In the Greater Orlando area we as business brokers get a lot of activity and inquiries on Coffee Shop businesses for sale. While we are many times unsure where all these requests come from, we are pretty sure they come from buyers that are originating from NY or up in the Northern states somewhere. The reality is that the coffee business is a different business down here in Florida. Culturally we like our coffee differently than they do in other parts of the country and Orlando residents patronize coffee shops differently as well.
Recently we sold a coffee shop in the Orlando area to a buyer. It is a great coffee shop that was for sale. It has a great buildout and it has been able to survive for years while other coffee shops have started and failed. Why is this coffee shop successful?
Below is a list of 7 Things You Need to Know When Opening a Coffee Shop in the Orlando, Florida area
1) Unique Location
For a coffee shop to survive in the Orlando area, it has to be in a location that makes sense. Name recognition counts for a lot in Orlando because there are a lot of non-natives that live here. So competition from the big name coffee shops and fast food restaurants that serve breakfast and coffee is fierce. A location where customers can easily see you and access the shop quickly is very important.
2) Unique Product Line
Having a non-generic brand of coffee is a great way to gain advantages over competitors. Some shops use brands that aren’t found easily in the Orlando and Central Florida area and other shops choose to roast their own beans. Offering a brand of coffee that customers can only find at your place is a surefire way to keep a loyal client base.
3) Offering more than just coffee
Even the big coffee chains offer more than just coffee so independent coffee shop owners need to do the same as well. Food, pastries, ice cream, cake, dessert, sandwiches, soups or any food item that can be offered is a plus. Its also another way to increase profits. If customers can stop by and grab a small lunch or breakfast in addition to coffee it gives them one more reason to make a stop there.
4) Make sure the coffee shop looks sharp and up to date
Long gone are the days where coffee shops could be located in the dusty used book shops. Now most successful coffee shops are located in more modern locations that either have brand new or extremely trendy/ bohemian type build outs. There are many customers that go out to have coffee in order to enjoy the experience or they go out so they have a place to meet friends, business clients, or to go on a date. Coffee shops need to be clean, inviting, friendly, and if possible unique.
5) Run The Numbers
Too often business brokers at Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers encounter restaurants, bars, and even coffee shops that owners are trying to sell because they are having trouble making their concept work. Many times owners find themselves in a space that they simply cannot afford because either the rent is too high or they do not have enough business coming through the doors to pay their overall overhead. Often times we ask, “did you run the numbers?” Before entering into a new business, we encourage Buyers to run the numbers, calculate how many cups of coffee and pastries you will need to sell in order to be profitable each day. This forces Buyers to think about their upcoming business venture and helps them determine whether the space will work for them or if they need to pass on it.
6) Test The Concept
Do you think you will have the best coffee in town? What about the best donut at a coffee shop? Perhaps you should test out your product in the local area to see what every day citizens apart from your friends and family think. You could start catering or sponsoring local events and displaying your product there. You could also put together a booth at one of the many farmer’s markets or festivals that occur in Central Florida. See what people think. Worst case scenario you can pack up your tent and try again another day. Best case scenario you can develop a local following of people who can’t wait until you open up your first store.
7) Plan On Being At The Store Yourself
One of the biggest advantages independent business owners have over their big competitors is that they can be present at their stores. They can be there to manage and train employees the way they want them to be trained and they can present the products the way they want them to be presented. Owners can also familiarize themselves with customers, and help build a loyal client base. Many times customers will go to a particular restaurant or coffee shop simply because they know the owner. That loyalty only builds if the owner works at the facility at least part of the time.
The coffee shop that we just sold in Orlando basically satisfies all of these above requirements. Take a look at the photos of the shop and give us your thoughts.
If you’re looking to start up or sell a coffee shop or another type of business please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at 407-478-4101 or check out our website at www.crowneatlantic.com.