How to Create a Coffee Shop Business Plan

Sample plan illustrates the process

A simple coffee shop business plan can help you get your business off the ground by following a standard layout consisting of a single document divided into several sections. Included should be a description of the organization, market research, competitive analysis, sales strategies, capital, and labor requirements and financial data.

Business plans range from a few pages to hundreds of pages long depending on the size and scope of the business. For a relatively small business like a coffee shop, it is best to be succinct and keep the plan to 30 pages or less, especially if you intend to submit it to bankers or investors for debt or equity financing. Potential investors want to see solid research and analysis presented in a concise form.

To give your plan more visual appeal Include photos, designs, or site plans of prospective premises to give your plan more visual appeal. Charts and graphs help illustrate financial information such as revenue projections.

A basic business plan for a coffee shop can be done in eight sections, plus a title page.

Title Page

Enter your business information starting with the legal name. If you already scouted a likely location or have a website in place, include the addresses. If you have a business logo, add it at the top or bottom of the title page. The title page also should include a table of contents that lists each section and the page number where it begins.

Business Plan

Java Jake's Coffee House

October 15, 2017

2303 Stewart St.
East Clovervale

Presented to:
"Company or Financial Institution"

Table of Contents:

1. Executive Summary

2. Business/Industry Overview

3. Market Analysis and the Competition

4. Sales & Marketing Plan

5. Ownership and Management Plan

6. Operating Plan

7. Financial Plan

8. Appendices and Exhibits

Section 1: Executive Summary 

Place the executive summary near the beginning of the plan, but write it last. It should provide a short, concise, and optimistic overview of your business that captures the reader's attention and gives them an interest in learning more about it. The executive summary should be no more than two pages long, with brief summaries of other sections of the plan. 

Java Jake's Coffee House will be the go-to place for coffee lovers. We plan on serving the highest quality coffee and snacks in a trendy, comfortable atmosphere. Our convenient location and excellent customer service should build a steady repeat customer base.

Owners Jack Valdez and partner Juanita Sanchez each have more than a decade in the food service industry, including management experience.

Our main products will be higher margin gourmet coffee products such as espressos, cappuccinos, lattés, and a variety of snacks, including healthy alternatives.

Strategically located within easy walking distance from the technical school, nursing colleges, and a variety of office complexes, we intend to cater to students and young office workers by providing plenty of seating space and superior customer service with a trendy vibe. 

In the immediate area, our competition consists mainly of fast food vendors such as McDonald's and Dunkin. We plan on capturing the upper end of the local coffee market by serving gourmet, nonmachine-made coffee products at reasonable prices. Along with our superior atmosphere and great customer service, we intend to target sophisticated coffee consumers. 

The location we have selected has 2,000 square feet of space, room for an outdoor patio, and requires minimal renovations. The space has been vacant for several months and the owner is motivated and has offered a four-year lease with a fifth year free.

We expect sales revenue to grow from $200,000 in the first year of operations to $250,000 by the end of the third year. To minimize operating expenses, both of the principals will be onsite on a full-time basis to reduce staffing costs, supervise, and maintain quality control. We expect net profits to grow from $50,000 to $100,000 by year three.

$200,000 in startup funding is required for lease costs, renovations, equipment, and furniture. The principals have $100,000 in cash and will obtain the rest from commercial lenders.

Section 2: Business/Industry Overview

Provide an overview of the coffee industry, the local market, and what makes your business unique. 

The Coffee Industry

According to analysis by Pew Research, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as America's largest living generation. Millennials are more social and mobile than previous generations and prefer to have coffee with friends in trendy, public locations, increasing the popularity of high-end coffee shops. U.S. statistics indicate that:  

  • Gourmet coffee's popularity is increasing across diverse demographics
  • Americans consume more than 600 million cups of coffee per day
  • Retail sales of coffee exceed $47 billion per year

Our Position in the Industry

East Clovervale is an affluent area with a high density of students and young professionals, an ideal market for a coffee shop such as Java Jake's Coffee House. People in this area can afford to spend money on specialty coffees and snacks and are willing to do so.

Our market research has shown that seven out of 10 people polled in East Clovervale consume at least three cups of specialty coffee per week. 

