When will you open another Coffee Shop / Café?

The question I get asked more often than most is “when will you open a new Café or Coffee Shop?”

Honestly, I don’t know if that’ll happen.

I’ve thought a lot about it, and it would really need to check off a bunch of boxes:

– Location with high foot traffic.
Residential neighborhoods are good, but the place would need to be in an area with high foot traffic, for example on a main street between a large residential complex and a popular grocery store.

– Affordable rent.
Rent should equal or be lower than five days of expected average gross revenue. The quick and dirty numbers work out so that rent/utilities cost 1 week, staff / accounting / insurance cost / taxes 1 week, supplies cost 1 week, and if those are what they should – the rest is left for savings & investments.

– Easy parking.
If people can’t easily park around you, you’re commercial reach for that location will be mostly limited to residents within a 1km radius.

– A place with charm and charisma.
the biggest reason people go to a café is for atmosphere. Of course coffee is important, but you can make most of these drinks at home. You want to be in a space that’s got character, something different from the rest, something with a soul.

– Outside seating.
When the weather is nice, having outside seating is great for customers and it also serves as street-side advertising. No need for a sign.

– Friendly neighbors.
We’ve had bad neighbors in the past – and they made my life an absolute nightmare. They can literally prevent a place from opening – I won’t mention names, but a great couple bought a beautiful corner location years ago, they renovated the whole place, then the upstairs neighbor legally blocked them from opening their doors. The place is, to this day, still waiting for court approval.

– A good landlord.
Ideally I’d like to own the place, so at least I could consider the monthly rent payment as a long term investment. But if I couldn’t buy the place, then I’d need to have a good landlord. One that fixes problems quickly, and doesn’t try to squeeze every penny out of the business when they see that the place is doing well.

– BIG windows to let a lot of sunlight in.
I’m a big fan of natural light, it’s beautiful, saves on electricity, and adds positivity and optimism to the space.

Also a BIG thing is that I wouldn’t want to be in there 24/7.  I’d need a team of Great People who I can align with and understand how to take ownership. Even though I really enjoy socializing, making coffees, experimenting, etc… I’ve got my personal ups & downs and sometimes (just like most people) I just don’t feel like talking to anyone.

Told you I’d be honest.

So these are the requirements I would have to open a new Coffee Shop / Café.