Yes, you know it already, we Brits do not take only tea anymore, we drink coffee a lot too, so long Mr.Sting, until you rewrite your song.
The number of café has increased and there are no high streets across UK that does not have a Costa or Starbuck franchise waiting to welcome you. The old days of a nice cup of tea in fine bone china at a charming restaurant is being fast replaced by coffee served in disposable paper cups, stuff that you can takeaway with you if you are on the go.
The English way of life is changing, and changing fast to match the fast moving consumer driven world.
Data from startup.co.uk shows that there are around 5000 coffee shop brands and about 5500 independent coffee shops across UK.
The number of independent coffee shops are increasing, perhaps because we prefer our coffee fast and where ever we go.
Yes we need coffee fast and everywhere but that does not mean that we are not conscious about where their coffee is sourced from, how its roasted etc. This has seemingly provided the platform needed by large chains like Costa to operate more than 1400 coffee shops across UK. But again, in the end, since the Brits are divided between quality and convenience, the independent coffee shop market is going to grow too.
If you plan to start your own coffee shop, it is NOW, the £2 billion industry is still far away from saturation.
But, to start is one and to be successful is another story, and to be there you have to consider a few important factors.
1. The first thing to understand is that you are probably not launching your cafe and brand with a budget that makes Starbuck or Costa develop a cold sweat. So be realistic, this is not a get rich quick scheme, coffee is not just business its a passion, and you most probably would be working dawn till dusk, sweat it all day to reach break even, but you know it if you have it in you, it is fun. This is what a start up is all about.
2. Study, study and study, without research you are nowhere, you need to know a lot if you are not already the Magi of the Coffee-dom. You need to not just learn about coffee, you need to find the best possible finance options too.
3. Another important decision is the selection of the premise, the sq.ft area required, and most importantly where? do you want to take a spot around an anchor store in a mall? then the costs are pretty stiff, do you plan to have a corner shop? then plan accordingly. Do you want to go with a full-fledged shop or start with a street corner coffee mobile?
4. Next comes branding, the Brand Name, the Brand Logo and most importantly the cups to serve your coffee in. Do not take people for granted, they won’t come to your cafe unless they are attracted to it for some other reason.
Ignore point no.4 if you are that genius who can brew coffee with an aroma that’s so addictive that next time the City of Hamelin needs to get rid of its rats, they hire you.
5.Cut miscellaneous costs, go minimalist in decor and furnishing initially, and once again, research and estimate the footfall possible in the early days and get the space accordingly.