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sophiehunter sophiehunter is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
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Coffee shop....

Has anyone here started up a coffee shop or something similar and do they have any advice for someone wanting to start one?
thanks
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crkian crkian is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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A good chef/cook and decent coffee. Presentation, no elevator music. Local ones trrade well on good food, friendly staff. I like to think of a cafe as a home from home some where to relax and not be hassked to sup up and leave in ten minutes.
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elaborations elaborations is offline
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Why don't you read the book 'Anyone can do it' by Sahar and Bobby Hashemi - they set up Coffee Republic
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wolf's Avatar wolf wolf is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Location, location, location.

The best coffee shop in the world won't make money if it has no customers. Sounds obvious, but we have two in my area that look great but are always empty as no-one will go out of their way to visit. This should be one of the first things your business plan clarifies.
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Adam Adam is offline
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Good to see a real world business.

Did you search the forum as someone spoke of a similar business a few months ago.

Good coffee is the key (unless you go for the desperation market). I use good quality coffee in the bean to cup coffee machines and people are increasingly turning away from cr4p when it comes to coffee.
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cc123's Avatar cc123 cc123 is offline
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try and think of something that none of the other providers are doing to give yourself some competitive advantage. eg. wireless internet...or bagels....or link it to another company...for example a gym called the third space in london is located diretly onto a health food supermarket and a massage palour....there are knock on effects from placing yourself in the right areas. think about all the people in their or from way to work wanting a latte.
I agree location has to be the number one priority. In newcastle there was a starbucks and a coffe republic opposite each other on the high street. In the middle of the day the sun would turn and face onto Starbucks, so everyone went and sat outside starbucks to drink their coffee whilst the shadowed coffee republic had barely anyone. Its little things like this that can often be a deciding factor in your churn of people.
i think customer orientation is also key. if you watch somehting like Gordan Ramseys kitchen nightmares it shows that you have to be impecceble if you want to be successful...no cutting corners on quailty.
hope that helps
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Muten Roshi Muten Roshi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by elaborations
Why don't you read the book 'Anyone can do it' by Sahar and Bobby Hashemi - they set up Coffee Republic
I don't know about that, last I heard the share price had plummeted and the board were trying to raise finances. Apparently my mother took a call from a member of the board to ask which way I was voting in an upcoming AGM.

Bear in mind I was about 19 and owned like £300 pounds of shares!
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elaborations elaborations is offline
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That's not the point. It's a great business book anyway with loads of useful information - the business plan section is really good.

Noone said you have to copy what they did exactly - but it's at least a starting point.
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jklondon jklondon is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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good idea if done correctly ..

Ahh coffee - thought I would add my two cents for what its worth.

> There will always be demand for coffee - in fact globally coffee prices have been risen (and continue to rise) sharply.
I know this since I have been trading coffee future for the last 3 months - dont think this has been fully passed onto the consumer yet since the majority of large retaliers lock in a price for a year.

> Coffee will always sustain an economic downturn better than other retailers (check out cafe nero's results posted today)

> Rather than take the risk youself why not try to attach yourself to an exisitng retailer who has retail space available? Think this could work if you get a good retailer located in a good catchement area.

Good luck - any questions let me know and I will try to help
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jklondon jklondon is offline
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good idea if done correctly ..

Ahh coffee - thought I would add my two cents for what its worth.

> There will always be demand for coffee - in fact globally coffee prices have been risen (and continue to rise) sharply.
I know this since I have been trading coffee future for the last 3 months - dont think this has been fully passed onto the consumer yet since the majority of large retaliers lock in a price for a year.

> Coffee will always sustain an economic downturn better than other retailers (check out cafe nero's results posted today)

> Rather than take the risk youself why not try to attach yourself to an exisitng retailer who has retail space available? Think this could work if you get a good retailer located in a good catchement area.

Good luck - any questions let me know and I will try to help
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toottoot toottoot is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Just some thoughts....., Decent service - most people, not all, who serve coffee in the likes of Costa, Starbucks etc seem very miserable and rude. A decent smile and a hello is essential, if you put off a customer the first time you are unlikey to get them back. Another thing about coffee shops which really annoys me is that hardly anyone every clears up, newspapers, napkins, half drunk drinks all over the place, looks vile. Also think about your local market and who is going to give you the most trade, a place near me is excellent; speedy with the office workers pre-9am, hands on table service for mums and babies 9-12pm; speedy lunch sarnies/soup for office lunch etc. They are bang on about their service and to each differing audience. After all people have to eat and I think all the big boys have become very very lazy of late.
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toottoot toottoot is offline
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PS: I have just read the Starbucks book by the CEO/founder I think, a great business book also as well as being about starting the Starbucks revolution from year one.
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solarBreeze solarBreeze is offline
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When I go to a coffee shop I usually like to be in an interesting enviroment (I went to one the other day that had beautiful furnature, and paintings). At home I don't really like Starbucks that much, because I like shops with a bit of character, and fortunanely there a lots in my area.
However I like starbucks when I'm in the city and want something relatively quickly. So I guess you need to look at what your area is like, the kind of people who live in your area, what they would want, where they go already etc..
Perhaps do a bit of local market research to start with
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cc123's Avatar cc123 cc123 is offline
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i never drank coffe ever..then i went to NYC for a year...and i drank it everyday nearly. i hardly drink it now im back...but while i was over there the things that impressed me were speed - cause i was always in a rush. beautiful gurls serving me that made me wanna go back again and see them (sad but true)....cosyness...that mite sound weird but when its a crappy winter day in england its nice to feel warm and cosy. and atmosphere...similar to that of a bar maybe. music might be a consideration. really i think the most important thing is branding....so many people choose starbucks over anyting else purely for that - and thats why suddenly a coffe is £3.50!!! thats a lot for a cup o coffee people. If you can build a brand on good core values you will do well.
just in case anyone wondered - my favorite starbucks is a vanilla latte. :P
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Nic_G Nic_G is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
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Hey i think you should defo think about setting one up. Im at uni doing international hospitality and business and just done loads of research about coffee shops. Starbucks is the most popular coffee shop, but thatís only coz its established and a branded company. As the prices are higher than most, and they sell similar products to everyone else. You must not make the mistake that others do and think that because they are successful you should do the same as them.
Remember one of the things that coffee shops donít really provide is customisation. This will move you away from the typical product orientation that most coffee shops adopt. By this I mean offer some form of table service, give options with the coffee, maybe use an angle like "build your own coffee" where you have a list of basic coffees you offer an you can jazz them up with what ever the customer wants, shots of syrups, cream, hot chocolates and teas. Have sofas, magazines, laptop ports. I think that if you base your coffee shop idea on service rather then product, you will only succeed!
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