How Much Does It Cost to Start a Coffee Shop?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on February 16th, 2023

Opening a coffee shop is no small feat. It requires a sizable investment of both time and money. Before taking the plunge into opening your coffee shop, it’s important to be mindful of all potential expenses and research each expense thoroughly.


In this blog post, we’ll discuss the costs associated with starting a coffee shop, so you can figure out what fits your budget. Let’s get started!

Female Owner Of Start Up Coffee Shop Or Restaurant Turning Round Open Sign On Door

The average cost of opening a coffee shop

The average cost to open a coffee shop depends on the type of coffee business you plan to open.

Traditional brick-and-mortar coffee shops can range from $25,000 to $300,000, depending on the size and location.

Mobile coffee businesses, such as food trucks and kiosks, are more affordable and typically cost around $400 – $10,000 to start up.

The opening cost for a sit-down coffee shop is between $80,000 and $275,000. Some low-cost options are available for those looking to get into the coffee business without investing a large amount upfront.

Expenses to consider when opening a coffee shop

Staff Working Behind Counter In Busy Coffee Shop

There are several expenses to consider when calculating the cost of opening a coffee shop. 

Equipment costs

Equipment costs will be an integral part of starting a coffee shop. An espresso machine is the most important equipment for any coffee shop, as it will be used to make most of the drinks.

Prices for espresso machines range from $500 to $2,500 for semi-automatic machines and from $2,000 to $5,000 for fully automatic machines. Other equipment like coffee grinders, a commercial refrigerator and freezer, and storage shelves can cost up to $10,000.

In addition, cups, mugs, and other items may also need to be purchased. All in all, equipment costs can add up quickly when starting a coffee shop.

Rent 

Rent is typically the most expensive cost for any business, and coffee shops are no exception. Depending on your location, rent can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per month. 

Utilities

Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet can range from $500 to $1,500 per month. Additionally, if you intend to use a Point-of-Sale system for transactions, you must factor in the cost of that system and any associated service fees. These costs should be factored into your budget before opening a coffee shop.

Staffing costs

Staffing costs are an essential part of running a successful coffee shop. Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may need to hire baristas, cooks, janitors, and other employees for your shop.

Wages vary from state to state, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $12-$20 per hour for baristas and cooks. A barista can cost between $18,300 and $20,600 per year, depending on their experience and qualifications. Additionally, you may need to budget for benefits, such as sick pay and vacation pay. 

With all these expenses combined, planning and ensuring you have enough capital for staff salaries is important. Doing so can ensure that your coffee shop has the right people to help it run smoothly and succeed.

Marketing expenses

Coffee shop owners must consider how they will attract customers. This can include creating a website, setting up a social media presence, creating promotional materials, and advertising in local publications.

Depending on the size of the business, marketing costs can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Additionally, creating an online presence is essential for any business in today’s digital age.

An online presence can help build brand awareness and recognition of the coffee shop and increase sales. It is important to note that marketing efforts will also impact many other costs associated with opening a coffee shop, such as rent and utilities, staffing costs, equipment costs, and supplies and inventory costs.

Close up of male barista serving cup of fresh coffee. Cup of coffee in the hands of waiter.

Licenses and permits

When it comes to licenses and permits, it is important to know the requirements of your local area. Each town and state will require a business license, resale license, or seller’s permit.

Depending on the size of your coffee shop, you may need additional permits, such as a zoning permit or health department permit. Additionally, food service establishments may require a special license to serve food and beverages to customers.

It is important to research all the licenses and permits required by your area to operate a coffee shop legally.

Renovation Costs

Renovation costs often comprise a big portion of the total startup costs when opening a coffee shop. Depending on the condition of the space you are working with, renovation costs can range from minor repairs and maintenance to a full-scale overhaul.

This could include painting, replacing furniture, installing new fixtures and equipment, or even structural changes. It is important to factor in these expenses when creating your budget for setting up your coffee shop, as they can add up quickly.

Financing Costs

Depending on the type of coffee shop you’re opening, you may need to obtain a loan or other forms of financing. Many banks and other financial institutions offer lines of credit that can be used for startup capital.

