Starting a new business is always challenging, no matter if the business is online or brick and mortar. Opening a coffee shop is never cheap, but there are ways to do it cost-effectively.

There's a lot that goes into the cost of a coffee shop. Running a coffee business can cost a lot of money, and having the best equipment is vital for customer experience. Between rent, coffee machines, tables and chairs, and other expenses like staff salaries, utilities, etc., most new businesses have to take out a small loan to cover all their start-up costs. Before opening day, taking care of some legal and financial matters will ensure you have a successful coffee shop. This article will give you the knowledge you need to open a coffee shop.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Coffee Shop?

The average coffee shop startup costs vary greatly depending on the location and size. The average cost of a coffee shop in the United States is about $80,000-$300,000.

If you have the capital and are willing to invest in your own business, consider this an option. You can also go through franchise companies with established brands, such as Dunkin' Donuts. This will provide you with their experience and brand recognition while still allowing you to retain some control over your business operations.

The first step when starting a business is to get an idea of how much it will cost to get off the ground. You'll need startup capital for equipment, inventory, and rent/lease payments before you can start making money from customers buying products or services from your business.

Another important consideration when opening a coffee shop is how much competition there will be in your area. It's important to know if there are other coffee shops nearby so that you can determine whether or not there's enough room for more than one establishment serving similar products within proximity to each other.

What are the costs or expenses of starting a coffee shop from ground-up?

The cost of starting a coffee shop depends on what kind of shop you want to start and how much money you have available. A basic, functional coffee business can be started for as little as $80,000, while a more elaborate location might cost $300,000.

For a typical coffee shop, you'll need the following:


This includes electricity and water. Electricity costs vary widely by region and season, so check with your local utility company for an estimate of what you can expect to pay. You should spend about $1,000-$1,200 per month on these costs for the first few months. After that, you can expect your utility bills to increase monthly and any additional equipment you may need to purchase or install. For example, if you don't have a walk-in freezer or refrigerator yet but need one, factor that into your budget.


Location is everything when running a successful business, especially coffee shops, so you must choose an ideal location before beginning construction on your new location. Your landlord will probably require that you pay six months before opening up shop, so plan accordingly!

The location of your shop will determine how much it costs to start. If you choose a small location in a busy area, such as downtown, you'll pay more than a large space in an out-of-the-way location.

The average cost of renting a commercial space for a retail shop is around $6 per square foot. The size of your business will determine how much space you need and how much it will cost.

Interior Design + Furniture

Interior design and furniture are some of the main factors that can make or break a coffee shop. You want your store to be inviting and comforting but also give off an air of professionalism. The last thing you want is your shop to look like it belongs in a dorm room.

You will need to hire an interior designer to help you create the perfect ambiance. This can cost anywhere from $2,000 – $12,000, depending on how many changes need to be made and how extensive they are. If you have a small budget and don’t want to spend too much on this part, try asking friends for help or searching online for free templates.

Once your design is complete, find out what furniture would work best in each room of the store (kitchen area, bathrooms, seating areas). You will also need tables and chairs for customers and counters for baristas to work behind. These pieces must be durable enough for everyday use and easy to clean so that they don’t get damaged over time from regular service by both customers and employees.

Coffee Shop Equipment

If you want to open your coffee shop, you will need some equipment. This can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be.

Here is a list of the most popular coffee shop equipment:

La Marzocco GB5 S 2: $20,000+

This machine is one of the best on the market and is used by many professional baristas. You can get it for as low as $20,000 if you buy it used. It produces high-quality espresso drinks and has temperature control settings that allow you to control the temperature of your brews. It also comes with an 8 oz portafilter, allowing more shots per batch.

Ascaso Baby T Plus: $5,000+

This is another high-quality machine that can produce excellent espresso drinks. It has many different settings that allow you to control how your shot tastes and looks. It also comes with an 8 oz portafilter, allowing more shots per batch than other machines.

Rancilio Classe 7: $10,000+

This is a high-end espresso machine that will make any drink taste amazing! If you want to impress your customers with quality drinks every time they visit your coffee shop, this machine may suit you! You should start will a low cost of $10,000!

Nespresso Creatista Plus: $500+

The first and most important thing you need is quality coffee equipment. You don't need to break the bank on all your equipment, but you must purchase reliable machines and grinders that will last for years.

This machine produces perfect coffee every time, so it's perfect for those who want to offer high-quality beverages without breaking the bank. It also has various features that allow customers to customize their drinks however they like!

Pre-Opening Expenses: $20K-$120K

Pre-opening expenses include the lease, equipment, and marketing materials. You should also budget for insurance, licenses and permits, utilities, security deposits, and other miscellaneous fees. If you plan to open multiple locations or franchises, you should factor in those expenses too.

Marketing, Branding, and Merchandise: 3-6%

You need to understand that marketing is not just about advertising; it is about effectively creating and communicating brand identity. This includes all aspects of branding, including colors, product packaging, and even employee uniforms. When choosing colors for your business, make sure they reflect your brand identity so that customers can easily identify your products when they see them in stores or on restaurant menus. The branding cost will cost 3 to 6% of your revenue.

