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Hi everyone

I'm thinking of opening a small coffee shop/bar which will be very simple and basic with all my focus being on perfect coffee for every cup. It's a small shop that with cost 12k a year in rent. It will be fitted out very basic (industrial), just a bar with machine, grinder and a till and for seating there will be one long table with a bench.

My question is do you think I could afford to only offer coffee and maybe cake but no other food? The location I'm looking at has a very small kitchen and I want to keep things really simple at first and keep staffing to a minimum. I am also thinking of only offering take away cups.

 

Any my thoughts or ideas would be very welcome.

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Perhaps offer only three breakfast dishes served till 11am then only three different sandwiches served 11 til close. Aim to keep total workload low, ingredients lists short and nail each and every offering.

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Thanks. I'd really like to try and not offer food if I can I just really wanted to know can a shop service on just coffee alone?

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Calculate your overheads and your expectations/necessity for profit.

 

Circa £2 for a double espresso (if you're anywhere outside of London) the coffee will cost you approx 30p per 20g shot if decent quality, freshly roasted and bought in bulk. The 1.70 contribution per unit then goes against your fixed costs/ overheads such as machinary costs (rental or loan), building rent, electricity, business rates, staff costs, heating costs (in winter), cup/table/chairs rental.

 

a good starting point would be to weigh up all monthly overheads (seasonally adjusted, ie higher heating costs in winter) and this will allow you to find a basic break even point as to how many sales you need.... Anything in excess of this is more commonly known as profit!

 

Good luck anyway and all the best - think a lot of people on here would like the idea of owning their own place

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What's the margin on food in coffee shops?

 

If it is decent then you might not be able to afford to ignore it.

 

If you don't want to supply yourself then consider partnering up with someone local who makes fantastic cakes or similar. Mooch along to local foodie market and there are bound to be people that you can talk to about supply.

 

Footfall is key to this kind of business and most people are not going to want to visit two shops for their morning caffeine and sugar fix.


BOOM! You've just been onomatopoeia'd

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If you do any cooking onsite then you'll need all the Environmental & Hygiene guff & visits from your local EHO..... May be better to go for precooked pastries etc.

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am also thinking of only offering take away cups.

 

As you seem to be entering a premium market, I wouldn't do that. If I pay over the odds for a (hopefully) decent drink I don't want to drink it from a paper cup.

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As you seem to be entering a premium market, I wouldn't do that. If I pay over the odds for a (hopefully) decent drink I don't want to drink it from a paper cup.

 

Never said they wanted to be a premium offering

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If you want to restrict turnover/GP & ultimately net profit then limit your offering.

Not doing any form of food seems like a plan

 

Good Luck!

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I'd be fine with a good quality biscuit (almond or similar), or a small sweet Portuguese tart as I like something good and sweet with my espresso. Seems to work well in Italy as well, but this is UK where people love huge portions of bad cake and massive cups of milky coffee, so it might be tricky. Maybe try something pre-made (quality though) to test the waters?

 

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Ok, I can't comment on this from a financial perspective because I don't have your figures, but purely from a concept perspective, I'd say that serving coffee and cakes only is absolutely fine - in fact, I actually wish more places did this, if it is economically viable. My favourite coffee place in the world did just that, I just went in and got a coffee whenever I wanted - if I wanted food I'd go elsewhere, not a problem really.

In fact this place I'm talking about didn't even sell soft drinks; they just did espressos, milk-based drinks, a filter and an assortment of fresh cakes/cookies from a local bakery each day.

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Hi everyone

I'm thinking of opening a small coffee shop/bar which will be very simple and basic with all my focus being on perfect coffee for every cup. It's a small shop that with cost 12k a year in rent. It will be fitted out very basic (industrial), just a bar with machine, grinder and a till and for seating there will be one long table with a bench.

My question is do you think I could afford to only offer coffee and maybe cake but no other food? The location I'm looking at has a very small kitchen and I want to keep things really simple at first and keep staffing to a minimum. I am also thinking of only offering take away cups.

