11 steps to opening your coffee shop

your coffee shop

We help would-be entrepreneurs start their businesses. In this text, we talk about your coffee shop: where to start and what to prepare for the novice “coffee” entrepreneur.

Step 0: Get the right knowledge

The zero steps before you set out to conquer the coffee niche is training. To launch and establish a coffee-related company, you must have an excellent understanding of the beverage – the varieties and their characteristics, roasting, and brewing methods. Next, you must have an idea of what paystub looks like, understand finances, taxes, etc. And, importantly, you have to like being a part of it.

Soon you will need to look for suppliers of grain and buy equipment. So if you don’t have any impressive barista experience and knowledge from quality courses, the first thing you need to do is to fill that gap.

Once you have a theoretical foundation, take the next 11 steps.

Step 1: Franchise or own outlets

In the beginning, you need to decide which business model you will choose. There are three basic options available to entrepreneurs: buy a ready-made business, franchise, or operate under your brand. In this article, we will talk about launching your outlet and buying a franchise, because a ready-made business eliminates the need to start a coffee shop from scratch.

If you are not afraid of difficulties and you have started working on your brand, nothing will prevent you from opening exactly the establishment that you have always drawn in your imagination. Go to the next step!

Step 2: Make a Financial Model

The first thing to do is to decide whose money will be invested in the coffee house: yours, the investors, or the banks. Then make a detailed financial model for the first 12-18 months: this will help you plan the costs and future revenues.

An approximate understanding of the budget will appear after you decide on the concept of a coffee shop. Are you planning a coffee bar to go, a full coffee shop with tables and sofas, where you will buy products, or a place with its kitchen?

Step 3: Register your business

Now you need to register your business and open an account.

Read about which legal form is right for your future business when you decide on your future business. You can register a legal entity at your nearest branch or online. 

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The next stage is the choice of the taxation system. 

Step 4. Find premises

There are three most obvious ways to find premises:


  • Contacting an agency;
  • To monitor classifieds websites;
  • To look for space in the city by yourself. 

Lifehack: To select the premises for the opening of the coffee shop is worth after the registration of business.

If the institution will be in a residential building, there may be difficulties with residents.

Once you have decided on the place, specify your target audience. This will largely be dictated by the understanding of who walks the route near you. The portrait of the customer mustn’t be too general, otherwise, it will lose all meaning. Subsequently, you will be able to address special offers to your audience and make targeted advertising.

Step 5: Make a design project

An important tip: Form the repair under the budget, not the other way around. First of all, count the money.

It is best to seek advice from a designer (who has repeatedly made design projects for coffee shops and knows the technical side of things). If you have a modest budget, you can always “peep” ideas from others: take inspiration from foreign projects, get inspiration from thematic design communities, or on Pinterest. But keep in mind: limiting yourself to pseudo-minimalism (white walls, minimum stylization) will not work.

The exterior is also important – from the street, a coffee shop should be visible. Need: a bright sign, a signpost, does not hurt and the board with the menu. 

Step 6: Solve the legal issues

How to make sure that the building will be allowed to open a coffee shop?

First, you should have a technological project or design organization of production. Second, you need to get on the books and get a location permit. Before applying have on hand the certificate of state registration, lease agreement or certificate of ownership, technological project, and the assortment list.

If all is well, you will receive permission to host within two to three weeks.

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Before opening, the coffee shop premises must comply with:


  • Fire safety requirements;
  • Sanitary and epidemiological requirements. 

Step 7: Purchase equipment and supplies

You will need:

  • a bar counter;
  • coffee machine;
  • coffee grinder;
  • other equipment (refrigerator, ice maker, microwave, air conditioner, blender, juicer, etc.).

You will also need to buy interior items (tables, chairs, sofas, etc.) – here the list will be individual, depending on the concept of a coffee shop and an entrepreneur idea.

If you open a coffee shop franchise, franchisees will provide a pool of trusted partners and equipment specifications, so you do not have to look for anything.

Step 8: Select Coffee Suppliers

Finding coffee wholesalers isn’t difficult, but you have to be able to tell the difference between a quality product and just an expensive one. 

Step 9: Make a menu

You can purchase items or set up your production. Objectively, it’s easier to serve microwaved meals or limit your sales to snacks and appetizers altogether. On the other hand, sales from the pastry shop and kitchen will increase the turnover of the coffee shop.

Step 10. Hire staff

When hiring employees, you should always remember that success depends on people. Valuable barista good at both brews coffee sells and good with people – so look for such a person in advance.

When you start a lot of work waiting for you: it makes sense to save on a second barista and assistant and go behind the bar yourself – so the bonus you get an idea of all the processes in the coffee shop and understand how to build a job.

Step 11. Get to work on promotion

Now you need to get your first customers. If you do not save money, the promotion can take care of an advertising agency. But you can also print your flyers with discounts, run targeted advertising on social networks, make announcements, and conduct contests and drawings. On opening day, organize a raffle and invite neighborhood businesses as partners. 


Don’t rush to hang the balloons. It’s important to do the technical opening first, make sure everything works and nothing is missing – and only then plan the party for guests.


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