The Competition

While there currently are two other coffee shops within the immediate area, neither offer patio seating or substantial parking. One does not offer free wifi.

What Makes Java Jake's Coffee House Unique

Java Jake's Coffee House marketing strategy is to cater to the the young and young at heart with top quality products, great service, and plenty of seating indoors and out. We aim to be the place to meet with friends, relax, and enjoy a great cup of coffee. Ultrafast wifi will enable students and business people to readily communicate and work on school or business activities. 

Section 3: Market Analysis and the Competition

Demonstrate that you have thoroughly analyzed the target market and that there is enough demand for your products to make your coffee business viable. The competitive analysis includes an assessment of the competition and how your coffee business will compete in the sector.

Given the proximity to schools and office complexes, our primary target market will be students and professional business people. Both groups are heavy consumers of coffee, tea, and snacks. 

Based on our customer surveys, there is a strong demand for a high-end coffee shop in a central location that serves great coffee and has both outdoor seating and available parking. The three most common complaints about the existing competition in the area are:

  • Inconsistent product: Discerning customers are reluctant to become regular patrons of a coffee shop that cannot consistently serve a high-quality product. 
  • Lack of patio seating: Many people prefer to consume their food and beverages outdoors on a sunny day.
  • Lack of parking: The lack of parking makes it difficult to attract vehicle commuters.

The local customer base consists of approximately:

  • 3,000 students from two post-secondary schools
  • 200 school staff
  • 1,000 business people and office workers

Both schools have solid attendance and are expanding their student populations. The local business market is strong and has been relatively unaffected by previous economic downturns.

Compared to our compeition, we expect our revenues to grow strongly as we build our customer base:

  Coffee to Go Lindens Java Jake's Coffee (Year 1)
Est. Annual Revenue $150,000 $250,000 $200,000
Employees 8 10 6
Price Low High High
Quality Low Average High

Section 4: Sales and Marketing Plan

Describe how you intend to entice customers to patronize your coffee shop, including advertising, promotion, pricing strategy, sales, and service. 

Our Product Offerings

The existing competition uses lower grade beans, inexpensive equipment, and does not properly train staff — resulting in inconsistent product quality and dissatisfied customers.

At Java Jake's we are passionate about coffee and intend to focus on consistently serving the highest quality product by:

  • Sourcing premium beans and snacks and maintaining freshness at all times.
  • Using a top-of-the line espresso machine and related equipment.
  • Providing baristas with professional training.

By focusing on quality, consistency, and great customer service, we will build a steady repeat customer base.

Pricing Strategy

We intend to focus on specialty coffees including espresso, cappuccinos, mochas, etc. as the profit margins are much higher than regular coffee. To command a higher price for regular coffee, we will not use drip machines. Instead, each cup will be single served using a coffee press so that every cup is up-to-the-minute fresh and delicious. 

Our pricing will be competitive with the higher end of the market. We believe that customers will be happy to pay top prices for a great cup of coffee.


We will be offering counter service in a professionally designed, cozy, inviting interior space. Interior seating will be a mix of smaller individual tables for intimacy, and longer, bench-style ones for larger groups. Exterior seating will consist of weatherproof tables and chairs with available sunshade umbrellas. We intend to be open from 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays, and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends.

In addition to cash, credit, and debit, we also will be accepting Apple Pay for purchases.

Advertising and Promotion

To minimize costs and connect with our customer demographic, most of our advertising will be of the digital variety. We intend to aggressively promote our products using the following methods:

  • Posters on the local campus billboards
  • Our state-of-the-art website
  • Daily specials announced on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Statistics demonstrate that loyalty cards are highly effective, and Java Jake's will use a custom-designed rewards card to promote repeat business.

Section 5: Ownership and Management Plan

Describe the legal structure, ownership, and (if applicable) the management and staffing requirements of your business. 

Ownership Structure

Java Jake's Coffee House is a private corporation registered in the state of Texas. The business is 100% owned by Jack Valdez and Juanita Sanchez:

  • Jack Valdez: 60 Class A Shares
  • Juanita Sanchez: 40 Class A Shares


Owners Jack and Juanita will co-manage the business, and at least one will be present at all times during open hours. Both owners have previous food service management experience and are trained and experienced baristas.

