Great cafes combine exceptional coffee, a welcoming environment, and delectable treats to snack on while relaxing. The cafe is a low-risk business model with lower start-up costs and overhead than larger restaurants, but carving a niche for your cafe in the market and charting a path to success are critical considerations. There’s probably another cafe nearby, so how will you stand out? That’s why you need a cafe business plan. 

How to Write a Cafe Business Plan?

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The steps below will show you how to create a business plan that will help your cafe succeed.

Begin with Your Vision

A business plan is the first step toward making your cafe-ownership dream a reality, so dream big by sketching out your vision for your future cafe or coffee shop. What will the design of your cafe be? What kind of decorations will be used? What will its location be? Which items are you planning to sell? Who will go there? 

Take inspiration from your favorite cafes, images you’ve seen, favorite films or books, and even your travels. Then write it all down or pin it to a wall to make an inspirational mood board. It will be extremely motivating to look up at your initial vision and be reminded of the finish line as you spend hours working on your business proposal about coffee shop.

Research on Other Business Plans

Before you start writing your masterpiece, look at business plans from your industry, such as cafes, coffee shops, and quick-service restaurants. Examine how they structured their business and ensure that your cafe is on the right track.

Real-life cafe business plan examples from small business owners are also extremely valuable. Find current or former coffee shop owners, or even franchise owners, in your area and ask them how they succeeded and what they would do differently. 

While you’re at it, ask for recommendations for someone like an accountant to help you write your coffee business plan. Even if your future competitors are local business owners, they may be willing to share their experiences.

Creating a Business Plan Template

A blank page can be intimidating, but there are numerous cafe business plan samples available online to assist you in getting started. Below already outlined the basic sections you should include in your business plan below, along with additional tips on how to flesh each one out.

The Executive Summary

When a reader opens your business plan, the executive summary will be the first thing they see. This provides a high-level overview of all of your business plan’s sections. A well-written executive summary coffee shop will get you in the door, so read an example of business plan about coffee shop to get a sense of how the summary is worded and how all of the information is presented. There are a lot of cafe description samples to help you.

Consider who will read your business plan and tailor the opening paragraphs to your audience, just as you did for the customers who will visit your soon-to-be-opened cafe. Your executive summary is the most important marketing tool your cafe has as you prepare to open.

Read also: 3 Social Media Marketing Tools to Help Your Campaign Succeed

How will Your Cafe be Successful?

The second section provides answers to questions such as “What problem does your cafe solve?” and “How will your cafe contribute to the solution?” Perhaps there isn’t a coffee shop or cafe in a busy shopping center near you. Perhaps a downtown restaurant has recently closed.

This summary gives a quick overview of your industry, where your cafe will be located, and how it will stand out. Will your airport-area shop specialize in breakfast sandwiches? Do you want to sell your famous local pie? You’ve envisioned the success of your future cafe. Make certain that the readers of your business plan understand this as well.

Examine Your Competition

The following section of your business plan is known as the competitive analysis. It explains how your cafe will compete with other food and beverage businesses. Your competitors include nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and even public gathering places such as movie theaters. So now is the time to conduct competitor analysis coffee shop by visiting potential competitors and noting who their customers are, what’s for sale, and how much it costs.

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Understanding pricing strategies for similar businesses will help you determine how much you should charge for your coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and whatever else you’re selling in order to remain competitive in your market. Cafes and coffee shops can have high gross margins, but small cafes have notoriously low operating incomes (profits) due to high overhead costs.

However, if you take the time to conduct a thorough analysis of your competition, your cafe will have a better chance of success. By describing how your cafe will compete with similar businesses, you will persuade your reader (and, more importantly, yourself) that your goal of opening a restaurant or cozy cafe is both realistic and sustainable.

Examine Your Target Market

Your future customers are known as your market in your business plan, the number of potential customers is known as your market size, and how you’ll reach them is known as your marketing plan.

In your cafe or restaurant business plan, you will then divide your market into market segments. If your coffee shop or cafe is near an elementary school, for example, a market segment could be parents or caregivers who stop by for high-end coffee after dropping their children off at school. Or college students sipping espresso while studying for exams.

You can zero in on how to reach each type of customer by segmenting your market. As part of your market analysis coffee shop, your marketing plan (how you will advertise to your target market) will be outlined in your business plan.

What You Intend to Sell and How You Intend to Sell It

Now that you know what your competitors charge, you can develop a pricing strategy for your cafe. Be clever when developing your menu and pricing. Because you’ll be buying in bulk, try to use the same ingredients in a variety of dishes. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you charge less for a croissant and coffee combo than for those items separately, you will encourage customers to buy more and reduce food waste. You’ll almost certainly end up changing your menu once you open for business. 

However, for the purposes of a business plan, you’ll need to know how much you intend to charge for the coffee or soup you intend to sell, which you’ll figure out by breaking down the ingredients required to make each item and researching your competition.

Make a Marketing Strategy

Your marketing plan can be integrated into your sales plan or a separate section. Will you post your specials on social media every morning? In addition to marketing, this is a great section to explain your plans for customer retention. It’s easier than ever to reward and keep the customers who will frequent your cafe with a cafe point of sale system.

Read also: 6 Examples Marketing Mix Example Coffee Shop Business

Structure of Ownership

Your company’s ownership structure will be included in your business plan. Explain how much experience you and your partners have and why you’re the right person (or people) for the job.

Your Business Strategy

Include information about your facilities, employees, equipment, and supplies in this section. Consider the direct costs of rent, barista wages, coffee beans, and technology. Try to squeeze as many services as you can out of a single tool, such as a POS system that allows your customers to check out, your part-time employees to clock in, and your cafe’s inventory to be managed.

Estimate how frequently you’ll need to replenish ingredients like flour and eggs. Consider your operating costs carefully during the business planning stage. Wherever possible, save money and don’t skimp on essentials like your espresso machine.

Planning Your Finances

You are now ready to create a financial plan coffee shop. This is typically the most time-consuming and crucial section of your business plan, particularly for lenders and investors. It should contain a summary of your startup costs, an income statement, projected cash flow, a balance sheet, and a break-even analysis.


Though creating a business plan may appear difficult, keep in mind that it is an important step to take before opening a cafe. A cafe can be successful is proven by a well-thought-out business plan.

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