Start Up Checklist

Where to start when opening your first Cafe, Coffee Shop or Tea Room...

  • 1

    Your Why

    You need to find out the real reasons you want to run your own coffee shop, spend some time writing down what your enjoy and what your passions are.

  • 2

    Unique Passion Point

    Work out how your coffee shop will be different and what will make people cross the road and walk in your door

  • 3

    Get some advice

    Buy some books, watch YouTube, talk to some experts. Find a great accountant and a property lawyer and get your funding options sorted out.

  • 4

    Have a business plan

    At this point you may not be able to full complete a business plan but it is important you spend time understanding the key costs and be able to work out your breakeven figure

  • 5

    Find a great location

    The number 1 reason people will visit your coffee shop is its location. It will be a massive factor in your success or failure. The area should reflect the type of customers you want to attract and be congruent with your passion.
    When agreeing a lease or buying a property you need to take the advice of your lawyer, do not even consider signing and not taking professional advice. It could be very, very costly.

  • 6

    Branding and Design

    Your branding will be a reason guests will come through your door, it is a 24/7 advert for your business so should be considered carefully. Your design should reflect your brand and values, a good design should be appealing to your target guests and have built in operational efficiency that will minimise the on going cost of running the business.

  • 7


    Now is the time to develop your menu, costing out all ingredients and agreeing your recipes for everything.

  • 8


    Finding great suppliers is so important, they will support you and advise you for free. They have a vested interest in making your business a success. Choosing the correct equipment for the fit out is really important and your suppliers will help you with making the right choices.
    Choosing a good builder or shop-fitter may take you longer than you think, as you will need quotations and references.

  • 9

    Great People

    Your team will be such a big factor in your success, you will need to take time getting the right people and spend as long as you can to get them to understand your values and the operational systems

  • 10


    Do you borrow from the bank or from friends and family. Do you look for a business partner or investor, and do you buy or lease your equipment

  • 11


    Plan the marketing of your new business, set up your loyalty scheme and get to know other local businesses who will support you.