Coffee shops or street cafes are quite popular in the US and other developed nations in the world. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages, used by around 64% of adults in America to fuel the economy. It was also historically used as a sign of patriotism during the rebellion. Being a popular on-demand commodity, it is natural for many coffee shops and cafes to come up in different places. Running a street café would be the most popular business, but there are several aspects to consider if you want a successful café.
Street cafes are so popular today for obvious reasons. The cool factor is undeniable whenever you walk into a coffee shop. The intimate atmosphere coupled with background music, a mix of unique customers reading a book, browsing on their laptops of catching up, makes cafes exceptional hangouts, not just for those seeking to quench their caffeine thirst. The characteristics of a coffee house environment make it an ideal location to relax, grab a bite, work, read, or have a nice time. Although coffee shops traditionally offered coffee as the main product, they have evolved to include lunch-size menus and also have bonus perks such as free WI-FI, open mic and trivia nights, among others. A street café may be a typical coffee shop with all these elements or an enterprise run from a coffee bike. If you opt for the latter, make sure you choose reputable bicycle manufacturers known for the best coffee bikes in town.
As aforementioned, coffee is a highly demanded product and the coffee shop environment also attracts various groups of customers that you can serve with other products and services. Like any other business, a street café has its milestones, but you can still make a significant profit. There are many successful street cafes and their low startup requirements mean anyone can start a street coffee. Nonetheless, you must have a comprehensive business plan that covers all the critical areas, including a budget, supply, competition, legal licenses and profitability, among others. Without a business plan, it isn't very easy to successfully launch and run a street café. Additional benefits of starting a street coffee cart business include:
Low startup costs – a coffee bike is way cheaper to set up compared to traditional brick and mortar coffee shops. You can get ready-to-go models in as little as $6,000, which is significantly low.
Growing trend – coffee carts are a growing trend and the coffee business industry is also expanding. Many connoisseurs would instead get high-quality coffee and forgo the tasteless vending machine.
Big profit margins – the gross profit of the coffee business is almost 90%, which is why many companies are rushing towards the industry. No other product comes close to mimicking this profitability.
Flexibility – you can run a street coffee business part-time, in a park, or the evenings outside a club. The mobile nature of coffee carts draws many who can easily fit this type of venture around their lifestyle.
There is no peak and low season – some products are seasonal, so you can only sell them when they are on demand. Coffee is an all-year-round product with no low seasons, so you can make a steady profit every day.
If you are looking to start your street café business, you will require a few things. Of course, a business plan is essential as it details everything about your venture. However, it would help if you also had the following.
A coffee bike or cart – If you prefer a mobile coffee business, you can purchase a ready-to-go cart that includes the coffee makers and other basic installations or even customize your own. Make sure you choose high-quality carts from reputable bicycle manufacturers. You should also make it distinct and attractive. Ensure you have all the necessary installations on your coffee bike.
Legal licenses – As a small business, it is recommendable to incorporate your venture into a legitimate business entity like an LLC. This protects you from suffering personal liabilities when the business is sued. It is also essential to have all the required business licenses before launching your street café. You can look up the regulations in your area as well as those you intend to serve.
Wide variety of high-quality coffee – Since most coffee lovers are loyal customers with distinct preferences, you should offer a wide range of coffee in your street café. More importantly, you need the skill and ingenuity to brew amazing refreshing coffee to earn the loyalty of your customers. Choose some infamous coffee varieties and brands, especially those famous in the local area you are serving.
Skilled personnel and supply chain – It is recommendable to hire assistance for your street café. You will need handy help, marketing services, web design, order and delivery handling, among others. The supply chain is another crucial aspect. You should find reputable suppliers that can guarantee quality and affordability. Some of the supplies you will need to include straws, pins, snacks, lids, napkins, plates and cups.
Running a street café – Launching a successful street café is all about finding your area's legal requirements. This includes street vending regulations and commissary requirements. It would help if you also spent considerable time researching your target market, location, competition, menu and pricing as well as marketing strategies. It is also critical to define your vision, goals and objectives in the early stages. A street café does not entail much once you have the basics in place. As such, it is essential to launch your business are as soon as you can. Make sure you hire skillful personnel that can consistently prepare delicious coffee and inspires customer loyalty.
Street cafes are prevalent in developed regions and starting one is relatively cheaper and easier than most businesses. You can even franchise the business and have several cafes in different places. Nevertheless, a lot goes into starting any venture. Whether you are interested in a brick and mortar coffee shop or prefer the mobile coffee cart, make sure you have adequate insight and resources to facilitate the launch.