Coffee Bean Dreams: The right way to own your first cafe

Whether they crave a latte, an espresso, a cappuccino or a simple flat white, Australian workers love their coffee. When ducking into their local for a quick drink or a laid-back lunch, Aussies believe that running a cafe would provide the perfect work-life balance.

“Australia is ranked 42nd in the world for coffee consumption at almost 3kg per capita.”

So do the numbers stack up? The cafe industry in Australia is worth $4.3 billion and, with coffee being the second most consumed beverage on the planet, it’s one that is rapidly growing. According to research firm IBISWorld, there are 14,411 cafe businesses in Australia alone, employing approximately 71,957 people. The industry calculated a revenue of eight billion dollars this year, with an annual growth of 7.0 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

It may feel like a great idea to purchase a little corner space; taking the time to decorate, choosing the perfect coffee provider and having a great track-record takes patience, experience and systems. Once the groundwork is laid however, the payoff can be incredibly rewarding, and a new cafe owner can hit the ground running in serving their regular customers.

The Realities Of The Daily Grind

Dreams can’t be achieved without the necessary hard-work, and running a cafe is no exception. Much of the issues cafe owners face boils down to the fact that they have entered into the venture without prior experience in the field.

According to Andrew Bowen, ‘Coffeepreneur’ and author, just some of the reasons new cafes fail are that the business is in the wrong location, the owners have no budget or plan, the coffee is of an inconsistent standard, the business has poor equipment, the stock-taking is not completed efficiently, the owners do not have a good relationship with their suppliers, or the cafe itself has a strange name.

“You don’t have to outlay a large amount of money to fulfill your dream of providing excellent coffee” – Christine Wadsworth, Lava Coffee General Manager

It is clear from Andrew’s examples that owning and running a cafe is not a simple get-rich-quick scheme; a cafe needs more than a pleasant atmosphere, a great hit of caffeine and excellent customer service.

According to Eden Exchange’s research, 47 per cent of Australians won’t give a cafe return business, should it do the unforgivable and serve poor coffee. So if you’re looking to make a living from your very own cafe, you had better know what you are doing!

Brewing A Successful Business

If, after considering all the risks of opening up their own cafe people feel daunted by the task, a supportive franchise with established systems can often be the answer.

“There has been a trend in Australia for people entering business for the first to time purchase an independent café, but they don’t realise that without the proper systems in place, margins can be wafer-thin,” explains John Stanton, who heads up new franchise recruitment at Lava Coffee.

“At Lava Coffee we focus on providing entrepreneurs entering the cafe industry with a tried, tested, proven business model. It means we equip all new franchisees with, not only the commercial machines, but also the skills, support and encouragement required to grow a successful cafe.”

On top of providing practical, hands-on support, a Lava Coffee franchise is  competitively priced. Asking $100k to $180k with an entry fee between $30k to $50k, they also provide a flat, weekly royalty fee rather than a percentage based royalty fee. This is useful for franchisees, as it helps them keep track of their costs without eating into their profits.

John went on to say, “We have an all for one and one for all attitude. At Lava Coffee, we’re  dedicated to helping new franchisees get their franchise up and running within a month. To let them successfully run the beautiful, lively

“Australia is ranked 42nd in the world for coffee consumption at almost 3kg per capita.”

and successful cafe they’ve always dreamed about we offer site support visits, product purchasing programs, advertising and marketing support, as well as intensive initial training.”

Australians Know a Good Coffee – Be Part Of A Recognised And Respected Brand

Australians love a convenient coffee. What’s more, they love the taste of a properly made coffee and won’t settle for anything less than the best. When American cafe chain Starbucks opened 85 outlets in 2000, they attempted to create a coffee blend purported to appeal to the Australian palate. However, Starbucks was forced to close 61 of its outlets in 2008, proving that Aussies simply don’t want any old “cup of Joe.”

“Having an excellent product is important especially as so many people can distinguish between a good cup of coffee and a great one!” Says franchise owner Angela Dela Cruz, who has owned her Lava Coffee franchise for five years and counting. “Having a reliable and effective system in place relieves any potential business headaches.”

Current Lava Coffee franchisees are finding their customers to be loyal, returning again and again to enjoy Lava Coffee. And with each regular coffee-loving customer, the excellent reputation of Lava Coffee is made more popular still by word of mouth advertising.  

According to John Stanton, “Apart from business, you  need to know a good coffee. Ours is a private label product, which goes through a rigorous process of testing and tasted by fully-trained experts, before being supplied to the franchisees. This ensures consistency and quality across the board.”

If you’re interested in learning all about the cafe business and Lava Coffee sounds like the right fit for you, please head to their website and fill in an enquiry form.