There are so many different moving parts involved with successfully owning and growing a coffee shop business. Being able to brew a delicious cup of coffee isn’t even half the battle. Owning a coffee shop is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also incredibly challenging. Having access to the right resources may not eliminate any challenges, but good resources can help reduce them. That is precisely why we’ve compiled an entire page of resources exclusively curated for coffee shop owners. Whether you’re just opening your first shop, or you’re a coffee shop veteran, there are resources here for you.
Resources for Starting Up a Coffee Shop
For those who are just starting up their coffee shops, or those who are considering opening a coffee shop, the following resources will help to guide you as you take your business from an idea on paper to a physical reality.
As the saying goes: a goal without a plan is just a wish. The following resources will help you create your initial plans and mission so that your coffee shop can start with a strong foundation.
- How to Write a Mission Statement (With Examples): This post from our own Budget Branders Blog walks you through how to write an effective mission statement and explores questions to consider as you plot your mission. It also contains over 50 example mission statements from restaurants and coffee shops around the country. You can very quickly and easily pull inspiration from dozens of different shops to craft the perfect coffee shop mission statement.
- How to Create a Coffee Shop Business Plan: A well-thought-out business plan will allow you to get your coffee shop up and running with as few hitches as possible. No plan is ever perfect and events that weren’t initially planned for will always unfold. However, taking the time to think through and lay out the different aspects of starting your coffee shop will undoubtedly help you navigate your new business venture with confidence. This blog post lays out every section included in a typical business plan and provides examples specifically written for coffee shops.
Coffee delivery is growing in popularity, but people by and large visit coffee shops for more than just the product. Individuals enjoy the cozy and warm environment coffee shops provide for studying, reading, working, and socializing. Thus, your location is important and could make or break your business. The following resources will help you choose the right location for your coffee shop.
- 7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Coffee Shop Location: This post is intended for restaurants, but the advice is applicable to coffee shops as well. The Restaurant Times lays out 7 important things to consider when choosing your coffee shop location.
Equipment will vary depending on the complexity of your menu, but every coffee shop will need some form of equipment to properly operate. The following resources will help guide you through selecting and buying equipment for your shop.
- Coffee Shop Equipment List: This post from Shopkeep contains 12 (technically 11) pieces of equipment every coffee shop will likely need. It’s a good starting point as you begin to compile your own list of necessary equipment.
- 30 Tips For Buying Used Coffee Shop Equipment: Coffee shops and restaurants have a high rate of failure. With so much uncertainty surrounding a new business, it’s always advantageous to keep an initial investment as low as possible. There’s nothing worse than sinking a lot of money into a business that never quite took off. Therefore, buying used coffee equipment is always recommended for brand new shops. You do have to be careful when you buy used equipment, which is why this list of 30 tips is incredibly helpful.
Great inventory management for cafes is a must. Order too much and you may have to throw away perishable ingredients, but if you order too little, you could be losing business or paying more for emergency grocery store runs. The following posts focus on providing inventory management tips for coffee shop owners.
- 5 Tips to Manage Inventory in Your Cafe: This post from BusinessTech provides five important tips for new coffee shop owners as they venture into inventory management.
There are over 30,000 coffee shops across 80 countries around the world. To stand out in a sea of competition, spending time to build your brand is crucial. The brand identity you craft will be what sets you apart from all of the other coffee shops in your neighborhood.
- Coffee Shop Branding: Beginners Guide: This post covers branding basics for everything you need to know about building a coffee shop brand. It goes over how to create an experience, develop a community, and deliver your product.
Coffee Creation & Presentation
Naturally, one of the most important components of coffee shop success is the quality of the star product: coffee.
- How to Master Latte Art: Every coffee shop desires to master latte art. Great latte art provides the instagrammable photo opportunities that get shared by guests all over social media. This post by Eater explains how you can master latte art with science.
Best Books for Coffee Shop Owners
You may not have much down time, but when you do, it doesn’t hurt to fill that time with thoughts from leaders in entrepreneurship and business management. We’ve compiled a list of great books written both for coffee shop owners and general small businesses.
Books Specifically For Coffee Shop Owners
- Wake Up and Sell More Coffee: John Richardson is a veteran in the coffee shop business. Together with Hugh Gilmartin, the two have seen great success consulting coffee shops around the world. The book sets out to answer what the two coffee experts wished they knew before they started and what they believe the secrets to their success have been.
- The World Atlas of Coffee: This book is a must-have for both shop owners and coffee enthusiasts. It’s a definitive guide to all things coffee.
- Espresso Extraction: Measurement and Mastery: Espresso Extraction is a follow-up to the Professional Barista’s Handbook. This book is highly technical and walks readers through portafilter basket design, pressure profiling, advanced use of the coffee refractometer and more.
- Wake Up and Smell the Profit: Wake Up and Smell the Profit is a collection of insights from two of the UK’s top coffee business gurus. The book contains a wealth of information and provides that information in a way that is both witty and authoritative.
- Setting Up and Managing Your Own Coffee Bar: This book is yet another book from John Richardson and Hugh Gilmartin. The ‘Coffee Boys’ provide a step-by-step formula for creating a coffee shop that is bound for success.
