Checklist for Opening a Café

Many things go into opening a successful coffee shop before that first day. Discover our basic checklist, including tips for staff, space and organisation here!

There are few moments in your career that are as exciting as that first morning as a store owner. Stood outside your very own shop at the heart of your neighbourhood, with the keys in your hand, ready for a day of rewarding work doing what you love – we reckon there’s no better feeling. Your Esquires Coffee store will become a pillar at the centre of your community and you’ll be energised to wake up every day knowing that visiting your store is a key part of your customer’s daily lives.

But before day-one of your dream job can begin, there are lots of considerations and decisions to be made to make sure you and your store are ready to open to the public. We’ve pulled together 7 steps to opening your own coffee franchise or shop, to give you an idea of the preparation required, safe in the knowledge that our Esquires Coffee team are there to support you every step of the way.

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1. Store site

The first step of course, is to decide where your shop will be. This major first step is something your franchisor should provide an extensive amount of support with. Once you have your site, you need to familiarise yourself with the space and really get to know it, so that you can start planning what you will need to turn it into a cool, comfortable coffee shop.

An aerial view of a large coffee shop

2. Décor

Once you’ve understood your space, you can begin to have fun with decorating your dream coffee store, something that we work with you closely on to ensure that it has just the right amount of an Esquires Coffee look and feel. The look is a vital part of the shop’s creation, as it will give a message to would-be customers about what you stand for and why they should pick you over the competition. This will make sure your customers recognise it as part of the Esquires franchise but ensure that it also feels customised to its neighbourhood.

3. Equipment

Our experience has taught us the best industry-leading equipment you will need to keep up with your day-to-day productivity, and we know the best machines to install to ensure they last the test of time. There is also a whole range of other items required to get your store up and running, such as food displays, refrigerated storage and recycling waste solutions, to name a few, all of which we can support you with.

Someone pouring coffee from a coffee machine

4. Ingredients

While reliable equipment is vital, it is your ingredients that will leave a lasting impact on your potential 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. At Esquires, we use the finest coffee beans whilst all our ingredients are Fairtrade and locally sourced wherever possible. We try and support other local businesses wherever we can, too. Take a look at our other blog to discover what it means to be an ethically-focused coffee shop.

5. Staff

If you want your café to be the vibrant and bustling location of your dreams, then you’ll need a great team at hand 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. Well-motivated and trained staff members will support you in making this happen. 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.

6. Organising Systems

Being well organised is vital for the long-term success of your coffee shop. Therefore, 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! Thankfully, Esquires help all their franchisees with this side of their operations too.

7. Marketing and PR

Promoting yourself in the local community is essential, to make sure that everyone knows you’re there, ready and willing to serve your customers great food and coffee. This can be done with activity such as a launch event, in-store promotion or offering review visits to local press. Again, this is something our PR and marketing teams can support you with, so you’re never left to navigate this alone.

Fashionable seating outside a coffee shop in a walkway

With the expert guidance and support we provide every step of the way, it’s no surprise that more people are deciding to join an established coffee franchise such as Esquires Coffee. When you choose to open a store with us, you will get all the benefits and business experience of an established market leader, while also being treated as an independent coffee shop at the heart of your community with sustainability at its heart. With our support, that opening day will soon feel a lot closer!

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