The café and coffee shop industries are popular, with an incredible market size of £5.9 billion, and a 4.5% growth increase in 2023 as the pandemic becomes a part of history.
But how profitable is a café, and is it a good business to own? This answer depends on multiple factors. Saying yes means you’ll have great brand awareness, a location that isn’t dominated by too many competitors, loyal customers, and a stable sales volume – amongst other elements. These are all achievable, and turnovers between £100,000 and £250,000 are doable.
However, it’s important to understand that this industry is competitive, and large chains like Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Costa dominate nearly half of the market. This is a threat you’ll need to mitigate by choosing the perfect location, and offering a service and environment that will encourage repeat customers.
The good news is that Greater Manchester is an ideal county for entrepreneurs, with Manchester being a city driven by a youthful workforce and healthy business activity. Local authorities and government-funded programmes also provide great opportunities for small business owners.
So, let’s list the top three reasons why you should invest in a coffee shop in Greater Manchester.
You can create an innovative environment
Having the freedom to implement your own creative ideas to the café you buy is an exciting benefit, as it gives you the opportunity to create a unique selling proposition that the existing café may not have had before. The choices you can make are endless:
- Include distinct visual designs, aesthetics, or unique offerings (free books to read, cats to pet, or instruments to play).
- Having a menu that incorporates food from your heritage.
- Including different services, like pottery or painting classes.
- Hosting music events, local art displays or book clubs.
- Having a speciality coffee on your menu that you can’t find anywhere else.
These are just some of the many ideas you can implement.
Cafés are scalable
To generate more profits, you need to think bigger. The great thing about cafés is that distinct concepts and exceptional customer service can be refined and replicated. As you grow your business, you may have the ability to open multiple locations to meet increasing demands. Of course, you’ll need to maintain the performance and quality of the business alongside these demands for it to be scalable.
In turn, you can spread your overheads and labour across a larger revenue stream. The more sustainable resources you have, the more sales you can generate. Caravan and Department of Coffee and Social Affairs are two examples of cafés that started small but have grown into admirable competitors with multiple locations in a single city.
Community contribution and upliftment
While profits are important, so is your reputation. A café that offers its surrounding community a safe and comfortable space to meet, decompress, talk, or just grab a bite to eat is one that will be remembered.
It’s possible for a successful and community-orientated café to make a huge difference in people’s lives, and this is a significant benefit you can work toward.
Some ideas you can consider are:
- Supporting your community through personalised discounts
- Promote and collaborate with other local businesses
- Celebrate customer achievements or milestones by offering free or discounted items
- Organise events
This type of value will not only create a competitive advantage, but it will also manifest itself in goodwill if you intend to sell your café in the future.
What are the risks?
Before we end this article, it’s important that we offer you a multifaceted analysis of owning a café. There are risks to owning a café, so it’s important that you find ways to mitigate or manage these. Risks include:
- Cost-of-living crises and remote working will impact your business.
- You could have a high staff turnover because of the nature of the industry.
- You may not have much of a work-life balance if you plan to run the café yourself.
- This is a fiercely competitive industry, with large brands dominating the market. Standing out will be an important goal if you want to survive.
How BusinessesForSale.com can support your new business venture
While there are risks to investing in a café, we believe the opportunities and potential rewards far outweigh these risks. It all boils down to your finance strategy, dedication, choice of location and creativity.
If you’re ready to buy your new café, you can explore multiple cafés for sale in Greater Manchester to understand more about asking prices, locations, and property details. Remember to take your due diligence seriously.
You can also consider buying a café or coffee franchise, which can be a safer route than buying an independent café.
We hope this article has been helpful, and we wish you the very best on your new buying journey.