Food Cost: $5,000-$25,000

The food cost is one of the most significant expenses you will have to bear when starting a coffee shop from scratch. The food cost includes all the ingredients for preparing each meal and snack item served at the coffee shop. For example, if you are planning on opening an upscale restaurant with gourmet meals and desserts, your food cost per meal would be higher than if you were just serving basic sandwiches and salads. Food costs can be as low as $5,000 and as high as $25,000.

Staffing & Management: 30% of total revenue

The staffing + management cost refers to all employees working at the coffee shop and includes management salaries and benefits. This is usually one of the largest expenses for any new business because labor can be costly depending on the employee skills needed for each position.

On average, the cost of staffing a coffee shop is about 30% of total revenues. This includes employee wages, payroll taxes, benefits packages, and other benefits such as vacation or sick days. But if you have an employee who works for tips only, like a barista or barista-bartender mixologist combo, this expense will likely be higher than 30%.

Franchise Fees

Coffee shops that are part of a franchise have the highest start-up costs. However, they also have lower operating costs because they have access to the brand name and support from experienced business owners who already know how to run a successful business. The initial investment required for a franchise can be as much as $40,000, depending on the type of coffee shop you want to open.

Exterior Design and Outdoor Space: $1,000 - $40,000

This is one of the more expensive parts of starting a coffee shop, but it can also make or break your business. The first thing you'll need to do is hire an architect or interior designer to create a design that suits the style of your shop. You'll also need to purchase outdoor furniture and fixtures for tables and chairs and outdoor heaters if you plan on serving outside during colder months. Your budget should be around $1,000 - $40,000.

Is starting a coffee shop worth the cost?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not you should start your coffee shop. It is essential to understand that starting a coffee shop can be a very rewarding experience, but it also comes with many challenges.

The first thing you need to consider is location, and you want to ensure enough foot traffic in that area for your business to survive. The next thing you need to do is decide how much money you will spend on the lease. If you need more money, this may be an issue later on down the road.

The next step would be choosing what type of equipment you want for your business, what kind of food items you want to sell with it, and how much inventory will be needed for each item sold in your store. This can also be a challenge because you don't want too much inventory taking up valuable storage space, but at the same time, if there isn't enough product available, then customers will leave disappointed and never return! So it's essential to find the right balance between too much and insufficient product available for customers who need something quickly like milk or sugar!

How Much Do Coffee Shops Make?

Coffee shops are an ever-growing business; coffee lovers are willing to spend money on their favorite drink. You can make money in the coffee shop industry with the right location and a great product.

Coffee shops can be found in almost every city and town worldwide. They're usually located near colleges or universities and downtown areas where people hang out during lunch or after work. Some coffee shops even have drive throughs.

The average coffee shop makes a profit of $60,000-$160,000 per month and can be around 70 billion annually. This means an owner would need at least three years in business before expecting this income level based on average sales figures at other locations around the country.

What are the top permits and licenses needed to open a coffee shop?

To open up your coffee shop, you need to make sure that you have all of the necessary permits and licenses. Here are some of the most important ones:

Business License

A business license is required for any business, including a coffee shop. If you plan on selling food or drinks from your store, you will need one even more than if you were just selling coffee beans and other items that do not require cooking or preparation. You should check with your city or county office to see if they offer free business licenses or charge a yearly fee for one.

Coffee Shop Insurance

The next step is to obtain an insurance policy for your business. This can be obtained through an insurance agent or broker specializing in small businesses. Some policies cover losses due to theft, fire, and other natural disasters, while others also cover liability claims by customers who may get injured on your property or if their food becomes contaminated with bacteria from your kitchen equipment. The cost of this policy will vary depending on how much coverage you need and the risk associated with opening a coffee shop, such as operating heavy machinery.

Food Handler’s Permit

This is the most common type of permit needed, requiring basic training on operating safely in the food industry. The cost varies from state to state but typically ranges from $100-$300, depending on your location.

Doing Business As (DBA) License

This is a must-have if you want to operate under a different name than the one used on your personal credit card or other bank accounts. A DBA lets you open a bank account in your company name to accept payments from customers and vendors. Without it, you could be liable if someone sues the business because they were sold defective products or services under another name than yours!

Retail Food Service License: $100

Several states require this permit if you sell food items such as sandwiches, pastries, etc., and it allows you to sell ready-to-eat items. To sell raw meat or eggs, you must get a Retail Raw Meat and Poultry Permit from the Department of Public Health. This license can be obtained for $100 and requires an annual inspection by the local health department.

Resale License for Sales Tax

This license is required when selling products such as coffee beans or other items that are not taxed at the point of sale but at the time of resale, i.e. when they are shipped out. To obtain this license, you must fill out an application form and provide proof that you have paid sales tax on all sales made since January 1st of the year.

Building Health Permits: $50 to $150

This is one of the most common types of permits that a new coffee shop owner will need. A building health permit allows the local government to ensure that your building meets certain safety standards. It also gives them the power to inspect your business during construction to ensure compliance with these standards. The cost varies from state to state, but it can range from $50 to $150.


While many challenges come with owning a coffee shop, it's important to remember why you would want to own one in the first place. The long-term rewards of running your own business are usually worth the struggles you have to face. Focus on staying determined and optimistic; before you know it, you'll be ready for your grand opening! You can open your coffee shop if you have a passion for coffee and a decent amount of capital. As long as you are ready to take on the challenge of learning how to run your own business and are not afraid to take risks, then expanding into this industry might be the right move. The rest will come with experience.

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