whether that’s full or part time.

Explain the management and ownership structure and any plans to evolve it.

Outline how you plan to train, reward, and incentivise your staff; this kind of detail showcases the level of thought and research you’ve put into your business idea.

Include all your costs, from initial and ongoing to standing and variable. State your projected sales and profits after tax and outgoings.

Jim advises: “Cost every single item in your product to make sure you can price it for profit. People lose sight of that sometimes.

“Only after doing all the sums can you see whether the business will give you the income you need.”

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting accurate financials, check out our guide on estimating figures for your business plan for more detailed information.

And when it comes to staying on top of your financials, using good cloud accounting software aimed at the hospitality industry will put you in good stead.

As your business evolves, your strategy and goals will change, so update your plan as often as possible – annually, quarterly, or even monthly.

“The more you stay on top of it, the better you can deal with issues that arise, so I recommend updating your plan monthly,” says Jim.

“If you are a small independent firm, you have the advantage that you can change quickly, but only if you recognise the need to.”

If you want to expand, ask yourself: “Do I understand the very different management skills and stresses involved?”

As well as updating your plan often, Jen recommends tailoring it to your intended reader.

“My plan has taken different forms depending on my audience,” she says. “For example, it has been handwritten, typed, and even used photos like a mood board.

“Think about who you are writing this plan for – your eyes only or potential investors?

“Others may not have the same interest in your concept as you do so make it clear, personal and interesting to them.”

In the past year, most cafés have changed their business plans drastically because of the trading challenges created by the pandemic.

As coronavirus recedes, you may have to plan your costs even more carefully; you may, for example, have backlogs of rents and loans to repay or renegotiate.

Or you may want more funding to exploit new opportunities.

“Banks are now offering pay-as-you-grow repayment plans, so if you need this, talk to your bank manager,” says Jim.

“We suggest any outstanding rent should be spread over the life of the lease and that rental agreements should be based on a percentage of turnover.”

Jen says she has changed her business plan radically since the start of the pandemic .

“I’m now collaborating with another local small business and we now have a joint plan for growing our range together,” she says.

“Collaborating has been a wonderful experience and has improved cash flow and given me more time off.

“My advice is not to view others as competition but think about how you can come together to improve your offering and boost your local economy.”

As the economy recovers, following your business plan’s structure will help you run a tight ship financially, take advantage of new opportunities, and persuade potential partners or investors to back you.

When writing your plan, take your time, research thoroughly, and ensure all elements are accurate and realistic.

But don’t make it a dry or tedious read. Investors back people as much as businesses, so let your personality and passion shine through.

Use our free business plan template for small food and drink businesses to get started on your café proposal. This includes everything you need to set out for success and show potential investors if and when that time comes.

We also provide a business model canvas that can help you distil the most important parts of your plan into a one-page document – check it out.

Business plan template for food and drink companies

Want to create a business plan for your food or drink company but not sure how to do it? Download our free and easy-to-use business plan template and you can get started.

Want to set up your own food or drink company? Don't forget your business plan

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how to make a business plan for a cafe

How to Open a Café Business

How to Open a Café Business – Ultimate Beginner's Guide PDF

steps to open a cafe

Successfully Opening a Café Business

Opening a café business can be an exciting opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. The sound of steaming espresso machines, delicious food being served, and the lively chattering of customers can pique the interest of any new business owner.

A café is one of many different coffee shop concepts that could work in your community. Finding the right concept for the right location to serve the appropriate target market will be a significant part of your café planning.

In today's post, we'll deep dive into the steps you'll want to take to open a café successfully.

How much does a café business cost?

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Several main factors impact the cost of a café, which requires two specific budget breakdowns .

The first budget would be your café startup budget . The second cost breakdown would be your operational budget .

Your coffee shop startup budget will be the money you need to get from Square One to your grand opening. This budget includes your research, planning, legal, and administrative costs. Additionally, your startup budget includes your initial space lease, café buildout, equipment costs, furniture and fixtures, and training.

Your operational costs are centered on the day-to-day or monthly cost of operating your café. This includes your lease, insurance, labor, inventory, taxes, and other expenses.

Since a café often has a more extensive menu and offers indoor seating, the costs of a traditional café are often higher than that of a conventional coffee shop.

$130,000 – $200,000
$150,000 – $250,000
$200,000 – $350,000
$200,000 – $400,000

These costs will fluctuate depending on the location, size of the kitchen, menu offerings, real-estate, and buildout costs.

For more information, read our post, How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop?

a cafe opens for the day

Beginner's Guide

Opening a Café Business (Easy Steps)

  • pick a cafe concept
  • choose a cafe menu
  • determine what will make you stand out
  • define your branding
  • determine your cafe budget
  • understand who your cafe customers will be
  • setup your business structure
  • choose your cafe location
  • pick your cafe equipment
  • write a cafe business plan
  • determine your cafe funding
  • choose your cafe roaster
  • build out your cafe
  • get a cafe license and permits
  • develop a coffee brand and marketing strategy
  • hire amazing baristas
  • always deliver excellence

Trending Articles on Coffee Shop Startups:

Steps Open a Café Business

Pick a café concept..

Cafés come in all shapes, sizes, and themes. Even café concepts can vary among other cafés.

What type of café do you wish to have? Perhaps, more clearly, what kind of experience would you want your café customers to have?

Choosing the right café concept to fit your customers in a specific location will be vital to driving sales and keeping your business humming strong.

You will want to settle on a specific niche in the marketplace that offers a unique experience and a different menu. This will help side-step competitors and appeal to customers. 

Coffee Shop Concepts Diagram

Choose your café menu.

Cafés are often more than just traditional coffee shops and differ in various ways. For example, cafes often have a more extensive menu than traditional drive-thru coffee stands or coffee shops. Some cafes even can have a full kitchen, a large bakery operation, and a coffee roastery. Of course, many cafes also serve alcohol as well. Serving alcohol at your café may require additional permits and licenses, so check with your state's alcohol board.

These are significant undertakings, cost additional money, and require a greater startup budget and operational budget to maintain. But, of course, the benefits of having these operations in-house can improve your sales and increase your profit margin.

Choosing your café menu will play a big part in other big decisions you'll be making. Everything from your space needs, permit requirements, employee wages, and cafe equipment needs will be determined by your café's menu.

Deciding on your menu requires you to grasp what your customers want at the price they are willing to pay.

Determine what's going to make you stand out

Now that you are honing in on a concept and menu, this might be an excellent time to determine how your café will stand out from the competition.

The “special thing” that makes you different will often give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace and separate you from the rest of the choices available.

Perhaps it will be your special soup your rotating business lunches, or your in-house roasted organic coffee. It could be your decadent pastries or special cakes made by your award-winning baker. It might be the collection of art on your walls, your panoramic view, or the music you offer every night. All these elements and more have the potential to be a unique feature that only your café offers.

We often refer to this particular thing as your Unique Sales Proposition or USP.

Coming up with a winning USP will better position you among competitors and provide you with a solid foothold to make other decisions. This will include your branding, messaging, and marketing efforts. It will also help improve your sales and training and give you a competitive edge. 

Define your cafe branding.

As you begin to outline what type of café you will be in, you will also want to develop your café brand and messaging behind it.

Your café branding will include, among other things, your logo, name of business, your use of colors, menu choices, uniforms, etc.

Your branding may be reinforced by your décor, design, and layout, among other things.

Additionally, your messaging – the use of language, slogans, and energy that you communicate via all of your channels (website, social media, signage) – plays a role in what type of café you have chosen.

Your messaging has to appeal and trigger action among your target market to maximize your success and drive sales. So, as you move forward with your business planning, start crafting and refining your logo and overall messaging. If you need help, there are affordable branding experts online who can help design your logo, signs, and other items.

Yet, there are plenty of things you can do yourself before hiring an expert, so keep reading!

Determine your cafe budget.

In the early stages of your planning, you will want to sketch out your café startup budget . Of course, the easiest way is to start listing the things you need to get your café up and running.

Your cafe budget will be central to answering the question: How much will your café cost?

This final estimate and budget will take a little planning, realistic estimates, and adjusting.

As you plan out your café business, your budget may naturally increase. Keep a running list and include this budgeting effort in your cafe business plan .

You will also need to create an operational budget. This operational budget will itemize the costs of being open and running your café daily. These two estimated budgets (your startup budget and operational budget) will be essential to understand before you launch your business.

My recommendation is that you don't create and act on your budget in “real-time” or as you go. Instead, determine your café budget first – analyze it against your business plan, then move forward with securing the funds needed to get your café operational – and then spend the money.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Opening a café business

a busy cafe opens for the day

Understand who your café customers will be.

There is no secret that your customers play a significant role in your café's success. From generating sales and repeat business to being your most prominent marketers – your customers are the foundation of your profit and continued success.

Start with determining who your customers are. It should be among the first necessary steps you'll need to take. Afterward, you can start molding your entire business to serve them.

Your target market is the general market to which your café will appeal, often based on your geographic convenience, accessibility, and business concept.

If you dig a little deeper – you will also know who your target customers are – or those customers that are most likely willing to buy from you.

Set up your business structure.

To operate your café legally, you will have to set up an appropriate business structure. Often, your business structure is created in the state in which you plan on operating your business. This is done through your specific state's secretary of state office.

Keep in mind that you can still operate your business in other states and regions as long as you have the appropriate business licenses and health permits and complete other requirements for those areas. For example, you might decide to open a coffee business in New York but decide to operate a second coffee shop located in Los Angeles .

Your business structure is an essential part of your café startup process. You'll have several business structures to choose from – such as a sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability company (LLC) , etc.

coffee shop vs. cafe

Choose your cafe location.

Choosing the best location for your café will be the cornerstone of your success. The perfect location can determine your sales strengths and position you to maximize exposure.

There are a few essential elements that revolve around your café's location. Your location should be easily accessible to your target market, and have parking and lighting, among others.

You will have to factor in neighboring businesses, competition, and other essential elements in your prospective location. These include neighboring points of interest, parks, farmers' markets, theaters, etc.

Additionally, your location's lease will be critical in moving forward with the location. A poor lease or a lease that makes business difficult may hamper your progress and sales.

For more information, read our post, How to Choose the Best Location for Your Café .

Pick your cafe equipment.

Now that you've picked out the concept and your menu and you're settling on a location, you'll want to start choosing the café equipment pieces you'll need.

Detail items such as ovens, stoves, and refrigerators. You will also need an espresso machine, commercial coffee grinders, and brewing devices.

Your café equipment will be a significant part of your budget and requires some thoughtful budgeting and comparison shopping. You may also want to include your café displays, menu boards, furniture, and fixtures in your calculations here as well.

For more information on choosing your coffee shop, please read   The Coffee Shop Equipment You Need

Write a café business plan

Writing a café business plan will help get all your thoughts, ideas, and plans on paper. In addition, your business plan will play a key role in helping you organize your thoughts and ensure that all elements of your business are addressed.

A café business plan is written for a small and significant audience. First, your business plan will be read by your potential investors, partners, and bank lenders. Next, your café business plan will also be read by property managers. Most property managers will expect to see a business plan which allows them to understand the nature of your business and operations thoroughly.

For help getting started, please read   How to Start and Write Your Cafe Business Plan.

Coffee Shop Ideas & ConceptsCoffee Shop Budget and Planning

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Determine your café funding.

After you've developed your business plan, you will want to secure your funding. Before getting the financing, you will need to establish a café funding mix. Your mix will detail the pools of capital you will utilize to get the money to fund your café startup fully. It will also provide a guidepost to strategize accessing funds from each pool.

Your funding mix will help you prioritize your efforts to secure the funds you need to get your business self-sustaining. 

For a more detailed look at developing your café funding mix, please read our post, Developing Your Café Funding Mix.

Start a coffee business funding mix

Choose your café roaster and vendors.

If you decide not to roast your beans, you will need to work with a wholesale coffee roaster .

Choosing a coffee roaster is a big decision. After all, you are banking on their expertise, quality, reliability, and their ability to provide you with as much roasted coffee as needed. Some cafes run through hundreds of pounds of coffee in a week, so your wholesale roaster will need to be able to fulfill those orders.

You may decide to roast your coffee beans yourself, but this decision comes with added costs and other considerations.

In addition to your coffee roaster, you should consider looking at any vendors you might need to work with to fulfill your menu items.

For further reading, please read   How to Choose a Wholesale Coffee Roaster .

Build Out Your Café.

After securing your café location and signing your lease, you will probably need to remodel or build out your café. This may require some permitting, and it certainly requires some research to understand what codes and regulations you'll need to adhere to.

My recommendation is that you start early in the cafe design and layout process. Even though you may not have a location yet, you can still understand what is required for you to pass the inevitable health and building inspections. Establish contacts with your various departments. Never start working on your café without first checking with the agencies that will need to approve your design and layout.

Get your cafe license and permits.

You will need to get your health department permit, building permit, and business license to serve your first customer. Additionally, you may also need to have a fire department permit.

Each of these permits requires you to work with different governmental agencies before opening your café. The good news is that most of these agencies have worked with many café businesses in the past, so they would help you answer any questions you have.

Some agencies, like the building department, might be at the state level. In comparison, other agencies like the health department will be at the county or city level.

Develop a coffee brand & marketing strategy.

Setting your café apart from the rest of the field, in most cases, will be what allows your café to grow into the business you want it to.

You will want to create a brand – everything from your name, logo, slogan, and colors you use.

Your brand will be your banner symbol with which you, your employees, and your customers understand and develop a connection.

As you develop your café brand, you will also want to market your café business. Never believe that your café will succeed on its own simply with the fact that it exists.

Successful cafés figure out ways to effectively market to their target market. By understanding your target market and what you intend to do well, you can craft an effective marketing strategy.

Hire amazing baristas.

One of the best things you can do as a café owner is to hire amazing baristas and staff.

Reliable, honest, and skilled staff are hard to come by, so start looking for them early.

Once you hire your staff, do whatever it takes to keep morale high, pay fair wages, offer the opportunity for gratuity sharing, and provide regular barista training. Regular coffee education and barista training will improve your turnover rates.

Deliver excellence every time

Consistently deliver your best. If you have come this far to open your café, you will want to exceed your customers' expectations every time. I acknowledge that delivery consistency every time is hard, but it is necessary when your competitors are hoping you fail.

As a café owner and manager, you will want to offer high-quality products and services by constantly improving, continuously training, adapting, and listening to your customers. Treat your employees well, take steps to show how valuable they are to your business, and go the extra mile for your customers.

Further Reading : How to Start a Coffee Shop Successfully

Opening a Café Business

a cafe at night

Additional Questions:

Is it hard to open a café.

Starting a café is not necessarily hard. Instead, it requires devotion and tenacity. There are several steps to owning and operating a café, and they all need to be completed before you can open your doors.

It will be challenging to have the patience, knowledge, and money to get you to the Grand opening. However, many successful café owners who started with less skill, less money, and less understanding than you, have succeeded because they had the motivation and devotion to follow through. Following through is the hardest part about starting a cafe.

How much money do café owners make?

Café revenue and income vary across the board. However, factors that determine café income and revenue aren't different from those of other retail businesses and restaurants.

To determine income, you'll need to determine how many sales you have per day, week, or month. Additionally, the number of sales needs to be multiplied by the average cost per ticket.

For example, let's take a tiny café open from 7 am to 7 pm, which sells 120 coffees per day, averaging $5 per receipt. That comes out to $600 per day or $4200 per week for coffee. So, this would come out to $16,800 per month.

Of course, this includes coffee alone and not muffins, pastries, soups, or other menu items. Additionally, you will want to subtract the operational costs to give you your café's net income and profits.

We take a deeper dive into the revenue and income that is generated by a coffee shop in our article, How Much Does a Coffee Shop Owner Make?

What is the difference between a cafe and a coffee shop?

A cafe is typically larger and offers indoor (and possibly outdoor) seating. Cafes may also offer waiting services and have a deeper menu. The menu may offer full-kitchen options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are often different hybrid cafes that also offer walk-up or drive-thru options, but typically, you'll find a place for customers to sit, look at a menu, order from their items, and wait for their plates to be brought to them. A cafe may often be open later into the evening, serve alcohol , and offer live music.

Should I open up a low-cost coffee business instead?

If you would like to open a café but aren't sure you can manage the cost or secure funding, there may be a variety of other low-cost café options for you to consider.

Options include starting a mobile coffee business, an espresso catering business, or a drive-thru coffee stand . Additionally, you may also consider selling coffee online. Selling coffee online can help you establish your brand, help you target your customers, and provide you with the experience and funding you need to get your café started.

For more information, read Low-cost Ideas for Starting a Coffee Shop with No Money.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

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Based in Seattle, Washington, USA, Coffee Shop Startups is dedicated to providing you with the most relevant information on how to start a coffee shop business successfully. Over the last 11 years, we've helped thousands of aspiring coffee business owners worldwide. We harness the experience, wisdom, and knowledge of many successful coffee shop owners to help you increase your chances of success and profits. We support business owners who want to start a coffee business by providing them with valuable information on starting their coffee business successfully.

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Based in Seattle, Washington, USA, Coffee Shop Startups is dedicated to providing you with the most relevant information on how to start a coffee shop business successfully.

Over the last 10+ years , we’ve helped thousands of aspiring coffee business owners worldwide. We harness the experience, wisdom, and knowledge of many successful coffee shop owners to help you increase your chances of success and profits.

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How to write a coffee shop business plan

  • Nirit Braun
  • Oct 30, 2023
  • 12 min read

How to create a coffee shop business plan

A coffee shop business plan is a detailed and strategic document outlining the essential aspects of starting and operating a coffee-focused business. It encompasses a comprehensive analysis of the business's goals, target audience, competitive landscape, marketing strategies, financial projections, operational procedures and more. This plan acts as a roadmap that guides entrepreneurs through the various stages of establishing and running their coffee shop, providing clear direction and a solid foundation for success.

When starting a business, especially in the competitive and dynamic realm of the coffee industry, creating a comprehensive and clear business plan is of paramount importance.

Ready to get your business brewing? Take Wix’s website builder for a whirl.

Top benefits of creating a coffee shop business plan

A well-crafted business plan helps entrepreneurs articulate their business goals, whether it's about offering unique coffee blends, creating a cozy ambiance or supporting sustainable sourcing practices. At the same time, a business plan requires entrepreneurs to identify and understand their target audience. This insight helps tailor marketing strategies, menu offerings and the overall customer experience to meet the specific preferences and needs of the intended customers.

Here's an overview of some key advantages to creating a coffee shop business plan:

Attracting investors and funding: A well-structured business plan acts as a persuasive tool when seeking investors or raising money for your business . It showcases your thorough understanding of the coffee industry, market trends and your strategies for success. This level of preparedness increases your credibility and instills confidence in potential investors, making them more likely to support your coffee shop venture.

Clear resource requirements: Writing a business plan prompts you to identify the specific resources, supplies and staff necessary to launch and operate your coffee shop. This includes everything from coffee beans and brewing equipment to furniture and interior decor.

