10 things you must know if you are opening a Cafe

It’s the dream of a lot of our clients to start up their own little café or restaurant, being their own boss, and serving food that everyone loves and keeps returning for.

But where to start?

Here are 10 gems of wisdom to think about before you start up…..

1. Know your customer base.

Get to know which demographic you’re working with. Fully research your customer needs before anything else.

2. Choose the right location.

So many times we’ve seen people fall into the trap of renting a space because it’s cheap. Really consider things like your neighbours. Other shops or cafes are good for your business: they bring traffic and healthy competition.

Consider also foot traffic, car parking, day and night trade, weekend activity.

3. Check Planning Approval.

This is something often not even known about, but check before you sign up to see if the premises has Council Approval to operate a café or restaurant.

4. Establish your Brand.

Spend some time with people who know how to market your “product” and to establish your identity. A brand is much more than a logo, so spend time focusing on the unique features of your business and how you want to be seen. Get some professional advice. It will be worth it.


5. Know Who Your Competitors Are.

We mentioned that neighbours are good, well, get to know what they offer and do something different, or better, or more attractive. And where else does your competition lie? Find out everything about them.

6. Think about your intended income.

There will be long hours, not so many holidays, and often not much income to start. Make sure you have a buffer amount to see you through the start-up period and beyond.

7. Get your equipment sorted.

So often, it’s one of the last things to think of, but costs of equipment are considerable, so make sure your budget has allowed for it. Make sure also, that you give your design/fitout team the specifications to include in the design before they start.

8. Find a reputable team of shopfitters to plan and build our fitout.

Making sure that they know about access codes, extraction of fumes, electrical requirements, food serving rules and so on.

9. Make sure the plans are approved by a Certifier before you build.

You must operate with approvals. Your fitout team will know about this.

10. Get a Food licence.

Essential. Contact your local Council and arrange for a Food Licence. They will inspect the premises and give approval for you to serve and sell food. We blogged about this recently – Check out our tips in the recent post.

And off you go!


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