Coffee Shop Business Plan Ultimate Guide + Free Example

July 6, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

When it comes to starting a coffee shop, writing a business plan may not be your top priority. You're probably eager to dive into the exciting world of brewing aromatic coffee and serving delicious treats, rather than spending days crafting a detailed plan.

However, it's important to understand that potential lenders and investors often require a business plan before they consider supporting your venture. So, while it may not be your first choice, having a well-prepared business plan with realistic financial projections is crucial to securing the financial backing you need.

So if you have to do it, this article is going to help you walk through the following:

With that in mind as the path forward, let’s dive in. 

A coffee shop business plan should effectively convey to investors and lenders why customers would prefer to frequent your coffee shop, why you or your team are the ideal individuals to manage the coffee shop, and how the financial projections are structured to ensure a worthwhile return on their investment. Below is a comprehensive layout of our complimentary coffee shop business plan template.

Coffee Shop Business Plan Outline

I. Executive Summary

II. Market Analysis

III. Business Concept

IV. Marketing Strategy

V. Operations Plan

VI. Financial Plan

  • Startup Costs and Use of Funds
  • Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit
  • Key Financial Ratios
  • Financial Summary
  • Income Statement Annual Summary
  • Cash Flow Statement Annual Summary
  • Balance Sheet Annual Summary

VII. Management Team

VII. Conclusion

How to do Market Research for a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Central to any coffee shop business plan is market research. You need to comprehend your position in the market and aim to validate that there is ample demand for your specific coffee shop concept, location, and pricing structure. You can explore more about our coffee shop market research approach here, but ultimately, you aim to understand your competition, gain insights into potential customer footfall, select an optimal location, and anticipate any seasonal trends that might influence your business. Here are some instruments and strategies for conducting market research for your proposed coffee shop.

What Will be the Cost to Advertise my Coffee Shop?

We recommend using Google Keyword Planner to assist you in determining which keywords to advertise for attracting customers to your coffee shop's website. The tool also provides an estimate of how much each click will cost when advertising for various keywords, as seen below:

What Keywords are Customers Using in Their Searches?

We utilize both Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to discover which keywords are channeling traffic to your competitors' websites. For instance, you can run a report on a competitor's website to see the keywords they rank for and the amount of organic traffic each keyword brings. This information can help streamline your SEO efforts.

How Seasonal are Coffee Shops?

We use Google Trends to identify how seasonal your coffee shop concept might be. As an example, you can see below that the search volume for “coffee shop near me” in the United States is somewhat seasonal in nature.   January is consistently the low point, with the summer and fall tending to be the high point of the season.

How Many Customers Do my Competitors Receive Each Month?

Lastly, we find it beneficial to generate foot traffic reports on your competitors to ascertain the typical number of customers they receive at their coffee shops. You can see an example below that indicates the number of visits per month for a specific location:

In the end, the potential customer base for your coffee shop will be a critical assumption that will form the backbone of your financial projections. Therefore, understanding the footfall of your competitors can aid you in estimating potential traffic to your coffee shop.

How to Create Financial Projections for a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Once you've conducted thorough market research, it's time to develop financial projections for your coffee shop. Our coffee shop financial projection template is designed to help you estimate revenue based on customer traffic, taking into account factors such as seating capacity and the efficiency of your kitchen operations. These projections serve two important purposes: demonstrating your ability to repay a loan and showcasing the potential return on investment for potential investors. To achieve this, consider the following steps:

  1. Estimate startup costs for your coffee shop
  2. Forecast revenue
  3. Project food and labor cost
  4. Estimate your operating expenses like rent and utilities
  5. Calculate how much investor or loan capital you will need to open

Our coffee shop projection template offers guidance in this process and provide a standardized format that meets the requirements of investors and lenders. Typically, a comprehensive set of projections for a startup coffee shop should include an integrated income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow forecast.

Remember, while writing a business plan and developing financial projections may seem daunting, they are essential steps in securing the necessary funding and creating a roadmap for your coffee shop's success. By following these guidelines and utilizing our templates, you'll be well-equipped to present a compelling case to potential investors and lenders.

Example Coffee Shop Business Plan

Below is the content of our example coffee shop business plan. You can also access a Google Doc version of this coffee shop business plan template here, allowing you to personalize it to suit your needs. In addition, you can follow along with this video walkthrough designed to assist you in adapting the business plan to your specific coffee shop concept.

