Cafés are now mushrooming at a superfast pace. You must have observed cafés around you, occupied either on the corners or on the boulevard, either on the main road or adjusted somewhere in midst of commercial shops. You see them all around you, either big or small.
What made me always wonder is, with the competition that lies on each road of the city, what is it that makes a café worth the visit? What goes behind those occupied tables? Is it the interiors, food, prices or service?
Being a foodie and a big time coffee addict, I always aspired to open up my own place. There is no secret mantra to open a successful café, just a few key points to help you sail through while setting it up:
- Find a good Location.
- Choose a cool Name for the café.
- Get all the required Licenses. (Food Business Operator License, Shop & Establishment Act License, Service Tax Registration, Trademark Registration, VAT & Fire Department Registration, etc.)
- Study your competition.
- Choose an Architect or Interior Designer to get the look and feel of the café correct.
- Purchase your Kitchen and Servicing equipment like coasters, plates, trays, coffee mugs, glasses, mats, etc. All can be custom made to suit your design plan.
- Plan your Food & Beverage Menu.
- Hire all necessary staff for kitchen, bar and customer service. Decide a dress code. I had banked on Gingercrush.com for all our custom supplies from t-shirts to tableware.
- Conduct a food and drink Tasting Session with the whole team.
- Do a Trial Run serving friends & family before opening for public.
- Prior to opening, you can have Standee & Poster with your café name & location at popular places where you will get highest visibility and footfall.
If you’ve started or managed a café before, this process will be lot easier. If you are a first timer, it would be a good idea to hire a Manager who comes with the necessary knowledge to set systems, train staff and get the café opened.
Register with Zomato, Trip Advisor, Just Dial to get more visibility and customer review.
Once you are open for business, it’s time to get on Social Media. Use the platform to engage your customers, share images of your café, post about new additions in the menu. Organize small events at the café like tambola night, karaoke night, have small band performance and put an open invitation on social media.
As I believe, “an engaged customer is a repeat customer.”
Wishing you a super opening!!