Starting your own Café


Starting your own café can be difficult. Firstly, you’ll need the startup to obtain the licenses and equipment needed. You’ll need a variety of licenses such as: signage permit, Trade Waste Approval, Music License, Company Registration, Development Permit, Vehicle Registration, Workers Compensation, Business Name Registration, and you’ll need to trademark your business. So, as you can see there is no shortage of licenses, and they will set you back a total of $18,000-$25,000AUD.

Enthusiasm & Passion

Cafés have one of the highest failure rates, so you’ll need to be extremely passionate about the business. Expect to work at least 16 hours a day, this is not an industry for the faint hearted. Ultimately, you’re going to put Hospitality first and give the Customer the best service available. You need to stand out from the Coffee Shop next door, and sometimes you need to spend money to make it. That might mean pricing your Coffee 50c cheaper than your competitors, which may eat into your profits short term, but long term may pay off. Study the industry, decide how you’re going to stand out, do you have the best coffee in the area? You’ll need to study the art of Coffee, learn to craft the perfect cup of Coffee and surround yourself with the best Baristas. There’s nothing worse than Bitter Coffee that hasn’t been brewed properly, this is usually caused by overstraining the Coffee beans which causes this bitter taste.

Customer Retention

You better love the industry or leave it. Only the truly passionate ones will make it in the end. The minute you start having doubts or not enjoying it, cut your losses. 80% of customers are repeat customers, such as the ones dropping in for their morning Coffee before work, or relaxing on their lazy Sunday. These are the customers you need to invest in and retain, it costs a lot more money to gain a new customer than to keep an old one. Set up a Customer Loyalty Program, offer free coffee every 5 coffees, this reinforces the loyalty and helps retain the customer. Most of all you need to be enthusiastic yet honest with your customers, and your employees need to display these traits too. You can teach and train them with all the skills and techniques but the Passion can’t be taught, this is an inherent trait.

What You’ll Need

Apart from the licensing some other expenses will include: Rent, Till, Equipment, Staff Wages, Stock, Accounting Fees, Taxes, Insurance and Marketing. These are all as important as each other and need to be managed effectively. Setting up Social Media profiles for your business is essential in today’s age. You’ll want to utilise Facebook, and possibly Instagram. Facebook is definitely a good starting point, you can have your Facebook displayed in the Café and offer something free if they like your page, be creative!

Equipment Needed

Firstly, you’re going to need appropriate Café Décor and Furniture. This will depend on the theme you want to implement into your café. Remember you want to stand out with your theme but still have the customers feeling comfortable.

Next, you’re going to need a top of the line Coffee Machine, because after all what’s a Café without Coffee? You’re going to want to spend at least $5,000 on a decent Expresso Machine, generally with Expresso Machines you get what you pay for so don’t scab out as the Coffee is usually the centerfold of your Café. A good majority of a cafes sales are Coffee based. WEGA offer high quality coffee machines that will last under the stresses of a Café.

After you’ve got your Expresso Machine sorted you’re going to need a Fridge. This is obvious as you’ll need to keep your beverages and food refrigerated, you will most likely also need a large freezer or cool-room.

With your perfectly brewed coffee will come hopefully lots of sales and therefore you’ll need a cash register. This can help keep track of your sales and profits.

Having a relevant menu on the wall or individual menus these need to be designed and it’s a clever idea to get a graphic designer to design the menus, add some personality and flavour! Have quirky names for different meals or beverages, this will give your Café some personality.

Purchasing an industrial dishwasher is also a smart idea as individually handwashing mugs, plates and glasses is very time consuming. You can expect to go through endless amounts of mugs and plates. This will give your employees more time to do other important things. Hospitality Supplies Express has all the equipment you’ll need in order to start up a Cafe.

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