Mini-cafe: a profitable business on 100 squares

* The calculations use the average data for the World

How can a mini-cafe bring maxi income? In this article we understand all the intricacies of the restaurant business, plan a budget and share secrets on how to earn more than 200 thousand rubles a month.

A cozy, authentic cafe can become a favorite place for meetings and leisure activities for many people. Despite the abundance of such institutions, not all of them find regular customers and are forced to close. The reason for this is incorrect planning, management errors and ignorance of the nuances of the business. To avoid such mistakes, we have prepared a detailed guide on opening a cafe from scratch.

Market analysis and idea development

Every year, the culture of public catering is developing more actively. Demand for food outside the home is growing, and beyond it the number of establishments, a variety of offers. As a result, an active and very capacious food service market is formed, which is not even afraid of the financial crisis. Statistics note that while economies are unstable, Russians save on food outside the home, but do not give up on this at all. From which the conclusion follows: the catering industry is very relevant and promising.

The prospect of a high and stable profit brings to the market many players who have to work in conditions of fierce competition. Nevertheless, restaurant business participants find their customers, because everyone has different gastronomic preferences. Restaurants of national cuisines, bars, pizzerias, burger, dumplings - choose what you like.

Today we have chosen a mini-cafe and will tell you how to turn 100 sq.m. to a source of income.

The zero stage of the opening of a mini-cafe should be the definition of a concept. When the market offers many different establishments, only those who offer an interesting concept and are ready to surprise can stand out and attract their client.

To determine the direction will help RBC statistics, which reflects the structure of the domestic food service market. From this information it is clear that competition in the cafe with national cuisine will be significantly higher than, for example, dumplings. If you are new to the business, we recommend choosing a niche more freely. Although, if you have an interesting idea that will definitely "shoot", it is possible to gain a foothold in a popular direction.

Figure 1 - The structure of the catering market in the context of the concepts of the institution (RBC data)

Institution concept development

Let's start by choosing a cafe concept. When solving this issue, one should clearly understand what institution the owner wants to have and for whom he wants to open it. These positions are key and determine the future of the institution. It will depend on them:

  • determination of the target audience;
  • choice of premises;
  • menu;
  • form of customer service;
  • territorial location;
  • competitive advantages.

The scope for imagination is truly unlimited. You can focus on the original kitchen or make a cozy, creative atmosphere. You can choose a specific subject of the institution, come up with an original way of serving or serving dishes, serving guests.

The main thing to remember is that any idea should be well thought out and calculated.

The concept of the restaurant includes all the components of the enterprise: the choice of the format of the institution, the target audience, location, promotion, menu, type of service, the necessary equipment, production process technology, etc.

For example, if you plan to open a family cafe, it is better to place it in a residential area and develop a children's menu. If the selected place is located near an office center or public institution, the cafe should have a sufficient number of seats and a wide selection of snacks, while the design does not play an important role. And if you plan to open a thematic institution, for example, a cafe based on the film, then significant investments will be required in the decoration of the premises.

Therefore, the concept of the institution is a single whole, the foundation on which the whole business is built.

Finding a suitable place, planning a room repair

For any food service establishment, the right location plays an important role. The search for premises for a mini-cafe is determined by a number of important nuances. One of the most common options is non-residential premises, equipped on the ground floor of a multi-storey building. Its location itself is not so important, although it must meet some requirements. On the one hand, good traffic will attract the attention of new visitors. On the other hand, with the competent organization of the institution itself, the location can be slightly neglected and save on the cost of rent. The main condition for the location of the cafe is the convenience and safety of the entrance or approach to the establishment.

But for the premises of the future cafe there are more requirements, it should be selected especially carefully. Each room intended for public catering is thoroughly tested by state bodies - sanitary epidemiological station, Rospotrebnadzor, fire inspection. Strict requirements are presented to the arrangement of the kitchen and ventilation, compliance with the standards of the working area, finishing materials, organization of food storage, etc. In addition, you should evaluate the functionality of the premises - the possibility of redevelopment, the availability of all communications (water and sewage, electricity, gas), which will ensure uninterrupted operation of the institution. Particular attention should be paid to electricity capacities, since food equipment consumes a lot of electricity.

