Own business: mobile coffee shop

Restaurant and hotel business Coffee shop and tea club

Mobile coffee houses are a relatively new phenomenon in our country. The first such coffee houses appeared in Europe: in Denmark and in the UK. The most successful was the English company Bikecaffe (Velocafe), which used the so-called tricycles - tricycles with powerful high-capacity coffee machines installed on them (up to 500 cups of coffee per day).

This mobile coffee shop is not much different from the usual one: a wide assortment of several dozen varieties of coffee, preparing drinks in accordance with classical recipes, an experienced barista. Unless there is nowhere to sit for coffee. English mobile coffee shops are in great demand. They are installed in the main streets, in large shopping centers and in city markets. All these places have high traffic.

This business could not fail to interest entrepreneurs from all over the world. The appearance of coffee houses can vary, but in most cases it’s the same bike or scooter with a body on which the coffee machine is installed. Such a coffee shop is much more convenient than a truck, since it is more maneuverable, takes up less space, and it can be put on the sidelines expensive or even on the sidewalk. In addition to coffee, you can buy some of the pastries and pastries.

The British company Bikecaffe sells franchises worldwide. In the minimum configuration, it will cost about 500 thousand rubles (the mobile coffee house itself, equipment, barista training and advice on starting and running a business). According to the seller, the daily revenue is about 400 pounds with a good choice of location. In this case, all investments can be returned in 2-3 months. Of course, these data are optimistic and not very consistent with Russian reality. But there is no doubt that such a business is promising.

However, franchises can be bought closer. And to open such a business from scratch is also quite possible, as long as this niche in our country is practically unoccupied. In the CIS countries, the first mobile coffee houses appeared in Ukraine. Especially a lot of them in Kiev. In other cities, this business has just begun to develop. Ukrainian companies also offer franchises.

One fully equipped and branded machine will cost the franchisee $ 35 thousand. In addition, the franchisor conducts staff training, provides advertising support in the country and machine maintenance services. The payback period according to Ukrainian colleagues is about a year (with the cost of a cup of coffee 7-12 hryvnia).

The advantages of mobile coffee houses are obvious: to open them, no premises are needed and there is no need to draw up a large number of papers (although the documents are also not so simple). The cost of one such coffee shop is much lower than the cost of a regular stationary outlet, which sells drinks and instant products. It is easy to transport and store a mobile coffee house (an ordinary garage or small storage room is suitable for this). Due to the small costs of organizing a coffee shop (buying a vehicle, expenses for gasoline, salaries for employees, coffee and other products), it is more profitable than conventional catering establishments

So, if you are going to open your own mobile coffee house, you will need, first of all, transport - bicycles or scooters. Bicycles will cost less - about 15-20 thousand rubles for each, but they have certain restrictions on weight, speed and maneuverability. Most small firms use scooters. The sides of each scooter are sheathed, logos are printed on them, automatic coffee machines are installed. Larger companies use trucks for mobile coffee shops.

In addition, you will need raw materials (coffee beans, tea, sugar, milk, etc.), disposable coffee cups with lids, spoons for stirring. One to three people work at one outlet, depending on the size of the outlet, the cross-country capacity of the place where it is located, the day of the week (for example, in the business center of the city the cross-country capacity will be much higher on weekdays, and not on weekends), events held nearby, etc. The optimal number is two people per point. This is exactly what is needed so as not to create a line of customers in front of a coffee shop. One employee brews coffee, and the second settles with them. Although in most cases the flow of customers is not so large, and one seller may well serve them promptly (he also acts as a coffee shop driver).

The daily salary of the barista is about 5% of the daily revenue. This position is best suited for young people. In the summer, finding workers is not difficult: many students are not averse to making money on vacation, so employers place ads in educational institutions of the city. The working day of the barista begins early in the morning - at 7-8 in the morning. The sooner, it is better there, as ordinary coffee houses begin to open at 8.30-9 hours. Therefore, all coffee lovers at this time of the day will buy it from you.

Two days are enough for an internship and training a new employee. But finding workers from October-November to March is much more difficult. Students are studying at this time. And there are not so many people who want to stand all day in the cold, running from time to time to warm themselves in the nearest store. This is partly offset by large salaries for the autumn-winter period. Even with this in mind, profits from the sale of coffee in winter increase significantly.

Of particular importance are the recipes by which you make your coffee. As a rule, each manufacturer keeps them in strict confidence. The components that make up the drink, and their combination determine the taste of coffee. If the coffee is tasteless (and even worse - instant), then you should not count on the success of your enterprise.

