Starting a coffee shop is fantastic and people often can't wait to open up. All the furniture has arrived, the coffee machine is in place and the menu's are on the tables. Ready to open up, right?
Well, not really! Are you really prepared? Do you know how to handle an order of 4 coffees and 3 cakes? Are you 100% familiar with the till? Have you worked out when to take lunch yourself? Do you know what to do when the queue builds up? Do you have enough change for the till?
Probably not. And that's ok, it's not a big deal. If, and I say if, you have customers that are forgiving. Because let's face it, most people give you only one chance in life. And if you mess up on the first week of opening then you might have to work for another few months just to work on your bad reputation. So why not do it right from the start?
Why not do a pre-opening day? How much is it really going to cost you? Pay your staff a little, a bag of coffee, a few bottles of milk, a couple of sandwiches and a bit of time from your family and friends.
Run an opening day as if it's lunch hour. Have at least a few people in the queue and play it the way it will be in real life.
Do it right and this will benefit you enormously!
And don't forget: do all the coffee training before you open!
After pre-opening comes your soft opening
A soft opening is where you are open but no-one really knows yet. Your door is open but you haven't told anyone about it. Actually, you tell the whole world that you open on the 1st but in reality you have opened up a week before.
This allows you to find your feet and fine tune everything. The week should give you time to sort out any minor problems so that when you are truly open everything will go smoothly.
Your training was totally invaluable. I just cannot overstate the importance and value in his excellent training sessions. Not only did Youri teach us to make a great coffee (still working on the tulip, but we were making excellent buttocks - sorry, hearts - by the end), but he also gave us some brilliant hints about our layout and work flows. I feel pretty confident in saying he's probably increased our profit potential at least 30% in a single day. Simply put, don't even think about opening a coffee shop until you've been on this course - ideally a couple of months before you open. - Andreas