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  • Career change, thinking of opening a little cafe?
  • philbert31

    I’m a self employed kitchen fitter/carpenter by trade and I’m usually quite busy and earn a decent wage but over the past couple of years ive started to get bored of doing it and getting a bit fed up of travelling all over for work and thinking I’d like a change. I’m pretty decent in the kitchen and enjoy cooking. I know there is a lot involved in setting something up like this but I’m also pretty sure I could do a good job of it.
    Is there anyone one here that runs a cafe who could offer advice?

    Premier Icon tonyg2003


    I don’t run a café but my best friend did and he ended up losing £60K in three years. I went through many, many, many discussions with him on the troubles he had.

    Staffing was always a nightmare for him. He could never get reliable people. He practically worked 7 days a week for those 3 years before he finally jacked it in.

    The highest priority has got to be location and maybe a USP such as our local café great business.


    Someone on here set up a coffee shop/cafe i think?

    Hopefully someone can linky the thread he started…


    My dad did, and as per Tony, good staff was the issue. He had one ‘solid’ member of staff (‘you’ cannot do this alone), but if she ever was off the place fell apart without her. He ended up going and picking up the staff in the mornings to make sure they turned up. He managed to sell it in the end and get his money back, but worked very very hard to do so (it had a decent location) & improved the building (refurbed and dug out [mad irish man] the cellar to add to the space).
    Not trying to put you off, just make sure your your fully focused on the reality of the situation. Also as an aside, he commented the tax man was very ‘up’ on exactly what went on.


    Don’t get your heart set on it before working in a cafe. Amazing what you’ll learn and also amazing that people will spaff their life savings getting into an industry they have no experience of.

    If you’re still keen after that then location, staff, and selling what people want rather than what you think they should be having are key. Good luck if you go for it!

    Premier Icon jam bo

    is this like the bike shop adage? the best way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one?


    A few I know are shutting up shop as they cannot compete with McD , and all the large superstores having cafes, if your set on it location is the key, you wont make a fortune at it though, i had an idea a few years ago that entailed having a cafe that opened as normal then closed around 2 ish then opened later as an ENGLISH takeaway with delivery service Roast Dinners/ meat pie / rotiss chicken/ choice of veg etc then salads in the summer etc and do it on one pricepoint so say 3.50 per person.with the right location this could work.
    Also the cafe then has two income streams

    Premier Icon Matt24k

    50% of restaurant businesses fail in their first 3 years. The often quoted 90% rate is an urban myth but half of them cease trading within 3 years. Either way, it’s not great odds as every one of those failures represents a lot of hard work and money going down the pan.
    Go into it with your eyes wide open and try working in a similar environment before putting your own money in.

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