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Coffee Shop Owners Need Business Education, Not Just Barista Training

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Coffee Shop Owners Need Business Education, Not Just Barista Training

Do you need barista training or coffee business training? 

While many of the students who come to our classes are taking their first step into entrepreneurship, some are already experienced business owners in other industries. Often, aspiring coffee shop owners with previous business experience or an MBA want to bypass coffee business training because they feel they already know how to run a business. They would rather just jump right into barista training and coffee education. If this is you, keep reading!

We understand, you’ve got a solid business background already in place. But we also understand that owning a coffee business is unlike owning any other type of business. What many do not realize is there are many aspects that are unique to only this type of business. Would you rather learn the easy way, or the hard (and expensive) way? Let’s face it, there is no such thing as being too wise, or too prepared when you are about to spend the kind of money it takes to launch and grow a successful coffee business. Trust us, you will want as much insider info as you can get!

Is barista training or coffee education enough to make a coffee shop owner successful? To put it plainly, no. Even the most experienced business person can save critical amounts of time and money by taking our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class (which includes comprehensive barista training, too). 

In our business class, our teachers put a step-by-step roadmap to opening a coffee shop in our students’ hands. We cover everything from creating a coffee business concept and business plan, to building out the coffee shop with contractors, to a successful opening strategy. We even lay out many of the common roadblocks and show you how to get around them. 

Below are some of the other essential coffee business topics we cover that standard barista training simply doesn’t provide you. The best news? These are the tips our students rave about for years after they open their coffee shops.

A 5-year financial plan for coffee businesses

We provide our students a sample 5-year financial plan that they can adjust based on their own business costs: rent, insurance, equipment, soft goods, and buildout estimate. It’s typical for coffee shops to have a tough first year, then see significant ramp up in year two. 

What does it cost to open a coffee shop? Expenses vary, but here are some general “ballpark figures.” 

  • Mobile Coffee Cart: $25,000 to $35,000 
  • Fixed Coffee Kiosk: $25,000 to $75,000
  • Coffee Truck: $70,000 to $125,000
  • Parking Lot Drive-Thru Shack: $70,000 to $175,000
  • Traditional Sit-Down 1,200 Sq/Ft Coffee Shop: $200,000 to $375,000
  • Small Cafe Style Restaurant Coffee Shop Hybrid: $350,000 to $650,000

How to choose the right coffee shop location, negotiate the lease, and design the store layout

The right location for your coffee shop is a strategic decision that will have a huge impact on the success or failure of the business. You cannot risk making a bad location selection based on surface level research or worse, a gut feeling. 

We recommend considering the following when researching areas: 

  • Traffic patterns
  • Proximity to schools, apartment complexes, hospitals, hair salons, or general shopping
  • Businesses nearby
  • Busy times of day
  • High concentration of your ideal consumer

Once our students find a location, we teach them how to calculate that location’s earning potential against the cost of the rent in order to make their final decision. (We’ve got a template that even does it for you!) Then, we walk through a line by line list of considerations for negotiating the lease that has saved our students thousands of dollars and prevented numerous common business-killing lease mistakes. 

Finally, we teach our students how to design their store layout to create a memorable user experience (and generate revenue). We offer sample layouts and case studies from former students. As experienced coffee business consultants, we know that everything from square footage to furniture choice can impact your bottom line. Having the right information before you get started can be a game changer.

Considerations to make on your coffee shop menu

We give our coffee business students sample menus, recipes, a coffee cost analysis, lists of recommended equipment, and reputable vendors to use. This cuts down on countless hours of research. (NOTE: Here at Texas Coffee School, we purposely do not sell coffee, equipment, or accessories. This way you aren’t paying to come hear a sales pitch under the veil of “coffee business education.” Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for our competitors.)

We also teach how to set effective menu pricing. For example, a lot of coffee shops charge based on what they think a customer will pay for an item, or based on what other coffee shops charge. That can be a recipe for disaster! The prices on a menu shouldn’t be arbitrary. Instead, we teach how keep you cost of goods on budget as it relates to your effective menu pricing. This way you can positively turn a profit on every single item–even as your cost of goods fluctuate. 

If that seems overwhelming, that’s OK! We teach our students an approachable, step-by-step process to calculate menu pricing based on their cost of goods, and we provide tools and resources to simplify the process and to track inventory. 

Barista training is foundational, but coffee business expertise is essential

Our former students have heard us say that serving great coffee just isn’t enough. As a coffee shop, serving excellent coffee is the least you can do. To become truly successful, you need to know how to confidently manage your business, offer an outstanding user experience, plan for future growth, and create a business concept (unique selling proposition) that nobody else is offering your customers. That’s a lot to tackle, but nearly a thousand successful independent coffee shops owned by our former students now all over the world are proof that it can be done. 

Join us for our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class for the most detailed coffee education, business planning, and operations training in the industry.

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