Cafe Business Plan

Business Plan Articles

If you plan on creating a café, it is likely that you will require a business plan at some point. The experts at Pro Business Plans have created many plans for strategy and investment. This article provides information on what is typically included in a café business plan and how it structured.

Cafe Business Plan

If you are staring a café, there are several unique factors that will contribute to the success of your company. One of the most important factors in planning for a café is the location. While this may appear cliché at first, it cannot possibly be over emphasized as it has the potentially to directly determine your profitability. However, the positioning of your café will also provide direction into the profitability of the company. For instance, modeling a café the same as one would for the Upper East Side in New York City would be entirely different than one along a commuter route in rural Iowa.

Business Model

The success of a café business plan is shaped by a number of factors that must combine in order to create a cohesive business model. Although it may appear that the business model of a café is universal, there are in-fact many variations from opening a franchise to just selling coffee or accompanying the drinks with snacks or elaborate meals. The nature of the business model will not only depend upon the location, menu, and atmosphere, but also the management team running it and their operations process. These will combine to create a profitable business model that remains competitive despite the recurring competition entering the market.


Market Positioning

The market positioning for a cafe depends on several factors including the location, the style of operaiton, the background of the management team, and the supply chain. Some cafes focus on high turnover and low priced items with minimal seating and overhead, whereas others focus on more aggresive luxury consumers that have higher quality standards.


Operations Structure

The operations structure of a cafe is largely based on the method of sourcing products and managing the overall establishment. Some cafes focus around having a highly custom botique feel, whereas others have a more streamlined supply chain which is focused on high turnover


Marketing Plan

The marketing strategy section of a business plan for café generally includes information about three sections. This includes the overall brand positioning, the go-to-market strategy, and the method of generating ongoing business. For instance, some cafés are positioned as quick place to grab a coffee in the business district and compete for speed and efficiency. Others may be a slower weekend of after work hangout and provide a more relaxing atmosphere. The go-to-market strategy focuses on low cost and mass market awareness, ideally through public relations followed by coupons to create awareness and subsidize the cost of trying something new. If this is not available, traditional mass marketing does play a role in door-to-door print advertisements.


Mass Marketing

The mass marketing strategy for a cafe often works best when it focuses on regional consumers, unless the cafe is targeting tourists. This is often most effective when it combines digital advertising with online marketing to target those within a pre-defined zip code.


Business Development

The business development for a cafe often includes a combination of sales, marketing, and customer loyalty. This is established through sales promotions, establishing relationships with consumers, as well as generating a positive reputation in the market through reviews.


Financial Projections

If your café business plan will be used to acquire investment, it is likely that investors will request three to five years of financial projections. These are typically compiled in the form of an income statement, balance sheet, profit & loss table, and cash flow forecast. The most effective method of forming such forecasts is to base them off of your historical operating performance. For instance, take the percentage growth rate of your past three years and extrapolate them at the same rate into the future. The other method of performing the projections is to base them off the sales of similar cafes.

If your café is new to the market, it is often challenging to compare the projections to other more established ones. It is highly unlikely that one with five years of operating history was just as profitable in year five as it was in month five. Therefore, you will need to make several assumptions in order to account for the variance in sales performance. For instance, being conservative about revenue during the first year and over-forecasting expenses to ensure that you do not experience liquidity issues later on.


Revenue Projections

The revenue forecasts for a cafe is largely based on the historical sales performance, or the comparable sales of other cafes in your market. This is largely driven by the premise that similar sized cafes in comparable areas will lead to similar sales performance.


Budget Forecasts

The budget estimates for a cafe are driven by several factors including the location, equipment costs, cost of goods sold, and the overall positioning of the cafe. Some higher end luxury cafes may hire an interior designer, whereas others may focus on having the most affordable cost structure possible as they enter the market.


What is Included in Our Custom Cafe Business Plan?


  • Marketing Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Personnel Plan
  • Organizational Chart
  • Company Valuation
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Keys to Success
  • Three Year Objectives
  • Product or Service Description
  • Market Research
  • Fundraising Support
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Profit & Loss
  • 3 Year Balance Sheet
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Sales Forecast
  • 12 Month & 3 Year Cash Flows
  • Break-Even Analysis
  • Financial Ratio Analysis
  • Management Team

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