Coffee Shop Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Coffee shops come in many forms, with smaller cafes offering a more personal and comfortable feel. What are some of the best interior design techniques to enhance smaller stores?

There’s a lot that goes into opening and running a successful coffee shop franchise, with ensuring your store looks inviting and attracts customers being just one thing to consider.

In this respect, coffee shop design is fundamental as the visuals of your business will give customers an immediate idea of what they can expect from you.

If you’re working with a smaller space, you may feel limited with the design choices you can make. However, this does not have to be the case, as smaller coffee shops have plenty of benefits to work with, including a cosy, more personal-feeling environment.

Find out more about the trends of the UK coffee shop industry

How Do You Attract Customers to Your Coffee Shop?

The coffee shop industry is competitive, so it’s imperative that your store stands out from the crowd.

There are many ways to market your coffee shop, but you must begin with the design. Well-thought-out interior design helps to strengthen your brand image, ensuring you have a consistent look that represents your values and business ethos.

Think about what your customers want and expect from their local coffee shop – what kind of design is going to catch their eye as they walk past, and which interior features are going to keep them coming back to enjoy the space and the coffee again?

Find out more about the importance of coffee shop design.

Some of the most effective coffee shop designs have the perfect blend of style and functionality – something that is especially important for smaller stores that need to make the most of their space.

Small Coffee Shop Interior Design Ideas

Esquires Coffee shops come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with numerous quirky locations that focus on creating cosy interiors perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee.

Which design ideas can you utilise to boost your coffee shop interiors?

Coffee Shop Bars & Benches

Instead of letting narrow spaces go to waste, utilise them with custom bars and accompanying stools to ensure you make the most of the space and give customers a range of seating options.

Consider adding plug sockets to these areas as seating like this lends itself well to remote workers and students who want to work in a social environment.

Bench seating can also achieve a similar effect. If you have larger tables, swapping individual chairs out for one long bench can reduce the space wasted in the gaps.


Versatile Tables

​​While mismatched tables are visually pleasing and offer a more independent feel, it’s a good idea to ensure that the majority of them can be moved around and pushed together.

Not only does this offer you the versatility of various table sizes, but breaking down and moving around tables means you can easily switch up table design to create a fresh feel or make it easier to open up space for events.


Maximise Your Coffee Shop’s Outdoor Space

Offering alfresco dining and outside seating is now more important than ever as businesses take measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Outside seating is not only COVID-friendly, but it also offers you extra seats to cater to as many patrons as possible. Dining outside during the summer months is also popular with customers, so giving this option will help attract more people.

If you don’t have a dedicated outdoor dining space, you’ll need to seek the correct permissions before setting up shop on the pavement outside. New Esquires franchisees are provided with support when acquiring such permissions, along with ongoing training and guidance throughout the journey of opening and running a coffee franchise.


Coffee Shop Lighting Ideas

Lighting has the power to affect our mood and create a certain atmosphere. For the perfect coffee shop ambience, you’ll want to combine the best of both natural light and stylish statement lights.

To ensure your space gets enough natural light, you could incorporate glass-fronted doors, bigger windows and strategically-placed mirrors to bounce light around.

In the areas where natural light falls short, consider using characterful statement lights that show off the uniqueness of your cafe. Pendant lights or exposed bulbs can work particularly well as they look great and create a warm, inviting glow.


Smart Shelving & Storage

Bespoke shelving units designed to fit your space help you utilise vertical space and can be great places to add some finishing touches.

Why not display some of your products or marketing materials on your shelves to tie your theme together? This gives your shop a cohesive yet cosy feel with the bonus of having decorative storage.


Cosy & Rustic Coffee Shop Designs

Coffee itself is, of course, the main attraction of a good coffee shop, but the experience and ambience are just as important. Creating cosy nooks in smaller shops is a great way to cultivate a sense of comfort and relaxation for your customers.

Low seating can help to create the illusion of higher ceilings, and cushions or plush seats will add a decorative feel while also being invitingly comfortable.

Traditional or rustic elements like exposed brickwork, wooden finishes and other natural materials can also enhance feelings of warmth and comfort.


Ultimately, designing smaller coffee shops comes down to making the most of the available space in creative ways that serve to enhance your brand image.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to run a coffee shop, apply for an Esquires Coffee franchise today! With extensive support and the backing of an established brand, getting involved with one of our franchises is a fantastic business venture.

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