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template

I. Executive Summary

II. Market Analysis

III. Business Concept

IV. Marketing Strategy

V. Operations Plan

VI. Financial Plan

  • Startup Costs and Use of Funds
  • Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit
  • Key Financial Ratios
  • Financial Summary
  • Income Statement Annual Summary
  • Cash Flow Statement Annual Summary
  • Balance Sheet Annual Summary

VII. Management Team

VII. Conclusion

I. Executive Summary

Brewtopia is a specialty coffee shop located in the heart of downtown, offering customers a unique and elevated coffee experience. Our target market is young professionals and coffee connoisseurs who are looking for high-quality coffee and a comfortable, chic atmosphere. Our goal is to differentiate ourselves from other coffee shops in the area by offering a unique selection of specialty coffee drinks and a curated menu of pastries and small bites, made with locally-sourced ingredients. In addition to traditional espresso-based drinks, Brewtopia will offer Nitro cold brew on tap and a variety of flavored lattes made with natural syrups. With a focus on quality, customer service, and community involvement, Brewtopia aims to become a staple in the downtown community and to provide customers with a memorable coffee experience.

II. Market Analysis

The coffee industry is a rapidly growing market, with revenue in the US estimated at $48 billion in 2021. Within the industry, the specialty coffee segment is growing even faster as consumers are willing to pay more for a premium experience. 

Our target market is young professionals, ages 25-40, who value convenience and quality in their coffee choices. The downtown area, where Brewtopia will be located, has several coffee shops, but none offer the same level of specialty drinks and baked goods that we will offer. With a focus on quality and a unique experience, Brewtopia is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the growing specialty coffee market in the downtown area.

III. Business Concept

Brewtopia's concept centers around providing customers with a unique and elevated coffee experience. 

Our menu will include a variety of specialty coffee drinks made with high-quality, responsibly-sourced beans, as well as a curated selection of pastries and small bites made fresh daily using locally-sourced ingredients. In addition to traditional espresso-based drinks, Brewtopia will offer Nitro cold brew on tap and a variety of flavored lattes made with natural syrups, differentiating ourselves from other coffee shops in the area. Our chic and modern decor will provide a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for customers to work, relax, and socialize.

IV. Marketing Strategy

Brewtopia's marketing strategy will focus on building brand awareness and attracting customers through a strong presence on social media, targeted advertising, and community involvement. We will maintain a strong presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, showcasing our products and connecting with customers. 

Our targeted advertising will focus on reaching young professionals in the downtown area through channels such as local publications and online ads. In addition, Brewtopia will be active in the community, hosting events and supporting local organizations, helping us to build relationships with our customers and establish ourselves as a part of the downtown community. 

We will also offer loyalty programs and special promotions to encourage repeat business. Our pricing strategy will be competitive with other specialty coffee shops in the area, but slightly higher to reflect the premium quality of our products.

V. Operations Plan

Brewtopia will be open 7 days a week, from 7am to 7pm. Our team of baristas will be trained to provide exceptional customer service and to prepare a wide range of specialty coffee drinks. We will use a point-of-sale system to manage orders and track inventory, and all baked goods will be prepared fresh daily on-site. 

Brewtopia will occupy a 1,500 square foot space in the downtown area, which will include a kitchen for preparing food, a bar for coffee preparation, and seating for 20-25 customers. The space will be designed to be modern and chic, creating a welcoming atmosphere for customers.

VI. Financial Plan

The start-up costs for Brewtopia are estimated at $200,000, which includes the costs of leasing a space, equipment and supplies, marketing and advertising, and initial inventory. We plan to finance the startup costs through a combination of personal savings, a small business loan, and investments from friends and family.

All of the unique financial projections you see here were generated using ProjectionHub’s coffee shop financial projection template. Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template. 

Startup Costs and Use of Funds

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit

Key Financial Ratios

Financial Summary

Income Statement Annual Summary

Cash Flow Statement Annual Summary

Balance Sheet Annual Summary

Watch how to create financial projections for your very own coffee shop:

VII. Management Team

Brewtopia will be owned and operated by Jane Doe, a seasoned coffee professional with over 10 years of experience in the coffee industry. Jane will manage the daily operations of the business and provide exceptional customer service, while also training and supervising a team of baristas. Additionally, Jane will be responsible for the financial management of the business and the development of our marketing strategy.

VII. Conclusion 

Brewtopia is poised to fill a gap in the specialty coffee market in the downtown area. With a focus on quality, customer service, and community involvement, we aim to become a staple in the downtown community and provide customers with a memorable coffee experience. With a solid financial plan and a seasoned management team, Brewtopia is well-positioned for success in the growing specialty coffee market.

Coffee Shop Business Plan FAQs

What are the essential elements to include in a coffee shop business plan?

A coffee shop business plan should include sections on executive summary, company description, market analysis, target audience, menu and pricing, marketing and promotional strategies, location and facilities, staffing and management, and financial projections.

How can I determine the ideal location for my coffee shop?

When selecting a location for your coffee shop, consider factors such as foot traffic, proximity to offices or residential areas, competition in the area, parking availability, and visibility. A bustling area with a high concentration of your target customers can be an ideal location.

How can I estimate the financial projections for my coffee shop?

Financial projections for a coffee shop should include estimates for start-up costs, monthly expenses (such as rent, utilities, ingredients, and employee salaries), projected sales revenue based on customer traffic and average spending, and a break-even analysis to determine when your coffee shop will become profitable.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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