Thinking of opening a new café? First of all, good on you for sharing our passion for bringing great coffee into people’s lives. It’s something we love doing through our wholesale, retail and coffee cellar door arms and we are sure you will get the same kick out of it as we do. We know starting a café can be tough. Navigating your way through the mechanics of how it will all work and look, the costs, your point of difference and products, and building a profitable business can sometimes feel overwhelming. To give you a helping hand and some direction, we’ve asked our Brand Manager and quality control expert, Rob Greer, to share his six top tips on opening a new café. Rob has many years of experience helping to establish successful cafes across Australia and has vast knowledge of the ins and outs of how it all works. 1. First, what do you really want out of your site? Do you want to offer great coffee? Ofcourse you do. Do you want to serve it with yummy food? What kind of food and products do you want to sell? Hone in on what you want to provide and then seek the suppliers around that so that you get your offering just right and in line with your business vision. 2. Think outside of the box when it comes to your suppliers. There is so much choice for new café owners when it comes to suppliers for your café. A great idea is to speak with your coffee roaster for recommendations based on their contacts and the suppliers they use. Referrals help you to have a greater understanding of the level of service and product quality you can expect from suppliers as well as the costs. 3. Know your stuff! Having an understanding of how the hospitality industry works is so important to honing in on your processes and running a successful business. Do your research before jumping in and look locally for courses on business management, hospitality, barista training and budgeting so that you have the knowledge and understanding you need to run a business that is profitable. 4. It’s all about the POS. The digital sphere has evolved, there’s no doubt about it. There is now a range of paid and free point of sale (POS) systems available to choose from that are specifically designed to help café businesses to simplify their operations. Some of the paid POS programs we like are Kounta and Redcat. If you are on a tighter budget, SENPOS is a free platform with add-ons that are great for new café owners. 5. You’ve got to put in a lot, to get a lot. Many café owners make the mistake of distancing themselves from actually working in the café from the beginning; hiring front facing staff to fill this role instead. There are two advantages of working on the tools and with customers when you first establish your café – a. You get a better understanding of your audience, how your business can work at its best and are able to identify any issues that may otherwise be overseen. b. It helps reduce your initial costs. We find that owner-operated cafes survive better. Once your café is established and operating with a profit, you can easily bring on more team members, take a step back and work on the business rather than in it. 6. Find a quality coffee supplier. We don’t want to toot our own horn here, but consistently good coffee makes a huge difference to the loyalty that you receive from customers. Having a coffee roaster that supplies quality coffee and the support you need to run your café is essential. If you’re ready to start making café magic and set up your site, we’ve created an easy-to- follow checklist that will help ensure you have all your ducks in a row and have covered the essentials. Click here to download the checklist. If you’re still scratching your head and don’t know where to begin, send us an email with your questions. We have years of experience in the industry and have helped many cafes to establish their sites and grow their businesses. Click here to send us an email with your questions.