- The Daily Grind: How to Open and Run a Coffee Shop that Makes Money: Andrew and Claire Bowen have a rich history running successful coffee shops. They’ve dissected that history to create a comprehensive, no-nonsense book full of practical advice for coffee shop entrepreneurs. It’s well worth the read.
General Business & Entrepreneurial Books
- Will It Fly: Will It Fly by Thomas McKnight addresses one of the most important questions entrepreneurs ask when starting a business: “Will my business take off or will it fall flat?” The book offers a 44-item checklist to help readers determine whether or not their business may be destined for success.
- Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable: Written by Seth Godin (considered to be a true thought leader and guru in the marketing industry,) Purple Cow has helped business owners across the world create truly remarkable products and properly market them. Purple Cow will have you thinking critically about your marketing strategy and what it is really communicating about your product.
- Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business:This book is an all-in-one utility book that covers the entire process of setting up a business from start to finish. If you’re in the initial stages of planning your coffee shop, this is a must-read.
- The E-Myth Revisited: Michael Gerber is considered by many to be one of the world’s best small business gurus. He is credited for popularizing the distinction between working on your business and working in it. E-Myth covers why many small businesses don’t work and how to create one that does with a walkthrough of every step in the life of a business.
- Outliers: The Story of Success: Malcolm Gladwell is a world-renowned author and public speaker. His book, Outliers, examines people who achieved extraordinary success in an effort to find patterns and replicable behaviors.
Best Apps for Coffee Shop Owners
There truly are apps for everything and everyone and coffee shop owners are no exception. The following apps can aid with various aspects of shop operations from marketing and guest loyalty to employee management and scheduling.
The Best Free Apps for Coffee Shops
- CUPS: CUPS is an app that helps users find new coffee shops to try. The app incentivizes users to buy more coffee with 15% off every coffee drink purchased. CUPS is free for coffee shops to join. Joining CUPS will allow your shop to get in front of thousands of new potential customers.
- Buffer: Part of your marketing strategy will undoubtedly include social media. There are a slew of different apps out there that let you schedule posts for delivery across all of your social channels. However, Buffer is one of the few tools that has a free tier. It’s the perfect app to use for those just starting out with social media marketing.
The Best Paid Apps for Coffee Shops
- 7Shifts: Scheduling and managing part-time employees is unarguably a nightmare for any business owner, but 7Shifts makes scheduling a bit easier. Owners can drag-and-drop shifts into a calendar which automatically takes availability and local labor laws into account. The app will also send messages to employees so everyone knows when their shifts are.
- Clover: Clover is a POS system, but the company also maintains a rewards app that coffee shops can join. The app will track customer purchases and award points for purchases that can then be redeemed for discounts and offers. Clover can help you operate and maintain a rewards system to help you increase sales.
Blogs Worth Subscribing To
Books are an excellent source of information, but entrepreneurs can often be pressed for time. Sometimes it’s nice to get tips, tricks, and advice in a more condensed format. The blogs below contain very useful information for shop owners with posts that can be digested in just a few minutes.
- Great Cafes: Great Cafes is a neat Blogspot blog with posts every few days. The blog covers trends in the cafe industry, as well as, interesting/unique shop design and decor items. It’s a great blog to draw inspiration from.
- Cafe Success: Cafe Success is a blog run by Claire and Andrew Bowen (the authors of The Daily Grind). The Bowens have several decades’ worth of experience in the coffee shop industry and they regularly write on those experiences in their blog. Cafe Success is definitely worth checking out for any coffee shop owner.
- Budget Branders: We may be biased, but we do believe our blog contains a lot of useful information for coffee shop owners. The blog isn’t exclusively dedicated to coffee. We also write content for restaurant owners. However, there is also a lot of crossover between topics for restaurants and coffee shops.
Helpful Videos For Coffee Shop Owners
Text-based resources are great, but some things can’t be conveyed as well with written word. The following videos are both entertaining and helpful for coffee shop owners.
This is a video recording of a very popular symposium talk given by Dr. Charles Spence of Oxford University. Dr. Spence shares his research and perspectives on how senses other than smell and taste can actually affect the experience of coffee consumption.
This video isn’t instructional or informative in any way. Rather, it contains a 22 minute playlist of handpicked indie, folk, and acoustic songs that can help create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for guests. Many shop owners find joy in creating their shop playlists, but building and maintaining a playlist can be time consuming. This pre-made playlist will save you time and possibly a headache (induced by trying to find the perfect songs).
This short video walks you through determining the perfect grind size based on brew method. The video also discusses how grind size affects flavor.
Creating a welcoming environment with charming decor is everything in the coffee shop business. Whether you’re trying to decorate a new shop or you’re considering redecorating your current shop, a little inspiration goes a long way. This video is a slide deck of photos from beautiful coffee shops around the world.
Branding Help For Coffee Shop Owners
Expanding your brand reach is undoubtedly one of your growth goals (or it should be) and placing your brand on your products can help you accomplish that goal. There is a huge misconception that custom-branded cold coffee shop cups, hot coffee shop cups, and sleeves are exclusively reserved for major chains or shops with larger budgets. That belief couldn’t be further from the truth.
Budget Branders has partnered with some of the largest restaurant and coffee shop supply factories in the world to be able to provide you with custom-printed cups and sleeves at affordable prices. You no longer have to order millions of units to earn a reasonable price. Contact Budget Branders today to speak with a brand consultant and learn more about what we can do for your coffee shop.