Starting a Breakfast Cafe Business

For the brave who dare to answer the calling towards starting up their own breakfast cafe business, hold your horses and read this first. This is not an attempt to derail you from your objective but instead a means to give you a prospective of how business works.

Consider this a sneak peak to life on the other side of entrepreneurship.

Assuming you have done your business homework and you have managed to get passed the hurdle of setting up the physical aspects of your breakfast cafe business in which most owners fail in by the way. You are now ready to open. This means you have financed a location viable for your business and have done the necessary renovations electrical, plumbing, painting, and even the legal to operate lawfully. This also means you have the appropriate licenses, the necessary permits and sanitary inspection documents. You also now understand and abide with proper food handling procedures after weeks of several work shops, seminars and tests. Not only that, this also means you have invested thousands of dollars on coffee equipment, huge storage freezers, burners, fryers, utensils, plates, chairs, tables and yes even a cash register too!

Cafe Business Menu and Chefs

For the menu, you figured you’ll start with pancakes, omelets, bacon and sausage, Belgian waffles, salad and steak since most cafe restaurants offer the same choices. You think you won’t go wrong with those choices as well. You decide to make an extra menu for the kids too. Then you hire a decent chef and a couple of teenagers for serve. And after reading a lot about different kinds of coffee beans and grounds and after a couple brewing practices under your belt, you decide to man the coffee role for awhile so you also get a chance to rub elbows and do small talk with customers during orders and refills to create loyalists.

How to Market Breakfast Cafe Business

And so the grand opening finally comes. It turns out to be a big success! With the massive campaigns, endless flyers, bumper stickers, newspaper ads and even word of mouth through church, you managed to rally the whole neighborhood into your grand opening day. You congratulate yourself with a pat on the back and say, “I made the right investments and decisions.”

Days passed into weeks and before you knew it you already been in business operation for a month. You really haven’t made real profit yet since you were still covering payments incurred from opening a store. You say, “Its ok business will pick up soon.”

Times flies again and this time four months have passed. And now you begin to notice things. You experience leaks and other plumbing problems. You also notice that the turn over of your food stocks are slower than before. Suddenly you remembered that you purchased several supplies of everything two weeks ago that you fail to focus on the ones that sell more. You also noticed that you feel tired and cranky sometimes maybe brought about by the early 5 am food and store preparations because you decided you want to be hands on in your business so you know the ins and outs. On top of that, you only had on average twenty customers compared to thirty five last month. You unconfidently talk to yourself that this is just a phase in every business. “Things will get better.”

The months turned into a year and after getting over your plumbing problems, your air conditioning breaks down. Your chef asks for a raise and you find out a competitor coffee shop is opening just around the next corner. And still you haven’t made any really profit because you’re still paying for the overhead of the business start-up as well as the monthly expenses to run the business, not to mention the costly mistakes brought by inexperience and the renewal of permits and licenses are coming up.

This is a short story of how actual business happens. If after readings this you feel more challenged to pursue the breakfast coffee business, I congratulate you. You understand what it takes to be an owner.

27 Comments

  • mike said on January 11, 2010
    that is not how it ended in my cafe. It was not that bad
  • lisa kelley said on February 7, 2010
    how can i open a breakfast cafe in dayton, ohio, Country
  • chris sullivan said on March 13, 2010
    breakfast and lunch cafe in the hephzibah area of Georgia. Hephzibah, Ga.
  • Heather Bennerman said on July 8, 2010
    Brake 4 Breakfast, De Pere, WI, Olde School Square. I am now one month into my business. So many of the points in this article have hit it right on the head.