External Resources and Services

Melford's Design Services will be contracted for the interior design of the premises.

Jackson and Jackson will provide accounting services for the business.

Jody's Catering will supply the baked goods.

Section 6: Operating Plan

Outline the physical requirements of your business, such as retail space, equipment, inventory and supply needs, labor, etc. For a business such as a coffee shop that requires custom facilities, supply chains, specialized equipment, and multiple employees, the operating plan needs detail. 


The premises we have chosen are at 2303 Stewart St. The space features:

  • 2,000 square feet of indoor space in a modern, well-maintained building in an excellent location
  • Approximately 500 square feet of outdoor patio space, with lockup racks for bicycles
  • Existing zoning for restaurant usage
  • A four-year lease at $3,500/month with a fifth year free
  • The building owner is responsible for trash collection, recycling, pest control, and security
  • Utilities (water, electricity, gas, internet, phone) are estimated to be $800 per month

The previous tenant was a restaurant, and there are existing kitchen and washroom facilities already in place. The previous tenant has offered to sell used kitchen equipment at heavily discounted prices.


Two full-time and four to six part-time baristas will be hired at industry standard wages. Baristas will be trained at a regional barista training academy. The two full-time employees are previous employees of the owners. The part-time employees will be sourced from the local post-secondary institutions.  

Owners and staff will share all regular duties, including taking orders, making coffee/tea, clearing tables, restocking, dishwashing, maintaining washroom facilities, etc.

To increase employee loyalty, a bonus/profit sharing system will be put in place.  


The following equipment will be purchased:

  • Commercial grade La Marzocco Espresso machine ($25,000)
  • Espresso grinder ($1,500)

We currently are negotiating the purchase of used commercial equipment from the previous tenant, including:

  • Glassdoor fridge ($1,000)
  • Dishwasher ($1,500)
  • Microwave ($700)
  • Misc. shelving, storage bins, etc. ($500)

Maintenance contracts for the equipment will be negotiated with local vendors.


We have negotiated an agreement with Murphy's Coffee Wholesalers to supply premium gourmet Columbian coffee/espresso beans with two-day shipping. Milk, juices, soft drinks, fruit, etc. will be sourced from the local Costco.

Muffins, scones, cookies, yogurt fruit cups, and sandwiches will be supplied on a daily basis by Jody's Catering.

Section 7: Financial Plan

This is the most important section of the business plan, especially if you need debt financing or wish to attract investors. The financial plan has to demonstrate that your business will grow and be profitable. To do this you will need to create projected income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets. For a new business, these are forecasts, and a good rule of thumb is to underestimate revenues and overestimate expenses.

Include these financial statements:

  • Income Statements: These shows your projected revenues, expenses, and profits. Do this on a monthly basis for at least the first year for a startup business.
  • Cash Flow Projections: These show your monthly anticipated cash revenues and disbursements for expenses. It is important for demonstrating that you can manage your cash flow and will be a good credit risk.
  • Balance Sheet: This is a snapshot summary of the assets, liabilities, and equity of your business at a particular point in time. For a startup, this would be on the day the business opens. Note that a new business will have no accounts receivable entries on the balance sheet. Note also that the balance sheet is much simpler for unincorporated businesses without employees. Income tax, pensions, medical, etc. are only applicable to incorporated businesses, as are earnings/retained earnings.
  • Breakeven Analysis: Including a breakeven analysis demonstrates to financiers or investors what level of sales you need to achieve to make a profit.

Section 8: Appendices and Exhibits

The appendices and exhibits section contains any detailed information needed to support other sections of the plan.

Possible appendix/xxhibit Items include:

  • Credit histories for the business owners
  • Detailed market research and analysis of competitors
  • Resumes of the owners and key employees
  • Information about your industry
  • Information about your products/services
  • Site/building/office plans
  • Copies of mortgage documents, equipment leases, etc. (or quotes on these)
  • Marketing brochures and other materials
  • References from business colleagues
  • Links to your business website
  • Any other supporting material that may impress potential lenders or investors if you are looking for financing.