How to open a coffee shop from scratch in 2022: step-by-step instructions

Before opening, you need a business plan. You will need to solve a number of questions before you invest the money. From this will depend on the profitability, revenue, the success of each step.

What’s better – opening a coffee shop from scratch or a franchise

It is worth buying a franchise when you are not sure that you will be able to launch such a complex project. Well-known brands offer ready-made solutions, marketing programmes, specific suppliers, special prices for ingredients, and business training.

But franchising requires an additional investment in the form of a lump sum. The business will be opened under a specific brand banner, not your own.

What kind of coffee shop to open

Format is the first thing you have to choose. There are many types. Each has its own pros and cons and costs.

  • Full format. A freestanding building or an island in the mall, seating, stylish individual design.
  • Coffee to go. 3-6 square metres without seating. Simple design.
  • Mobile option. Car equipped with a coffee machine and outlet counter. A coffee shop on wheels (food truck) used for street vending at events.
  • Self-service coffee shop. Vending machine equipped with a stylish counter with syrups that visitors add to drink, terminal for bank cards. No vendor is required.

Defining the concept of a coffee shop

Once you have decided on the format, you need to draw up a concept for your establishment. You need to have a clear idea of its entire operation. To do this, answer the questions:

  1. Who are you? Your positioning in the market. What your business is. It may be a pastry shop, or a modern stylish lounge with signature drinks, or a classic establishment.
  2. What do you do? Your product and how it’s made. Is it bought in off-the-shelf, is it made in-house. Whether it’s just coffee or desserts to go with it. If you buy baked goods, from whom.
  3. For whom? Identifying your target audience. What kind of people they are, what income they have, what they like and at what time. How many cups of coffee they drink. Whether they take other products than drinks. Whether they buy to go or eat locally. A detailed portrait will allow you to work out a model and define the product matrix. Potential customers can be divided into several groups according to their priorities.

Choice of location. Where to open a coffee shop

The choice of location depends on the format of your establishment. So under the “coffee with you” suitable for the majority of locations – from the underground entrances to office centres. Full-fledged formats should run in large shopping centers, or crowded streets.


Interior and exterior design play an important role. Attracts the attention of visitors, leaves an impression, forms a desire to return.


You need a coffee machine. A semi-automatic one is good to start with. It’s cheaper. Choose a coffee machine by boiler capacity, warranty period, availability of accessories, prices. Consider renting the equipment.

  • Refrigeration
  • Microwave
  • Washbasin


For smaller variants, one or two staff members working in shifts to take care of barista and waiter duties will suffice.

A standard establishment with seating would require:

  • barista
  • waiter
  • cleaner

Coffee purchase. Suppliers

It is advisable to work with more than one producer. This avoids the risk of missing deadlines by itself.

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