Tips For Starting A Successful Coffee Shop Business

Starting any business can feel like a monumental task. We want to feel assured that it’ll all be worth it and that the business will be successful! While this isn’t a be-all-end-all guide, here are some tips for a successful coffee shop business!

Master the Basics

First things first! The basis of any products or service based business is quality control and customer service. 

You don’t need to create the next exotic latte flavor trend to be a successful coffee business! Source quality coffee beans from reputable sources and ensure that you and your team are knowledgeable and trained to brew them from bean to cup. Every drink order that goes out should meet your shop’s quality standards. Your customers should be able to rely on a consistent level of quality, and that alone will often be enough for a return visit.

Customer service goes hand-in-hand with your quality control. Customer service is more than just being polite at the cash register. For instance, if an order at first doesn’t meet your quality standards it’s wise to remake so that it does. But while you’re doing so, let your customer know. 

coffee class at texas coffee school barista getting trained

A simple statement like “hey, this drink didn’t meet our standards. We’re remaking it so that you get our best!” goes a long way. It makes the customer feel important and not like they’re just another order number in the line. It preemptively answers any questions about the extra time being taken. And it shows the customer that your shop cares about their experience!

Strong Brand Identity leads to Strong Brand Loyalty

In our classes, we challenge our students to “Find their People.” This is about more than just building a “community,” this is about finding like-minded people and creating a space and a brand they can believe in. Aside from the interior design of your shop, this manifests as your Brand Identity.

Brand Identity may show itself visually, through your logo, graphic design, and merchandise but it goes deeper than that! Your Brand Identity encompasses that feeling and idea that brings your group together. A D&D themed shop should foster a sense of adventure and fantasy. A shop centered around avid readers might create a feeling of comfort and warmth, offering nooks for reading.

A great real world example is Window Seat Coffee. Founders Tom and Kristen loved travel and wanted to capture that feeling of escape in their shop.

“It may come as a surprise, but the idea for Window Seat Coffee was born in the cubicles of a corporate accounting firm. It was during this time in our life that we dreamed of a fresh start and a new adventure. One day, while out on our daily coffee run, it hit us: getting out of the office and taking even a small break was the positive moment we needed to feel refreshed and ready for the rest of the day. We wanted to make that simple, yet relatable, feeling the spirit of our new business. Whether on a quick coffee run, away with the family at the lake, or on an epic trip around the world, we have all experienced the energizing feeling of getting away from it all.”

Window Seat Coffee

At their shop you can hop on a plane and look out its window as you “travel” to a new destination while enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. This brand identity struck a chord with their “people” so much that it played a key role in their shop successfully staying open through the pandemic. 

When sit-down coffee shops were having a huge downturn in sales, Window Seats’ loyal customer base loved the shop so much they made sure to continue their support. And, with restrictions on travel, their unique aesthetic provided an escape for their customers.

Recession Proofing

Being able to adapt is key when times get tough.

Where possible, creating multiple streams of income can be a boon to the success of your shop. Some shops partner with a barber or tattoo concept. Or some bookstores and record shops may bring in a coffee concept to elevate their sales.

Adaptability saved Coffeepreneurs® Jennii and Adrian of Beanstalk Coffee and Sno during the pandemic. After attending Texas Coffee School, the couple incorporated coffee into their menu, with a new location set for an early March 2020 opening. But as we all know, the pandemic swept in and changed everything! For many this was a sink or swim moment. They pivoted to a drive-thru format as every other business shut down. Fortunately, the steady flow of cars in line kept the business afloat through the pandemic.

Jennii and Adrian’s quick thinking and flexibility helped their business not only survive, but thrive. Between the multiple revenue streams from coffee and sno cones and adapting to a drive-thru model, they were able to recession proof!

Beanstalk Coffee and Sno

Do it for more than just the money

We all have to pay the bills! It’s a fact of life. But the key to a successful business is passion. It’s what keeps the brand identity genuine and alive! If you’re only there to make money the lack of passion will always show. 

If this is your passion, combining that with good business sense, will lead to customers picking up on and sharing your passion! To learn more about starting your own coffee business, check out our 3-Day Coffee Business Master Class. View upcoming dates and register to kickstart your Coffeepreneurship® path!

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The Best Coffee Training Available

We’ve helped hundreds of students successfully launch their own coffee shop businesses. Join us in our 5-Star Rated Coffee Classes, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to open a coffee shop, a manager, a barista or home enthusiast looking to sharpen your skills.