The expansion of the coffee culture today has created an unprecedented demand for coffee. Growing at about 1.5% per annum, the demand for coffee is fuelled by high levels of consumption by Millennials. If you’re looking to open a café business, there is no better time than now. Opening a café business is quite similar to opening a restaurant, albeit on a lesser scale. But before venturing into the café business, there is plenty of research to be done, first of which is to scout your neighbourhood and beyond for ideas on how to design your café.
It’s not just about the furnishings and the decor, but involves a whole host of other considerations such as menu items, market prices of raw ingredients and the table arrangements, among other things. Of course, it’s not possible to do everything yourself, and that’s where suppliers come into the picture.
According to online statistics, market research and business intelligence portal Statista, Facebook had 1.13 billion daily active users in 2016 itself. Almost everyone you know has a social media account and these days, many people use it to share interesting images and experiences in their daily lives. Customers today expect dining out to be an experience itself, and will usually take pictures of the cafés that they’ve visited. As such, having a well-designed interior and perfect lighting to create a pleasant ambience will really help to boost publicity for your café business.
There are many vendors that specialise in interior decorating and offer an extensive selection of furniture such as chairs, barstools, table tops, bases and booths for café businesses. These vendors usually keep a large inventory available and are able to offer cost-effective options and quick delivery for your required seating numbers. Some vendors also offer custom-made restaurant seating such as banquettes and booths, as well as reupholstering services. Be sure to shop around and compare prices before settling on a vendor that meets the requirements of your café business.
Payment systems and inventory management
When it comes to payment systems, it’s no longer enough to just have a cash register. The pervasiveness of mobile devices and on-the-go payment options such as mobile wallets have fuelled customer demand for payment systems that are cashless, efficient and easy-to-use. Even cashless payment options such as the credit and debit card is slowly being dropped in favour of mobile payment methods. As such, it’s important to source for a reliable payment systems supplier that can offer you point-of-sale (POS) technology that can cater to cashless and mobile payments.
These POS technologies not only speed up the payment process by its ability to accept all forms of payment, it also comes with inventory management capabilities that prove to be really handy when making orders for café business supplies. Some POS technologies are also capable of managing staff attendance and payroll, leaving café business proprietors plenty of time to focus on other matters. It’s important to select a vendor that offers great after-sales service to ensure that you have easy access to assistance in the event of a system issue.
If you’re running a café with limited space and offer a small number of dishes on the menu, you probably don’t require much in terms of staffing numbers. However, bigger cafés would naturally require a higher number of wait staff, chefs, as well as general helpers. In this case, it’s good to be aware of the many types of software out there that could make it easier for you when it comes to hiring reliable help. Software such as HigherMe significantly improves the efficiency of the recruitment process, giving you one less thing to worry about. It boasts features such as mobile-friendly online job applications, an applicant tracking system, customised application and assessment features, SMS-based interview scheduling, and even paperless onboarding. For a café’s daily operations to run like clockwork, it’s essential to have reliable staff members, and investing in software that covers all your staffing needs is one of the best things you could do for your café business.
Food and drink
For a café business, it’s especially important to source for a supplier of good coffee beans and tea leaves, as coffee and tea would inevitably be the highlight of your café business when it comes to beverages. To reduce costs when sourcing for these commodities, it’s good to buy in bulk. Coffee comes in bags, bottles, packets and pods, and feature different roast levels such as light, medium, dark and extra dark. Some variants also come with a number of flavours like chocolate, french vanilla and hazelnut, so be sure to understand the preferences of your customers and offer them a healthy selection of beverages. Do take note that customers have differing dietary requirements and may want options such as decaffeinated coffee, or even sugar-free and kosher. It’s also important to ensure that the meals you serve are top notch.
Studies show that future food trends going into 2020 will include local sourcing, fresh produce, healthy eating and an emphasis on authentic items. So, if your restaurant business is looking to impress today’s discerning diners, it’s important to have a steady supply of fresh vegetables, meat and dairy products, with the occasional seasonal ingredients. As with coffee beans and tea leaves, you can keep the costs for purchasing fresh produce low if you buy in bulk from local farmers. They are usually able to give you a steady supply of fruits and vegetables at lower prices. Buying from local farmers also means that you get the freshest daily produce, something that can make all the difference in the food you serve.
According to research by the National Restaurant Association, 56% of consumers who say their primary reason for preferring locally sourced food is that it supports farms and producers in their communities. This also tells you that diners today are an informed lot who care about where their food comes from! It’s good to shop around before inking any deals with a supplier as it’s not as simple as choosing the one that offers the lowest price. You should also consider the quality of the fresh produce and the reliability of the supplier in keeping to agreed terms and conditions.
Opening a cafe can be a hustle however with the right tools and help, it can be done. For more assistance, do not hesitate to visit our website.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.