Strategic financial planning: A comprehensive business plan outlines your financial projections, startup costs, operating expenses and revenue forecasts. This level of financial planning helps you determine how much funding you need to start a business . It also guides you in setting prices, managing cash flow and assessing profitability.

Market understanding and differentiation: Through market research and analysis, a business plan allows you to understand your target audience's preferences, behaviors and expectations. This knowledge helps you tailor your coffee shop's offerings, ambiance and marketing strategies to effectively attract and retain customers.

Risk mitigation: The process of creating a business plan prompts you to identify potential risks and challenges that your coffee shop might face. By acknowledging and addressing these risks early on, you can develop contingency plans and strategies to mitigate their impact.

Operational efficiency: A business plan outlines the operational processes required to run your coffee shop smoothly. It includes staffing plans, inventory management strategies and quality control measures. By establishing efficient procedures from the outset, you can minimize wastage, optimize resource allocation and ensure consistent customer satisfaction.

Goal setting and tracking: Your business plan serves as a benchmark against which you can measure your coffee shop's performance over time. By setting clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), you can track your progress and make necessary adjustments to stay on course toward achieving your objectives.

How to create a coffee shop business plan in 6 steps

Now we’ll walk through the six essential steps for crafting a coffee shop business plan tailored to your company's unique needs.

Executive summary

Business and domain names

Market analysis and research

Operations plan

Marketing and advertising plan

Financial plan

01. Executive summary

Your executive summary is a concise and compelling overview of your coffee shop business plan. It encapsulates the key elements of your plan and provides a snapshot of your business concept, strategies and financial projections. While appearing at the start of the business plan, it's often written last, as it draws from the content of the entire document.

A clear executive summary for a coffee shop business should include:

The essence of your coffee shop: What makes it unique? What kind of experience will customers have when visiting your establishment?

Market potential and your target audience: Explain why your coffee shop is well-positioned to capture this opportunity.

Competitor landscape: Identify what sets your coffee shop apart from the competition. This could be your specialty coffee blends, unique ambiance, sustainable practices or exceptional customer service.

Example executive summary for a coffee shop: "Bean Haven Coffee is a meticulously crafted coffee shop that aims to provide not just beverages, but an immersive coffee experience. We pride ourselves on our curated selection of ethically sourced beans, offering customers the finest hand-crafted brews in a cozy, rustic ambiance. Our competitive edge lies in our commitment to sustainability, from our bean-sourcing practices to our eco-friendly packaging. With a strong emphasis on community engagement and partnerships with local artists, we are set to become a cultural hub that brings people together over a shared love for exceptional coffee. Through strategic marketing campaigns, leveraging social media and collaborating with nearby businesses, we aim to establish Bean Haven Coffee as the go-to destination for coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. Our projected financials indicate that we will reach profitability within the first 18 months of operation. We seek funding to cover initial startup costs and our business model is designed to achieve sustainable growth and profitability."

02. Company and domain names

Knowing how to name a business is crucial for a coffee shop venture and a key step before you register your business . A strong and memorable name can resonate with customers and differentiate your coffee shop from competitors. Use descriptive words that reflect your coffee shop's essence, whether it's about taste, ambiance or values.

Utilizing a business name generator like the one from Wix can provide inspiration and spark creativity. Play with different combinations of words and ideas until you find a name that feels right. Once you've settled on a name, check its availability for domain registration. A domain name that matches your company name is essential for an effective online presence.

When choosing a domain name consider the following best practices:

Ensure that the domain name reflects your coffee shop's identity and offerings

Choose a name that is easy to spell and remember

Opt for a timeless name that won't become outdated quickly

If possible, include relevant keywords in the domain to improve search engine visibility

Steer clear of names that are easily confused with competitors or other brands

03. Market analysis and research

With more than 38,000 coffee shops in the U.S. alone, there are plenty of competitors to analyze. Including a comprehensive market analysis in your business plan is essential for understanding the competitive landscape and formulating effective strategies. Research your local coffee market, identify existing competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Determine your target audience's preferences, behaviors and demographics to tailor your offerings and marketing campaigns accordingly.

A well-rounded market analysis can guide your business strategy, helping you position your coffee shop effectively, develop compelling value propositions and devise strategies to capture your desired market share.

04. Operations plan

The operations plan is a crucial section of your coffee shop business plan. It outlines the practical aspects of running your coffee shop. Use it to describe your chosen location and its significance for foot traffic, accessibility and target audience reach.

Then, take the opportunity to detail the interior design, layout and ambiance of your coffee shop to create a welcoming atmosphere. Next be sure to list the equipment needed for brewing, food preparation and service. Ensure it aligns with your menu and production capacity. Finally define the roles and responsibilities of your staff, from baristas to managers, and outline their qualifications and training needs.

05. Marketing and advertising strategies

The marketing and advertising portion of your business plan outlines your strategies for promoting your coffee shop and attracting customers. Depending on your target audience and brand positioning for this type of business , consider a mix of traditional and digital marketing methods. This means using social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to showcase your coffee creations, engage with customers and share your coffee shop's story. Collaborate with influencers, local organizations or other businesses to expand your reach and tap into new customer segments.

Additionally, you can choose to participate in community events, farmers' markets and collaborations with other local businesses to increase your visibility. Also consider implementing loyalty programs that reward repeat customers and incentivize them to visit regularly.

You’ll need to develop a suite of brand assets to use in your marketing as well, starting with a company logo. You can use a free logo maker to get a professional design in minutes.

Learn more: How to make a website

06. Financial plan

The cost to start a coffee shop business can range from $50,000 for a mobile operation to over $400,000 for a brick-and-mortar location with booth seating and a drive-thru. This hefty expense is just another reason why a financial plan is so important.

The financial plan is the backbone of your coffee shop business plan. It outlines your startup costs, operating expenses, revenue projections and funding strategy. Investors and lenders will closely scrutinize this section to assess the viability of your coffee shop venture, so remember to do the following:

Detail the initial investment required for equipment, interior design, licenses and permits

Estimate ongoing costs such as rent, utilities, supplies and salaries

Provide realistic revenue forecasts based on your expected capacity and customer traffic

Specify how you plan to secure funding

Highlight when you anticipate reaching profitability and generating positive cash flow

By meticulously planning your finances, you demonstrate a solid understanding of the financial aspects of your coffee shop business and showcase its potential for success.

steps to developing a business plan

Coffee shop business plan examples

Below we’ve put together business plan templates for two hypothetical coffee shop businesses, including all the sections discussed in our previous how-to steps.

Coffee shop business plan template 1: Coffee Haven Café

Coffee Haven Café is a charming coffee shop dedicated to delivering a premium coffee experience in a cozy and inviting setting. Our unique blends, ethically sourced beans and commitment to sustainability set us apart in a competitive market. By fostering community engagement and partnering with local artists, we aim to become a cultural hub that brings people together over exceptional coffee. Through strategic marketing efforts and a strong online presence, we project profitability within 18 months.

Company and domain name

Company name: Coffee Haven Café

Domain name:

Our marketing analysis revealed a growing demand for specialty coffee in our target location. We've identified key competitors and highlighted their strengths and weaknesses. Our target audience consists of young professionals and students who value quality and ambiance. By understanding these dynamics, we can tailor our offerings and marketing strategies effectively.

Location: Centrally located in a busy commercial area with high foot traffic

Premises: Rustic and inviting interior design that promotes relaxation and conversation

Equipment: High-quality espresso machines, grinders, brewing equipment and display cases for baked goods

Staffing: Experienced baristas, friendly waitstaff and a dedicated manager to oversee operations

Social media: Engage customers through Instagram, Facebook and X with enticing coffee shots and behind-the-scenes content

Local events: Participate in local festivals, art exhibitions and collaborate with nearby businesses for cross-promotions

Content marketing: Regular blog posts on coffee trends, brewing tips and spotlight features on local artists

Loyalty programs: Offer a loyalty card program with rewards for frequent visitors

Partnerships: Collaborate with nearby bookstores for reading sessions and local influencers for social media endorsements

Startup costs: $70,000 for equipment, furnishings, licenses and initial inventory

Operating expenses: Estimated monthly costs of $12,000 covering rent, utilities, supplies and staff salaries

Revenue projections: Projected revenue of $300,000 in the first year, growing to $450,000 in the second year

Funding strategy: Initial funding from personal savings and a small business loan from a local bank

Profitability timeline: Aim to achieve profitability within 18 months of operation

Coffee shop business plan template 2: Brew & Gather Coffee House

Brew & Gather Coffee House is a community-focused coffee shop aiming to create a warm and inclusive space for coffee enthusiasts. Our commitment to locally sourced ingredients and artisanal brewing techniques sets us apart. By fostering partnerships with neighboring businesses and hosting regular events, we aim to become a staple in the neighborhood. Our projected financials indicate profitability within the first two years.

Company name: Brew & Gather Coffee House

Domain name:

Through extensive market research, we've identified an opportunity to serve a diverse community seeking an authentic and welcoming coffee experience. We've assessed competitors' offerings and identified an untapped niche. Understanding our target audience's preferences and values will guide our menu and marketing strategies.

Location: Situated near a local park, providing an oasis for relaxation and community gatherings

Premises: Modern yet cozy interior design with flexible seating arrangements to accommodate groups and individuals

Equipment: State-of-the-art espresso machines, pour-over stations and an open bakery display

Staffing: A blend of skilled baristas, friendly hosts and a community engagement coordinator

Social media: Utilize Instagram and TikTok to showcase brewing techniques, share customer stories and host virtual coffee-tasting sessions.

Local events: Host open mic nights, book clubs and workshops to engage the community.

Content marketing: Publish a monthly newsletter featuring coffee culture insights, staff spotlights and local partnerships.

Loyalty programs: Introduce a tiered membership program offering exclusive discounts and early access to events.

Partnerships: Collaborate with local farmers, artisans and musicians to create a truly immersive community experience.

Startup costs: $100,000 for leasehold improvements, equipment, permits and initial inventory

Operating expenses: Projected monthly expenses of $15,000, covering rent, utilities, wages and supplies

Revenue projections: Anticipate revenue of $350,000 in the first year, with a 15% increase in the second year

Funding strategy: Initial investment from personal savings and a crowdfunding campaign targeting the local community

Profitability timeline: Aim to reach profitability within the first two years of operation

How profitable is a coffee shop?

The profitability of a coffee shop can vary depending on a number of factors, including location, business model and marketing strategy. However, in general, coffee shops can be quite profitable.

According to a report by IBISWorld, the average profit margin for coffee shops is 8.33%. This means that for every $100 in revenue, coffee shops generate $8.33 in profit.

Some coffee shops are even more profitable. For example, coffee shops located in high-traffic areas, such as airports and office buildings, can generate profit margins of up to 15%. And coffee shops that sell specialty coffee drinks and food items can also generate higher profit margins.

Here are some tips for increasing the profitability of your coffee shop:

Choose a good location. A good location is essential for success. Look for a location that is convenient for potential customers and has high visibility.

Offer a unique selling proposition. What makes your coffee shop different from others? What can you offer that your competitors cannot?

Provide excellent customer service. This is essential for building a loyal customer base. Make sure your staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and that they are always willing to go the extra mile for your customers.

Market your coffee shop effectively. Let potential customers know about your coffee shop and the unique offerings you have. You can do this through online marketing, social media and word-of-mouth.

Control your costs. Coffee shops have high costs, so it's important to control your costs as much as possible. This means negotiating good deals with your suppliers, managing your inventory carefully and keeping your labor costs under control.

Why do coffee shops fail?

There are a number of reasons why coffee shops fail. Some of the most common reasons include:

Poor location: A coffee shop in a bad location won't attract enough customers to be successful. Coffee shops need to be located in areas with high foot traffic, such as near office buildings, universities and parks.

High overhead costs: Coffee shops have high overhead costs, such as rent, utilities and labor. If a coffee shop can't generate enough revenue to cover its overhead costs, it will eventually fail.

Poor management: Poor management can lead to a number of problems, such as low customer satisfaction, high employee turnover and financial difficulties. Coffee shop owners need to have a strong business plan and be able to manage their finances effectively.

Lack of marketing: Coffee shops need to market themselves effectively to attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back. Coffee shop owners need to develop a marketing plan and budget, and they need to track their results to see what is working and what is not.

Competition: The coffee shop industry is very competitive. Coffee shops need to offer something unique to stand out from the competition.

Coffee shop business plan FAQ

How do you start a coffee shop business plan.

To start a coffee shop business plan, you need to consider the following factors:

Location: Choose a location that is convenient for potential customers and has high visibility.

Target market: Identify your target market and tailor your business plan to their needs and preferences.

Menu: Develop a menu that includes a variety of coffee drinks and food items that will appeal to your target market.

Pricing: Set prices that are competitive and generate a sufficient profit margin.

Operating costs: Estimate your operating costs, such as rent, utilities, labor and inventory.

Marketing: Develop a marketing plan to reach your target market and generate awareness of your coffee shop.

How many cups of coffee does a coffee shop sell per day?

Is a small coffee shop profitable, what percentage of coffee shops are successful, want to cook up another business plan.

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How to write a cafe business plan

Cafe business plans are boring.

No one likes writing them, very few people even want to read them…but they can be vital for the success of a new business.

Why? Because as you write down your plans on a page, the process makes you to think critically about the how viable your concept really is.

There are a lot of long, technical business plan templates out there. This is not one of them. This is a simple, practical cafe business plan template for everyday humans.

Cafe Business Plan Kit

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A good business plan should make you answer hard questions like:

  • How are you really going to be different from your competitors?
  • Where are your customers going to come from?
  • How much money do you need to get started? (and then stay afloat for the first year)
  • What sales & profit are you projecting over the first 3 years?

Start with your goals

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Start by answering the most important, and often most difficult question: why are you doing this?

Some people are in it for the money, some are buying themselves a new career, some just want to see their vision become a reality. Your specific goals could also include how you’ll impact the community, your family (like time off) and a whole lot more.

Ultimately, you want to communicate what success looks like to you.

While you’re at it, I think it’s also wise to at least think about an exit plan. I know that seems like the opposite of what you should be doing right now, but having a strategy for selling or expanding your business will be a big deal in years to come. Some questions to ask all the partners involved in the business are: Is this for life, or are we planning to sell at some stage? How many years before we take a look at our options?

Marketing Plan: Who is this business for?

how to make a business plan for a cafe

The most effective businesses are designed with specific customers in mind. The more specific you get, the more you can focus the plan on what they want. The example above (from the business plan template) breaks down customers into segments based on who they are (demographics) and what “occasion” (time of day, circumstance) you can fulfil. Now we have an idea of who they are, let’s have a look at what the competition is doing.

Your Competition & Competitive Advantage

If you already have an exact location lined up, go ahead and take a look at which customer segments your closest competitors are looking after.

Be honest, most businesses have something and someone they’re just right for. Find out what it is and compare it to the segments you're targeting.

Identify those things that you can focus on to help you stand out. Remember, you don’t have to please everyone, but you do need to be completely amazing for the customers you’re targeting.

Once, you really understand your customer & your competitive advantage you’re off to a great start. The marketing plan should also include:

  • Pricing Strategy
  • Promotions & Advertising Strategy
  • S.W.O.T. Analysis – that is, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats of your business concept
  • Branding & Store Design Strategy

Once you've got the fundamentals of your marketing strategy in place, take a look at our list of 12 cafe marketing ideas that can help give you some inspiration for specific tactics & promotions

Operations Plan

How are you going to run this thing?

Yes, you need to cover mind numbing details like:

  • Business structure - company, partnership, sole trader, etc)
  • Approvals / Registrations Needed – Development Approvals, Outdoor dining permit, etc
  • Trading hours
  • Opening date

But the big one for a cafe business is Location & Lease…

Location & Lease Strategy

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Now if you’ve already signed a lease there’s not a lot to see here. Just outline the detail of the site and the basic lease terms.

In your plan, include a basic shopping list for your ideal site. Here’s an example from the cafe business plan template We are seeking a 100-150m2 retail lease with street frontage. The site will have high passing foot traffic drawing from a mix of office workers & local residents.  We are seeking minimum lease terms of 3 years + a 3 year option to allow a return on investment.

You can something like this to talk with brokers & real estate agents. It gives both you and them something to focus your search.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Who do you need to make this happen?

Ask any experienced cafe owner, the number one thing keeping them up at night is staff.

Now is the right time to think through who you need & what skills they need to bring. You should also make it clear what sort of hours & skills both you (and your business partners) are going to contribute.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

How much is it going to cost to get started? How are you going to make money after that? The plan should include a Profit & Loss Statement (also called an 'Income Statement') – ideally over 3 years. Budget for opening costs. Including fit-out, equipment, stock & working capital.Where the money is coming from. Savings, loans, leasing, your parents...

Yes,  forecasting sales  is hard, even hospitality veterans get it wrong, but it’s important that you try. You can start with benchmarks & examples from other cafe businesses (a sample is included in the business plan kit) – but it’s wise to run your numbers by people who have done it before. They can provide a reality check based on your plan and location.

Ready to find out more about opening a café? Check out our step-by-step guide to opening a coffee shop - or take a look at our guide to buying a cafe.

how to make a business plan for a cafe

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Food Cafe Business Plan

Executive summary image

Having a cafe that smells like coffee and confectionery, buzzing with chatter, and made friendlier, and more engaging with books and music is a dream for many.

And if it’s your dream too, the search engine has brought you to the perfect spot!

Now you no longer need to sit and dream about having a cafe. Because we have tips and practices that can help you start your cafe business.

Opening a food cafe from scratch can be intimidating, but not if you have a food cafe business plan .

Industry Overview

The cafe industry stood at a whopping market value of 47.5 billion dollars in 2019. Though the pandemic had a major impact on the industry, it is gaining momentum once again.

According to statistics, Starbucks is the leading coffee brand in the US, with frappuccino being its most popular drink.

Although people of all ages consume coffee, with the senior population consuming three times more coffee than the younger ones, the 18-29-year-olds tend to be more experimental with their coffee than the older population.

Hence, it is a good practice to study your target audience and a few other aspects of the business to serve your customers better.

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Things to Consider Before Writing Your Food Cafe Business Plan

Although a business plan helps you deal with several aspects of your business, there are a few aspects you should look into before getting started.

Pick a theme

Now you might wonder what theme has to do with a cafe, isn’t great coffee enough?

But let’s say, think about Starbucks for example. Or Dunkin Donuts. They are the leading coffee brands in the US and what sets them apart from all the other brands is their theme.

There is a highly likely chance that a Starbucks cafe anywhere would have a similar look and feel, even if it optimizes its menu to serve different customers.

Hence, the theme makes a major contribution to building your brand’s identity.

Decide upon a business structure

The legal structure of your business decides a lot ranging from taxes to the liability on your personal assets. Hence, it is important to figure out your legal structure before getting started.

Look into all of your options, and pick the one that fits your business the best.

Figure out the resources you’ll need

We all know that you’ll need supplies to whip up brilliant coffee, but for running a cafe you’ll need resources beyond the material. Both literally and figuratively.

Opening and running a cafe single-handedly is a herculean task, hence figure out the resources and help you’ll need from people before getting started.

