The New Bakers Dozen
Is the space a coffee shop takes up worth it?

The The Bakers Dozen: Is the space a coffee shop takes up worth it?
By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Friday, December 24, 1999 - 09:48 am: Edit

I'm curious to get everybody's input on whether or not having a coffee shop draws in enough extra customers and money to make it worth the space it takes.

From my personal experience, the bakeries that _appear_ to be flourishing in my area have two things in common: good quality pastries, and good coffee for people to eat their pastry with.

Cheers, Mike

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 09:24 am: Edit

I agree with you Mike, I noticed the same thing here in Baton Rouge, good pastry and good coffee, so I guess that's the kind of shop I will open. Not to big in a location where peole can stop and are not "swallowed" by the ongoing traffic...

By W.DeBord on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 10:31 am: Edit

Ditto in Chicago. I've seen a couple located near movie theaters and in shopping malls that appear to always have customers. I do believe they stop for the coffee first then the pastry is a secondard purchase.

Vie De France (major chain) is in one of our more popular malls, Woodfield Mall. It's located center mall, roped off around it's exterior it so it's open air. A good place to watch people and be seen. I think they make more money there than in their full service resturants.

As always your success will be determined by the location you choose.

By Morgane on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 12:01 pm: Edit

I think coffee shop are in right now, how long will it last? No one knows. In France cafe are a way of life, could the same be true here, we'll know in a few years. But the main question is: Do people like the new coffee shop because their taste in coffee has evolved or just because latte and all are fashionable these days?


By W.DeBord on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 05:57 pm: Edit

It's a place to gather and not drink alcohol. I have friends that meet at coffee shops just to chat. You don't have the kids bothering you, you don't have to straighten up the house for company etc... Going out for coffee is a relatively cheap way to meet and usually it's an adult crowd. I think it will last for those reasons.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 06:03 pm: Edit

I don't know? I understand what you are all sayinmg. I am finishing out right now and I went for grab and go. I just didn't know how to put the numbers to the revenue generated buy the tables compared to more counters and product.I have a very detailed business plan and while researchingh we found out that we could not turn the tables nearly enough to off-set the high rent.
I don't know, its a crap shoot.
I would really like to have your imput on coffee stations that you see in 7-11 vs an air pot station.Starbucks will outfit me but boy, I just did not like the flavor. It was good tasting just brewed, but went down hill fast.

By W.DeBord on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 06:27 pm: Edit

My husband stops everyday at least twice for a cup of coffee. He loves the coffee at our local white hen and believe me he's tried coffee at every store in the Chicago area. My spouse is a person who HATES waiting in lines but he waits for their coffee.

If you didn't like the flavor will your customer? Save the money, people know a good cup of coffee.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, December 27, 1999 - 09:04 pm: Edit

What are you saying? They make his coffee behind the counter or he sits at a table.
Starbucks is a franchise in this area with an upscale image. People love this coffee. Its actually more expensive than most. Its just not for me. My question is ,should i grind make and airpot or use a local coffee service. Or have the coffee machine out for the customers use.
How does white hen serve their coffee?

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - 09:54 am: Edit

They have about ten air pots with a large assortment of brands and decafes. In the mornings when they're sooo busy they have one person who just maintains the airpots. It's aways fresh and hot and doesn't sit on a burner burning all day. He pours his own and prefers this for speed and selection. He won't go near a starbucks it's more expensive, he hates the snotty kids working there and they take too long. He buys coffee on the run only, never sitting. He also stops at a place near his office and gets coffee and a danish. His stop there is mainly for their danish (but he won't buy/try a upscale pastry).

If I go downtown Chicago where people walk everywhere Starbucks looks very busy. They do have an upscale image with white collar and students as their main customers.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - 10:11 am: Edit

We may not be like your average customers. We do have a 6 figure income but we are blue collar workers. We do have disposable income but buy what pleases us. We don't keep up with the Jones'. Living in the suburbs with busy shedules, convience is very important to us.

I don't know if we fit your customer profile.

Whether or not to have tables? It's a gamble either way.

We go to a fast food restaurant located in an old house. They only have 10 tables and no where to stand in line to order. If all the tables are full which happens 50% of the time we sit in the car and eat it. BUT the reason we are willing to do that is because their food is far superior to any other place in our area. It's a good value, they always greet us (they recognize their reg. customers), the cook treats us special and in return we go there often and tell our freinds about them. It's a frustrating situation but for their food we don't mind.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - 10:29 am: Edit

Thanks, now I understand. I'm really leaning towards the air pots. I can pick and choose the coffees with the customers input. I am in an affluent area where Starbucks rules, I'm sure they would like to have my spot! But I'm trying my best not to intimidate any of the office workers in the area with price.
My concept is a long way from starbucks.I have a 45 year old working manager and the same age counter persons. We try to emmit a small family feel.
Starbucks approached me. They were quite insulted when I critiqued their product.
thank you

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - 10:59 am: Edit

Obviously they approached you because you are a threat to their business. You sell the same product and have a edge with your pastries. They know when their line gets too long their reg. customers will try you. Their act of being insulted was worry in disguise!

Hope you blow them out of the water!

By MarkG on Tuesday, December 28, 1999 - 01:40 pm: Edit

I don't drink coffee but my wife does and she loves Starbucks. However, she will only drink a cup a month because it's so damn expensive. I don't like it because every store I've ben in has terrible pastry and the service is incredibly slow. I tried to sell pastries to them in the Richmond market but they buy everything from a spplier in D.C. I guess that's why it's so dry and stale.


By W.DeBord on Wednesday, December 29, 1999 - 08:29 am: Edit

Panini I made a mistake. Spouse corrected me, the coffee he loves at the White Hen is self serve from multi. Bunn coffee station. Sorry, I thought it was air pots he liked and his answer was a strong NO. He complained they don't keep the coffee hot enough.


By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, December 29, 1999 - 10:01 am: Edit

Thanks for that correction,the more I talk to local people the less waffling I'm doing. I think I will go with a bunn coffee maker and choose nice coffees. I have also descided to go with the pour over type. The automatic seems to have a problem with water quality. I will use bottled water. More cost and labor but I think a little edge over the comp.
Everyone agrees with your spouse about temps of the air pots.

By W.DeBord on Thursday, December 30, 1999 - 09:00 am: Edit

P.S. Don't confuse people like Star Bucks when you choose your coffees. Alot of people don't want to split hairs between Colubian and French Roast if you follow me... The average guy wants regular coffee or decafe.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, December 30, 1999 - 09:23 am: Edit

Yes you are right!As I ask around, most people are drinking coffee for the effect and not the flavor.I'll have a nice blend and I'll have a cup of jo.

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