How to open a mini-cafe?


Almost everyone can afford a cup of coffee with a cake. Coffee houses have become not only a place for business meetings and friendly dates, these establishments have become part of the weekend program or an evening walk of city dwellers. Some cafe patrons would rather refuse to eat in public catering than a cup of hot coffee.

And although you can buy a glass of espresso in almost every kiosk at bus stops, classic coffee shops, where you can lean back and enjoy a cup of fragrant drink, will always be relevant.

A small cafe for several seats, combined with a coffee and tea shop, will be in demand both in millionaires and in small towns. Product profitability can exceed 1000%.

Modern mini-cafes offer a product that is not inferior in quality to drinks in classic establishments, except that it is not served in porcelain dishes. That is why their prices are several times lower.

On average, a portion of coffee at such points costs 8-20 UAH, depending on the city. In addition, in order to visit them, you do not need to specially go somewhere, for that they are mini-cafes to open them in any suitable place.

A good location for a cafe-shop is a decisive condition for an effective business. As a rule, successful coffee houses are located in busy places in the city center, preferably not far from the metro or in shopping and shopping centers, on shopping streets.

Opening a cafe with seats at train stations is not worth it; takeaway coffee is another matter. Up to a thousand cups of the drink are sold per day in a busy place at the capital’s railway station.

The premises for a cafe should have its own “chip”, which will distinguish the establishment from its competitors.

Taking into account these criteria, it can be unequivocally argued that it is necessary to open a coffee point only indoors. And it’s also not worth trading exclusively for takeaway, without seats either – many visitors to such establishments choose cafes for communication. Therefore, it is advisable to look for an area for a classic mini-cafe and at the same time a store in the mall, in stores in the cashier area or close to smoking areas.

Moreover, if you open a mini coffee shop in the premises of the mall, then the issue of security will be immediately resolved, since the protection of objects inside the mall or office complex is the responsibility of their security services.

The presence of water supply and sewerage nearby is a desirable, but optional option. Coffee machines are capable of running on tap liquid, but in this case, you will have to buy a water softener. Another thing is that the presence of running water will save money on water for household needs (washing hands and cleaning).

Buying a coffee machine

One of the most significant investments is a coffee machine. There are three classes of equipment: professional, semi-professional and household. The rest should in no case be used for commercial purposes – the possibilities for preparing drinks are too weak, and the load will not withstand. The use of semi-professional equipment is justified only in establishments with a small load on equipment.

For example, if you need to organize a tasting of a drink in a coffee shop. Therefore, you should choose a unit for a cafe from the category of professional machines. Professional coffee machines, in turn, are divided into two main categories: manual and automatic. Manual models work on ground coffee, require a coffee grinder, a number of accessories and qualified personnel. The price level for coffee machines is approximately the following: a semi-automatic machine with one group, capable of serving a small cafe – $ 1.5-2.5 thousand; automatic machine with two or three groups – $ 2.5-5 thousand.

A coffee grinder ($300-700) and a water softener (about $150, coffee machines are capricious and work only with ideal water) are selected for the coffee maker model. When choosing a coffee machine, you should check with the seller about the features of service. Coffee machines require maintenance and service: repair, replacement of filters, gaskets, cleaning of scale and coffee resins.

The frequency of all these procedures depends on the intensity of use of the coffee maker and the quality of the water. On the Internet you can find ads for the sale of used coffee machines. The price for them is usually two to three times lower than new ones. But if the main components fail, the repair will cost more than it was possible to save. An additional source of income for the establishment is the sale of ground coffee beans.

Many visitors prefer to buy ground grains of the drink they like to take home. Another $400 is needed to buy a professional mixer. In the summer, coffee sales decline, but demand for milkshakes rises. By the way, their profitability reaches 350%. A refrigerator is required to store milk, ice and other soft drinks. Many coffee wholesalers offer coffee machines for rent.

At first glance, this is a very profitable offer, especially for a novice entrepreneur. However, the cost of coffee in this case can be much higher than the market price.

Raw material

It is very important to choose the right supplier of coffee, and it’s not just the cost of purchased raw materials. It is necessary to take into account the range of products, the availability of necessary documents on the quality of each variety – certificates of conformity for products, production, the conclusion of a sanitary and epidemiological examination, etc., delivery conditions and minimum purchase volumes, etc. In addition, a beginner needs a lot of specific information to successfully operate a cafe.

You need to understand the taste characteristics of different varieties of coffee, recipes for different mixtures, how to prepare them, high-quality and low-quality coffee. The assortment of a coffee shop should have a wide range of coffee (25-35 varieties), otherwise it will be difficult to compete with supermarkets that also sell coffee. It is worth selling only natural coffee from different countries. It is the variety of fine varieties of coffee that can “take” customers. A high-quality drink comes exclusively from freshly ground beans.

Coffee tablets and capsules are not for commercial coffee machines. Of course, this type of coffee is less of a hassle, which is why tablet coffee makers are relevant in offices. Or at enterprises for which coffee trade is not the main activity, but a bonus for the client, for example, at gas stations. Another essential component of the drink is water.

The minimum liquid consumption per cup of espresso, taking into account production losses, is 50 ml.

Furniture and inventory

You will need a bar counter for a mini-cafe with an area of ​​​​at least 4 square meters. m. It is better to buy a universal rack – it can be placed anywhere, in case you have to move.

A showcase is also needed for demonstrating and storing coffee (in glass jars) and related products (coffee grinders, sets, etc.). You will also need at least three bar stools – two for visitors, one for the seller, and two to four coffee tables and chairs. For espresso, only cardboard glasses are suitable, for cappuccino, latte and americano – foam glasses made of expanded polystyrene.

It is better to refuse plastic cups – plastic, under the influence of high temperature, saturates the drink with harmful substances. You will also need napkins at the rate of 1 pack per day, mixing sticks – 100 pcs. per day and the same number of spoons.


When compiling the menu, it should be borne in mind that the basis of the assortment should be coffee and drinks based on it, respectively, coffee can be represented not only by different preparation methods (espresso, latte, cappuccino, etc.), but also by different varieties and types, different with their taste characteristics. .

The presence of alcohol or coffee drinks with alcohol in the menu has a positive impact on the establishment’s revenue, but adds to the hassle of completing the necessary documents. The same goes for baking. An additional direction of income for a coffee shop is the sale of coffee at retail.

The markup can be 20-80%. By the way, over time, with the successful operation of the coffee house, you can open another institution, with an emphasis on the sale of ground coffee, or vice versa.


A large-scale advertising campaign for a cafe shop is a waste of money. The most effective will be targeted promo, designed for a potential audience. For example, having become the owner of one of the flyers distributed by distributors in the immediate vicinity of the network’s establishments, visitors can claim a second cup of coffee for free.

In addition, a skilled and sociable salesman – a barista – a person who directly sells drinks and communicates with the guests of the establishment, according to many coffee house owners, wins customers more efficiently than any discounts, billboards and sweets for a cup of cappuccino.