Add services to enhance customer experience

The cafe business is extremely profitable if done right, but it attracts a lot of competition too. Hence, it is important to offer services that’ll help you stand out from your competitors.

It can be anything from a library, to live music, a painting bar, or even a live dessert counter. Offer something that enhances your customers’ experience and makes them want to return again.

Write Your Business Plan

Before you start writing your business plan for your new food cafe business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  food and restaurant business plans .

If you are planning to start a new food cafe business, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample food cafe business plan to start writing your business plan in no time.

We have created this sample food cafe business plan for you to get a good idea about what a perfect food cafe business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan .

Reading some sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

Food Cafe Business Plan Outline

This is the standard food cafe business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Introducing Rodeo Mexican Cafe
  • Funding Requirement & Capitalization Plan
  • Summary of Financial Highlights
  • The Rodeo Experience
  • The Rodeo Vision
  • Purpose Statement
  • Cuisine Overview
  • Jessica’s Tienda de Regalos
  • Other Rodeo Activities
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Creating a Great Service Staff
  • Attention to Details
  • Kid’s Menu
  • Sunday Brunch Menu
  • Strict Inventory Controls
  • Purchasing Cost Controls
  • Recipe & Portion Controls
  • Cross Utilization of Inventory
  • Sanitation & Food Handling
  • Software & Systems
  • Training Program
  • Money Management
  • Retention through Support & Feedback
  • Operating Details
  • Target Market
  • Market Segmentation
  • Rodeo’s Neighbors
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Key Competitors
  • Competitive Advantages
  • Market Positioning & Branding
  • Marketing Strategies
  • The Rodeo Staff
  • Compensation Program
  • Professional Services Providers
  • External Issues
  • Funding Requirement & Capitalization
  • Brunch Revenue Assumptions
  • Lunch Revenue Assumptions
  • Dinner Revenue Assumptions
  • Balance Sheet (Five-year projections)
  • Income Statement (Five-year projections)
  • Cash Flow Statement (Five-year projections)

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample cafe business plan into your business plan to modify the required information, and download your food cafe business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

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Download a sample food cafe business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go;  download our free food cafe business plan pdf  to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your food cafe business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

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About the Author

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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Coffee Shop Business Plan PDF Example

Avatar photo

  • February 28, 2024
  • Business Plan

Business plan template for a coffee shop

Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for launching and running a successful coffee shop. This plan serves as your roadmap, detailing your vision, operational strategies, and financial plan. It helps establish your coffee shop’s identity, navigate the competitive market, and secure funding for growth.

This article not only breaks down the critical components of a coffee shop business plan, but also provides an example of a business plan to help you craft your own.

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or new to the food and beverage industry, this guide, complete with a business plan example, lays the groundwork for turning your coffee shop concept into reality. Let’s dive in!

Our coffee shop business plan is structured to cover all essential aspects needed for a comprehensive strategy. It outlines the shop’s operations, marketing strategy , market environment, competitors, management team, and financial forecasts.

  • Executive Summary : Offers a quick look at your coffee shop idea, market research , your team, and money plans.
  • Coffee Shop & Location: Talks about the design, special features, and why the spot is great for customers.
  • Operations: Describes how your shop runs daily, like hours, staff roles, and your menu items with prices.
  • Key Stats: Gives numbers on how big the coffee shop world is and what’s trending.
  • Key Trends: Points out new things in coffee shops, like eco-friendly practices or tech for ordering.
  • Key Competitors : Looks at other coffee places nearby and how your shop is different.
  • SWOT: Lists strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks for your shop.
  • Marketing Plan : Ideas for getting the word out and keeping customers coming back.
  • Timeline : Major steps and goals from starting up to the first year.
  • Management: Highlights Info on your leading team and their roles.
  • Financial Plan : Predicts financials for 5 years, like how much you’ll make, spend, and keep as profit.

Business plan template for a coffee shop

Coffee Shop Business Plan

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Fully editable 30+ slides Powerpoint presentation business plan template.

Download an expert-built 30+ slides Powerpoint business plan template

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary presents a concise overview of your coffee shop’s business plan, encapsulating the essence of your establishment and its offerings. It should articulate your market positioning, the variety of coffee and related products you offer, its location, size, and a brief on the daily operations.

This section should also delve into how your coffee shop will carve its niche within the local community, including an analysis of the number of direct competitors in the vicinity, identifying who they are, as well as highlighting your coffee shop’s unique selling points that set it apart from these competitors.

Moreover, information about the management and co-founding team should be included, elaborating on their roles and the value they bring to the coffee shop’s success. Additionally, a synopsis of your financial projections, including anticipated revenue and profits over the next five years, should be provided here to offer a clear view of your coffee shop’s financial strategy.

Make sure to cover here _ Business Overview _ Market Overview _ Management Team _ Financial Plan

Coffee Shop Business Plan executive summary1

Dive deeper into Executive Summary

Business Overview

For a Coffee Shop, the Business Overview section can be neatly divided into 2 main slides:

Coffee Shop & Location

Talk about your coffee shop’s look and feel, highlighting cozy seats and nice lighting that make it welcoming. Mention its location, noting how easy it is to get there, like being close to shops or having easy parking. Explain why this spot is great for attracting customers.

Operations & Offerings

List the kinds of coffee and other items you sell, including snacks or light food. Discuss pricing, making sure it matches the quality of what you’re selling and suits your target customers . Share special features of your shop, such as using local products or offering unique coffee flavors. Mention any deals or events you have to keep customers coming back.

Make sure to cover here _ Coffee Shop & Location _ Operations

Business Plan_Fast Food RESTAURANT

Market Overview

Industry size & growth.

In the Market Overview of your coffee shop business plan, begin by exploring the size of the coffee industry and its potential for growth. This analysis is key to understanding the breadth of the market and pinpointing opportunities for expansion.

Key Market Trends

Next, discuss current trends in the coffee market, like the growing demand for specialty coffee, the appeal of ethically sourced and organic beans, and the innovation in coffee brewing techniques. Highlight the interest in offerings that cater to diverse preferences and dietary needs, such as plant-based milk options and artisanal blends, as well as the increasing importance of sustainability in the coffee industry.

Key Competitors

Then, examine the competitive landscape, which encompasses a variety of coffee shops from high-end specialty cafes to more affordable, convenient options, as well as the rise of home brewing. Focus on what sets your coffee shop apart, whether it’s through top-notch customer service, a unique selection of products, or expertise in certain types of coffee. This section will underscore the demand for coffee shop services, the competitive atmosphere, and how your coffee shop is well-placed to succeed in this vibrant market.

Make sure to cover here _ Industry size & growth _ Key market trends _ Key competitors

Coffee Shop Business Plan market overview1

Dive deeper into Key competitors

Start by doing a SWOT analysis for the coffee shop. Point out Strengths (like skilled baristas and a variety of coffee options), Weaknesses (such as high running costs or lots of competitors), Opportunities (for instance, more people wanting unique coffee experiences), and Threats (like economic changes that might reduce how much people spend on coffee).

Marketing Plan

Then, make a marketing plan that shows how to draw in and keep customers. This could include ads aimed at the right people, deals to save money, an active and interesting online presence, and getting involved in the local area.

Lastly, set up a detailed timeline that marks important steps for the coffee shop’s start, marketing actions, growth in the number of customers, and goals for getting bigger. Make sure there’s a clear plan and goal for moving the business forward.

Make sure to cover here _ SWOT _ Marketing Plan _ Timeline

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Dive deeper into SWOT

Dive deeper into Marketing Plan

The Management section focuses on the coffee shop’s management and their direct roles in daily operations and strategic direction. This part is crucial for understanding who is responsible for making key decisions and driving the coffee shop toward its financial and operational goals.

For your coffee shop business plan, list the core team members, their specific responsibilities, and how their expertise supports the business.

Coffee Shop Business Plan management1

Financial Plan

The Financial Plan section is a comprehensive analysis of your financial projections for revenue, expenses, and profitability. It lays out your coffee shop’s approach to securing funding, managing cash flow, and achieving breakeven.

This section typically includes detailed forecasts for the first 5 years of operation, highlighting expected revenue, operating costs and capital expenditures.

For your coffee shop business plan, provide a snapshot of your financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow statement), as well as your key assumptions (e.g. number of customers and prices, expenses, etc.).

Make sure to cover here _ Profit and Loss _ Cash Flow Statement _ Balance Sheet _ Use of Funds

Coffee Shop Business Plan financial plan

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how to make a business plan for a cafe

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How To Write Your Cafe Business Plan

  • by Lightspeed

minute read

How To Write Your Cafe Business Plan

To open a new cafe or amp up your existing one, you need to start with a business plan.

When you’re doing this for the love of coffee and food, sitting down for hours to create a business doc sounds… dry. But, take our word for it – a business plan is office work you won’t regret doing.

Whether your goal is profit growth, a new outlet, or a new revenue stream, creating a plan points you in the right direction and gets you super focused on the steps you’ll need to get there. It’s also a must-have if you’re thinking about raising cash to grow.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

With a cafe business plan you’ll find it easier to:

Things to keep top of mind when writing your cafe business plan, cafe business plan template, write a plan, make a coffee, conquer all, 1. secure finance.

If you need finance for your cafe, you need to prove to lenders that you’re a great investment. A cafe business plan helps you do that in three ways:

  • Clearly explains your business idea
  • Reassures lenders that you’ve thought through the plan and that you’re serious about it
  • Gives realistic figures around predicted income and profit, so lenders can see the risk they’re taking

2. Sort your priorities

Setting up a business can feel chaotic. A business plan makes things a bit simpler by giving you direction, defining objectives, and creating the strategies to help you reach your goals.

It also helps you think about challenges you might face, so you can plan for a way to manage them.

By regularly reviewing your plan, you’ll find it easier to stay on track. It’s a good reminder of your goals and will show if your strategies are working, and if there are any new challenges or opportunities you need to deal with.

3. Get control over your business

The day-to-day running of your business can, at times, feel like you’re running around with your hair on fire. You get so caught up working IN the business, you don’t spend time working ON the business. Developing and reviewing your business plan makes you step back from the operations to see what’s working, and what’s not.

Cafe business plan

You’ll get the chance to think about:

  • The current market, what’s happening in your industry, and who your competitors are
  • Where you are in the market and where you want to be
  • Your point of difference
  • The challenges you might come across and how to avoid them
  • Your current financial position, cash-flow and projections
  • Your goals, how you’ll achieve them, and by when
  • How you’re measuring performance
  • Better managing your resources

Do your research

Gather up all the information you’ll need before you start writing. This can be everything from financials and business structure to marketing strategy. Not only will this speed up the process, but will help to ensure more accurate forecasting and analysis.

Write your summary last

Once you’ve gotten everything out of your brain and onto paper, you’ll have a much clearer idea of where your business is headed. This will make writing your summary heaps easier. The summary is the first thing your bank, investor or future partner will read – it should motivate them to read the rest.

Ask: “who is this plan for?”

Depending on who you’re developing the plan for, it should be written differently. For example, there’ll be more emphasis on finance if you’re applying for funding. To get a business partner sold in, you might need to spend more time outlining things you know he or she will be excited about, or ways you’re planning to overcome any objections or worries.

Note if you’re using actual or projected figures

You need to be clear if you’re showing projected figures or actuals. For projections, you’ll need to justify how you arrived at those figures. You’ve said you’ll have a $500k turnover in the first year – why is that a likely outcome?

cafe business plan

Proofread your plan

Your cafe business plan should make you look professional, so errors are a no-no. Use the ‘Read Aloud’ function in Word, run it through spellcheck, then get someone else to double proof it.

Maintain your business plan

This plan is a living document. You should review it on a set schedule or as things change: a new office block or a competitor opening nearby, for example. Set a reminder to review your plan every 6-12 months.

Include others in your planning

Your team probably has great ideas or insights about your business. Brainstorm with them to fully take advantage of all that information. This has the added bonus of bringing them on the journey, so you get their buy-in.

Also, consider including professionals in your planning. Your accountant or business advisor may have insights that might not have occurred to you.

There is no typical business plan length, but it should always be as brief as possible. For a cafe or restaurant aim for under 30 pages, especially if you’re writing it for finance.

Include images

Site designs, photos, cafe plans and graphs all help to make the plan easier to understand and much more engaging for the reader.

This simple cafe business plan flow will help you plan what goes where. We also have a free template you can use to create your cafe business plan .

  • The front page : This should include your legal and trading names, location, website and logo. If the plan is being written specifically for someone, include their name and company here too.
  •   The summary : This should be the last thing you write. It’s a concise summary of the other sections of the plan – two pages long at most. It should pique the reader’s interest and make sure they keep reading.
  • Overview of your industry and business : This will be general information about your local cafe and restaurant market. It might also include an overview of the wider coffee industry and anything else that’s important or interesting. Back up your information with data from relevant and trusted sources. You should also give an overview of your business and what makes it unique in this environment.
  • What the market is doing : This is where you expand on your market analysis. Talk about your target customer, who they are, their preferences, and the size of this market. Also discuss why there is enough demand for your business – are you in a niche, filling a gap or an early adopter of something new? This section should also have info about your competitors and how your cafe will compete.
  • How you’ll market yourself : This section outlines your marketing strategy, spelling out how you’ll get bums on seats. Detail everything – promotions, advertising, pricing and any special offerings, sales, service, fit-out and opening hours. This is where you can put lots of juicy images too – people will want to see your designs, fit out concepts and ads, for example.
  • Your ownership and management : Describe who owns what, who manages the business and why they’re the right person for the job. Outline your professional support network, too – people like accountants, mentors and supplier contacts.
  • Your facilities – its address, size, lease details, fit-out information, if the landlord is helping with the build, and who pays for outgoings like pest control
  • Staffing – who you need, and how you’ll hire and retain them
  • Equipment – what you need and how much it’ll cost to buy and maintain. You can also talk about nice-to-haves and what you want to buy in the future
  • Supplies – what goods you need to operate and where you’ll get them from
  • Financial planning : There is no point going into business if you’re not going to make money – this is where you prove that you will. It’s worth hiring an accountant to help create this.


The essentials checklist :

  • Projected income statement. This should show your planned revenue, expenses and profit. It should be month-by-month for at least the first year. This is where you show your potential lender how you’ll be able to pay them back.
  • Cashflow projections showing predicted incomings and outgoings.
  • A balance sheet that shows a snapshot of your assets, liabilities and equity – that is, what you owe and the things you own.
  • Breakeven analysis to show potential investors or lenders how much you need in sales to turn a profit.
  • Credit histories of people involved in the business
  • Market research of competitors
  • Resumes of owners and staff
  • Relevant industry information
  • Any existing debt or mortgage documents
  • A copy of the lease
  • Information about your product and service
  • Marketing materials
  • References from colleagues
  • A link to your website

A business plan is key for any proposal you want to make, whether it’s to a future partner, property owner or lenders when you need a cash injection. Now you have the headings and what goes under each, it’s time to get cracking.

Pick the brains of your team members, and touch base with your accountant and advisor to gather up all the info and insights. Then, put a lock on the door, pull yourself a triple shot and get writing. Once you’ve written everything up (including all the extras), that’s when you write your summary – while it’s fresh in your mind. Remember to think about who you’re writing this for, to get it proofed, and then to set a reminder to review it regularly.

Creating your cafe business plan will take time away from your day-to-day business operations, but it’s worth it. Instead of spending every minute stressing about beans and take away lids, you’ll have a moment to step back, think about what you’re doing, and how to do it better.

This keeps your eye on the future and keeps you accountable in reaching your deadlines and financial goals. So, think about all that time in the office as an investment in your dreams. The better the plan, the better the business and the more chance you’ll have of spending your days doing what you love: sniffing fresh coffee and making people smile.

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Lightspeed is a cloud-based commerce platform powering small and medium-sized businesses in over 100 countries around the world. With smart, scalable and dependable point of sale systems, it's an all-in-one solution that helps restaurants and retailers sell across channels, manage operations, engage with consumers, accept payments and grow their business.

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From Beans to Business: How to Craft a Coffee Shop Business Plan

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Are you looking to start your own coffee shop? Fantastic . Opening a cafe can be a lucrative investment that can generate anywhere between $50,000 and $250,000 annually ( Hotshot Coffee Sleeves , 2023). But to truly revel in the riches of a vibrant and profitable cafe, your business needs to be built on a robust coffee shop business plan. 

Without a business plan, your journey will be rudderless and you’ll struggle to assess whether the steps you’ve taken have brought you closer to or further away from your goal. 

Direction is crucial and your coffee shop business plan is a roadmap that will propel you to your business objectives whilst minimizing the stress, frustration, and confusion of running a business. 

But why is this important? 

Well here are some important coffee shop stats:

  • Around 32% of people purchase coffee from a coffee shop one to three days a week ( Drive Research , 2023)
  • There are approximately 38,411 cafes in the USA today ( Statista , 2022)
  • 517 million cups of coffee consumed per day ( Coffee Affection , 2023)

The caffeine craze is real. If your cafe fails to meet expectations, your customers will turn to the one across the road. 

In an industry that's flourishing, yet fiercely competitive, we've outlined the important steps that you need to create an effective coffee shop business plan that will keep you on the front foot. 

What is a coffee shop business plan?

A coffee shop business plan serves as a blueprint for your coffee shop venture, outlining your goals, strategies, and the tactics to achieve them. It's a comprehensive document that guides you through every aspect of your business, from conceptualization to execution. 

Luck should not be your crutch, but rather, rational planning and informed decision-making will be the foundation on which your coffee shop's success is built.

The Building Blocks of a Winning Coffee Shop Business Plan

1. creating your coffee shop identity.

With nearly 50% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 drinking coffee, as well as 70% of seniors, coffee has become an integral part of our culture ( Toast , 2023). We don’t have to travel far to satisfy our caffeine cravings, which poses an important question for all coffee shop owners…

Why should customers buy from you?

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to create a powerful brand identity that turns heads and pulls people to your cafe. First define your mission and values, and then build your coffee shop's identity around these foundational principles.

What messages do you want to communicate? What purpose do you want your coffee shop to serve for customers? What promises are you making to your customers?

Only once you’ve answered these questions will you be able to tell the story of your brand. 

A barista at a coffee shop is preparing some coffee orders.

2. Understanding Your Target Audience

The most successful brands in any industry’s niche understand their customers inside out. It’s one of the prerequisites to success and it’s no different in the coffee industry. The first step is to define your target market . 

Are they young professionals looking for a quick caffeine boost? Or are they more family-oriented? Pinpointing your target demographic will help you tailor the experience to their preferences and set the foundations for a loyal customer base. 

Try to go beneath the surface and investigate A-Z of your target market’s interests, personalities, and preferences. Once gathered, you’ll be able to align this data with your brand identity to create a captivating coffee shop experience that will resonate with your customers. 

3. Crafting a Compelling Menu Design

Your menu design isn’t just a list of food and drink items — it’s a powerful marketing tool used to influence spending decisions and boost profit. The very look and feel of one can set the tone for the cafe experience, either nudging a customer to reach for the muffin, the mocha, or the iced americano, or even leave . 

