Having the right resources makes managing a business a whole lot easier, especially when it comes to a fully-functioning busy coffee shop.
UK consumers are set to spend over £4 billion on coffee in 2020, with over 25,000 outlets across Britain. Despite lockdown and the Coronavirus pandemic, the coffee shop market is growing rapidly and British consumers seem to enjoy a good cup of coffee no matter what the circumstances. As coffee shop managers, it can be easy to fall into the day-to-day management of the shop instead of the business itself. That’s why we wanted to put together some great resources to help both new and veteran coffee shop managers get on top of business.
Is your coffee shop still relatively new? Are you thinking of doing a redo? Either way, having a good business plan in place is a good way to help keep your business on track, have a plan and feel confident about the future.
Here are some good business plan templates to get started with:
Having a business plan will help you stand out from your competition as well as help you gain funding from bankers and investors. You can make your business plan as short or as long as you wish – and don’t worry if there are adjustments over time.
Getting the right equipment and supplies can be a bit of a headache at first. But if you get the right advice and do a bit of due diligence, you’ll know what equipment to get and which suppliers to buy from. Here are a few websites with some great resources to help you get the correct equipment for your coffee shop:
CoffeeGeek is one of the most well-known and useful websites out there for coffee lovers and coffee shop owners. They have essential guides that include how to buy an espresso machine, a guide to milk frothing and consumer reviews on coffee equipment. If you’re new to coffee equipment and supplies, make sure to bookmark this site for future reference.
Once you have a list of the items you want to buy, it’s time to head to the shops! Nisbets is one of the many catering suppliers where you can do all your coffee shop equipment shopping in one go. You’ll find everything from crockery, to coffee machines, to disposables and clothing. Their delivery service makes it easy to purchase from the comfort of your coffee shop.
Bidfood is a coffee shop wholesaler in the UK that supplies food and drinks. They will deliver coffee beans, some equipment and all the snacks you can dream of. They also offer support when it comes to managing menus, consumer insights and even Covid-19 specific support to coffee shop owners who need it.
If you’re looking to offer the best customer experience in a practical and convenient way, an online ordering system is a great tool. This system allows customers to order your coffee and pay from their phone, without having to download an extra app or pay at the counter. Using an app for card payments is a great way to stand out from competition and follow government guidelines.
Want to dive a little deeper into coffee shop management? In this book, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (three times UK Barista Champion) goes through all the essentials of managing a coffee shop. This includes everything from how to roast beans, manage suppliers and brew and taste coffee. He also covers hundreds of coffee styling techniques along with some beautiful illustrations. A good book to help you take your day-to-day coffee shop management to the next level.
Although demand for coffee is growing, so is competition. New coffee shops are opened every few months in the UK, making it harder and harder to stand out. However, with the right branding and marketing tactics your coffee can easily outsmart competition.
Some examples of using branding to stand out are: specialising in one kind of coffee (Ethiopian?), sticking to a theme (cat cafe 🐈), offering specific types of products (vegan cupcakes 🧁) and implementing a unique kind of decor. If you’re new to branding and marketing, we’ve put together a few resources to help you get started:
The Way to Coffee is a website managed by Resi, a fellow coffee nerd. Her blog article offers some seriously great tips on how to manage and market your coffee shop. She outlines a process to help you define your branding strategy and find ways to help your coffee shop stand out. As she says:
“Customers are paying for your coffee, but they are also paying for your brand, the ambience and the way you make them feel.”
Her website offers some additional advice on how to make your coffee shop a great place to work, increase your social media following and even get on a coffee city guide!
In this article by Brand My Cafe, the author explains why your coffee brand is not just the identity of your coffee shop but also the product. The quality of your branding is just as important as the quality of your product, which is why it pays to put in effort into your branding strategy. As they say, you could have the perfect cup of coffee, but if you don’t do the marketing it’ll be hard to get the word out there. The article covers some good marketing tips including social media management, logo creation and community building.
This book has been named the “barista’s bible”. The book is written in a conversational tone that makes it easy and fun to read. David Schomer explains the behind-the-scenes to coffee preparation, the mechanics behind espresso machines and the intricacies of coffee culture. To those coffee shop managers who want to learn how to make beautiful looking cups of coffee, this is book is a must-have.
For general tips and tricks, we’ve found a few fun resources to help with coffee shop management:
This is a Youtube channel run by an Australian couple who own their own cafe. Their videos feature them managing their coffee shop, product reviews on specific equipment and even some great accounting tips. They offer entertaining videos that will also teach you a thing or two about coffee.
For those who prefer listening rather than watching (or both!), the I Brew My Own Coffee podcast is an interesting and entertaining way to learn more about the industry. The host, Brian Beyke interviews industry experts, World Brewers champions and coffee shop owners about how to make a perfect cup of coffee, cold coffee preparations and many other relevant topics on coffee.
If you like a good magazine and could use some industry-relevant decor for your cafe, the Roast Magazine could be a great purchase. The magazine is sent out twice per month and includes coffee industry news, tips for coffee shop owners and reviews on products.
This book is another fun and essential read for coffee shop owners. In the book, Colin talks about his own experience building and growing his coffee shop based in Dublin. The story describes his humble beginnings in his coffee cart all the way to the grand establishment his coffee shop currently is. He offers some great insights on pricing, marketing and overall coffee shop management.
Interested in meeting other coffee geeks? Or want to meet other coffee shop owners and exchange resources and tips? Here are some great networking resources:
The CoffeeGeek forum is a great corner of the CoffeeGeek website; the forum is very active and is a bustling online community for those who want to talk about all things coffee. The website has some great guides and resources, and it’s likely you’ll find some fellow coffee geeks in your area!
The BCA is the official organisation that promotes and supports everything to do with the UK coffee industry. It manages the coffee trade relationship with politicians, regulators and the media. If you’re considering getting more involved with the trade, attending BCA events is a great place to meet like-minded people!
If you’re thinking of taking your coffee shop global or are simply interested in how coffee works in other areas of the world, the WCA is a great website and community to expand your horizons. They have a great Youtube channel about coffee and a lot of content on how to make your coffee more sustainable. They also host events all around the world, where you get to meet influencers, brand owners, industry leaders and various coffee geeks and fans.
Having the right resources, tools and community can make a large difference when it comes to managing a business.. We know day to day management can be a bit hectic in a coffee shop – that’s why we offer tools to help business owners accept payments easily and manage customer orders efficiently. We hope these resources are useful for you and your coffee shop!