With limited start-up capital, all the work to open, operate and develop a distribution network lies with the entrepreneur. If you are going to work on your own for the first time, then it’s best to contact specialists to develop the recipe for the drinks that you will sell. Although some businessmen are even specially trained in the specialty of barista. Experienced owners of mobile coffee machines warn: you should not rely on profit in the first six months of work. It takes time for buyers to notice your coffee houses, “taste” coffee and become regular customers. But with the proper level and quality of your products and services, the number of loyal customers will grow every month.

Choose employees carefully. They must have proper qualifications, experience in the field of sales and relevant knowledge. Experience as a barista, as a rule, is not a determining condition. Education in this area is not cheap, and the salary of a specialist with work experience is too large. At the same time, only about ten drinks are prepared in mobile coffee houses, including tea and chocolate, so the seller’s training will not take much time.

The minimum number of servings sold per day is about 70 cups. On weekends, during festivities, holiday events, sales increase to 200-250 servings of coffee per day.

The best place for coffee cars is located near underground passages, exits from metro stations, and near bus stops. At the same time, it is not recommended to change the location of the coffee shop: buyers should know that they can come here at any time for delicious coffee. As a rule, at the beginning of work, a coffee shop chooses a location, trading every day at new places in different areas. The mobile point receives a permanent location in the area where sales were the largest. The profitability of this type of business, according to the entrepreneurs themselves, is about 30%. At the same time, the initial investment can be recouped in a year and a half.

The main problem faced by owners of mobile coffee houses is the complexity of legal registration of this business. The legislation regarding entrepreneurial activity does not spell out this format of doing business. In this regard, other problems arise that significantly complicate the lives of entrepreneurs. The question of parking, registration of an official permit for the sale of food products from a car and other necessary documents remains open. The approval procedure for opening another mobile coffee shop takes a lot of time, effort and money. An additional item of expenditure is regular fines for representatives of sanitary services. As the co-owner of the largest Ukrainian network of mobile coffee houses admits, even with all sanitary norms and requirements, they have to pay fines every quarter.

On the one hand, coffee is a seasonal product. Its use drops sharply in the summer. First of all, this applies to the southern regions. At a temperature in the shadow of 40 degrees Celsius, there will be, for obvious reasons, not many people who want to have a hot coffee. It would seem that the best option is to change the assortment and offer in the period from May to August not coffee and chocolate, but iced tea and other soft drinks.

However, firstly, the competition here is very high, and the main advantage of coffee houses is lost - a quality product with good taste and prepared according to a special recipe. And, secondly, to install refrigerators, you need more space than under a coffee machine. Therefore, mobile coffee houses that operate year-round are more suitable for cities in Central Russia. But here another difficulty arises, associated with severe frosts. At an ambient temperature below 18-20 degrees Celsius, the water in the coffee machine freezes and sales stop.

In Russian cities, there is no competition among coffee houses of this type. But you should not expect such a favorable business situation to last long. Whether you “raise” your network from scratch or if you acquire a franchise, it does not play a big role. In both cases there are advantages and disadvantages. In the first case, the cost of doing business may be more than you pay for the franchise. You will have to look for a vehicle on your own, develop a logo, purchase coffee machines, invent or buy recipes for making natural coffee.

Add to this the cost of advertising and promotion. Outdoor advertising, advertising on radio and television, creating your own website on which the addresses of your outlets will be indicated - all this requires a lot of money. We also note that Ukrainian or European mobile coffee houses are still unknown in Russia, therefore you will have to promote your own brand and your own brand (but it’s better to invest money in your own company).

The advantages of working under a franchise are a bit less start-up capital (but the difference is not so critical), the absence of the need to fill your own "bumps" and the ability to seek advice from more experienced colleagues.

The prospects for the development of this business, according to market participants, are more than favorable. Even in Kiev, where currently there are over 150 different mobile coffee houses, the demand for high-quality coffee, which can be bought in a convenient place, is still not completely satisfied. Although there are also such entrepreneurs who soon after opening opened their business without receiving the profit for which they hoped. This is mainly due to the low quality of the product they offered (for example, instant coffee instead of the more expensive and difficult to prepare natural), the choice of an unsuccessful place for trading and the low level of customer service.

To summarize: the most expensive car for a mobile coffee shop will cost 500-600 thousand rubles (you can use budget options for the first time: for example, scooters), a two-post coffee machine and electrical equipment cost about 100 thousand rubles. About 10 thousand rubles will be needed to purchase the first batch of raw materials (coffee beans, sugar, water), as well as cups, lids for them, tubes, napkins, etc.

Branded products (that is, with the application of your logo) will cost more. Advertising costs depend on your region and the advertising media you plan to use. Many young companies do without advertising. Their only expenses on it are the development of a logo and its application on cars. The annual income from one point (after payment of expenses, salaries, taxes, etc.) will be about 250 thousand rubles.

Liliya Sysoeva

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