This means that you should use your menu as an opportunity to:

  • Communicate your brand’s story
  • Present items in a way that entices orders
  • Promote your best products with higher margins
  • Promote special offers and deals 

Here are some tips to follow:

  • Prioritize readability
  • Use the design to reflect your brand personality
  • Be descriptive in your copy about your items — specificity drives persuasion
  • Highlight potential allergies in item descriptions
  • Don’t use dollar signs — studies show that customers are more likely to spend more when they just see the number representing the cost of the item ( Cornell Chronicle , 2009) 

4. Building the Right Interior Design and Ambiance

The most successful cafes are able to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics to create the ultimate customer experience. It’s an opportunity to bring your brand personality to life and make it resonate with your target market, allowing you to build a loyal customer base that will boost your cash flow. 

Everything from the lighting and colors to materials and furniture will have an effect on the subconscious mind, so it’s crucial that you ensure the ambiance strategically aligns with the character of your brand. 

Here are some key design elements to focus on in your cafe business plan:

  • The layout for optimal traffic flow
  • Colors and lighting
  • Decor and furniture

The interior of a coffee shop with lots of natural light and greenery.

5. Hiring the Right Talent

Employees are the lifeblood that keeps your business alive. They’re the front line of communication with customers and are responsible for leaving a lasting impression that can either elevate your coffee shop or undermine its success. 

Poor customer service is enough to contaminate your brand image and create friction with your customer base, so it’s absolutely essential that you recruit the right talent . Below are the best practices to follow when hiring staff for your coffee shop.

Define Essential Roles

Identify critical roles for seamless coffee shop operations: skilled baristas, customer-engaging servers, and dedicated kitchen staff. These roles collectively create a stellar customer experience.

Prioritize Skill and Customer Focus

Highlight that your team represents the heart of your coffee shop. Their interactions mold perceptions, foster loyalty, and establish a welcoming atmosphere. Seek communicative, coffee-passionate individuals who value customer connections.

Strengthen Training and Retention

Explain your approach to building well-prepared teams. Outline training that maintains quality and service standards. Showcase your commitment to retention via competitive compensation, growth opportunities, and nurturing a positive workplace culture.

Note: Want a more efficient way of managing your workforce? Check out our coffee shop payroll and workforce management software to optimize employee management. 

6. Developing an Effective Marketing Strategy

A powerful marketing strategy is the bedrock of any successful coffee business. And being in the digital age, where people see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day, it’s crucial that your coffee shop’s messaging is strategically positioned to resonate and capture the attention of your customers. 

Without this, your coffee shop will struggle to be seen and you’ll feel the pressure of an inconsistent cash flow that will only guarantee stress. Below are the most important marketing tactics to include in your coffee business plan to accelerate growth. 

Include Your Plan for Reaching Your Target Audience

Outline the avenues through which you'll engage your intended customers. Define demographics, preferences, and behaviors to tailor your approach effectively. Whether it's young professionals, students, or families, your strategy should resonate with your audience.

Optimize Local SEO

If someone in the area is looking for a coffee shop, you want to be one of the first listings that appear. Optimizing your Google My Business Profile is a cost-effective and guaranteed way to put your business on the map (quite literally), getting more customers through the front door.

Here’s how to optimize your profile:

  • Include target keywords 
  • Gather 100+ citations 
  • Ask for ratings from customers
  • Have high-quality photos of your cafe 
  • Portray brand personality in your description
  • Include an updated menu with prices

Leverage Social Media, Local Events, and Collaborations

Leverage the power of social media platforms to showcase your coffee shop's uniqueness. Engage customers through captivating content, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and interactive posts. Additionally, tap into local events, festivals, and collaborations to introduce your coffee shop to a wider audience and build community relationships. ‍

A to-go coffee cup with a coffee shop's instagram handle written on it.

Final Thoughts on Crafting a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee won’t be enough to keep you at the forefront of today’s competitive and crowded coffee shop marketplace. It's crucial that you have a robust coffee shop business plan to build your unique identity, connect with your audience, and carve out a lasting niche in this bustling landscape.

By investing in a rigorous coffee shop business plan, not only will you remain competitive, but you’ll maximize your chances of creating a thriving coffee business with a loyal customer base that becomes the heartbeat of a vibrant community, rewarding you with more than just money. 

Want a fast and easier way of managing your coffee business?

Then book your free demo now to organize your workforce management in one place and eliminate the headaches of HR, payroll, scheduling, and so much more!

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Cafe Business Plan

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Coffee ranks second in the most sought commodities worldwide, the first is crude oil, according to a Business Insider report. That doesn’t come as a surprise. We’re all aware that most of us love drinking coffee. For some, coffee is their morning kick-starter and their fuel to start their long, busy day. Others drink several cups of coffee throughout their daily schedule , especially those who have desk jobs. But simply put, people are fond of coffee in general, which could also mean they’re fond of visiting cafes. So if you’ve been considering opening a cafe business lately, now is the time to go for it. It’ll certainly catch the attention of coffee lovers. But first, you need to plan your business right for that to happen. So, here we invite you to have a look at our Cafe Business Plan Examples !

11+ Cafe Business Plan Examples

1. cafe business plan financial template.

Cafe Business Plan Financial Template

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Cafe Business Plan Template

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4. Cafe Business Plan Example

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New Cafe Business Plan

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9. Cafe Business Plan in PDF

Cafe Business Plan in PDF

10. Outdoor Cafe Business Plan

Outdoor Cafe Business Plan

11. College Cafe Business Plan

College Cafe Business Plan

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Cafe Marketing Business Plan

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What Is a Cafe Business Plan?

A cafe business plan outlines the profile, products, services, operations, and strategies of a cafe business. It’s simply another form of a business plan that focuses on a cafe business’s overview. You can also call it a coffee shop business plan . This is the document you need to prepare to start making your cafe plan a reality. You should put everything that you’re envisioning for your cafe business on it.

You might be asking why you need a cafe business plan. We have a good explanation for you. Without a business plan, you wouldn’t have a clear vision or goal of establishing your cafe. And you won’t have any form of a solid action plan to achieve your business expectations. Along the way, you’ll face challenges in preparing your business. But you won’t know what to do to overcome them. With a written business plan , you’ll have a clear roadmap of how to arrive from point A to B and so on until you accomplish your business goals. And lastly, the government will look into your cafe business plan proposal before granting you a permit to open your cafe.

What Type of Business Is a Cafe?

Cafes primarily serve coffee to their customers. Therefore, they’re a food and beverage type of business. Historically, cafes were once called as coffeehouses, and they only served coffee. Today, cafes not only serve coffee. They now also serve entree, main course, and dessert dishes, but on a limited menu . Their primary products are still their  coffee menu  and also  tea menu .

How to Write a Cafe Business Plan

Among the first steps in conceptualizing a business is writing a business plan. It’s the first stage in your journey to becoming a cafe business owner. So to help you get started, we’ll give you a few tips in formulating your sample business plan for a cafe.

1. Establish Your Cafe’s Identity

In the first three sections of your business plan, you should establish your cafe’s identity right away. On the title page, you should state your cafe’s official name and display its business logo . On the executive summary , discuss its general overview. And after that, show its business profile.

2. Showcase Your Menu

If you’ve already prepared your cafe menu , showcase it in your business plan. This makes your business plan more appealing and convincing. It implies that you have a clear idea of what you want for your business, even if it’s not final yet. Make sure to provide descriptions of your products, such as their ingredients and possible prices.

3. Outline Your Strategies and Standard Operations

In launching a business, you’ll be doing a feasibility study and a market analysis . Based on their results, you need to come up with your marketing strategies and production plan . Those two should explain how you’re going to promote your cafe and how you’re going to conduct services, respectively.

4. Explain Your Startup Budget Calculation

Probably the most crucial section of a business plan is the budget plan . Financial aspects are never out of the equation in operating a business, especially starting one. So in your business plan, make sure to explain how your budget will cover for every needed expense for your cafe. You should also show an estimate of how it can generate revenue and profit.

What industry does a cafe business belong to?

A cafe business belongs to the food and beverage industry. But because it primarily serves coffee products, it also belongs to a specific section in the food and beverage industry, which is the coffee industry.

What makes cafes popular?

Coffee isn’t the only element that makes cafes popular in every locality. Another element is their overall ambiance. That includes the type of furniture used, the interior design, and the location. The atmosphere that cafes have are simply relaxing. They’re a good place to do work, meet up with friends, read a book, or spend some alone time.

What makes a topnotch cafe business?

The two things that make a topnotch cafe is producing high-quality coffee products and providing excellent customer service. Those two should work hand in hand.

Things could go south immediately if you mismanage your cafe. Plus, many cafes have established trust among customers, and they’re your competitors. With those said, running your cafe won’t be easy. But whoever said owning a business is easy? No one, of course. So start planning your cafe with the help of our business plan examples now! You may also refer to our small restaurant business plan examples .


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Cafe Business Plan

  • Cafe Business Plan

Article Index:

2.0 Company Description

3.0 products/services, 4.0 market analysis, 5.0 marketing strategy and implementation, 6.0 organization and management, 7.0 financial plan, 1.0 executive summary.

The Russet Cup will be a one of a kind coffee house / café located in Overland Park, Kansas. The 1,500 square foot café will be located in the newly constructed Market Square Plaza located on the northeast corner of 135th Street and Mission Street. The anchor tenant, the Price Chopper grocery store, has already taken occupancy and the excellent location brings more than 10,000 shoppers weekly.

The Russet Cup, aptly named for the aromatic brown liquid that will fill the cup, fills the void of original cafes in the market area, stands out from its corporate peers with their fast food concepts and fast services. The Russet Cup is the alternative to fast food/commercial/coffee shops and offers a much calmer, civilized gourmet coffee experience. There are no televisions in the café, the background music is subtle and work from local artists will hang on the walls. The café is well appointed with overstuffed leather chairs and sofas in a library like setting. The café is reminiscent of times gone by – yet is cutting edge technologically with WIFI and state of the art espresso machines.

The Russet Cup measures its financial success in terms of increased market share and in earnings. With a total local market of $54 million, this is a tremendous opportunity! The keys to success will be the ability to offer quality gourmet coffees, take advantage of its small size, and reliance on an outstanding barista staff. In order to achieve these goals, the café will offer some the area’s finest gourmet beans from local distributors. Because of its small size, the café can enjoy larger margins in the form of lower overhead. The cafe will hand select baristas and offer salaries comparable to the chains. In turn the baristas will be trained to cross-sell, and sell the higher margin products.

1.1 Business Objectives

The primary objectives of the business plan for Russet Cup are below:

To increase revenues $36,000 or 5% in Year 2 and by $73,000 or 10% by Year 3 Achieve a profit margin of 5.2% in Year 2 and 6.90% by Year 3 Be the Café of Choice in the Overland Park area and recipient of the Best Coffeehouse Award

1.2 Mission Statement

The Russet Cup is committed to its products and employees which they believe is the recipe for market success.

1.3 Guiding Principles

The Russet Cup is committed to values such as excellence, passion, quality, integrity and leadership which allow them to navigate challenges and provide for future opportunities. These core beliefs start with their commitment to their products and their employees.

The Russet Cup rewards excellence and cherishes loyalty. The café will work with its employees to build strong businesses and a secure future.

1.4 Keys to Success

The Russet Cup stands out from the competition. Below are their Keys to Success:

Great Products – providing exemplary products at market prices – will make customers want to return again and again Hire Quality Baristas – Pay employees rates similar to the larger chains with opportunities for long term careers and opportunities for advancement with long term plans to open a second facility Convert Customers to Connoisseurs – Only 40% of the nations coffee drinkers consume premium ground and whole bean coffee – this will aid in continued growth

The Russet Cup will be a coffee house / café located in the Overland Park, Kansas. Located in the Kansas City area, the cozy café will be located in the newly completed Market Square Plaza. The café will serve gourmet coffees, espresso and drip coffee, lattes, and smoothies. The simple pastry offerings may vary with seasonality but the primary line will be muffins, breads, cookies, scones, and rolls. All pastries will be supplied daily by a local bakery.

The café will be owned and operated by Owen Jones, a veteran restaunteur with several years experience running and managing chain restaurants. The café will be open for business Monday – Thursday 7-10, Fridays and Saturdays 7-11 and closed Sundays.

2.1 Ownership

The Russet Cup will be owned 100% by Owen Jones. Mr. Jones a graduate of Kansas State University has an undergraduate degree in business administration. During high school he worked as a waiter in a local hospital coffee shop that purchased its beans from a local roaster. In addition to being an avid coffee drinker himself, this job allowed him to learn about the business first-hand. In college, Jones worked in a campus coffeehouse for four years, eventually rising to the position of assistant manager. Following graduation, Jones secured a business development position for regional restaurant chain, which provided additional first-hand exposure to the food and beverage industry—especially the steps involved in establishing new locations.

2.2 Legal Form

The Russet Cup will be formed as an S-Corporation wholly owned by Mr. Jones.

2.3 Start-Up Summary

The Russet Cup will have seating for 40 patrons. The rent is $2,075 a month, with a three-five-year lease available. The site consists of 1500 square feet of leased space consisting of a dining room, a coffee bar, two restrooms, and a storage room in back. To be used as a restaurant, this storefront needs to be plumbed and wired appropriately. Painting, new floors, and countertops are also needed. A custom coffee bar needs to be built. With materials bought on sale and volunteer labor, the cost to renovate will be $71,725. The coffeehouse equipment will consist of two commercial espresso machines, air pots and urns, a commercial blender, commercial brewer, top loading coffee bins, barista syrups, cold drink dispenser, frothing equipment, a commercial refrigerator, microwave and stainless steel prep bar. The cost for the equipment is $38,275. The furniture will consist of leather couches, and chairs (purchased at auction), coffee tables, bookcases, and window treatment. The artwork will come from local artists and will be sold on a consignment basis. The books were secured via donations. Total cost to furnish is $14,000. Other startup expenses will be dishes, furniture, rent deposit, and marketing.

2.4 Location and Facilities

The new coffeehouse is located in the highly desirable Overland Park, Kansas area at the northeastern intersection of 135th Street and Mission Street in the new Market Square Plaza. The property is located in an excellent location. With an easy 6 minute drive time to I-435 and 69 Highway. The property is 95% leased with Price Chopper as the Anchor Tenant. Other tenants include: Life Spring Med Spa, Jane’s Canines (Pet Store & Boarding), Pride Cleaners Kahn Dental and Swim U. Price Chopper brings more than 10,000 shoppers per week to the center. The location is comprised of a population of 9,420 within a one mile radius, 61,102 within 2 mile radius and 149,550 within a 5 mile radius – with a median household income of $120,856. Sprint / Nextel’s corporate office is located within 2 miles of the site.

Market Square Site Plan

3.1 Products/Services Descriptions

The Russet Cup’s primary offering is gourmet roasted coffees with such varieties such as mocha, carmelicious, white mocha, candy bar latte, and brewed coffee. Complementing the coffee will be a smoothie line including wild berry, strawberry, peach, mango and lemonade. Rounding out the simple menu line will be pastries obtained with an outside supplier, freshly made and delivered daily. The pastry offerings may vary with seasonality but the primary line will muffins, breads, cookies, scones, and rolls.

3.2 Competitive Comparison

The research methodology is based on unique coffee shops/cafes in the greater metro area and omits larger chains or franchises. The findings reveal eight unique competitors.

Roasterie Café 4511 W 119th St Leawood, KS 66209

Take Five Coffee Bar 5336 W 151st St Overland Park, KS 66224-8701

Homer’s Coffee House 7126 W 80th St Overland Park, KS 66204-3715

Morning Glory Espresso 5606 Johnson Dr Mission, KS 66202-3323

Revo Cup Coffee 11030 Quivira Rd Overland Park, KS 66210-1239

Daily Dose Coffee and Bar 12056 W 135th St, Overland Park, Kansas

Java Crossing 8830 W 95th St Overland Park, KS 66212-4051

Hattie’s Fine Coffees 4195 Somerset Dr Prairie Village, KS 66208-5242

3.3 Product/Service Sourcing

The Russet Cup has negotiated supplier agreements with several local food-service wholesalers and coffee wholesalers in the Overland Park area that have a reputation for quality and reliability:

Mean Beans Coffee Roasters Overland Park Brewers Healthy Harvest Bread Co. Mary’s Organics

In the event that one of the aforementioned specialty suppliers cannot meet their needs, the following national suppliers can both provide all of the food-service products that they require. In addition, the following wholesalers will supply the café with general restaurant supplies:

Lawrence Food Products Corp. Gerry Food Supply Inc.

3.4 Inventory Management

3.5 warehousing and fulfillment, 3.6 future products/services.

Young families which comprise the third largest market share in Overland Park, are often overlooked in the coffee market. Coffeehouses traditionally have not been considered ‘kid’ friendly. To overcome this hurdle, the Russet Cup has long term plans (5 years) to open a 2nd coffee shop: A combination indoor play area / coffee bar. This concept allows parents and caregivers an opportunity to meet and relax with other adults while the children can enjoy the indoor playground amenities.

Additional future services will include in-store sales for home purchase as well as an online store.

The website will have an option to purchase prepaid gift card program – Prepaid gift cards not only provide immediate cash, but also reduce credit card transaction charges and draw new customers to the business.

Overland Park, Kansas is an award-winning place to live and work and is considered the leading business community in the Midwest. National publications and organizations recognize Overland Park for its business environment and livability. Here’s a sampling: 6th Place, America’s Best Places to Live Money, Top 50 Cities to Live and Play, National Geographic Adventure, 3rd Hottest Town in the U.S., Money, Among 20 Best Places to Live & Work Employment Review, One of only 72 Sterling Tree Cities in U.S., National Arbor Day Foundation, Top 10 best Locations to Raise a Family, Southern Business and Development, 1st Place, Kid Friendly Report Card, Population Connection, 2nd Best City in America to Live Business Development Outlook.

Overland Park is at the core of one of the most dynamic local markets in the U.S. It offers easy access to the Kansas City region’s amenities and, as part of the Kansas City metropolitan area; it is within the most centrally located major market in the nation. I-35, I-435, I-635 and U.S. Highway 69 all pass through Overland Park, and no point in the city is more than 3.5 miles from a freeway. The city maintains an excellent arterial street network and plans to construct additional lane-miles as the area grows. Three airports serve the region. Kansas City International Airport (MCI) is just 25 interstate highway miles north of Overland Park. Johnson County Executive Airport—the second busiest in Kansas—provides complete services for private business jets and general aviation. New Century AirCenter, just 12 miles southwest of the city, offers general aviation services and accommodates cargo or passenger jets of any size.

Overland Park supplies some of the most highly educated workers in the nation, with 97% of Overland Park adults over age 25 holding at least a high school diploma. Johnson County, in which Overland Park is located, ranks first among the country’s 231 counties with populations greater than 250,000. The county ranks sixth in percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree and 16th in the percentage with a graduate or professional degree.

