In order to open a successful cafe, you really need to know how to run and operate it profitably. Like all other businesses, experience is absolutely essential when opening a cafe.
Cafes are operated in various different ways depending on the owner’s experience and level of involvement.
Many are family operated small businesses with time-tested recipes and systems that have been handed down over generations. Others are spearheaded by one or two owners who are very hands-on in running the business and solving problems as they arise. At the same time, there are an increasing number of corporate owned cafes and franchised brands that compete with the smaller coffee shops.
Regardless of what type of cafe you intend to set up, it’s important to have the relevant experience in order to be able to plan and manage the business effectively.
As the owner, it is essential for you to know every part of the operations in detail. Ideally, you have worked in a cafe or better still, you’ve managed the operations for a small restaurant, bar or any food and beverage outlet.
If you havn’t got this knowledge, try to make sure that at least your business partner is experienced in running a cafe. If you don’t have a co-owner, hire a good manager with years of industry know-how.
In fact, where possible, you should try to hire team members who all have experience to contribute towards the individual sections of the new cafe from the kitchen to the customer service areas.
Once you’ve got a great team, the next step is to combine all their experience to create your cafe’s new brand, operating processes and better ways of doing things.
In the bar and kitchen, the chefs and baristas should formulate recipes and menu items that offer the cafe’s fundamental appeal. The service team can refine tactics to generate sales, while the admin team devises ways to control costs and run a tight ship.
One of the best ways to gain the specific experience necessary for your cafe, is to formulate a plan with your team and then continually fine tune it from week to week.