Some good things to know if you’re opening a cafe anytime soon.
If you do anything well for long enough it will grow. Look at the cafe down the road full of people and serving the same product as they were 10 years ago. It’s easy to see that and say, I can do better product and service in the shop next door and I’ll get all of their business, but that’s generally not how it works.
It takes time to get customers and build a reputation, there are exceptions, but if you’re reading this then you’re probably not one of them.
It also takes time to train staff, and training rather then hiring ‘qualified’ staff is nearly always better. So be patient, don’t expect things to happen overnight. Don’t expect your new barista to be up to speed on day one, if you don’t train them then don’t complain there is no qualified staff around to hire.
I would say keep about 40% of your years rent in the bank as a backup. So if your rent is 50k/year then keep 20k in the bank and only spend money on things when you have more then 20k. This is pretty optimistic but it would be nice and save lots of stress.
This is for a few reasons but a good one is for when opportunities arise. I once saw a 3grp la marzocco fb80 that was about a year old sell for $2500 just because the buyer had cash ready to go. The other main reason is also the next point.
Things do go wrong.
Last year brisbane had a flood. Although the water didn’t directly get that up to our shop in the end, it still messed things up pretty well and I estimate cost us around $10,000 in problems that followed.
You can’t predict things like this but they still happen. Machinery will breakdown, staff will be sick, things will wear out. The emphasis is on the ‘will’ so allow for it.
Help people and make friends.
The cafe across town is not competition, they can be your friend. If other people need help then you should help them. Not for profit or recognition, but just because they need help. This industry can get tough sometimes and I know I wouldn’t have survived without industry friends.
Service should rank number 1 on the list of importance. It needs it’s own post. Give good service, provide the best product you possibly can and look after your staff.