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Running a successful coffee shop: What is the secret?

Coffee shop success tips

Creating a place where people meet for coffee regularly is the dream, at least for those who run a cafe. So, what is the secret to standing out amongst the big chains and attracting a regular clientele? In my opinion, the most important thing is passion.

Unveiling the secret

What do I mean by passion? I mean, the drive to succeed as a company, yes, but something much deeper. A love of coffee.

That means many things. It involves enjoying a brew that is satisfying and comforting. It also means getting excited by the prospect of a cup of Joe. But even more than that, it means doing your research into what makes a coffee shop successful and wanting to be the most popular local spot.

Let’s talk next about how to channel your passion into a coffee shop that people continue to come to, enjoy, and that brings in a profit.

Great training

While you’re a coffee lover and have the drive to succeed, does your team share these characteristics? If you work with those who are similar in this regard, there is more likely to be a popular coffee shop!

If you’re unsure where to start, investing in training makes sense. It can be about more than the skills of making coffee too. Also, focus on explaining the company’s objectives and share your enthusiasm for the yummy beverage. Another important part of training is great customer service.

While you might assume baristas and counter staff know the basics of giving good service to those who walk into your cafe, that’s not necessarily the case. Go over the main principles with your employees, including any managers. Consider having a refresher workshop too if they do not seem to be grasping everything.

By the way, educating yourself is also important! Perhaps you will go back to school to learn more about how to be a successful business owner, for example.

Do your homework

What is the closest coffee shop to your location known for? Once you have the answer, make it a point to set yourself apart from it in some way. Doing so can help you appeal to a slightly different audience and carve out your own niche.

Also, stay in the know on coffee industry trends. Keeping your pulse on what is important to customers can help you stay ahead of the competition.

You’ll also want to spend time researching what to expect financially, in terms of what to spend and how much you’ll have to make to turn a profit. When buying or leasing a property for your coffee shop, a commercial real estate lawyer like Kazmi Law can be a valuable resource.

Signing a leasing agreement or purchase document is a major step for any business and the last thing you want is for it to have errors. Get a professional eye looking at it with you.

Invest in quality equipment

How can you make quality coffee without the right equipment? Also, if you skimp on the basics, how can you magically expect to make an amazing brew?

While it is an investment, quality equipment is worth it if you want to be known as a brand that has delicious coffee and does not skimp on its customers. Of course, brewing devices are the main thing.

Which type to get depends on what your specialties will be. If espresso is on the menu, look for professional machines from top brands.

You might also consider a self-service commercial coffee machine. It can have a longer life than automatic drip coffee makers and be easier to maintain too.

What about grinding the coffee? While it’s tempting to just get a standard grinder, it likely won’t be able to keep up with the demand, even if your cafe is fairly new. An industrial coffee grinder is your best bet as some can grind as much as five pounds of beans in only minutes.

These are only some of the equipment considerations.


Ah, yes. You open the coffee business and only a few people trickle in each week. Don’t give up!

Stay determined to turn a profit. This one is easier when you remember why you opened the coffee shop in the first place. It all goes back to passion, right?!

It may help to visualize where you see yourself in the next one, five, and ten years. Having goals and planning the steps to achieve them will help you stick with growing the company. Cheers to great coffee and an amazing future for your business!

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