Another frequently asked question: buy a room or rent. As practice shows, at the initial stage it is not advisable to buy a building. Initial investments should be directed to the acquisition of good equipment, the creation of an attractive interior, and the promotion of an institution. However, when drawing up a lease, it is recommended that you immediately stipulate a possible purchase of real estate in the future. Also pay attention to the length of the lease. It will not be profitable for you in a year or two to move to another place: firstly, a significant amount will have to be spent on moving; secondly, the loss of a “promoted” place may deprive the institution of a share of the clientele. Therefore, it is worth discussing in detail with the tenant all the nuances of the contract.

The area of ​​the room depends on how compact the customers will be and on the overall capacity. We agreed that the mini-cafe will fit on 100 sq.m. From this area you need to subtract 35 sq.m., which will take the kitchen, 10 sq.m. - utility rooms, 3 sq.m. - a bathroom. That is, we will have 52 sq.m. What can be placed on this square? A cozy coffee shop or pastry shop, a thematic institution with a beautiful interior, a snack-type dumpling or pancake in the self-service format.

Depending on the layout and the method of arranging the furniture, from 20 to 40 people can freely accommodate in such a room.

The average rent for a normal room for a mini-cafe is about 50-70 thousand rubles, depending on the location and features of the room.

Advises to pay attention to the premises in which there were previously catering establishments. This will avoid unnecessary expenses and speed up the process of opening a cafe. Now you can find many options for suitable rooms, in which the space is divided into zones, the kitchen is equipped with ventilation and hoods, and the hall is equipped with air conditioning. Renting such premises may cost a little more, but there will be more benefits. This is easier than starting out from scratch.

Also, choosing a room, you should be guided by how the interior of the cafe is supposed. Different concepts will require different planning solutions.

In the repair process, you need to focus, first of all, on the convenience and comfort for visitors. After all, a cafe is a place to relax and have fun. And the atmosphere should be appropriate, so you should pay attention to the interior of the institution. It is advisable that each table be in relative isolation from each other, because the privacy of the company is also a kind of comfort.

The interior of the institution plays not only an aesthetic role, but also allows you to create the "chips" of the institution, a memorable corporate identity. This makes the interior an effective tool in promoting a catering establishment. Creating an interior is best left to a professional designer. Then it will turn out to create a unique space in the bar where people want to spend time and where they want to return.

Repair costs can be completely different: it all depends on the idea, the materials used and whether you use the services of a designer or not. That is why it is quite difficult to name the exact amount of repair costs. The average cost of repair and decoration is about 200 thousand rubles.

For any catering establishment, especially small cafes, the right room plays an important role. The cafe should be located in a crowded place: markets, parks, near shopping malls or inside them, near business centers, office buildings and educational institutions, on the central streets.

When choosing a place, you should also consider the presence of competitors nearby. Studying the competitive environment, you need to pay attention to prices, offered services, quality of service and menu.

Here is a classic list of requirements for the ideal location of a cafe that every restaurateur should know:

  • Entrance from the street. The line of houses from the highway is the first.

  • Close to pedestrian or car traffic.

  • Location at the crossroads. Purpose: the windows of the cafe go directly to TWO streets, which is why they advertise the institution. Ideally, if at the same time from each street you also build your own separate entrance.

  • Proximity to bus stops.

  • Beautiful design of WIDE windows. The more convenient it is for a person sitting in a cafe to look at the street from the window, the cafe is more popular.

  • Avoid “mazes” indoors. This exerts unpleasant psychological pressure - discomfort. The hall should be a simple and uncomplicated rectangle, but rather a square.

  • Avoid rooms with low ceilings. The ceiling should be at least 3 meters. Other options (minus the ceiling height) will attract you exclusively marginalized audience.

  • Nice view from the window.

  • Ground floor.

Collection of necessary documentation

Having decided on the premises for the future cafe, you need to start collecting all the necessary documentation. This process is quite time-consuming and includes several areas. For convenience, we consider each separately.

  1. Registration of the organization. You can issue an IP or LLC - there are no special nuances here. As a type of activity, according to the new classification of OKVED, one should choose 08/18/2019 Activities of restaurants and cafes with full restaurant services, cafeterias, fast food restaurants and self-service

  2. Paperwork for the room

  3. Register a cash register and register it with the tax authorities.

  4. Obtaining permits from the SES and the fire service.

  5. Registration of all necessary documentation in the sanitary and epidemiological station, which is required to start the work of a catering establishment.