    In the last month I have realized that I am capable of doing much more then I ever thought. The day that I no longer want to wake up and walk into my business doors is the day that I will close business. Passion...this is what you need to make any business succeed. An open checkbook helps as well :)
  • Rob said on September 9, 2010
    Cafe still in the makin', Humboldt, TN 38343. I'm in the process of starting a cafe, namely in the renovation stage, and am still researching venues for good, affordable (i.e. inexpensive), equipment, everything from refrigerators to espresso machines. Any pointers on where such treasures might exist? I've looked at the end of the rainbow but someone had already taken that spot.
  • Robi said on April 25, 2011
    I currently manage an Italian Restaurant and I'm 23 years old. I work mainly nights and i'm thinking about opening a breakfast place and keeping my night job. Basically thinking that i have nothing really to lose but a lot to gain. If anyone has any ideas/opinions feel free to email me
  • Gordy said on September 9, 2011
    Baltimore, Towson, MD. Anyone wanna start a shop? gordyboone@gmail.com
  • Sam said on September 16, 2011
    Hi, I am Sam from Malaysia and I plan to open a breakfast cafe/restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan. Anyone has any suggestions/ideas/opinions please do not hesitate to email me. Thanks!
  • Temeeka said on February 21, 2012
    A friend works for an office that employees over 500 people there. They have a fully equipped buffet style cafeteria, with no over-head cost, just wanting to fulfill the employees desire for on location eatery. I'm in my last semester of Culinary school in TN. I am looking for all the help/advice I can get before taking this on. Thanks
  • Tracey said on March 24, 2012
    I have the marketing tools to start a profitable cafe venture. imperialbaje@hotmail.com
  • Jay Ganz said on September 1, 2012
    I have a location but need some help setting up the store can you give some Pointers.
  • Cal said on September 4, 2012
    Lynchburg, Va, USA. I own a great location, wrestling with having a breakfast/lunch eatery that I have always wanted, now I'm 55 yrs old. (Input please)
  • Brandon said on September 19, 2012
    I am thinking about starting up a breakfast joint but need some partners who are passionate and knowledgeable about doing so. I have a counseling background, but was a breakfast cook all through high school and college. I am a people person, and have a creative mind. Just need some insight into the restaurant world. Anybody willing to help? email me please! ballantynebrandon@yahoo.com
  • Nidhi said on December 12, 2012
    A creative, organic, pop art label (based in India)that is looking to associate with any cafe owner to create and launch and Organic-Art-Cafe-Shop. Our forte is the the unique concept, design and the merchandise. Looking for someone who can handle the location, set up and food. Would be happy to discuss: indigreen05@gmail.com
  • Andrea Hardy said on August 13, 2013
    I have a great location and there is no sit down breakfast competition in downtown area other than fast food. I need a cook/partner. Anybody interested? Includes a nice furnished apartment on the premises.
  • Adam Hersh said on October 14, 2013
    @Andrea Hardy, i'm very interested. Where are you located? Thanks, Adam Indianapolis, IN
  • Ryan Hochwalt said on January 19, 2014
    I have a lot of small businesses in which I put my iPad based pos in it at no upfront cost. If anyone interested, please email me.
  • brenda paulisbo said on July 8, 2014
    I have always wanted to start up a food outlet like a fast food or bistro. its yet to eventuate though. any ideas etc. would be helpful.
  • charles marlue said on October 17, 2014
    I'm interested in starting breakfast stand mini booth in atlanta ga , looking for suppliers and starting capital. any ideas?
  • Doug said on April 2, 2015
    I have wanted to open my own business for some time. I've done the typical job moves through out my life. I'm now stuck on the idea to open an Coffee/Breakfast cafe. I have no experience in this except in my previous role being a grocery/produce/meat manager at a large Wholesale retail company. I want to start something I could hand down to my kids. Can anyone give me an idea of how to start? I'm ready to make the change while I'm still young. Doug Naples, FL
  • Scott bennett said on January 21, 2016
    New hampshire. Local diner for sale town of about 6000 and growing . Only breakfast in town is other breakfast in town dunkin donuts and a pub that serves breakfast thur. - sun. Diners business is slow do to lack of good ownership and quality food. Great location off major highway. Also thinking of joining local diner franchise that seems to be doing well.
  • Aubrey Newton said on February 12, 2016
    I am located in Hampton Virginia I already have Cafe i sale lunch and dinner fried chicken wing fried fish majority ,vegetarian meals its been established for 22 yrs just looking for some good pointers for marketing and trying to change it over to breakfast
  • lawrence said on June 23, 2016
    I wanna open a breakfast and lunch cafe so anyone with idea's or good restaurants equipment for sale please contact me am located in South Africa contacts +27 845034796 email lawrencemangena7@gmail am an experienced chef
  • Peter Weil said on August 25, 2016
    20+ years of experience in restaurant management and cooking (mostly breakfast) and running a large bakery and a major bar. My dream is to open a small breakfast place - short menu with nothing but quality and local ingredients, healthy, never frozen. A farm to fork breakfast place. A small family friendly place with communal tables geared towards the working class, local cops and athletes on the weekends. Also very active in the local community, involved in several charities. To maximize profit the breakfast place can turn into a dinner place - same short menu but good food. I live just outside of DC but willing to relocate for the right opportunity. Looking for partners to make this happen.
  • steve said on November 2, 2016
    @peter weil looking to do the same in Asbury Park NJ. lets do it.
  • Brian said on December 15, 2016
    @Peter I'm am currently in MD looking to open up the same
  • Sandra Mena said on December 19, 2016
    Looking to open up my first business, a pancake shop in Orlando, Fl. This is my first shot at owning my business. Any help about starting point and capital, grants ideas please email me.

    Comment

    (All the above fields are required.)