 

Any my thoughts or ideas would be very welcome.

 

if you don't offer food, you will almost certainly go broke after short time...perhaps 1 year.


 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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Ok, I can't comment on this from a financial perspective because I don't have your figures, but purely from a concept perspective, I'd say that serving coffee and cakes only is absolutely fine - in fact, I actually wish more places did this, if it is economically viable. My favourite coffee place in the world did just that, I just went in and got a coffee whenever I wanted - if I wanted food I'd go elsewhere, not a problem really.

In fact this place I'm talking about didn't even sell soft drinks; they just did espressos, milk-based drinks, a filter and an assortment of fresh cakes/cookies from a local bakery each day.

 

 

Yes this is what I'm thinking. By not offering food I can keep my start up costs as low as possibly because I wouldn't need a fitted kitchen and I wouldn't need the extra staff. I would plan to do cake and biscuits which I could get made for me outside, obviously doing this will make the mark up smaller but it enables me to keep the shop as simple as possible.

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My thinking is food probably obviously helps bring turnover and potentially profits. If you start with a small range you might want to have already worked out your back up plan food-wise so if you realise it's needed you're not making panicked urgent decisions...


Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

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if you don't offer food, you will almost certainly go broke after short time...perhaps 1 year.

 

As I said... Good luck! I should have added, you may well need it

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if you don't offer food, you will almost certainly go broke after short time...perhaps 1 year.

Care to expand on this a bit more Dave? Is this based on experience or a guess?

 

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Care to expand on this a bit more Dave? Is this based on experience or a guess?

 

T.

 

Experience (not personal) and a good knowledge of the market....he won't make enough money out of the coffee, food (even an extensive snack selection) is essential. Plus drinks other than coffee of course. If he does do well, he will be one of the very few (if any), doing it just by predominantly serving coffee. Remember he said a shop with 12K per annum rent....lets assume no business rates? On paying the rent alone he would need to sell 27 cups of coffee per day 6 days per week 52 weeks per year....based on 1.50 clear profit per cup. This means working 6 days per week and no holidays. Every 1K per year in costs is an apporx extra 3 cups per day. So with electric, water, possible business rates, maintenance, insurance, other fixed costs (equipment) to pay back even at say 4K per annum, that's 12 more cups. If he then wants a modest wage (minimum wage) about 16K per year, another 48 cups. lets assume he pays no tax, but has to pay NI, another 3 cups.

 

So average 90 cups sold per day (very conservative estimate) will pay him minimum wage....for working at least 8-9 hours per day 6 days per week, every week of the year, with no holidays as the only employee....this is the reality without selling food. Not a great prospect and considering the risk he would be better off working for someone else. If he gets, ill the shop closes, as he can't afford to employ anyone. The addition of simple food (snacks), cakes, pastries, sweet bars, bottled water, canned drinks etc.. will make a very big difference indeed.


 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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Thanks for the info Dave, good to see some evidence behind it all, it might be an eye opener for the OP.

 

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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The one single food item that provides the most mileage for me is the croissant. Bake it off in the a.m for breakfast, split it in the p.m. and fill it with cheese or ham. Freeze any unsold and make the absolute best bread and butter pudding from them.

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In my experience people will walk into the shop, ask if you serve food, then walk out if you don't. it really is worth having even a small offering of sarnies, especially if you want to grab people on their lunch breaks.


Wanna know more?

 

Hit me up on social, or check out the blog. I'd love to chat, and help out if I can!

 

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Work out all your costs erring on the side of maximum and not pretending you'll hit the minimum. You will see that food is pretty much essential in that location. If you have a market stall type set up then you can do just coffee and cake. Also worth remembering if you're not totally on top of menu design and can prep stuff very quickly then food can overwhelm. You may need extra help if you do food, plus table clearing, washing up, etc. and so cost for that too!


---

Dave

 

Ex Coffee shop owner. Happy to help wannabee shop owners!

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