If the cafe does not plan to sell alcoholic beverages, then the purchase of a license is not required. If the menu includes alcohol, you will have to issue the appropriate permission. Many cafes refuse to sell strong alcohol, since a license is expensive.

Equipment purchase

The specific list of equipment depends on the concept of the establishment and the menu. For example, for a sushi bar you should buy a special table for a sushi, for a pizzeria - pre-burning ovens, etc. Therefore, an exhaustive list of equipment cannot be provided. However, table 1 summarizes the main items that can come in handy in the kitchen of any food service.

Table 1 - An approximate list of equipment for mini-cafes


Cost, rub.

Thermal equipment:

Combi Oven


Electric range with oven

50, 000

Refrigeration equipment:

The case is refrigerating


Freezer cabinet


The table is cooled

54, 000

Ice maker


Auxiliary equipment:



Meat grinder




Vegetable cutter



15, 000

Coffee machine

50, 000

Equipment for cleanliness and order:

2 washing baths


Production wall and island tables


2 racks

15, 000

Island table for waste collection


Island table for waste collection


Crockery and kitchen utensils:

Kitchen tools


Dishes for visitors

50, 000


622, 000

To save on equipment, you can purchase it "with hands." However, one should be careful with this, since there is a risk of running into unscrupulous sellers and buying equipment that will quickly fail. Nevertheless, on the market you can often find offers when an entrepreneur closing a non-profit business sells quality equipment in a set at the lowest price.

In addition, you will need to purchase furniture. The cost of furniture and decor of a mini-cafe will be about 150 thousand rubles.

Drawing up the menu, organization of supply

At this stage, you should determine the composition of the menu, the list of dishes, their cost and selling price. To calculate the cost of the dish you will need a technological map, which is also necessary to obtain permission from the SEN. The routing indicates the consumption of products per portion and the volume of this portion.

When the menu is ready, you should determine the suppliers and establish supply channels. What may be the categories of suppliers for cafes:

  • supplier of meat, poultry, fish;

  • supplier of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs;

  • Tea / Coffee / Beverage Suppliers

  • grocery supplier.

For certain categories of deliveries that provide the main menu, it is recommended to conclude exclusive contracts with one trusted and reliable supplier.

It should be noted that when signing partnership agreements, you can count on additional bonuses for the company - for example, beverage suppliers usually provide branded dishes and equipment to the establishment.

When negotiating cooperation with suppliers, you must familiarize yourself with all the conditions specified in the contract. As a rule, transportation costs for the supply of ingredients are borne by your production. To reduce this cost item, you need to choose suppliers that are closer to your establishment.

The required amount of raw materials is determined on the basis of the menu, the technological map of product preparation and the expected sales volume. It is important that the recipes comply with GOST or separately accepted specifications.

Since a contract of delivery with deferred payment terms is often found in restaurant practice, the initial investment in working capital should not exceed 30% of the total cost of dishes for the first billing month. Learn more about the organization of supply and work with suppliers of cafes and restaurants can be found in this article.

We are planning a promotion

The advertisement is engine of the trade. Advertising for a cafe is a supplier of customers. Therefore, it is worth paying special attention to the development of a marketing strategy. It will be formed depending on the concept of the institution, the target audience and budget.

What should a marketing strategy include? Development of the name of the institution, its logo and corporate identity; organization of an advertising campaign (promotions, promotion tools).

A vivid and memorable name will highlight the institution from the many offers in the catering market. Services for developing a corporate identity of an institution will cost an average of 10, 000 rubles. A catchy, eye-catching sign, including its installation, or window dressing, will cost about 30, 000 rubles.

To promote the cafe, you can use various marketing tools: promotional videos in the cinema; network promotion; sponsor participation in cultural projects; installation of billboards and signs; distribution of business cards, flyers or booklets with the menu; event marketing; media advertising; radio advertising; participation in food exhibitions and fairs; loyalty programs, promotions and so on.

