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Help for opening a cafe

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by fahedaamer, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. fahedaamer

    fahedaamer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Hi All,

    I am planning to open a cafe can anyone guide me how I should go about doing it and what are the things that I need to look before I actually go and look for the shop to lease??
  2. DAbusinessconsultant

    DAbusinessconsultant UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 211 Likes: 26
    I don't think anyone will 'guide' you as they would effectively be doing your job for you.... however some things you will need to think about are.

    Location, competitors, current use of premesis & whether planning permission is needed, ctate of the premesis and whether it will need any refurb, potential customer base, length of lease, products you will sell, profit margins, break even point, number of employees, governance (eg: health & safety etc), cost of machines, cost of overheads, amount you have to invest.

    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 6,330 Likes: 2,140
    Continuing on from what are very good points from DA. In terms of competition the rules are a little different when it comes to places to eat. Don't be of the thinking that you need to be located in an area that has little or no competition. Quite the opposite works better for your type of business, the cluster is king! Locate yourself in an area of constant high footfall, with a few competitors offering different types of food located in your immediate vicinity. Cafes located out on their own rarely achieve much. Think about those food courts that you se in large shopping centres. You maybe have 5 different food vendors and all 5 of them (except the one selling baked spuds) will be very busy. The reason behind this is simple and requires to you look at life from your customers perspective.

    So you are on your lunch break and want something to eat, you aren't entirely sure what you want to eat. You could go to giannis eatery down the road but he always has the same food and you aren't sure if you are in the mood. You decide to head towards that little square in the centre of town that has half a dozen little cafes and restaurants, you will decide what to eat when you get there. You arrive and vendor A is full to the brim. Vendor B has run out of chips, You ate at Vendor C yesterday and you are sick of their food. Vendor D is busy but not too busy and it has been weeks since you ate there so you go in.

    You might be Vendor A,B,C or D and in reality it doesn't matter. If they come to the cluster then providing you have your cafe set up appropriately then you will get your share of the customers. You will get a potential 25% of a large market.

    If you own Giannis eatery then unless you sell some extremely impressive food that people will take a risk with, you will find you have 100% of a small market.
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  4. eastmids2007

    eastmids2007 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 174 Likes: 14
    Firstly, are you sure this is the right thing to do? I presume you have no real experience and it is a lot of hard work for what is probably a subsistance return.
    What appeals to you about it and why do you think you can make it work?
  5. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 4,611 Likes: 1,019
    Clean toilets and baby changing area are key to long term customers, coffe shops can just get away with it, proper cafe or fast food really need them
  6. Guest

    Posts: 0 Likes: 0
    Firstly study your competition. The reality of actually running a restaurant is a harsh one however. Make no mistake, it’s extremely hard work.

    Cost of property - Property costs will vary greatly according to where you are located, not just in terms of regions, but also the type of property you want. The high street will obviously cost more than a residential area.

    Equipment -There are some basic costs that will apply to almost any cafe. You will need tables, chairs, cutlery and crockery, kitchen and cooking equipment, toilet facilities and ventilation. How many people will you seat?

    Staff - Now staff will be of your biggest fixed cost. If your establishment is open seven days a week, you’ll need more than one chef. The average head chef commands a salary of between £30-40,000, while full time waiting staff salaries will start at around £15,000.

    Useful contacts

    British Hospitality Association
    Tel: 0845 800 7744

    Catering Equipment Suppliers' Association
    Tel: 020 7793 3030

    Food Standards Agency
    Tel: 020 7276 8829
  7. papverpoppies

    papverpoppies UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 6,715 Likes: 2,214

    You mean you are seriously looking at opening a cafe, but are asking other people - how you should go about it!

    Sorry, but if you have to ask questions such as this, how are you going to make the business work?

    Surely you have done your own research and seen what does and does not make a business work:-

    Not in any order!

    Type of customer
    Parking (is it needed)
    Opening hours - ie Council bye laws
    Etc etc...

    Yes, ask people on here for basic help ie suppliers for cutlery, help with VAT, etc etc.

    But, to actually ask the fundamental questions (on how to go about it) suggests to me, that you need to do lots more homework.

  8. eastmids2007

    eastmids2007 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 174 Likes: 14
    I think that's pushing it a bit. In most town's you could fill the positions on minimum wages at the moment. The caff might have to scale down it's ambitions with regard to truffles and fois gras, but the bacon sarnies will still get made.
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  9. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 6,330 Likes: 2,140
    Agreed, the OP is opening A cafe, not THE cafe. I shouldn't imagine anyone will be getting paid 40k a year from this cafe any time soon, owner included.
  10. eastmids2007

    eastmids2007 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 174 Likes: 14
    Agree about the clustering. There are other benefits. Get to know the competition and you can scratch each others backs. Run out of something, or briefly find yourself overwhelmed with customers, then you can lend staff, supplies, etc. to each other.
  11. dan_1985

    dan_1985 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 116 Likes: 22
    QFT - £30-£40k for a chef in a cafe!? £15k for a waiter/ess!?! Bloody hell I am in the wrong job; I'm going to nip down to my local greasy spoon and see if they need a chef!!
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  12. David Morson

    David Morson UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 71 Likes: 8
    Well, there are many factors involved. One the most vital is to see your target market and competition in that area.
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  13. Deliberator

    Deliberator UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 341 Likes: 55
    Interesting that the OP hasn't been back on the forum to see what people have suggested !!!!
  14. eastmids2007

    eastmids2007 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 174 Likes: 14
    Perhaps they had the idea of starting a cafe around breakfast time, and thought better of it by lunch?
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  15. fahedaamer

    fahedaamer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Hi All,

    Thanks all you for the help, I have to mention it here that I have been and done work about how to go about it, the finance, what kind of food I am planning to sell, the equipment, customer base, location etc.

    I have searched different areas which I thought would be suitable for my cafe and is currently looking for an appropriate shop to lease. What I am looking for is advice on stuff like where to get information on licensing and how to go about renovation(contractors or self) and what to look for in a shop when leasing it(i-e whether the shop already has a license etc)?

    Regards and Thank you all for your advice
  16. fahedaamer

    fahedaamer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Hi Delibrator,

    I have been reading about what ppl have suggested and I really appreciate ur time and help.
  17. fahedaamer

    fahedaamer UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 3 Likes: 0
    Well there is hard work in any occupation... and that fact that the returns are really good in food business prompted me to think about opening up a cafe.
  18. cafelife

    cafelife UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 19 Likes: 1
    Hi there

    Did you find your cafe?