So You’re Opening a Coffee Shop…

Coffee Shop sign

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Start-Up Timeline and Checklist for a New Retail Coffee Business

Starting a new business takes time, careful planning, and budgeting. Just figuring out where to begin can be a daunting task!

We’ve put together a rough timeline for those looking to take their first steps in opening your specialty coffee shop:
  1. Coffee Workshops and barista training with the American Barista & Coffee Workshops (we recommend the 5 or 6 day workshop bundle). Please note: this particular step can be done at almost any stage in the process, though it’s a wonderful first step as many of the steps below are discussed in depth during our 5 and 6 day workshops).
  2. Craft Presentation Business Plan and Financial Plan
  3. Sign Lease
  4. Form an LLC or “S” Corp
  5. Open a business checking account at the bank
  6. Finalize logo & business cards & marketing materials
  7. Contract sign company to create new exterior signage and a. Submit signs to landlord for approval and b. Submit signs to planning & zoning for approval
  8. Develop and finalize a menu
  9. Complete Food Service Certification process for state
  10. Obtain insurance
  11. Obtain business licenses
  12. Food/beverage resourcing: a. fill out credit applications with all purveyors, b. establish order and delivery days/times, c. place initial order for products
  13. Select general equipment supplier
  14. Select espresso & coffee equipment supplier
  15. POS company selection
  16. Register for a monthly/annual Retailer subscription with Online Barista Training
  17. Schedule on-site training
  18. Determine staffing needs and a. place ads on the web, b. conduct interviews, c. check references, d. hire most qualified individuals, e. conduct new employee orientation
  19. Initial on-site training
  20. Schedule promotional open house (open house can be a night or two before opening, friends and family, baristas have a chance to practice with trainer on-site, grand opening two weeks AFTER opening doors)
  21. Develop and implement administrative systems for the following: employee handbook, operations manual, cashier cash drawer reconciliation procedure, ordering, receiving, product invoice recording, monthly purchases summary, month end inventory, month end cost of goods, month end profit/loss (monthly income statement), sales recording, weekly labor worksheet, weekly/monthly labor analysis, store budget and goals
  22. Develop a marketing strategy, including: a. Distributing menus & announcements/door hangers with coupon to surrounding households, offices, and neighboring businesses, b. Conventional media (newspaper, radio, social media, etc).

Are you ready to open your own coffee shop?

We’re Bellissimo Coffee Advisors. We’ve helped normal people open and operate their own coffee shops for over 20 years now. To help people just like you decide if opening a coffee shop is right for them, we’ve created a 5 lesson mini course. It’s all free and delivered to your email inbox, and it includes our ebook as well. 

If you’re wondering whether you might want to open a coffee shop, simply sign up below for our honest advice from many years in the business.

Train Your Baristas online

Coffee Business Owners: sign up to 15 of your employees to learn barista skills 100% online. Drastically reduce the number of training hours required per person. 

$59.95 per month

Baristas: Go from A-Z on everything you need to teach yourself how to make make perfect coffee drinks, every time. 

3 months access $49.95

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5 Lessons Before you Open a
Coffee Shop

Are you ready to open a coffee shop? We'll send you our ebook along with 5 of our best pieces of advice to help you prepare.

5 Lessons Before You Open A
Coffee Shop

Are you ready to open a coffee shop? We'll send you our ebook along with 5 of our best pieces of advice to help you prepare.