February 26, 2024
Lauren Platero

Coffee Shop Business Plan Guidelines | Free Template

Do you dream of opening your own coffee shop? If so, a thorough coffee shop business plan should be at the top of your to-do list. After all, this document will act as the foundation for your venture from the ideation phase, all the way up to when you open your doors to the public. To own one of the best coffee shops in your area means that solid strategies must be in place. So, that’s exactly what this template is designed to achieve!

If you have an entrepreneur mindset and an interest in how to start a coffee shop, this post is certainly a resource to keep in your back pocket. As you might already know, a business plan has several components, but is tailored to its niche market or industry. So, we decided to outline all the parts that should exist within a coffee shop business plan specifically.

Coffee Shop Business Plan Template | The Must-Include Guidelines

When you were researching how to start a coffee company, you probably came across several lists of tips and tricks that suggested that drafting a coffee shop business plan should be the first step. That is in fact the right advice, and our guidelines should lead you to a successful coffee shop launch with ease. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of each section that should be in this document. So, copy and paste the following template into a new file on Google Docs or Microsoft Word; then, replace each prompt with the information that suits your business.

Vision and Mission Statement

Begin your coffee shop business plan by writing an executive summary, followed by your vision and mission for the venture. This document should introduce its reader to the purpose of what’s to follow. Clarifying what you anticipate the brand’s future to hold will also help in setting the tone for decision-making and strategic efforts later on.

Competitive Analysis

Research the coffee shop sector of your city and determine the level of competition. Then, identify the strengths and weaknesses of each business. Do any of them offer a coffee club membership? Or, can you find out if any local competitors purchase beans from the best coffee roasters on the market? This kind of information will help you establish the ways in which your business will stand out from the competition. Plus, locating any gaps in what other entities offer customers will help you determine ways to implement product differentiation.

Target Audience

The ideal customer profile for a coffee shop may seem kind of generic. After all, who doesn’t  love a fresh cup of coffee (or tea)? There are several data points in reference to consumer demographics to be mindful of when launching a coffee shop business. These are especially important for new establishments, as opposed to franchises that already have knowledge bases . Several questions that you should ask yourself when drafting a coffee shop business plan include:

  • What is the primary age range of the coffee shop’s city or region?
  • Are there a lot of people in the area that work in corporate offices?
  • Are there a lot of college students in the coffee shop’s area?
  • Do people frequent local coffee shops in certain seasons more than others?

Finding the answers to these kinds of questions will be of major importance when crafting future strategies. From menu ideas to marketing tactics, determining a target audience will set the foundation for successful outcomes.

Location and Layout

The location of your coffee shop will be a major contributing factor to its success. Use this section of your coffee shop business plan to go over the perks of its location. Maybe it’s in an area that gets a lot of traffic. Or, maybe the layout is the big selling point, as it’s a drive thru coffee shop. Regardless, add such details to this section. If you’re still shopping for real estate, write in detail about what kind of location and layout you see being suitable for your coffee shop.

Financial Plan

So, how much does it actually cost to open a coffee shop? The answer to this question will vary depending on several variants. The location, whether it has a drive-thru window, the plan to hire labor, and so much more will determine necessary costs. This section of the coffee shop business plan should discuss how much money you will need for startup costs–at least at first. The financial planning does not end once the business is up and running. Thereafter, you should outline the funds you anticipate needing for monthly expenses. If you have the financial means to support the business yourself, this is also the section where you will outline your investment strategy.

Product Line and Menu Offerings

When you envision the launch of your coffee shop, its menu items and services are probably the central focus. So what will customers be able to order? Which drinks and snacks will you specialize in? Aside from traditional coffee, the list below might spark some cafe inspiration:

To further support the ideas in this section, we recommend outlining how you’ll obtain the inventory you’ll need to offer your menu items. Will you be shopping from a wholesale directory for ingredients and paper goods? Is there a wholesale coffee supplier that you’ll source all the beans from? Having a menu is one thing, but making sense of how you’ll be able to consistently allow customers to order from it is essential in a coffee shop business plan.