The Overland Park area has a total population of 175,265 based on the 2010 census. The median household income is $77,881 and the median age is 37.9. (2010 US Census)

4.1 Industry Analysis

The US coffee shop industry includes about 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $10 billion. Major companies include Caribou Coffee, International Coffee & Tea (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), Peet’s Coffee, and Starbucks. The industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies generate more than 70 percent of sales. Coffee shops are part of the specialty eatery industry, which also includes retail outlets specializing in products such as bagels, donuts, frozen yogurt, and ice cream. (First Research)

Competitive Landscape Consumer taste and personal income drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on the ability to secure prime locations, drive store traffic, and deliver high-quality products. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, finance, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialized products, serving a local market, or providing superior customer service. Specialty eateries, which include coffee shops, are labor-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is about $50,000. Coffee shops compete with businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations, quick service and fast food restaurants, gourmet food shops, and donut shops. (First Research)

Products, Operations, Technology Major products include beverages and food. Beverages include brewed coffee and tea; espresso drinks (cappuccinos, café lattes); cold blended beverages; bottled water; soft drinks; and juices. Food includes pastries, bakery items, desserts, sandwiches, and candy. Many coffee shops sell whole or ground coffee beans for home consumption. Some coffee shops sell coffee or espresso-making equipment, grinders, mugs, and other accessories. (First Research)

4.1.1 Market Size

The US coffee shop industry includes about 20,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $10 billion. Major companies include Caribou Coffee, International Coffee & Tea (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), Pet’s Coffee, and Starbucks. The industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies generate more than 70 percent of sales. (First Research)

4.1.2 Industry Participants

Within 5 miles of the subject, are 37 businesses involved in the coffee industry, including chains, restaurants, and tea houses reporting annual revenues in excess of $54 million. Of these 37 businesses, 20 are Starbucks coffee shops capturing $35.7 million in revenues or 66% of the market share. An additional 8 coffee houses are franchises capturing $9.7 million represent 18% of the market share. The comparables – those closely held coffee shops/cafes that will compete for the subject’s business represent $8.3 million in annual revenues or 15% of the total market.

Cafe Industry Participants

Cafe Target Market

The Russet Cup is targeting three primary groups residing in their direct marketing area. These individuals prefer unique venues and avoid the big chains and franchises. They prefer their local neighborhood and will support local businesses if the business warrants.

4.1.3 Main Competitors

This competitor has been operating in the greater MSA since 2005 opening its first café in Brookside, Kansas and then at the Leawood location in 2010. The 3,300 square foot café offers an assortment of pastries, bagels and cookies. Beverages include Harney and Sons teas, signature blends, espresso and specialty drinks. The café has 11 employees and generated $11 million in revenues in 2011. The subject’s advantage is its smaller, cozier environment.

This competitor operates from a 3,300 square foot space. The café has WI-FI. In addition to serving coffees and smoothies, the café offers more food offerings with a full service kitchen offering light breakfasts, and sandwiches and wraps. In the evenings the café has musicians performing on a small stage. The Café also has a full liquor license. The broad offerings of amenities do not make this a true comp for the subject.

This competitor operates from a 6,300 square foot space in a shopping center. The shop was established in 2001 and in 2011 reported $2 million in revenues. The shop employs 21 employees and provides music on the weekends. The subject’s advantage is its smaller, cozier, and quieter environment.

This competitor is similar in size to the subject operating from 900 square feet in a retail shopping center. The Morning Glory Espresso has been operational since 2005 and has 3 employees and reported revenues of $300,000 in 2011. The coffee shop is open 6 days a week and open for breakfast. The shop has a full kitchen and in addition to pastries provides traditional breakfast offerings. The store is for sale, which could potentially impact market share.

This competitor occupies a 2,100 square foot shop and has 7 employees. In 2011 its annual sales were reported to be $700,000. The Revo Cup is a specialized roaster. The owners from Ethiopia roast the Ethiopian coffee in the store themselves, providing a truly unique roasted coffee experience. Due to its unique roasting methods, and its limited food offerings, the subject should do well against this competitor.

Daily Dose Coffee and Bar 12056 W 135th St, Overland Park, KS

This competitor occupies 2,700 square feet in a strip center and has been in operation since 2003. The coffee shop/bar is open 7 days a week and has a full kitchen. The shop occasionally offers live music on the weekends. The shop employs 9 and reported revenues in excess of $900,000 in 2011.

This competitor leases a 2,700 square foot stand alone pad in a shopping center. The shop has drive throughs on both sides with a small walk up. The business was established in 2003 and is privately held. The store employs 9 and reported annual revenues of $900,000 in 2011. Known primarily for its convenience and breakfast sandwiches, this shop does not directly compete with the subject’s indoor sit down experience.

Established in 2005, Hattie’s has a staff of 17 and annual revenues of $1,700,000. The store is larger than the subject and occupies 5,100 square feet. Hattie’s Menu options are similar to the subject with a focus primarily on coffee, lattes, pastries and simple breakfast sandwiches. The facility has a great reputation and following. To capture a portion of this market, the subject will have to convince these customers that a cozier and quieter atmosphere is a more enjoyable café experience.

4.1.4 Market Segments

The Russet Cup is targeting the three top segments of the population representing 39% of the population in the Overland Park area:

Boomburbs (29%) – Younger families with a busy, upscale lifestyle. Median age of 34. Most households operate on two incomes; median household income is $100,000. Product purchases reflect a suburban lifestyle; one of the top markets for SUVs, lawn /garden purchases and casual apparel. Technically savvy; active in golf, tennis and swimming. Enterprising Professionals (10%) – Young, highly educated, working professionals. Single or recently married, median age of 32, median household income is $65,000. Lifestyle reflects youth, mobility, and growing consumer clout. Residents go where the jobs are located. Love to travel and exercise; rely heavily on cell phones, PCs and the internet to stay connected. Prosperous Empty Nesters (12%) – Well educated and experienced, residents are enjoying the transition from child rearing to retirement. Median age is 46; median household income is $64,000. This market segment is active physically and financially. Display interest in homes/communities. Cafe Segmentation

4.2 Market Tests

Research from Yelp, FourSquare, and GooglePlaces, indicates the Overland Park market is in need of a new local café. The locals have been clamoring for the current private shops to improve service and/or reduce prices to keep pace with larger chains and franchises, thus providing a unique niche for the right entrant.

While employed by a national restaurant chain, Mr. Jones was constantly directing patrons to offsite coffeehouses for those seeking that final dessert and cup of coffee prior to finishing their evening. This is the reason he ultimately began seeking the location for his coffee house.

4.3 Target Market Segment Strategy

Most adult coffee drinkers said their lifelong habit began during their teenage years. In fact, 54% said they began drinking coffee between 13 and 19. Another 22% reported their coffee cravings started between the ages of 20 and 24. This means that 76% of adult coffee drinkers began drinking coffee by the time they were 24. So, despite the large amount of marketing and advertising directed at the younger age groups, savvy coffee shop owners will not forget to cater some of their offerings to the adult and senior market. (National Coffee Drinking Study).

The Russet Cup will offer a unique experience for coffee aficionado by offering a quiet and cozy yet sophisticated cafe and offer a sense of refinement and peace in an otherwise hectic and fast paced world. While other coffee shops cater to convenience with drive throughs or loud music venues late into the night, the Russet Cup will stand apart from its competitors with its quiet yet soothing ambience, capturing a truly unique (and much needed) market niche.

4.3.1 Market Needs

Coffee shop customers, by nature, are looking for something special — that’s why they are willing to pay so much for a cup of coffee! Many customers of the big national chains, while satisfied with their daily coffee would be intrigued to find a local coffee that is different. (SBA National Information Clearinghouse)

4.3.2 Market Trends

Unique products (specialized roasts, local ingredients, locally themed or named drinks, custom drinks by the‘star’ barista, etc.) Games, puzzles, mind benders and other activities that encourage customers to linger over their coffee Hosting or sponsoring local events (entertainment, readings, book clubs, etc.) Using technology to creatively compete in marketing with the big chains — services like FourSquare, Yelp, and Google Places can increase visibility in the local market. Delivering amazing service from knowledgeable baristas — spend lots of time training staff and utilize online services like the American Coffee & Barista School Selling coffee-related items (and track down any co-marketing opportunities with a local community college or other student-related group in the area)

4.3.3 Market Growth

Despite the economic woes, 37% of total coffee consumed in the United States in 2011 was classified as “Gourmet.” According to the National Coffee Drinking Study This suggests consumers were set on drinking good coffee and visiting their local coffee shop even in the face of an uncertain economy. (First Research)

The sales of coffee dominate sales of hot beverages, making up 83.3% of the total hot beverage market in the U.S. Coffee consumption is expected to increase through 2015 at an average annual rate of 2.7%, while tea consumption is expected to increase through 2015 at an average annual rate of 3.1%. Positive expectations for continued growth in coffee sales, despite its “mature” product position in the market, are due to the innovations in premium coffee products (pods, single-serving instants, etc.) (First Research)

4.4 Positioning

The Russet Mug will position itself as a local coffeehouse or a ‘suburban’ coffeehouse providing a sanctuary for those in the ‘burbs’ without the hassle of having to drive downtown

By charging similar prices as the large chains – the service and quality of the product will commensurate with the price The Russet Cup is genuinely unique place to gather and meet friends, and enjoy coffee Amenities such as free WIFI, chess games, comfy overstuffed chairs, create a relaxing environment The market does not need a café offering fast food breakfasts or another after hours bar The Russet Cup will position itself as the alternative to the chain/franchise/fast food coffee house.

The Russet Cup will provide a quiet and relaxing environment to enjoy gourmet roasted coffee and smoothies and an opportunity to visit with friends, catch up on one’s email, or read a chapter of a book. The Café will fill the great void providing originality in a sea of facsimile, corporate coffee shops. The café’s baristas will be extremely knowledgeable and offer assistance in any coffee purchase while simultaneously providing customers with outstanding service.

5.1 SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis examines the café’s strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed. Further, this section examines the opportunities presented to Café as well as potential threats.

5.1.1 Strengths

Based on its smaller size, the fact that it is not a franchise, the Russet Cup is a unique coffee shop concept unlike any other in the Overland Park market. The owner has firsthand experience, in operating and starting new restaurants, Handpicked baristas will bring professionalism and enthusiasm to the shop.

5.1.2 Weaknesses

Franchises are the easiest way and often the safest conduit to start a café; the café will not have the backing of one of these established entities. The Russet Cup has a minimal budget and is competing against larger and more established coffeehouses for market share.

5.1.3 Opportunities

The Overland Park demographics support the need for a unique coffee shop. Additional opportunities to target the active and recently retired target market and 45 years+ age group. A small slice of a much bigger pie is the goal. Only 40 percent of the nation’s coffee drinkers are consuming premium ground and whole bean coffee. Encouraging coffee drinkers to become coffee connoisseurs is the key to continued growth. The local coffeehouse/café market is $54 million

5.1.4 Threats

The Morning Glory Coffee shop is currently for sale; should another independent purchase this café, it could pose significant threat to market share.

5.2 Strategy Pyramid

In the short-term, a number of promotions and activities are planned around launch of the business to create awareness. The coffee shop will have a contest offering 20 bottomless mugs and will publicize this promotion via radio advertising, as well as countertop displays and posters in the shopping plaza. In addition, during its first year of operations the coffee shop will pass out a limited number of coupons for a free cup of coffee to prospective customers visiting the shopping center.

5.3 Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The Russet Cup truly stands out from a crowded sea of coffee chains and franchises. What sets them apart from the competition is primarily its smaller cozier size combined with premium coffees served by knowledgeable baristas providing so much energy and enthusiasm for the products they sell.

5.4 Competitive Edge

The Russet Cup’s competitive edge, its size, is also its greatest attribute. Because they are small there is no red tape, and they can easily adjust business hours to say accommodate an afterhours book reading session whereas the corporate chains do not provide such an accommodation. The Russet Cup will truly cater to its patrons needs.

5.5 Marketing Strategy and Positioning

The Russet Cup utilizes a focus strategy on its market. By specifically targeting three primary segments they can cater specifically to their needs.

Senior Market (age 45+) The Russet Cup will target this market simply by its well selected location. Although this demographic group could readily drive downtown, they prefer a local café to unwind and relax and historically become some of the most loyal patrons.

Newly Hired Employees The café will attract regular customers (weekly or more) – particularly the newly employed (first job) by providing free WIFI services and providing interesting games in the customer area.

Young Families The third targeted markets, younger families, often find that coffeehouse are not ‘kid’ friendly. The company has long term plans to create a combination coffee shop / play area so that parents and caregivers will have a place to meet with other adults while the children can enjoy the bounce houses, slides and indoor playground equipment.

5.5.1 Positioning Statement

The Russet Cup is a gourmet coffee lover’s gem. It is truly one of a kind coffee house offering outstanding gourmet coffees and blends, served by enthusiastic and knowledgeable baristas, in a warm, relaxed environment. It is the place to go to visit with friends or cozy up in a quiet corner with a good book either from the library or from one of the patron’s personal E-Books.

5.5.2 Pricing Strategy

The Russet Cup primarily utilizes competition based pricing. The café does not utilize coupons and discounts (other than opening promotion) because they believe that the most valuable customer demographic of daily coffee consumers is not influenced by discount programs or coupons.

5.5.3 Promotion and Advertising Strategy

Online Advertising – The Russet Cup will advertise regularly on popular social media sites, such as Facebook. Compared to traditional print advertising, this is a cost effective tactic that will allow them to reach prospects in a highly targeted way (e.g., based on criteria such as age, gender, geography, etc.). Web Site – the Russet Cup will develop a simple Web site, which will provide basic information about the business, the menu, and links to their presence on the aforementioned social media channels. Radio Advertising – During the first six months of operation, and during the busy holiday shopping season, the business will advertise on local radio stations.

5.5.4 Website

The Russet Cup will have a simple website identifying its menu items of gourmet coffees, smoothies and pastries, along with the address, map and hours of operation. The website will also have a calendar of any upcoming events or sponsorships . The site will also have links to their social media sites – such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

5.5.5 Marketing Programs

The café will also rely on signage and draw to its location. Price Chopper brings 10,000 shoppers weekly to its location.

5.6 Sales Strategy

The Russet Cup will use the following methods to increase sales revenue (as recommended by Andrew Hetzel on Better Coffee, Better Business):

The menu will focus on the most profitable products sold. The café will always draw customer attention to the most profitable products. As warranted, the café will raise prices to bolster brand image. Prices communicate a perceived value of a product; so if set too low, the customers might assume that the beverages are inferior compared to the competition. Monitor flavoring inventory – Excess flavoring inventory ties up capital and valuable back room space for storage. The café will utilize 4-6 varieties, including sugar free offerings. Control waste and theft – audit sales and inventory reports to evaluate ingredient waste due to inefficient preparation, returned drinks and employee consumption. Retail locations can easily waste 20% or more of their daily sales these three key categories, which is a substantial and unnecessary loss. Monitor and evaluate hours of operation Run employee sales contests – The baristas are the salespeople and have a great deal of influence over the customer ordering process. All baristas will have some form of sales and customer service training to make each transaction active, rather than passive. Sales contests will emphasize high margin items or cross selling

5.6.1 Sales Forecast

The sales forecast assumes a conservative 5% increase in revenues during Year Two and 10% increase in Year Three. The following chart shows estimated sales over the next three years.

Table 5.6.1 Annual Sales Forecast

Cafe Annual Sales Forecast

5.6.2 Sales Programs

The Russet Cup will run employee sales contests – The baristas are the salespeople and have a great deal of influence over the customer ordering process. All baristas will be required to have sales and customer service training to make each transaction. The sales contests will emphasize high margin items and cross selling.

The Russet Cup is organized as an S-Corporation formed in the state of Kansas.

5.8 Milestones

Listed below are the milestones for the Russet Cup:

Table 5.8 Milestones

Cafe Business Plan Milestones

5.10 Exit Strategy

In the event the store would have to close for business all assets would be sold at auction.

6.1 Organizational Structure

The Russet Cup is formed as an S-Corporation wholly owned by Owen Jones.

6.2 Management Team

The Russet Cup will be owned 100% by Owen Jones. Mr. Jones a graduate of Kansas State University, has an undergraduate degree in business administration. During high school he worked as a waiter in a local hospital coffee shop that purchased its beans from a local roaster. In addition to being an avid coffee drinker himself, this job allowed him to learn about the business first-hand. In college, Jones worked in a campus coffeehouse for four years, eventually rising to the position of assistant manager. Following graduation, Jones secured a business development position for regional restaurant chain, which provided additional first-hand exposure to the food and beverage industry—especially the steps involved in establishing new locations.

6.3 Management Team Gaps

The Russet Cup will rely on its POS (Point of Sale) system to generate daily accounting and cost activity reports. Mr. Jones will supply these to an outside bookkeeper for preparation of annual income taxes.

6.4 Personnel Plan

Initially the café will hire 1 manager, 5 baristas, and 2 part time servers. In Year 2, the café plans to hire 1 additional full time barista.

Table 6.4 Personnel Plan

Cafe Personnel Plan

6.5 Board of Directors

The financial plan will cover the following:

Required Cost of Start-Up Profit and Loss Cash Flow Balance Sheet Financial Ratios

7.1 Important Assumptions

The sales forecast is conservative and assumes a 5% increase in Year 2, and a 10% in Year 3. The analysis accounts for economic seasonality – wherein some months revenues peak (such as holidays ) and wane in slower months. The analysis assumes the owner will take a much smaller salary compared to his baristas; at any time it is assumed that owner’s withdrawal is available at his discretion. Sales are cash basis – nonaccrual accounting Moderate ramp- up in staff over the 3 years forecast The average barista salary in 2012 is $50,000. In general, most cafes have an 85% gross profit margin In general most cafes have a 3% net profit margin

7.2 Start-Up Costs

Following are the needed start-up costs associated with the Russet Cup:

Table 7.2 Start-Up Costs

Cafe Start-Up Costs

7.3 Source and Use of Funds

Table 7.3 Source and Use of Funds

Cafe Source and Use of Funds

7.4 Break-Even Analysis

Table 7.4 Break-Even Analysis

Cafe Break-Even Analysis

7.5 Projections

7.5.1 projected profit and loss.

The estimated profit and loss for the Russet Cup are as follows:

Table 7.5.1 Pro Forma Profit and Loss

Cafe Pro Forma Profit and Loss

7.5.2 Projected Cash Flow

The statement of cash flow shows the incoming and outgoing cash of the business.

Table 7.5.2 Pro Forma Cash Flow

Cafe Pro Forma Cash Flow

7.5.3 Projected Balance Sheet

Table 7.5.3 Pro Forma Balance Sheet

Cafe Pro Forma Balance Sheet

7.6 Business Ratios

The analysis is based on NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) 722213 – Restaurant / Lodging – Snack and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Bars.

Table 7.6 Business Ratios

Cafe Business Ratios

How to Run a Cafe

How to Run a Successful Cafe: 8 Running a Cafe Business Tips (2024)

Running a cafe isn’t easy, but with the right people by your side and the right tools and processes, you can build a successful cafe business.

