How to Open a Coffee Shop – New Cafe Checklist

As an established coffee franchise in the UK, we know a thing or two about opening a coffee shop or cafe.

Being a coffee store owner is a dream for many entrepreneurs as it’s such a profitable and rewarding industry to be a part of. When you become an Esquires Coffee franchise partner, you get all the freedoms that come with being your own boss while benefiting from our years of expertise and insight into the industry.

Before you can open your doors to the public and start reaping the rewards of building a hub for the community, there are numerous considerations and decisions to be made.

So, how can you open a successful coffee shop?

The franchise business model explained

Opening a Cafe Step-by-Step

These are some of the core aspects you'll need to pay careful attention to to ensure your new cafe opens smoothly: 

  1. Coffee shop business plan
  2. Perfect cafe location 
  3. Coffee shop interior design 
  4. Coffee shop equipment 
  5. Food & drink ingredients and supplies
  6. Staff
  7. Organisational systems
  8. Marketing 

1. Establish a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Before you can start thinking about the specifics concerning the menu or decor, you’ll need to establish a robust business plan. This process will help you hone your goals and outline financial forecasts before making any of the more day-to-day decisions.

Your plan should establish how your coffee shop will function and reflect any considerations for potential weaknesses.

Creating an effective coffee shop business plan and understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing and to what end will help ensure everything is in place for a smooth grand opening.

2. Choose the Perfect Location for Your Coffee Store

When you better understand the market and industry and have secured any necessary funding for your new venture, it’s time to pick the perfect spot for your shop.

If you’re opening the store as an Esquires Coffee franchise, we will support you during this step, helping decide which location would work best.

Once you’ve chosen your site, you need to familiarise yourself with the space and get to know its ins and outs so that you can start planning how to best transform it into a comfortable coffee shop with that independent feel.

A women sitting outside of a coffee shop

3. Coffee Shop Interior Design

Once you’ve got to understand your space, you can begin having fun with decorating.

The design of your coffee shop is vital - it will give would-be customers instant insight into your establishment, what you stand for and why they should pick you over the competition. Decor is also essential for making your store recognisable - something that is particularly important if you are part of a franchise.

Again, the Esquires team will work closely with you to ensure that your store has the right Esquires Coffee look and feel. This means customers will keep coming back to a place where they know they can relax in familiarity and comfort.

4. Coffee Shop Equipment

Your customers are coming to you because, as a leading coffee shop, it’s your job to provide an outstanding brew - which you’ll need all the proper equipment to produce.

Our experience has given us insight into the best industry-leading equipment to ensure you keep up with day-to-day productivity. You’ll want the best machines that’ll stand the test of time.

Aside from coffee machines, there’s also a whole range of other appliances you’ll need to get your stores up and running, including:

  • Coffee grinders
  • Blenders
  • Ovens and toasters
  • Food displays
  • Refrigerated storage
  • Recycling waste solutions
  • Point of sale systems
  • Security systems

We’ll support you when selecting these items and any other equipment you need to get your store up and running.

An espresso machine pouring coffee into a white mug

5. Coffee Shop Food and Drink Ingredients and Supplies

While reliable equipment is vital, it is your ingredients and menu that will leave a lasting impression on your customers and keep them coming back for more.

Similarly to your coffee shop’s décor, the ingredients you choose need to be a reflection of your values and a reason to visit your location over others. More than ever, the modern consumer is concerned with the sustainability of their local coffee shop, meaning you need to give careful consideration to the kind of ingredients you use.

At Esquires, we prioritise the finest coffee beans for our drinks and use Fairtrade ingredients and locally-sourced produce wherever possible.

6. Baristas and Coffee Shop Staff

If you want your café to be the vibrant and bustling location of your dreams, then you’ll need an outstanding team to help you make it happen!

From making great coffee and preparing food to keeping the store clean and tidy, there’s a lot that will need to be done on a daily basis. Building a team of skilled, motivated and personable individuals is essential - your baristas will be the beating heart of the shop.

If you choose to join us at Esquires Coffee, we will train both you and your staff to ensure you’re fully prepared to make your new store a great success.

A barista serving a customer

7. Organisational Systems in Your Coffee Shop

Being well organised is an essential trait of any entrepreneur, especially for the busy schedule of a coffee shop owner.

To initiate the road to long-term success, you should make sure that all the necessary systems are set up and working in advance of the big opening day.

This will include keeping track of sales, taxes, staff, ingredients, supply chains and much more! Esquires will help all their franchisees with this side of their operations.

8. Marketing Your Coffee Shop

If you want to make sure everyone in the community knows you’re open for business, you’ll need to promote yourself effectively.

Your initial marketing strategy might include things like a launch event, in-store promotion or offering review visits to local press.

Again, marketing your coffee shop is something the Esquires PR and marketing teams will offer support with throughout the journey, so you’re never left to navigate this additional element of running the store alone.

A man working in a coffee shop with a laptop

Opening a brand new coffee shop can present numerous hurdles to overcome, especially if you’re doing it alone. This is one of the reasons why joining an established coffee franchise like Esquires Coffee can be the ideal solution for potential coffee store owners.

When you choose to open a store with us, you get all the benefits and business experience of an established market leader while also getting the perks of feeling like an independent coffee shop at the heart of your community.

With our support, that opening day will soon feel a lot closer!

Esquires Coffee Frequently Asked Questions