We all have our favourite cafe, which is a home from home, a place where you feel comfortable and can relax. Some people prefer the big chains such as Starbucks, others prefer independent businesses with characters of their own. But what are the essentials of a good cafe, be it a single coffee house or a big chain? In this blog we hope to answer that very question.
The first essential for any cafe worth its salt is the coffee, every cafe should have a choice of great tasting coffee and everything else is secondary. To produce this essential brew means grinding and roasting the best possible coffee beans of the highest quality. To help with producing the perfect cup of coffee you will need a proper espresso machine. Professional espresso machines do not come cheap, but they make coffee that you simply cannot replicate at home, and is the main reason why people elect to go to a cafe.
A really good cafe will have the perfect ambiance and environment, the décor and the way a cafe is laid out will reflect on the type of patron that will frequent the cafe. You need to decide who you are pitching your business at, do you want something ultra-modern or something warmer and inviting? This needs to be addressed before you open your doors, and will also reflect what type of food will be on your menu.
Whatever type of ambiance you plump for, your furniture should be comfortable and put patrons at ease. The longer your customers stay in the premises, the more likely they will purchase other items. Standard furniture will set a tone that you want the patrons to order and leave as soon as possible, whereas comfortable sofas and good reading material will encourage people to stay, and perhaps order a second cup. If you are operating a cafe like a restaurant, then you must have a designated coffee shop area, that patrons feel at home drinking a simple cup of coffee whilst more formal dining takes place elsewhere.
It sounds trivial, but good internet connectivity is essential for any type of cafe, and free Wi-Fi is simply a must. Many people use cafes as a sort of mobile office and will also require electricity outlets to recharge their mobile equipment.
Everybody the enters your establishment may not wish for just a coffee, so you have to consider menu options to keep them satisfied. These could range from cakes and pastries to proper full-on main courses that a restaurant may offer. The dishes you offer may be in tandem with the theme of the cafe, but first and foremost remember that the actual focus of the business is coffee. Otherwise you will be going down the restaurant route which is an entirely different type of business. That being said, there is nothing wrong with operating a restaurant, but you have to realize this will impact on the type of patron that will frequent your cafe. A restaurant is a more regulated and formal place, where diners expect the full attention of waiting staff, not the casual ambiance of a laid-back cafe.