Another effective method is advertising on social networks targeted at young people. Within the framework of social networks, one can hold a “happy repost” campaign, “feedback contest”, etc. This tool aims to attract an additional audience. You can also provide for the “happy hours” promotion - the time during which the institution offers discounts, a special menu, etc. The use of this advertising tool should be carried out with the following recommendations:

  • action planning on weekdays;

  • increase the price of the most popular menu items to cover the difference in costs;

  • short and clear slogan for the action;

  • one group of drinks or food participating in the promotion;

  • tracking stock returns.

The use of a particular tool depends on the target audience of the institution and the project budget.

On average, about 50 thousand rubles should be pledged for promotion in order to quickly gain an audience.

However, the best advertisement for a catering establishment is a quality product and service. If the consumer appreciates the dishes and service, then he will want to return to this institution again and advise his friends.

An equally important parameter for advertising a catering establishment is its location, since a well-chosen place often determines the success of a business.

Determining the format of service and staff recruitment

Before determining the required number of working personnel, you should choose the format of service in your institution. This may be the principle of a cafe with menus and waiters, self-service with cashiers or a prototype of a traditional dining room. Everything again rests on the concept of the institution.

For a mini-cafe with 30-40 seats you will need to hire:

  • 4 waiters (shift work);

  • 4 cooks (shift work);

  • 2 dishwasher cleaners (shift work);

  • administrator;

  • accountant cashier (outsourcing).

Chefs coordinate the work of the kitchen, develops recipes and menus, controls the cost of food, is responsible for cooking, storing food, working at one or more kitchen stations, depending on the distribution of responsibilities.

The waiters take orders in the hall, provide customer service, monitor the cleanliness in the hall, set the table, accept payment for the order, are well-versed in the menu and can give recommendations to visitors.

Dishwasher cleaners are responsible for the use and maintenance of dishwasher equipment, monitor the cleanliness of dishes, the kitchen and the hall.

The accountant keeps financial records of all operations and works remotely.

The administrator organizes the workflow, hires and manages the staff, is responsible for the marketing policy, monitors the profit and loss ratio, accepts and schedules reservations and pre-orders, and monitors the work of staff. The owner of the institution can act as an administrator in order to reduce costs. When things are going well at the cafe, you can delegate these powers to the employee.

It should be noted that the cafe works seven days a week, so you need to provide employees with a shift schedule.

Requirements for the staff of a public institution:

  • all employees must have sanitary books with appropriate marks;

  • cooks must have professional education and work experience;

  • all employees must be instructed before admission to the workplace, study safety instructions for the operation of the equipment.

The size of the payroll with such a staff will be about 220 thousand rubles.

Calculation of income and expenses

На данном этапе отвечаем на самый важный вопрос – сколько стоит открыть мини-кафе с нуля? Чтобы получить точный расчет, рекомендуется разработать бизнес-план, который будет учитывать все затраты в пересчете на актуальные цены для конкретного региона и определенной идеи.

В таблице 2 представлены первоначальные расходы на проект. Таким образом, для открытия мини-кафе понадобится около 850 тыс. руб.

Таблица 2. Первоначальные вложения для открытия мини-кафе


Amount, rub.

Initial rental payment

60, 000

Ремонт помещения, мебель, декор

250, 000


400, 000

Registration of business, preparation of permits

25, 000

Starting advertising campaign

50, 000

Raw material purchase

70, 000


855 000

In addition to the initial costs, the project has monthly expenses, which should also be planned. Monthly costs are divided into variable and fixed costs. Variable costs consist of the costs of the ingredients that are used in the preparation of dishes, as well as the payment for the capacities consumed during the production process (water, gas, electricity, sewage). Для упрощения финансовых расчетов переменные расходов можно рассчитывать, исходя из суммы среднего чека (1000 руб.) и фиксированной торговой наценки в 250%.

Fixed costs consist of rent, utility bills, payroll, advertising costs, taxes and depreciation. The amount of depreciation is determined by the linear method, based on the useful life of fixed assets of 5 years.

Таблица 3. Постоянные затраты


Amount in months, rub.



60, 000



10, 000


Communal payments

10, 000



5, 000



20, 000


Payroll deductions

220, 000


325 000

Теперь рассчитаем, сколько может заработать мини-кафе? При вместимости 30-40 человек и заполняемости зала 70% за месяц можно ожидать посетителей. При среднем чеке 800 руб./чел, месячная выручка составит 672 000 руб., а чистая прибыль – примерно 200 000 руб. При таком уровне прибыли первоначальные вложения смогут окупиться за полгода. При этом рентабельность составит 43%. Для заведений общественного питания максимальный срок окупаемости составляет 2-2, 5 года. Поэтому перспектива окупить бизнес в течение первого года достаточно оптимистична.

