SKiNNY iN THE DiP: How to Open a Coffee Bar
Since I was a kid, I had this weird obsession with cafe’s and coffee bars. I had a journal with a list of 10 goals when I was 8 and #3 was:
"I want to drink coffee in a French cafe."
I literally meant Paris, France. Well, 9 years later I was sitting in the Cafe de Paris on some side street near Notre Dame sipping on my Parisian Cappuccino.
Since then, I’ve turned myself into some sort of a coffee snob. I’m not the kind that NEEDS it in the a.m. to get my day started with a good buzz, but it’s a ritualistic kind of moment of solitude before my day starts. I traveled to Brazil, Austria, France, and Italy, tasting the best cafe latte, cappuccini, espresso, and cafe americano to find what REAL coffee should taste like and be served. Not to mention the charming cafe ambience, style, and set up.
Anyway, I want to open up my own euro cafe. I currently reside in Honolulu, Hawaii and with the rates of 70,000 tourists daily, I’d like to appeal to those European or American sophisticates with a charming and quality cafe.
Entrepreneur.com tells me how:
1. Business Plan
Differentiate self from competitors. Coffee is high volume, low transaction business, and start up costs can rack up if you’re not careful. Verse yourself in frugal financing for start-ups.
Easy access for customers, especially in the morning. Know what your customer wants and needs, food and iced drinks. Negotiate the hell out of a lease.
Layout, music, decor, furniture, customer flow, and even equipment behind the coffee bar, every little detail matters.
Partner with vendors and roasters who have similar missions and are willing to provide support. Train and retrain the right employees, this can make or break the operation. People who love coffee, are educated about all the products, and fit your cafe image.
“It’s very important to have a true passion for coffee,” Milletto.