How to master the opening of a café? 6 Tips to Manage Your Budget

Have you always dreamed of opening your own café? It’s essential to plan ahead and estimate the budget needed to complete the project. This article will guide you through the different aspects to consider when opening a café, and give you advice on how best to estimate your budget. So, let’s take a look at how to Master the Opening of a Café? 6 Tips to Manage Your Budget.

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Understanding the coffee market

To get off to a good start, it’s crucial to understand the coffee market, not just in your region, but also nationally and internationally. Research trends, competition and customer preferences. Don’t forget to take into account cultural and economic aspects that may influence coffee-drinking habits.

Identifying trends

Coffee consumption trends are constantly evolving. Make sure you keep up with the latest trends to create an offer tailored to your customers. For example, themed cafés or cafés offering plant-based drinks are becoming increasingly popular. Don’t hesitate to do your own research and subscribe to specialized sites.

Choosing the ideal location

Assessing the area

The location of your café is crucial to its success. Look for a location with good visibility, high footfall and easy access for your customers. Also consider the proximity of your competitors and the potential demand in the chosen area. A café is a local business, so your future customers must be within a radius of one kilometer.

Rental costs

The cost of renting your premises will depend on their size, location and, above all, maintenance. It’s important to negotiate a good rental contract (lease) and to plan for expenses related to charges and taxes.

Design and decoration

Furniture and equipment

The choice of furniture and equipment is essential to create a pleasant and functional atmosphere in your café. Budget for tables, chairs, coffee machines, refrigerators and other necessary equipment. Don’t forget your investment in IT tools.

Layout costs

The design and decoration of your café must be adapted to your concept, your chosen location and your clientele. Plan a budget for furnishings and decorative elements. Don’t forget to take safety and accessibility standards into account. You also need to allow for unforeseen circumstances in the fit-out work.

Suppliers and inventories

Sourcing coffee

Choosing the right coffee supplier is essential for the quality of your future coffees. Find out about the various options, such as local roasters or major brands. Compare prices, delivery and payment terms to choose the supplier best suited to your needs. You can create a theme based on the origin of the coffee. It can be 100% Arabica, organically grown or certified.

Managing inventory

Inventory management is an important part of your budget. Set aside a budget for the initial purchase of items such as coffee, milk, sugar, pastries and other food-related inventories. Make sure you also have an inventory management system in place to avoid waste and stock-outs. Don’t hesitate to invest in management software.

Q: How can I attract customers as soon as my café opens?

A: To attract customers as soon as your café opens, rely on an effective communication campaign. Use social networks, local advertising and word-of-mouth to promote your establishment. Organizing a grand opening event and offering special promotions can also help you attract the attention of potential customers. Don’t forget your loyalty strategies, which will keep your customers coming back again and again.

Marketing and advertising

Online presence

Having an online presence is essential to attracting customers. Plan a budget for the creation of your website, hosting, domain name and social networks. You should also consider investing in search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your online visibility. You also have the investment that will be directed towards the various social networks. You need to define your advertising budget for one year, so that you have the necessary funds to undertake communications actions.

Advertising costs

Advertising can be a great way to promote your café and attract new customers. Set a budget for advertising campaigns, whether posters, flyers or online ads. Don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns to optimize your budget.

Personnel and management

Hiring staff

Staff are one of the most important factors in the success of your café. Set aside a budget to hire competent staff. People who love the main product, i.e. coffee. Of course, a barista can also be a coffee professional. You need to take into account salaries, social security contributions and any training.

Management costs

The day-to-day running of your café will generate costs and operating expenses. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you need to calculate your café’s operating costs to the nearest dollar. Don’t forget to budget for these recurring expenses and for unforeseen events.

Q: What is the budget range needed to open a café?

A: The budget range varies according to many factors, such as location, size of premises, type of café, equipment and type of service offered. It’s always difficult to give a precise figure until we’ve started work on the project.


Opening a café is an exciting project that requires rigorous planning and management. By taking into account the various aspects presented in this article, you’ll be able to better estimate the budget you’ll need to make your dream come true. Don’t forget your business plan, and that the key to success lies in attention to detail and the ability to adapt to market changes.

Philippe Bertrand

Founder of the Quebec Restaurant Entrepreneurship Center

  • Master of Restaurant and Hospitality Management
  • Licence Rights-Economy-Management: Creating and taking over a restaurant