Do You Need Qualifications to Open a Cafe or Coffee Shop?

The coffee shop industry presents some great opportunities, but just how easy is it to break into?

On the whole, the main requirements for any up-and-coming coffee shop owner are a passion for coffee and a never-ending enthusiasm to strive for success. If you have the funding and the right attitude, opening a coffee shop can be relatively accessible for entrepreneurs – especially if you are considering going down the coffee franchise route.

The advantages of franchising

What Qualifications Do You Need to Open a Coffee Shop?

There are no specific qualifications you need to open a coffee shop.

However, there are certain areas of expertise you’ll need to develop to ensure you understand all the elements that go into running a successful business. While not required by any governing body, it would certainly help if you took courses on:

  • General business and bookkeeping
  • Management
  • Marketing and branding
  • Catering
  • Food hygiene

A good knowledge of coffee and the kinds of products your coffee shop would offer is also key. Experience with customer service and general barista skills are vital, too, as they are the everyday factors that keep your business going. Without this practical knowledge, you won’t have a complete view of what will contribute to the success of your store.

Do You Need a Licence to Sell Coffee?

Despite not necessarily requiring specific qualifications, there are various licences and permissions you may need to obtain when setting up any business in the UK. To sell food and drinks, you must be registered with your local authority as a food business. After registering as a food business, you will receive a food hygiene rating from the council.

Another aspect you must be aware of before selling coffee to the general public is whether your premises has the appropriate planning usage for a cafe or coffee shop. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to apply for a Premises Licence. If you want to expand your store to include outdoor seating, you will also need a Pavement Licence.

Obtaining the various licences and knowing which are necessary is much easier if you are opening a coffee shop as part of a franchise as opposed to an independent startup. Your franchisor will be able to guide you through the necessary processes and ensure no details are left out when setting up a new store.

Two people drinking coffee outside a coffee shop

Do You Need Qualifications to Buy a Franchise?

If you think investing in a franchise is right for you, you may be wondering about what kind of requirements you’ll need to fulfil. Again, for the most part, you likely won’t need a specific qualification to become a franchise partner – although this will largely depend on which franchise you want to partner with, as some may have more extensive requirements than others.

Many franchisors will have their own training programmes you can undertake where they’ll teach you about the specifics of the business and give advice on how you can find success.

Even if you don’t have any franchising experience, if your values align with the franchise, you could be the ideal candidate. We are always looking for new franchisees who share our vision and want to develop a store of their own in the UK. If you’d like to find out more about buying an Esquires franchise, head over to our FAQs page.

Frequently asked questions

Financial Qualifications

However, ensuring you have the right financial qualifications is a must. Without the necessary capital, your franchise application and new store just won’t be viable. Investing in a franchise means investing in a partnership, and you need to show your franchisor that you are serious about developing a thriving business. Franchise costs, fees and financial requirements will vary significantly depending on the industry and brand.

How to Open a Coffee Shop

So, you don’t need specific qualifications to open a coffee shop, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a lot of hard work. There are several key steps that’ll characterise your coffee shop journey:

  • Develop a coffee shop business plan
  • Secure a coffee shop location
  • Perfect your coffee shop interior design
  • Obtain the right coffee shop equipment
  • Consider the food and drinks you’ll serve
  • Hire excellent baristas and staff
  • Develop efficient operational systems
  • Market your store ready for opening

You can read more about each of these steps and how the Esquires team can make the process run smoothly in our new cafe checklist.

How to open a coffee shop

Not just anyone can be a great coffee shop owner, but if you’re passionate about making amazing coffee and want to cater to your community, you’re already headed in the right direction!

If you’re ready to embark on a new coffee-fuelled adventure and are confident in your entrepreneurial abilities, apply for an Esquires Coffee franchise today.