Katherine Boyarsky Author

Katherine Boyarsky

Katherine is the cofounder of CXD Studio, a creative content agency, + a registered nurse.

Opening a Restaurant Thumbnail

Opening a Restaurant Checklist

Opening a Restaurant Thumbnail

So many things go into opening a restaurant. Use this free PDF checklist to set your new restaurant up for success.

How to Run a Cafe: 8 Running a Cafe Tips

Cafes are the perfect example of the concept of “third place”: a space in a community that isn’t home or work where neighbors can just go relax, connect with one another, get work done, and enjoy some downtime. 

Opening a cafe takes a lot of organization and drive, but it can be extremely rewarding. Selling delicious coffee and treats to everyone in the neighborhood, providing a space for creatives and remote workers to find connection, and creating a supportive work environment where staff can learn even more than how to pull the perfect ristretto are all great reasons to get into cafe ownership.

Running a successful cafe in 2022 and beyond takes a lot of work and flexibility, but we’ll get into everything you need to know to optimize every area of your business and set yourself up for success — no matter if you’re a new cafe owner or a longtime neighborhood coffee mogul.

8 Tips for Managing & Optimizing Key Cafe Operations Costs

1. rent and overhead.

Location is everything when it comes to cafes. Typically, the bulk of your customers will live close to your business, with only a small percentage traveling across the city to try your coffee and pastries. That’s why it’s important to choose a great location for your cafe. Balance how much revenue you’d be able to make in various neighborhoods, figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on overhead (including your location), and choose your perfect cafe space. 

But before you sign a lease , double-check that there’s no issues with the price, the fine print, or the landlord. Consider negotiating your lease down a little bit, as you’ll be paying rent every month as long as you’re operating your business, so it’s an important piece of your overhead costs to keep as low as possible. After all, overhead costs include everything you’ll need to pay to operate your business, no matter if you’re super busy or having a slower month. 

2. Get Licensed and Find a Lawyer

Don’t leave permitting and licenses to the last minute. Check out the 10 Licenses and Permits Needed to Open a Cafe , look into your local requirements, and get to work on this part of the paperwork. Know that you may need to renew some on a regular basis — if that’s the case, add those dates to your calendar as soon as you submit them the first time.

Depending on your situation and location, it may make sense to invest in some help from a lawyer to make sure you’re not making any errors throughout this process, as errors in permitting can result in hefty fines.

3. Find and Invest in Cafe Staff

Cafe staff, like baristas, managers, assistant managers, dishwashers, and cashiers, are a huge factor in the success of your business. You’re trusting them to treat customers with care, prepare the best drinks and snacks they can, keep your business clean, and make sure  your books are in order. 

That’s why it’s so important to find and keep talented cafe staff. Once you’ve hired your dream team, show how important they are by paying them well, providing meaningful benefits, and investing in their skills with training in many areas of the business. 

Longtime cafe owners may find it challenging to increase pay and start providing benefits, but there’s no time like the present to embrace change and do whatever you have to do to find room in the budget to better care for your staff. Turnover will decrease and you’ll save on the time and money needed to keep hiring and training new staff.

To learn more about innovative staffing and operational models and see some examples of hospitality businesses doing right by their teams, watch our free video course on restaurant staffing. 

4. Food and Coffee Cost

Cafes are mostly able to generate profit thanks to the markup on coffee, which is a whopping 80%. Restaurants typically aim for a food cost percentage of 28-32%, but cafes can typically aim for 20-25%, given the lower cost of their main inventory expenditure: coffee.

Drinks-only cafes are able to keep their inventory costs very low, spending mostly on coffee beans, various milks and substitutes, and maybe some teas or juices. 

Offering food does require a greater investment on inventory, but it also increases average check size significantly: if a customer who comes by four times a week for an espresso starts buying a muffin every other time he comes by, his customer lifetime value  skyrockets. 

There’s a few ways to go about providing food at your cafe: you can partner with a local bakery and sell their pastries and sandwiches that are brought in every morning (and maybe you can supply their bakery with coffee beans!). You can hire a baker or pastry chef and make sweet and savory treats in-house (and position your cafe in the market as a cafe and bakery). Or you can buy precooked baked goods from large distributors, warming them up each morning, for an easy (and often cheaper) shortcut to increasing check size. 

No matter which route you choose, use a great cafe POS and inventory platform to track your sales and your food cost. If you see food cost percentage increasing, dig into your data to find out why. Has an ingredient increased in cost? Have sales dipped and led to food waste? Keeping an eye on these numbers weekly can prevent a problem from getting bigger and costing your business a lot of money before you catch it.

5. Use Marketing and Social Media

Cafe marketing is the best way to get more people into your cafe. If you’re lucky, you can count on your regulars to keep a good baseline of sales, but when you want to reach the next level of profitability, it helps to reach out to your wider community through any (or all) of the following methods:

  • Loyalty program. Turn first-time customers into regulars with a virtual or paper punch card. Make sure the rewards are enticing enough to warrant 6 or 10 visits!
  • Keep online info accurate. Your Google listing and your cafe website must always be 100% up to date. Your hours must be accurate, and so should your menu — you don’t want a new customer taking the time to come to your business only to find it closed, or find that the menu item that drew them there is no longer offered.
  • Cafe social media marketing. Posting regularly on your Instagram and TikTok pages, showcasing your food, your team, and your atmosphere, is a great way to attract new customers. Always tag your location, and use relevant hashtags like #[your city]cafes and #[your city]coffee.
  • Email newsletters. If you’ve got a virtual loyalty program built into your POS, you can use the emails you gathered from customers to send the occasional promotional email, or to let them know they’re close to claiming their loyalty card rewards.
  • Flyers. Low-tech but effective, printing simple, beautiful flyers that match your cafe’s brand and placing them around your neighborhood can attract residents who just don’t typically happen to walk down your block to come check you out.
  • Promotions. BOGO muffins at the end of the day? Free flavor boost in a frappe? 15% off during coffee happy hour from 3pm - 5pm? Try out different promotions and track their efficacy in your cafe POS. 

6. Interior Design and Atmosphere

Cafes can be decorated in so many different ways, but whichever approach you take, make sure your design and your atmosphere align with your brand, and vice versa. 

A third-wave cafe with a minimalist, airy space decorated mostly in white and wooden benches should have a social media feed that matches it. A warm and cozy cafe with baked goods and breakfast sandwiches can be designed to encourage lingering with a book and a beverage — just furnish it with comfy couches, eclectic accents, and colors that draw the eye, and create a similar vibe on your social media pages. 

Many new customers will interact with your business online before they ever come into your cafe, so set the right expectations with social media profiles that align with your cafe design.

7. Professional Services

From espresso machine repair techs to accountants to coffee importers to web designers, every cafe will need some external support from time to time. Build relationships with professionals that your peers love working with, and you’ll be ready to level up your business and solve any rogue problems that pop up. 

8. Technology and Equipment

Checking off every item on your cafe equipment list will be a significant part of your up-front investment when opening a cafe. Espresso machines are expensive, and everything else on the list adds up very quickly, from ice machines and blenders to mugs and trays. Look into renting vs purchasing top-of-the-line equipment, or consider starting with a smaller machine and upgrading once you’ve established a presence in the local area. 

Aside from your espresso machine, your next most important investment will be an excellent cafe POS. These platforms include the functionalities that keep your business running smoothly and keep customers coming back, like integrated loyalty programs, order-ahead capabilities, and data and analytics dashboards that highlight ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

How to Successfully Run a Cafe With No Experience

Take online courses about hospitality business management.

Learn from your peers. Set meetings with cafe owners around your city and ask about their processes, challenges, and approaches to cafe management. If one of them is feeling especially generous, see them if you can shadow them for a few days. You’ll learn so much from spending time following a cafe owner around, and see how they manage their team and provide delightful customer service.

Go to many local cafes. See what trends you notice among all of them, and what makes your favorites stand out. 

Learn from your team. As a new joiner to the coffee industry, you’re going to have a lot to learn, and your staff will have years of experience. Be a humble leader, take suggestions and feedback with openness and kindness, and absorb everything your team (and customers) have to teach you.

How Longtime Cafe Owners Improve How They Run Their Businesses

Tips to grow sales and improve margins.

Cafe marketing . As mentioned above, there are so many ways to get the word out about your cafe. Social media, emails, event sponsorships, neighborhood business associations, flyers, and local partnerships can all help you increase revenue. Try each approach one at a time, and track which ones are most effective, so you can plan more of the winners. 

Set up a loyalty program. Don’t underestimate the power of one free coffee after 9 visits.

Join forces with a local bakery. Set up a partnership with your favorite bakery in the neighborhood. Sell their baked goods, and they can sell your coffee at their business. You’ll get to advertise to each others’ customer bases, and provide snacks for your customers without having to make space in the building and budget for an in-house pastry program.

Run promotions. Test out different discounts, like 50% off baked goods between 10:30-11am, or 20% off specialty beverages on Sundays, and follow up in your sales data to see which ones are working best.

Tips to Manage Costs While Increasing Revenue

Get deep into your data dashboards. The best cafe POS systems will have a reporting and analytics dashboard, so get used to checking it very regularly. It’ll surface up areas for improvement for your business and show you what’s working and what’s not. Find out which products are your best-sellers, and which ones might need to be improved or removed from the menu. Find out which slower days are over-staffed, the success rate of your loyalty program, and your business’s overall performance compared to this time last year.

Use a great inventory platform to manage controllable costs, get alerted of vendor price changes, and cut down on food waste.

Increase your prices. If your ingredient prices have gone up, and if you also want to make more room in your budget to increase staff pay, increase your prices. Even a small bump on every item will increase overall revenue significantly, and you can put up a sign explaining to your customers why you’ve had to go this route.

Restaurant Metrics Calculator

Use this free calculator to calculate the key restaurant metrics needed to understand the health and success of your business.

Operating Costs Breakdown and Benchmarks for Successful Cafes

It costs between $80,000 and $300,000 to start a cafe, plus ongoing operating expenses to consider. Ongoing overhead costs mostly fall into the following five categories:

labor cost — usually about 30-35% of revenue

food and coffee cost — usually about 20-25% of revenue

professional services

technology and equipment

Running a cafe can be financially challenging: the average profit for a small, independent local cafe is 2.5%, which is lower than the already slim profit margins for restaurants. The average check size in cafes is low — think of how much you tend to spend whenever you visit a cafe — so it takes a very consistent flow of customers to keep a cafe afloat. Major chain cafes can go up to 15% profit, but that’s with the help of huge corporate suppliers and massive brand awareness. 

Cafes need to be ready to financially weather the storm of slow days and holidays with a strong cafe business plan that includes revenue streams like selling merch, selling roasted coffee beans, and catering office functions to get through those times. 

How to Stay Up to Date on Cafe Industry Trends

Read and subscribe to restaurant and coffee industry publications, like on the line , coffeetalk, and barista magazine..

Follow your peers and fellow cafes in your area on Instagram and TikTok.

Follow industry-specific Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter hashtags like #[your city]cafes, #[your city]coffee, #latteart, #thirdwavecoffee, #cafes, and #espresso.

Caffeinate your Community

With great coffee and baked goods, a hardworking team, a solid marketing plan, and the flexibility to make changes that will benefit your business, you can build and grow a successful cafe. 

Learn more about how a great cafe POS can help you run your business more efficiently, manage your team, and delight your guests.

Related Restaurant Resources

  • How to Run a Coffee Shop
  • How to Run a Food Truck
  • How to Run a Bakery
  • How to Run a Bar 
  • How to Run a Nightclub
  • How to Run a Restaurant
  • How to Run a Catering Business

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.

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Home >> #realtalk Blog >> Manage a business >> How to write a resta…

How to write a restaurant business plan + free template (2024)

By Homebase Team

how to make a business plan for a cafe

Whether you’re living the dream of opening your own restaurant or reworking your existing concept, a restaurant business plan template takes a ton of stress out of writing a business plan.

With prompts for every section you’ll need, we’ve created our free restaurant business plan template to be your operational foundation (you’re welcome!). Something you can download, customize, and come back to whenever you make business decisions for your restaurant.

But first, let’s go through all the ways a written business plan helps shape your restaurant, and why it boosts your business’s chance of success.

What is a restaurant business plan?

A restaurant business plan is a written document that lays out an overview of a restaurant, its objectives, and its plans for achieving its goals.

It’s needed across all kinds and sizes of restaurants, and can be a handful of pages long or much more detailed. A well-written restaurant business plan not only helps you organize your ideas, it’s also a key part of getting investor funding .

Starting a restaurant? Here’s why you need a business plan. 

Creatively, opening a new restaurant can be incredibly exciting. But it’s also super complicated. From licenses, to equipment, to building a team, each phase needs a lot of attention to detail.

Before you jump in, it’s important to shape your plan of attack, organizing your business ideas into a clear, concise narrative that an outsider could easily understand. A business plan is an essential part of this—and here’s why.

Your business plan helps you:

Set short and long-term goals.

A restaurant business plan not only shows how your business will operate in its early stages, it also shows what steps it’ll need to follow as time goes by. Setting both your short and long-term goals at the outset makes you more likely to achieve them.

Understand your resource needs.

Going through the exercise of writing a restaurant business plan is as important as having the finished document in front of you. As you organize your thoughts, your resource needs—from the amount of capital you need to raise all the way down to the equipment you need to find—will take shape. 

Reduce potential risks.

Sadly, some 60% of restaurants fail within the first year of opening. One of the main reasons? A failure to plan. Your business plan will help you plan for most challenges at your restaurant before they come up, keeping you on the right side of that number.

Develop a marketing strategy.

As you do your market analysis and figure out who your customers are likely to be, the ways you’ll promote your business will get clearer. The more specific you are with your market research, the easier and more effective your marketing efforts will be.

Build your team.

Your business plan helps you see who you’ll need on your team and which roles you’ll need to fill first . For investors, it’s a document showcasing everyone’s collective experience, personalizing your restaurant in their eyes and packing a professional punch.

Share your vision.

Whether you’re using your business plan to secure startup funding or need additional capital after you’ve already opened, your restaurant business plan shows an investor or lender exactly why they should get behind you. 

The 9 elements of a strong restaurant business plan.

Your restaurant business plan will be unique to your vision. But all good business plans hit standard points, and whoever reads yours will expect them. As you develop and finalize your ideas, here are nine key elements you should include. 

1. Executive summary

A strong restaurant business plan begins with a strong executive summary. This is a sharp, concise overview of your restaurant and your opportunity to grab people’s attention.

Here’s where you communicate, in a nutshell, what kind of restaurant you want to run. Which demographic will you be targeting? Why is your business something the community wants or needs? Especially if you’re asking for financing, include a snapshot of your financial information and growth plan as well. 

Your executive summary should briefly lay out:

  • Your mission statement. Why are you starting this restaurant now, in this location? 
  • Your idea. What’s the concept of this restaurant?
  • Your plan of execution. What are your key steps to making this concept work?
  • Your potential costs. What are your expected expenses?
  • Your anticipated ROI. How much do you expect your restaurant to make?

Many investors will make a split-second decision off of the executive summary alone—it might be all they’re going to read, so make every word count.

2. Company description

Now it’s time to let your creativity out and give your restaurant concept life. Give a more detailed description of your concept that lets your passion for what you’re creating come through. 

Flesh out all the other details of your proposed restaurant, including your restaurant’s:

  • Style of cuisine and any unique selling points or differentiators that will make customers choose you
  • Service style
  • Restaurant name (or at least ideas)
  • Size, seating style, and capacity
  • Location ideas or the location you’ve scouted or secured
  • Ambiance ideas including décor, lighting, and music
  • Operating hours
  • Other service offerings like whether you’ll offer delivery or takeout, delivery guarantees, catering, and any retail products you plan to sell
  • Legal structure (e.g. sole proprietorship, LLC) 
  • Existing management and their roles, including yours
  • Experts or advisors you’ve brought on board

3. Market analysis

Present the research you’ve done on your target market. Make a couple of buyer personas to represent your future customers, explaining:

  • Where your target customers live
  • Their income levels
  • Their dining-out and/or ordering-in pain points (e.g. lack of late opening hours, lack of family friendliness)
  • How often they dine out or order in

Go through which other restaurants already have a customer base in your area, then explain why people will choose your restaurant over others. 

4. Sample menu

Even at the business plan stage, menu engineering is crucial. The specific menu items you’re likely to serve—the biggest thing that will set you apart—should shine through with descriptions that are short, clear, and evocative. If you have an executive chef already, this is a great area for them to add input.

Use language that will get people excited about trying your offerings. Hire a designer or use an online program to create your own mockup using the same colors, fonts, and design elements as the rest of your branding. 

5. Business structure

Dive deeper into your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, etc.) and organizational management. Show what your different employee positions will be (co-founders, managers, servers) to give a sense of your team’s makeup. An organizational chart can be helpful here.

Investors won’t expect you to have your entire team on board at this stage, but you should have at least a couple of people firmed up. For the roles that are already filled, including your own, summarize your collective experience and achievements. Bullet points work well, or some people choose to go into more detail with full resumes for the executive team or critical team members.

6. Restaurant design and location

Long before you sign a lease, make sure that your new offering will outshine existing ones nearby. In this section of your business plan, explain why your chosen location, or the ones you’re narrowing down, are going to be an effective space for your target market.

Consider things like:

  • Neighborhood demographics
  • Foot traffic
  • Labor costs
  • Accessibility

Hand in hand with location, your restaurant’s interior design—both in its floor plan and its ambiance—is also crucial to your business’s viability. Come up with a captivating restaurant design that communicates your theme and matches your cuisine, creating a memorable customer experience. Decide how many tables you’ll be serving, and plan out any outdoor seating.

Touch on things like:

  • Team uniforms
  • Flatware and glassware

7. Marketing strategy

How do you plan to market your restaurant? Your plan for grabbing customers’ attention is vital to getting diners through the door, especially at the beginning before word-of-mouth advertising has taken off.

What kind of offers will you provide? Will you have promotional events, direct mail, or a social media strategy ? Go through your planned marketing campaigns and explain how each of them will help secure your target market. 

Overwhelmed by the thought of marketing your restaurant? Check out our top 9 .

8. Takeout and delivery options

If you’ve decided to have takeout and delivery at your restaurant—pretty important for most target markets—decide whether you’ll use your own drivers or a professional fleet like Uber Eats or DoorDash.

Show how you’ll provide the smooth digital experience your customers will expect. Decide if and how your website will come into play, bearing in mind that in 2023, 40% of consumers preferred to order directly from the restaurant website .

9. Financial projections

Your restaurant’s projected budget need to be solid, especially if you’re using your business plan to get startup funds. Without this, investors have no way of knowing if your business is a good investment or when it will become profitable.

Hire an experienced accountant with expertise in running restaurants and write down your market research, your planned costs , and your projected income. Show how investor funds will be used and whether you’ll be putting up collateral to get a loan. Give a sales forecast, usually for the first five years, and make sure to give a break-even analysis.

Get started with our free restaurant business plan template.  

As the team behind Homebase , we know how much there is to consider when you’re starting a new restaurant. We’re proud to be an all-in-one partner for thousands of restaurants large and small—helping make everything from staffing, to scheduling, to team communication easier for business owners.