Учет рисков

Для любого вида бизнеса свойственно наличие рисков. С какими сложностями можно столкнуться при открытии своего заведения? У мини-кафе могут быть серьезные проблемы, поэтому следует заранее спрогнозировать их и разработать мероприятия по их устранению.

  • неудачный выбор местоположения и помещение бара. Visit traffic may be overestimated or the competitive environment may be underestimated. При выборе помещения могут быть упущены какие-то нюансы, которые проявятся при работе. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully approach the analysis of the outlet and take into account various factors;

  • increase in prices for raw materials, unscrupulous suppliers, low-quality raw materials. In the first case, there is a risk of increased costs and, as a consequence, the selling price, which can negatively affect demand. In the second case, the risk is associated with interruptions in production. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of these threats with the right choice of suppliers and the inclusion in the contract of all necessary conditions that provide for the liability of the supplier if they are violated;

  • reaction of competitors. Since the catering market is quite saturated and the competition is high, the behavior of competitors can have a strong impact. To minimize it, it is necessary to create your own customer base, constantly monitor the market, have a customer loyalty program, create competitive advantages and unique offers;

  • refusal to provide rental premises or increase the cost of rent. To reduce this risk, it is necessary to conclude a long-term lease agreement and carefully select the lessor;

  • falling effective demand. This risk can be mitigated by developing effective loyalty programs, including discounts, happy hours services, etc .;

  • staff problems, which implies low qualifications, staff turnover, lack of employee motivation. This may entail a decrease in sales efficiency, a decrease in revenue, and the formation of a negative image of the establishment. It is easiest to reduce this risk at the stage of personnel selection, hiring employees who meet all the requirements. A bonus system should also be provided;

  • equipment breakdown and production downtime. The risk will be mitigated by regular maintenance of equipment in order to maintain its operability;

  • spoilage of products due to low demand, breakdown of storage equipment, improper storage, planning errors. For the restaurant business, this risk is highly likely. Surplus products can occur for two reasons: firstly, due to the low level of sales and the unpopularity of some dishes; and secondly, due to errors in forecasting sales. To reduce this risk is possible by proper planning and forecasting, reviewing the range, exclusion of unprofitable dishes from the menu. Food storage errors, damage to refrigeration equipment can lead to food spoilage. This threat can be avoided by training personnel and monitoring their work, as well as regular equipment maintenance;

  • decrease in the reputation of the institution in the circle of the target audience with errors in management or a decrease in the quality of services. It is possible to mitigate the risk with constant monitoring of product quality, receiving feedback from customers of the institution and taking corrective measures.

Составив подробный бизнес-план, грамотно организовав работу на каждом из этапов реализации проекта и предусмотрев основные риски, можно построить прибыльный и перспективный бизнес в сфере общественного питания.


Как любой бизнес, мини-кафе имеет свои преимущества и недостатки. Главное преимущество – активизация спроса на еду вне дома, становление культуры общественного питания и высокая наценка на продукцию, что обеспечивает значительную прибыльность. Отрицательный моментом является высокая конкуренция на рынке, большой стартовый капитал, сложности в оформлении документации, необходимость постоянного участия собственника в бизнес-процессах.

Однако рост популярности небольших, аутентичных заведений и мода на уютные пространства с красивым интерьером оставляют бизнесменам простор для реализации своего потенциала: не только предпринимательского, но и творческого. Залог успеха – придумать оригинальную концепцию, которая выделит ваше заведение среди конкурентов. Однако одной идеи недостаточно. Реализация тоже должна быть на достойном уровне, чтобы клиенты захотели к вам вернуться.

Если удастся завоевать своего потребителя, то выйти на прибыльную работу мини-кафе может уже через 3-4 месяца после открытия, а первоначальные вложения окупятся в течение года. Мини-кафе способно зарабатывать более 1 млн. рублей в год.

Get up-to-date calculations for a business plan

Evgenia Yurkina

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