Additionally, online loan services specialize in loans for small businesses, allowing you to get the cash you need quickly. Finally, crowdfunding could be an option if you cannot secure financing from traditional sources.

Supplies and inventory costs

You’ll need to factor in the cost of raw materials such as coffee beans, syrups, and other ingredients. You’ll also need to purchase cups, napkins, straws, and other items to serve customers.

Additionally, you may need to stock up on cleaning supplies, paper towels, and other consumables. Be sure to include all of these items in your budget when planning for the launch of your business.

Machines and equipment

When setting up a coffee shop, the coffee maker is one of the most important pieces of equipment. Depending on the type and size of your business, you may need to invest in a commercial-grade machine.

Depending on your required features, this machine can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. You may also need additional accessories such as grinders, espresso makers, and filters. 

Factors that affect coffee shop startup costs

Barista served take away hot coffee cup to customer at counter bar in cafe restaurant,coffee shop business owner concept,Service mind waitress

The factors that affect coffee shop startup costs can vary greatly depending on the type of shop and the location. The equipment cost can range from $500 to $2,500 for an espresso machine, while rent and utilities can vary greatly depending on the region and whether you have furniture and seating. 

Location

Location is a key factor when it comes to starting a coffee shop. Depending on the type of business, you may be able to operate in a smaller space, such as a drive-thru coffee stand or an espresso catering business, or you may need more space for a sit-down coffee shop.

Rent and utilities can be significant costs depending on the size and location of your premises. You should also consider the local customer base when choosing your location.

  • Is it close to potential customers?
  • Is there enough parking?
  • Are there other businesses in the area that could benefit from your services?

All of these factors can have a major impact on the success of your business.

Leasing arrangement

Leasing a space is a major factor when starting a coffee shop. Depending on the size and location of your shop, this cost can range from $1,000 to $50,000 or more.

You’ll also need to consider the type of lease agreement you will enter – whether it’s fixed-term or month-to-month. Make sure you understand your lease’s terms and any potential hidden costs, so you can accurately budget for your coffee business startup.

Business size and type

The total cost to open a coffee shop varies greatly depending on the type of business you are running. Here are some common business types

Coffee food truck or kiosk

The cost of opening a coffee food truck or kiosk is on the lower end when compared to other coffee shop options. The business model is already established, so you don’t have to worry about building space or hiring staff.

Depending on the type of food truck or kiosk you plan to open, you can expect to invest anywhere from $100,000 to 220,000. This is still a sizable investment, but it will cost far less than it would cost to open a traditional sit-down coffee shop.

In addition, you won’t need to buy an espresso machine as you would with a traditional shop, though you may need additional equipment and supplies depending on the type of coffee drinks you plan to offer.

Traditional sit-down coffee shop

Opening a traditional sit-down coffee shop can be a significant investment. On average, it can cost between $350,000 and $625,000, depending on the size of the premises and any licensing requirements. This will include equipment and supplies, space leasing, staff, and other overhead expenses.

Small cafe-style restaurant coffee shop hybrid

The cost to open a small cafe-style restaurant coffee shop hybrid can range from $650,000 to $975,000. 

Staff Working Behind Counter In Busy Coffee Shop

Are there any low-cost coffee shop business options?

Yes, a few low-cost business options exist for opening a coffee shop. A piggyback coffee business can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $15,000, while a drive-thru coffee stand business costs about $10,000. However, these types of businesses require careful planning and research to keep the cost of supplies and equipment low. 

Conclusion

To set up a successful and profitable coffee shop, you must be prepared to invest a considerable amount of money. On average, you should expect to spend anywhere from $25,000 – $200,000, depending on the size and scope of the business.

You will need to cover the cost of equipment, rent and utilities, staff wages and training, supplies and inventory, marketing, licenses, permits, and possibly renovation. If your chosen location is more expensive or requires more extensive renovations than anticipated, this could add more costs to your total budget.

It is also important to factor in coffee maker costs and any financing costs you may incur should you need to borrow money for your startup.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.