Marketing Plan

The goal of detailing your coffee shop marketing efforts is to showcase how you will promote the business to the masses. In other words, which restaurant marketing strategies will be put in place to draw customers and create a sense of loyalty? Some creative and effective ideas to consider adding to this section include:

If you’re outlining efforts pertaining to social media, you should also detail how you will calculate the social media ROI. This way, it will be clear as to how you’ll measure the success of such strategies.

Restaurant Technology

In the digital age, it’s nearly impossible for any business to thrive within the restaurant industry without tech solutions. While coffee shops seem quite simple on the outside, they can be super innovative. Some of the solutions that you might add to this section for the coffee shop business plan include:

You can also go ahead and outline any coffee brewing devices you’ll invest in to run the business. After all, many appliances are very technologically advanced and fall into this category.


Provide a breakdown of the staff members you will employ at your coffee shop. This section of the coffee shop business plan should also include how many people you will hire for each role. The job titles that you should consider covering include:

It’s also advantageous to add wages for each role to this section of the coffee shop business plan. Even though this information may already be present within the financial section, it’s a good idea to reference it here, too.

Sales Projections

Get out your calculator and estimate how much revenue you’ll generate on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis. This data will be valuable in budgeting various parts of your business. However, this section is absolutely essential for when you seek funding opportunities. In fact, you probably won't even receive financial support without sales projections. Loan firms and investors will need clear evidence that there will be a return. So, ensure that you carefully project realistic metrics that reflect current industry trends.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Starting a coffee shop business plan is just the first of many steps you’ll take before you officially launch your company and begin capturing sales. However, it might just be one of the most groundbreaking steps, as everything that takes place afterward depends on it. By rushing through the business plan, there can be gaps, errors, and mishaps throughout your strategy. But now that we got the business plan template out of the way, let’s learn a bit more about the general ideas of coffee shops.

See below:

How Do I Start a Coffee Shop Business Plan?

Anyone can start a coffee shop business plan by mapping out their goals, offerings, and projections. In an organized document or slide deck, thoroughly explain each of the following components:

  • Mission statement
  • Executive summary
  • Competitive analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • Target audience
  • Funding opportunities
  • Employment
  • Menus and products
  • Marketing plan
  • Sales projections  

When Should I Write the Coffee Shop Business Plan?

If the thought of opening a coffee shop piques your interest, it’s ideal to start drafting a business plan sooner than later. Even if you don’t bring your business ideas to life until years from now, preparing for the future is never a bad thing. When you see the big picture on paper, it may spark more ideas and concerns to look into. Plus, continuously adding to an ever-growing business plan will ensure that the final copy is as thorough as it could ever be.

Are Coffee Shop Businesses Profitable?

Yes, coffee shop businesses can be profitable, but it all depends on operations. For instance, having a team of enthusiastic employees can help boost retention and sales. However, employing too many staff members can hinder profits. When you stop to think about it, this rule of thumb applies to everything–even inventory. Offering a ton of menu items is ideal for increasing traffic, but incurring food spoilage from excessive quantities will drive costs much higher. Like any company, a profitable coffee shop begins with smart business decisions.

How Much Does Running a Coffee Shop Cost Per Month?

It can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per month to successfully run a coffee shop. The total amount will depend on factors like rent, utilities, payroll, tech subscriptions, and inventory. It’s vital that business owners keep a constant eye on monthly expenses, putting in the work to remain profitable. If not, the risks of incurring debt can be quite high.

Can Owners of Small Coffee Shops Make a Good Living?

Yes, small mom-and-pop coffee shop owners have the potential to make a good living. More often than not, it’s common for coffee shop owners to make anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 per year. But like any other business, the owner’s annual income will be the result of their operating expenses and profitability.

Let’s Get Down to (Coffee Shop) Business!

Now that you know exactly where to begin, there’s no better time to get started on your coffee shop business plan. Take your time drafting it–no business venture is one you want to rush into. But once you finish mapping out your ideas, goals, and strategies, you can begin taking proper actions to bring your ideas to fruition. If you're considering the implementation of coffee shop technology, schedule a demo with us! Besides, understanding this side of your business a bit early will assist you in planning finances and projections in more detail.