And we know that your restaurant business plan is a high-stakes document. That’s why we created our free restaurant business plan template to make sure nothing gets overlooked.

Check out our free, downloadable template to get your ideas into shape, get started on your restaurant journey—and get investors excited to jump on board with you. 

Download your restaurant business plan template for free: Restaurant business plan + free template (2024)

Stop chasing down phone numbers with our built-in team communication tool. Message teammates, share updates, and swap shifts — all from the Homebase app.

Restaurant business plan template FAQs

What is the basic planning document for a successful restaurant.

The basic planning document for successful restaurants is a restaurant business plan. A restaurant business plan lays out a restaurant’s long and short-term goals and its plans for achieving those goals. Restaurant planners use it both to finetune their ideas and to secure investor funding.

How to write a restaurant business plan.

When writing a restaurant business plan, include an executive summary, a detailed restaurant description, market analysis research, a sample menu, a breakdown of your business structure, the design and location of your restaurant, your planned takeout and delivery options, your marketing strategy, and your financial projections.

What makes a business plan template for restaurants different from a standard business plan?

A restaurant business plan template differs from a standard business plan by including things like menu engineering, interior design, kitchen operations, front-of-house management, takeout and delivery offerings, and location analysis, which are unique to the food service industry.

Remember:  This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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How to start a cafe

business plan

Make a business plan for opening your own cafe

The first step on the road to a successful business is to create a business plan for your cafe. Only in the process of creating a business plan, you will determine your target audience, research your competitors, analyze the market, and outline the first plans for the growth of your cafe. Once you lay out all the necessary information, you will see the pros and cons of your strategy, the concept of the cafe and the brand as a whole.

The main part of the business plan will be the calculation of cafe payback – you will understand for how long the business will pay off and start to bring in a net profit.

How to calculate the profit of the cafe and its payback: the amount of investment divided by the average income.

Of course, to calculate the exact amount of income is not possible, so the calculation takes the planned income that will bring the institution. It is also worth paying attention to external factors that affect the payback period: rising food prices, currency exchange rates and other risks. Because of this, the actual payback period may grow.

Writing a business plan, you can turn to professional consultants or find ready-made solutions for your business on the Internet. You may have to adapt ready-made models to suit your interests, but in any case, learning from others’ mistakes is better than learning from your own.

Every type of business has its own risks, opening a new establishment, there is a chance that the business will not pay off in the expected time frame. To avoid this, the entrepreneur who plans to open a cafe or restaurant, prescribes a business plan with cost figures, development strategy and plans for payback. In this article, we will talk about how to properly write a business plan for opening a cafe. The purpose of creating a business plan

The purpose of a business plan is to describe the idea and concept of the institution. A properly drafted business plan will help to calculate the payback period of the institution, as well as take into account all the costs.

To open an institution it is necessary to calculate not only the expected profit, but also to draw up a marketing strategy, evaluate competitors and write a list of equipment. All this combines a clearly structured business plan.

Checklist for starting a coffee shop

Opening a coffee shop? Download a complete list of tasks before opening an establishment so you don’t miss anything important.

How to write a business plan for a coffee shop

In order for the document to include only important information and help develop a strategy, a general structure of the cafe business plan is used, where each point helps to see the full picture of the institution and really assess the prospects for payback of the institution.

Briefly describe the information on each section of the business plan (link) : calculations, advertising plans, analytics, development strategy. Summary of the cafe business plan is usually put at the beginning of the document, but written after all the sections are ready. The task of the summary – to interest a partner, investor or credit committee.

It is important to write the summary very carefully, using marketing tools to increase readability and attractiveness of the text. The text itself should be written simply and helpfully.

What a resume consists of:

  • The name of the establishment.
  • A description of the concept of the cafe or restaurant.
  • A brief description of the staff that will be needed.
  • Advantages of the institution over competitors.
  • Goals in developing the establishment.
  • Availability of permits, licenses or certificates.
  • Performance indicators of the institution.
  • Risks and additional expenses.

Description of the business and relevance of the idea

Here add information about your company: whether it is the first establishment you open, what are the founders, what is the initial capital. Also pay attention to the relevance of the idea and analyze such indicators:

  • Location. Pick a good area to open a cafe, it can be central downtown, where space will not be cheap, but there will be a large flow of visitors.
  • Competitors nearby. If in the selected area already has a lot of catering outlets, you can not meet the payback period.
  • Opening hours. Important role played by the hours of operation of the institution, if you open a cafe in the business district, it is worth paying attention to the schedule in the morning and lunch time. For a cafe in the city center is more suitable evening schedule.
  • Target audience (Wikipedia). Analyze the audience that will be interested in your establishment – families with children, students and young people, or employees of neighborhood business centers.
  • The analysis will be useful to you, as the owner of the establishment, and to the partners you will want to attract.

How to Start an E-Commerce Business In 2024

Published: Jun 25, 2024, 2:51pm

Reviewed By

How to Start an E-Commerce Business In 2024

Table of Contents

What is e-commerce, types of e-commerce businesses, why start an e-commerce business, 8 steps to start an e-commerce business, 5 tips for running your e-commerce business, bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

E-commerce is more popular today than ever before. Between 2019 and 2023, the number of e-commerce websites increased from 9.2 million to 26.5 million. If you’re looking for a way to earn money online while being your own boss, an e-commerce business may be worthwhile.

While it takes much time, effort, and dedication, it can become a profitable, enjoyable venture. With our handy guide on how to start an e-commerce business, you can hit the ground running and bring a successful e-commerce store to life.

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Before we discuss what it takes to start and run an e-commerce business, let’s define e-commerce. Put simply, e-commerce refers to the buying and selling of products or services online. An e-commerce website acts as a virtual storefront, allowing customers to purchase what they want from their desktop or mobile devices. While brick-and-mortar locations can be attached to e-commerce websites, many e-commerce businesses solely operate online.

In general, e-commerce businesses fall into these four categories:

  • Business to customer (B2C): A B2C website sells to individual customers, similar to brick-and-mortar storefronts. Customers can choose a product, check out, and wait for the product to be shipped to them.
  • Business-to-business (B2B): A B2B website sells products or services to other companies. It usually receives many bulk and recurring orders.
  • Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): A C2C website or marketplace allows customers to sell to one another. Etsy and eBay are popular examples of C2C sites.
  • Consumer to business (C2B): A C2B website allows individuals to sell to businesses. Customers can often write reviews, exchange affiliate links, or provide places on their websites in exchange for compensation.

There are a number of benefits to e-commerce stores, including:

  • Lower overhead costs: Compared to running a brick-and-mortar store, an e-commerce website is often more affordable. There’s no need to pay for a commercial property and the utility costs that come with it. Instead, you’ll invest in a domain name, web hosting, inventory and digital marketing.
  • Chance to reach a broader audience: With an e-commerce store, you don’t have to limit your customer base to where you’re located. Even if you’re in a small town, you may reach customers across the country and world. This can lead to higher profits and greater success.
  • Ability to easily scale: It’s much more difficult to grow a business with physical storefronts than one that operates online. If you go the e-commerce route, your website and store can grow as your business grows. You won’t have to open and manage more brick-and-mortar locations.
  • Flexibility for customers: In today’s day and age, customers are busy and often lack the time or desire to drive to a store and purchase what they need. If you can serve them through an e-commerce website, they’ll be able to make purchases whenever they want, from the comfort of their own home, office or anywhere with an internet connection. Flexibility can lead to happy customers who return to your store and refer their friends.
  • Access to customer data: An e-commerce business can allow you to collect valuable customer data. You may gain insights on your customers’ buying habits and demographics. In addition, you’ll have a better understanding of demand and be able to reduce the risk of understocking or overstocking as a result.

1. Define your e-commerce business idea

First and foremost, figure out what you’re going to sell. Ideally, you’d choose a product or service in a very specific niche. This way, you’ll have less competition and increase your chances of success.

If you decide to sell clothing, for example, you can target young professionals with affordable suits for young children with comfortable formal wear. Make sure that you’re passionate about whatever you’re trying to sell and/or can do or make well.

2. Validate your idea

A business idea is only worth pursuing if you determine it’s actually viable. To do so, consider the following:

  • Market-based criteria: Market-based criteria focuses on market factors that will impact your business. It considers market size, competition, target customers and whether your products or services are trends or part of a flat or growing market.
  • Product-based criteria: Product-based criteria revolves around your products and services. It examines your potential selling prices, size, weight and durability, how seasonality may affect demand, product regulations and whether your product caters to a passion or solves a pain point.

Both market-based and product-based criteria can help you understand whether your products or services have potential. If you believe that there is a market for your offerings, you can move on to the next steps.

3. Write a business plan

Once you hone in on and validate your business idea, it’s time to create a business plan. Think of your business plan as a blueprint that outlines what you hope to accomplish and how you’ll get there. In general, a business plan involves the following components:

  • Executive summary: This is where you discuss your structure, industry, leadership team, and offerings.
  • Competitor research: Competitor research is all about your competitors and their tactics.
  • Product or service descriptions: Product or service descriptions explain each offer and how customers may benefit.
  • Marketing and sales strategy: The marketing and sales section should describe what you’ll do to reach prospective customers and retain the ones you land.
  • Financial projections: Here’s where you may want to work with an accountant to estimate your pricing strategy and profit goals.

Learn more: Simple Business Plan Template (2024)

4. Set up your business

After solidifying your e-commerce business idea and finalizing a business plan, you can take the plunge and set up your business. You’ll choose a business structure, name your business, apply for an employer identification number (EIN), and open a business checking account. Getting all the licenses and permits you’ll need to operate legally is also a good idea. For help with the setup process, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney, accountant, or other professionals who can answer any questions and steer you in the right direction.

5. Develop or source your products

Next, you’ll need to develop the products you plan to sell. If these are tangible products, you may make them yourself or leave the task to a manufacturer. At this point, you should decide whether you want to produce or order your products in bulk so you’ll have inventory in stock.

You may decide to start small and only stock a few products until you get a better sense for demand and determine whether bulk inventory makes sense. Another option is dropshipping , which is when products are manufactured and sourced when orders are placed. If you’re selling professional services online, such as graphic design or bookkeeping, you should zero in on what they’ll be and how much you’ll charge for them.

Learn more: How To Start A Dropshipping Business

6. Create your e-commerce website

Your e-commerce website will be one of your most important assets. Customers will visit your site to learn about you, explore your offerings, and, hopefully, make purchases. The easiest way to launch a site is through an e-commerce website builder, such as Shopify or BigCommerce . While every builder is different, most allow you to market your offerings, manage inventory, collect payments, ship orders, access analytics, and more.

If you’re limited on funds or don’t want to invest too much in your business, a free e-commerce platform can be helpful. As your business grows, you may always upgrade to a paid plan or platform. Do your research and compare your options to figure out the best e-commerce tool for your unique budget, preferences, and goals.

7. Figure out order fulfillment

Fulfillment is essential to your e-commerce store because it ensures your customers receive the products or services they paid for. Fortunately, most e-commerce website builders come with shipping label printing, allowing you to add shipping costs at checkout automatically. If you want to take the entire fulfillment process off your plate, you might want to outsource it to a company. Just make sure your potential profits outweigh the fees they’ll charge.

8. Market your e-commerce business

In a perfect world, you’d launch your e-commerce website, and countless customers would run to it. The reality, however, is that you’ll need to find, attract, and convert your target audience. While your marketing plan will depend on your budget, products or services, and capabilities, it may include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, paid search, email marketing, and/or influencer marketing. Regardless of your chosen strategies, be consistent and establish a brand that allows you to stand out from your competitors.

Once you have all your ducks in a row and your e-commerce store is ready for business, keep these tips in mind:

  • Focus on customer retention: Retaining a current customer is more accessible and less expensive than landing a new one. That’s why you should keep your customers returning through excellent service, loyalty programs, exclusive discounts and new products and services.
  • Optimize your shipping strategy: While an e-commerce store offers many benefits to customers, high shipping costs can turn them off. If possible, offer free shipping or deals for loyal customers or those who spend over a certain amount.
  • Offer excellent customer service: In the world of e-commerce, the customer truly is king. That means you must be responsive and cater to customer needs and preferences through friendly agents, live chat and 24/7 availability. Otherwise, your reputation and profits will likely take a hit.
  • Diversify your distribution channels: To raise your likelihood of success, go beyond your website and use other channels to sell your offerings. Amazon, social media and affiliate marketing are a few options to consider.
  • Upsell and cross-sell: When you upsell, you encourage customers to purchase a higher-end product or service than the one they were considering. A cross-sell is when you encourage customers to buy products that are related to complementary products. Both strategies can boost profits.

An e-commerce business can be advantageous. It may allow you to share your passions, interests or experience with customers near and far while providing some great income. By following the steps and tips listed above, you’ll put yourself on the path to success. Best of luck!

How much does it cost to start an e-commerce business?

Several factors will determine how much you’ll pay to launch an e-commerce business. These include fees for your website, payment processing, stocking, order fulfillment, and warehousing. The general costs of running a business, such as accounting, marketing, and employee payroll, will also affect your overall cost.

What are the three types of e-commerce?

The three main types of e-commerce businesses are B2B, B2C, and C2C. Your products or services will help you determine the suitable business model for your e-commerce store.

Is e-commerce actually profitable?

Just like a business with a physical storefront, an e-commerce business has the potential to be profitable. However, profitability often takes time, so you must be patient before your efforts genuinely pay off.

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Orlando Cepeda dies

Trump is proposing to make tips tax-free. What would that mean for workers?


Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks to the podium at a campaign event Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s new proposal to exclude tips from federal taxes is getting strong reviews from some Republican lawmakers, though major questions remain about the impact of the policy and how it would work.

What’s certain is that a change in the taxation of tips would affect millions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are 2.24 million waiters and waitresses across the country, with tips making up a large percentage of their income.

A look at what Trump’s proposing and the possible political and economic ramifications:


Trump announced his tax-free-tips plan at a June 9 rally in Nevada, a key battleground state with six electoral votes in the race for the White House. President Joe Biden won the state in 2020, but the Trump campaign hopes to put the state in play this fall.

Nevada has the highest concentration of tipped workers in the country, with about 25.8 waiters and waitresses per 1,000 jobs, followed by Hawaii and Florida.

“To those hotel workers and people who get tips, you are going to be very happy, because when I get to office we are going to not charge taxes on tips, people making tips,” Trump said at the rally. “... We’re going to do that right away, first thing in office.”


The pitch sets up a sharp political contrast between Democrats and Republicans. While Trump assumes that a tax cut would help workers, Democrats have generally endorsed efforts to increase hourly wages — and it’s an open question which approach resonates more with voters.

The Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno and is backing Biden, dismissed Trump’s plan as a stunt.

“Relief is definitely needed for tip earners, but Nevada workers are smart enough to know the difference between real solutions and wild campaign promises from a convicted felon.” Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement.

Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, declined to speak to the idea floated by Trump because, as a federal employee, she’s not supposed to talk campaign politics.

“What I can say is that President Biden has fought for real solutions that actually address workers’ legitimate need for fair wages, we think, much more effectively,” she said, adding that tipped workers in Nevada would get a $6,000 income boost from a higher minimum wage and the elimination of the tipped minimum wage.


Trump has not specified whether he wants to exempt tips from just income taxes or from the payroll tax as well. The payroll tax funds Medicare and Social Security.

For workers, a blanket exemption would mean more take-home pay. And for the federal government, it could mean larger budget deficits.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog group, has estimated that exempting tips from both income and payroll taxes would reduce federal revenues by $150 billion to $250 billion over the next decade.

The committee said exempting tips from taxation would also lead employers and workers to reclassify wages as tips where possible. The more that happens, the more that federal deficits would increase. A 10% increase in tips, for example, would bump up the committee’s projection for lost federal revenue to a range of $165 billion to $275 billion over the next decade.

Congress undoubtedly would examine Trump’s proposal on tips as it considers which portions of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are allowed to expire after next year, including the lower individual tax rates. Lawmakers are already prepping for the task, though Trump’s proposal is something that many had not thought about until recently.

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., a senior House Ways and Means Committee member, said lawmakers will have to consider the overall cost of the tips proposal and how to pay for it.

“I want to be sensitive because they work hard, you can’t find enough waiters, and obviously a big part of their earnings is tips,” Buchanan said. “All these programs sound good. Everybody would like to pay less taxes, but we’ve got to pay the bills.”

“I know he’s trying to make sure the people at that income level have relief as much as possible. We might be able to do the same thing in making his tax cuts more permanent and more likely to address lower-income people,” said Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., who also serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy.


Like many tax proposals, Trump’s push to exempt tips could have unintended consequences.

Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, argues that Trump’s proposal could actually backfire for many tipped workers.

For example, some customers may respond to tax-free tips by reducing their gratuity. Secondly, it could take the steam out of efforts in some states to gradually increase the minimum wage for tipped workers so that their base pay is in line with the minimum wage for other workers.

“The lure of tax-free income could turn many workers against the shift from tips to wages,” Gleckman wrote in a blog post.

Gleckman also questioned why a service worker should avoid paying taxes on tips as opposed to a warehouse worker earning the same amount. He noted that while Trump promised to repeal the tax on tips right away, only Congress can repeal federal taxes, and “for reasons of efficiency, fairness, and sound tax administration, let’s hope it doesn’t.”


Democrats have largely dismissed Trump’s proposal as a gimmick to win over voters.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, noted she was a waitress in college, calling it “really hard work.” She prefers increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers to match the minimum wage for other workers.

“From my perspective, I don’t think (Trump’s) proposal is serious and I don’t think it does enough to address low-wage working people,” Stabenow said.

Sen. Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Trump was “throwing out lots of ideas as he goes,” but his record as president reflects an emphasis on tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

“All these things he throws out every day, I’ll believe it when I see it,” Wyden said.

But Trump’s enthusiasm for the idea seems to be growing. The tax promise has since become a staple of Trump’s rallies and meetings, and he raised his proposal while meeting with GOP lawmakers and business leaders in Washington last week.

“I think it’s actually a very smart idea. The men and women who rely on tips for their earnings, they are working their tails off,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. “That’s very good, targeted tax reform right there.”

Some lawmakers and allies have begun tweeting photos of their restaurant bills with handwritten messages designed to spread the word about Trump’s promise. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., wrote “Vote Trump!” and “No Tax on tips!” on his bill from a Milwaukee restaurant.

The musician Kid Rock, a prominent Trump supporter, shared a photo on X.

“A vote for Trump is a vote for no tax on tips!!” he wrote on his receipt. He tipped $400 on a $1,143 bill at a pricey steakhouse, according to the photo.

Associated Press writer Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix contributed to this report.


Money blog: How to split housework fairly - and the things you shouldn't say

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and tips. Enjoy our Weekend Money content below and we'll be back with live updates on Monday. Let us know your thoughts on any of the topics we're covering using the comments box below.

Saturday 29 June 2024 09:20, UK

Weekend Money

  • How to split housework fairly with your partner
  • Price of popular food at Wimbledon has stayed same for 14 years - and it's fairly affordable
  • Ofgem urged not to lift ban on acquisition-only energy tariffs
  • Your comments : Paying off a mortgage into retirement and new cars turning faulty

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  • Savings Guide: What to look for with 5% rates still available on easy access accounts
  • Cheap Eats : Great British Menu legend picks out favourites at home and in North Yorkshire
  • Women in Business : How accident in cafe and £400 turned into a genius business idea that's about to go global
  • Money Problem : 'I bought a new car but it's been back six times with same fault - what can I do?'
  • How to stop your car from being stolen - or even 'cannibalised'
  • Best of the Money blog - an archive

Ask a question or make a comment

By Jess Sharp , Money team

Splitting up household jobs, whether that be cleaning, washing or life admin, is an issue that affects a lot of couples. 

Starling Bank found women do a total of 36 hours of household tasks and admin per week - equivalent to a full-time job. 

This is nine hours more than men - and yet men believe they do the majority in their household. The average man estimates they do 52% of work overall.

It's the discrepancy between perception and reality (and, of course, this can work both ways) that leads to arguments.

Couples who don't divide the housework equally have roughly five arguments about housework each month - rising to eight for couples who rely on just one person for the work.

We spoke to relationship expert Hayley Quinn about the best ways to split household work - and how to deal with arguments should they arise with your partner. 

She explained that it's necessary to be "transparent" when deciding how to split the workload - but also to be flexible in order to find a solution that suits all involved. 

While a 50/50 split might be your idea of perfection, Hayley said it was "almost inevitable that one partner may take on slightly more of the load" at different periods of time. 

"Striving for perfect 50/50 fairness at all times is a really nice ideal, but it just may not be that practical for modern life," she said. 

She said some jobs may be more visible than others, like cleaning, sorting out the washing, and taking the bins out.

Other jobs can take up just as much time and resource, but will fly under the radar. She gave the examples or sorting out travel insurance or changing over internet provider. 

How should you approach a conversation with your partner about splitting the work? 

To start off, Hayley said you should enter the conversation with a positive mindset - think how you are both contributing to the relationship in different ways.

"When you're having these conversations, it's not that many people are sitting around feeling like they're not contributing," Hayley said. 

"In fact, I think if there's a discrepancy in how people contribute, it's just due to a lack of awareness as to what the other partner does, and some chores are just more obviously visible than others."

Try to avoid starting the chat with the perspective that you are working a lot harder than your partner and they're not pulling their weight. 

"That way, you start from a place of we're all on the same team," she said. 

"When you're doing that as well, it's really important not to make statements which assume what the other partner is thinking, feeling, or contributing. 

"So, for instance, saying something like 'I'm always the one that's picking the kids up from school and you never do anything',  becomes easily very accusational, and this is when arguments start.

"Instead, most partners will be much more receptive if you simply ask for more help and assistance." 

When asking for help, Hayley said it's important to ask in a way that's verbal and clear - don't assume your partner is going to intuitively know what share of household chores to take on if you just complain. 

"In a nice way, explicitly ask for what you want. It could be something like saying, 'Look, I know that we're both working a long week, but I feel like there's so much to do. It would be really helpful if... I'd really appreciate it if you take over lunch,'" she explained. 

"Again, start from a place of appreciation. Acknowledge what your partner contributes already, and be explicitly clear as to what you would like them to do. Phrase it as a request for their help." 

She also said some people can feel protective of how jobs are completed, and learning to relinquish that control can be helpful. 

"If you want it to feel more equitable, you have to let your partner do things in their own way," she said. 

What happens if that doesn't work? 

If you find the conversations aren't helping, you can always try organising a rota, Hayley said. 

She recommended using Starling Bank's Share the Load tool to work out your chore split. 

However, she said if you feel there are constant conversations and nothing is changing then the issue is becoming more about communication than sharing the workload. 

"It's actually about someone not hearing what you're trying to communicate to them, so it's more of a relationship-wide issue," she said. 

She advised sitting down and trying to have another transparent verbal conversation, making it clear that you have spoken about this before and how it's making you feel in a factual way, without placing blame. 

Using phrases like "I've noticed" or "I've observed" can help, she said. 

If after all that, the situation still isn't getting better, she said it's time to consider confiding in friends or family for support, or seeing a relationship counsellor. 

The oldest and most prestigious tennis event in the world returns on Monday, with the best of the best players to battle over two weeks to be named champion.

Crowds in their thousands will flock to Wimbledon to enjoy a spot of sport - as well as the range of food and drink on offer.

It's not the cheapest day out, with a cool cup of Pimms setting you back just under £10 and a bottle of water coming in at nearly £3.

But did you know that despite souring inflation in recent years sending food prices through the roof, one fan favourite - the quintessentially British strawberries and cream combo - has stayed at the same price since 2010?

A pot of the sweet snack costs just £2.50, making it one of the more affordable offerings at the All England Club. It has been served up there since the very first Wimbledon tournament in 1877.

Perdita Sedov, Wimbledon's head of food and beverage, previously told The Telegraph the price freeze "goes back to a long-standing tradition" of strawberries and cream being associated with the championship.

"It's about being accessible to all," she said.

According to the Wimbledon website, each year more than 38.4 tonnes of strawberries are picked and consumed during the tournament.

Ofgem is being urged not to lift a ban on acquisition-only energy tariffs (deals that are available only to new customers, not existing ones).

A coalition of consumer organisations and energy companies led by Which? has penned a letter to the government regulator for electricity and gas warning it of the risk of a "return to a market which discriminates against loyal customers". 

They have also raised the potential impact on customers in debt, who may not be able to switch but could also find themselves struggling to access a better deal with their current supplier under the plans. 

The letter also notes the "very recent history" when more than 30 suppliers went bust - many after trying to win customers with unsustainably cheap tariffs.

Ofgem has said it could remove the ban on acquisition-only tariffs from 1 October but consumer choice website Which?  has research that shows the public are opposed to cheap deals that exclude existing customers, with 81% feeling it would be unfair if their supplier was offering cheaper deals to new customers only. 

The consumer champion has signed the letter to Ofgem alongside E.ON, Octopus, So Energy, Rebel Energy, End Fuel Poverty Coalition, Citizens Advice and Fair by Design.

Two topics dominated our inbox this week.

Many readers got in touch about our Weekend Money feature on older Britons who face having to work past pension age to pay off long-term mortgages.

Lots of you share the fears of those we spoke to in the feature...

I am in my 70s with still about five years to go on my mortgage. It stands at 30k on a 300k house. The mortgage repayments are £800 a month, this doesn't sound much but on a static pension it is massive and I am literally on the point of not having sufficient money to pay it. Red
I was supposed to retire in 2.5 years at 66 and 4 months, my mortgage finishes when I'm 70. I was paying off extra (double) on my previous rate to reduce an interest only mortgage, but the recent increases in mortgage rates have meant I'm paying off hardly any. AVB
I'm 67 and still trying to pay off a mortgage that has another five years to run. I can't stop working and do over 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Keith
My problem is going to be paying off an interest-only mortgage. More than anything I wish I hadn't changed when I had my twins but we couldn't make ends meet at the time. Sazavan
Six years ago I reached the age of 70 and my interest-only mortgage ended - to extend it was impossible with the conditions attached. This then threw me into the rental market, paying more than my mortgage. Now I am facing eviction from the rental due to it being sold. Marianj

We also heard from a mortgage adviser, whose recommendations matched those of Gerard Boon, the managing director of online mortgage broker Boon Brokers, who we spoke to for the feature...

I am a mortgage adviser in Leicestershire and have found an increasing number of people asking to go as long as possible past normal retirement age. I always point out that it's great to have lower payments in the short term but you will need to work to 75. There's no choice. Semaine

Onto the second topic that dominated your correspondence, and we were sorry to learn that lots of you face similar issues as reader Adam, who has had to take his faulty car back to the garage six times - and is still not convinced it is fixed. 

Scott Dixon, from The Complaints Resolver , was on hand to help break down what Adam could do for our Money Problem feature - read his advice here:

Same thing happened to me, except that they didn't let me refund the vehicle and claimed it was my fault even though I told them about the issue during the six months' warranty multiple times... they barely replied. K
I have bought a used car and there is an engine management light on. The garage where I bought it from has since changed name and moved premises (found out by accident). When I call to book in I am told to expect a call back or the mechanic will ring me but they never do. Andy D
I have taken my car to Halfords four times in the last 14 months. Each time they guarantee me it's fixed and within a week it's back to normal. Can I get it repaired elsewhere and bill Halfords? Simon
I have a JAG SVR that's been faulty since day one, the garage sent me home with it faulty and not working correctly. I have tried to reject it but the finance company are playing David versus Goliath... we can prove issues from day one, we have two vehicle reports to back it up. Jezza
Have a Nissan Juke, which has a seat issue where it sinks on its own… Nissan saying it's not a manufacturing fault, but "user error". Where do I stand in getting it fixed? Technical team keeps fobbing it off as our fault. Esmith97

If you're in a position like this, do check out Scott Dixon's advice in the feature above.

The Money blog is your place for consumer news, economic analysis and everything you need to know about the cost of living - bookmark

It runs with live updates every weekday - while on Saturdays we scale back and offer you a selection of weekend reads.

Check them out this morning and we'll be back on Monday with rolling news and features.

The Money team is Bhvishya Patel, Jess Sharp, Katie Williams, Brad Young, Ollie Cooper and Mark Wyatt, with sub-editing by Isobel Souster. The blog is edited by Jimmy Rice.

Starting from next month, gamers will be able to play Xbox titles like Fallout 4, Starfield and Fortnite using Amazon Fire TV.

A new upgrade coming to the Fire TV 4K devices transforms your television into a console, thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming.

You'll need to be a member of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to take advantage, plus you'll need a compatible controller and a solid internet connection.

"One of the biggest benefits of cloud gaming is the ability to play premium games without needing a console," Amazon explained.

"The Fire TV Stick may be compact, but it can stream and run graphically intense Xbox games like Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.

"This portability also means you can easily move your cloud gaming setup from the living room TV to a different room or even take it on the road.

"As long as you have a solid internet connection and your compatible Fire TV Stick, and a compatible controller, you can take your Xbox Game Pass games and saved progress travels with you."

Once downloaded, the Xbox app is designed to offer a smooth and seamless experience. Here’s how it works:

  • Install and launch the Xbox app from your Fire TV device;
  • Sign in with your Microsoft account to play. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, you’ll have instant access to hundreds of cloud-enabled games;
  • Connect a Bluetooth-enabled wireless controller. Controllers like the Xbox Wireless Controller, Xbox Adaptive Controller, PlayStation DualSense, or DualShock 4 controller are all compatible.

A new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K will set you back £59.99 on Amazon, while a new Xbox Wireless Controller costs £49.59.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate currently costs £1 for the first 14 days for new members, then is billed at £12.99 per month.

House prices are overvalued by thousands of pounds, according to a major property company.

The typical property is £20,000 more than is affordable to the average household, says Zoopla.

But rising incomes and longer mortgage terms mean the "over-valuation" is expected to disappear by the end of the year.

Zoopla's report said: "House prices still look expensive on various measures of affordability.

"We expect house price inflation to remain muted, likely to rise more slowly than household incomes over the next one to two years."

The average house price is around £264,900 – but according to Zoopla's calculations, the affordable price is £245,200.

"A new government will add a dimension of political stability when the autumn market starts in September and even if the [Bank of England base] rate is not lower by then, a cut will be imminent," said Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at estate agent Knight Frank.

"Given that mortgage rates will steadily reduce as services inflation comes under control, we expect UK house prices to rise by 3% this year."

Zoopla's over-valuation estimate was reached by comparing the actual average house price in its index with an "affordable" price, which was calculated based on households' disposable incomes, average mortgage rates and average deposit sizes for home buyers.

It's one of the most iconic and popular music festivals in the world, and it's notoriously hard to get a ticket.

Glastonbury has rolled around once again and roughly 210,000 people have flocked to Somerset this year as Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA headline the UK's biggest festival this weekend.

Those in the crowd are in the lucky minority — an estimated 2.5 million people tried to get tickets for this year's event, meaning the odds really aren't in your favour if you fancy going.

Tickets routinely sell out within an hour of going on sale, and that demand is unlikely to decrease next year, given the festival will likely take a fallow year in 2026.

So, if you're feeling jealous this year, how do you get tickets for Glastonbury 2025, and how can you give yourself the best possible chance?

We've run through all the available details as well as some tips so you're best prepared when the time comes.

Registration details:  Before potential festivalgoers get the chance to buy tickets, they must register on the official website.

One of the reasons this is done is to stop ticket touting, with all tickets non-transferable. Each ticket features the photograph of the registered ticket holder, with security checks carried out to ensure that only the person in the photograph is admitted to the festival.

Registration is free and only takes a few minutes. You will be asked to provide basic contact details and to upload a passport-standard photo.

Registration closes a few weeks before tickets are released.

Where to buy tickets:  Tickets can be bought exclusively at   once they become available.

No other site or agency will be allocated tickets, so if you see anyone else claiming to have Glastonbury tickets available for purchase, it's most likely a scam.

When tickets go on sale: We don't know the details for next year yet - but Glastonbury ticket sales usually take place in October or November of the year before the festival. 

This year's ticket sales began, following a delay, in November 2023. Coach tickets typically go on sale a few days before (traditionally on a Thursday), with general admission tickets following on the Sunday morning a few days later.

For those that miss out, there's also a resale that takes place in April for tickets that have been returned or for those with a balance that has not been paid.

This year's April resale took place on 18 April (for ticket and coach travel options) and 21 April (general admission tickets and accommodation options).

How much it costs:  General admission tickets for this year's festival cost £355 each, plus a £5 booking fee. That's an increase on last year's price of £335 each, which was also an increase on the 2022 price of around £280.

So, we can probably assume that ticket prices will go up once again for next year's festival. 

Remember, there are options to pay for your ticket in instalments, so you won't have to pay the full price in one go if you don't want to. All tickets are subject to a £75 deposit, with the remaining balance payable by the first week of April.

It's also worth noting that Glastonbury is a family festival, and that's reflected in the fact that children aged 12 and under when the festival takes place are admitted free of charge.


The scramble for tickets when they go on general sale is nothing short of painstaking, with demand far outweighing supply.

Here are some tips to give you the best possible chance of bagging tickets:

Familiarise yourself with the website: You may see a reduced, bare-looking version of the booking page once you gain entry. The organisers say this is intentional to cope with high traffic and does not mean the site has crashed, so be sure not to refresh or leave the page.

Once you reach the first page of the booking site, you will need to enter the registration number and registered postcode for yourself and the other people you are attempting to book tickets for.

When you proceed, the details you have provided will be displayed on the next page.

Once you have double checked all of your information is correct, click 'confirm' to enter the payment page, where you will need to check/amend your billing address, confirm your payment information, accept the terms and conditions, and complete the checkout within the allocated time.

Timekeeping: You can get timed out if you don't act fast, so it's a good idea to have your details saved on a separate document so you can copy and paste them over quickly.

You might also have to approve your payment, which could mean answering security questions from your card issuer. Have a device on hand to ensure you're ready for this.

Internet connection: This should go without saying, but you won't stand a chance without a solid internet connection.

Avoid trying to rely on your mobile phone signal, and politely ask those you might share the internet with to delay any online activity that might slow your connection.

Don't give up: Until the page tells you that tickets have sold out, you still have a chance. 

Shortly before that point, there will be a message saying 'all available tickets have now been allocated,' which users often think means their chances are up. 

What it actually means is that orders are being processed for all the tickets that are available. But if somebody whose order is being processed doesn't take our previous advice and runs out of time, their loss could be your gain.

Multiple tabs and devices: Glastonbury advises against its customers trying to run multiple tabs and devices to boost their chances of getting a ticket.

Glastonbury's website says running multiple devices simultaneously is "a waste of valuable resources, and doesn't reflect the ethos of the festival".

"Please stick to one device and one tab," it adds, "so that you can focus on entering your details without confusing your browser and help us make the ticket sale as quick and stress free as possible for all."

Shoppers have been buying bigger TVs to enjoy this summer's European Championships, according to the electrical retailer Currys.

The chain said UK sales were up by more than 30% in the past month, with "supersize" screens — 85-inch and above — selling well in the run-up to the Euros.

"Having a third of the TV market and the Euros being a big event for many people, we're seeing that super-sizing trend keep on giving," said Currys chief executive Alex Baldock.

The most popular, and also cheapest, 85-inch TV on the Currys website costs £999. 

The most expensive super-size TV is a 98-inch offering from Samsung that will set you back £9,499.

Currys reported adjusted pre-tax profits of £118m for the year to 27 April. That represented a 10% increase from the previous year's profits of £107m.

Like-for-like sales for Currys UK and Ireland declined by 2% to £4.97bn in the 12 months to 27 April, with consumer confidence knocked by high inflation levels and rising interest rates.

"We can see our progress in ever-more engaged colleagues, more satisfied customers and better financial performance," Mr Baldock added.

Selling your home can be expensive, with the range of fees that come as part of the selling process meaning costs can really rack up.

Those costs are usually present whether you visit a bricks and mortar estate agents on the high street or if you go online, although Purplebricks has marketed itself as an exception to the rule.

Since December, it has launched a new pricing structure that enables sellers to list their homes without paying a penny, making it the only completely free online estate agent in the UK.

Purplebricks previously charged a fixed fee of £1,349 (including VAT) to sell your house, with that figure rising to £2,999 for those based in and around London. 

That needed to be paid upfront or not later than 10 months after the property was first advertised, even if it went unsold.

Now, after being bought out by rival online estate agency Strike last year, Purplebricks is offering a free service, no strings attached.

Is there a catch, though?

There's no such thing as a free lunch or, it seems, a totally free way to sell your house.

If you'd like to pay more to unlock extras and upgrades, you can do so, with a 'Boost' and 'Full House' package costing £899 and £1,499 respectively.

All estate agents are also required by law to carry out anti-money laundering checks on everyone selling a property.

Typically, that cost is incorporated by estate agents into their service fees. However, as Purplebricks' service is free, it has implemented a separate £60 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) fee for sellers.

What's more, there's also no Rightmove listing included as part of its free service.

As the UK's biggest property portal market, attracting more buyers and sellers than anyone else, Rightmove can help sell your home much faster. 

Purplebricks does include a free Zoopla listing, but adding Rightmove is an optional add-on that will set you back £299.

So, how does Purplebricks make money?

Add-ons and extras. 

Purplebricks will be hoping to make money by customers opting for optional extras or premium services.

As well as the Rightmove example mentioned above, professional photographs and a floorplan will cost £699, while hosted viewings of your property will come at a charge of £899.

Purplebricks can also work with sellers and buyers to help them find the right mortgage deal and by offering them conveyancing services. 

It's important to remember that there is no obligation to buy any of the add-on services, though some will undoubtedly come in handy.

Purplebricks is clear about its up-selling tactics too. This is what its website says:

We’re fully transparent about what little extras we offer and where your money is going – so it really is your choice. When our agent speaks to you, they’ll talk you through the options, and then you can decide if it’s right for you.

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