When it comes to coffee, there’s no doubt about it: the country is one of the world’s coffee hotspots. Based on recent market research reports, the consumption of coffee has gone up over the years. A coffee shop is a profitable business to start in South Africa. As the average income has risen steadily, there has been an increase in coffee consumption. This increase in coffee sales  in recent years is due to the growing middle class which has resulted in a growing coffee and café culture. Younger, and upwardly mobile consumers drink coffee as a beverage of choice. It is evident that this is a business market that you can explore. South African coffee consumers are becoming more and more interested in the full coffee experience. Coffee is not only an essential beverage for starting your day; it can be seen as a social drug that promotes cohesion and recreation. Instant coffee remains an absolute favorite amongst many South Africans, and that’s how the commercial market supposedly took off. Just like any other country, the coffee culture is growing and finding a foothold in the South African market. This article will outline how to start a coffee shop business in South Africa, and the coffee shop business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.

A coffee shop is a lucrative business, providing income for many South African entrepreneurs, but there are some essential factors you need to consider before you venture into this business. You need to decide on the size of your coffee shop; location, the various beverages, the accompaniments you will provide, plus your target market. These factors will be affected by the amount of capital you have. Thus, you should carry out a feasibility study, market research and have a good coffee shop business plan before you venture into this business.

Business Model

A coffee shop’s business model is similar to that of a retail store, where the coffee shop has direct access to customers, who are usually local people from the neighborhood. When it comes to your brand, you can offer popular types of coffee such as Assagay Coffee, Douwe Egberts, Jacobs Kronung, and Frisco, to name a few. You can even stand out by providing coffee imported from other countries. There are various other beverages that you can offer, such as herbal teas, various brands of hot and iced tea, and hot and cold chocolate. In addition to providing hot beverages, you can offer snacks, cakes, confectionaries, and entertainment. You can also consider hosting events such as documentary screenings, book readings, and art displays with live music that can appeal to several people. It is important to note that your coffee shop is not just about offering food and beverages to your clients. You are selling an experience; people should be drawn to your shop because of the quality of your coffee as well as the great customer service you provide. This experience is also enhanced by the location you choose for your coffee shop. It is important that you set up your coffee shop in a safe neighborhood where potential clients can find you without hassle.

Market Research

For you to establish a successful business, you need to research your market. You must know who your potential customers are, especially if you are setting up a brick-and-mortar shop. Factors to study include the demographics, needs, and preferences of your potential customers. You must understand your customers’ spending patterns as well as their specific needs. You can obtain this information by talking to people in the area, visiting other coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes. Speaking to managers of different establishments can provide you with a lot of insight. By figuring out your potential customers’ behaviors, you can better position yourself in the market. You need to know who your competitors are and what they offer in order to improve your customer experience. Understanding the industry in terms of both competitor behavior and customer behavior will help you outline your unique competitive advantage. There are plenty of cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants that sell similar products and services. Even though the market is saturated, you can always find ways to differentiate yourself.

Location & Premises

This is an important decision to make before you start a coffee shop business. It’s important that you locate your coffee shop close to your target market. Consider the amount of road traffic, find an easily accessible location where people can stop and quickly get service. There are several possible locations, including shopping centres, malls, and the CBD. Opening a coffee shop close to places that typically have potential for traffic such as near schools could be ideal depending on your target market. It is important to be strategic about your neighboring businesses because you are more than likely to feed into each other instead of competing. The cost of buying or leasing the premises should be included in your coffee shop business plan.

Equipment For Coffee Shop Business

You need various equipment for your coffee shop business. The equipment you need will depend on the size of your coffee shop and the kind of products you will be selling. Some of the required equipment includes automatic coffee makers, espresso machines, roasters, stoves, ovens and brewers to name a few. You may need to buy delivery bikes especially if you plan on selling baked goods and other complimentary products to enable you to transport the meals for deliveries. Your coffee shop business plan should cater for such costs including the equipment you will need for your coffee shop.

Licenses, Insurance, and Business Bank Account

When it comes to the Businesses Act in South Africa, any business that offers food and beverages in the form of meals for consumption on or off business premises, or any perishable foodstuffs should have a license. As such, you need to apply for a business license for your coffee shop. As for a certificate of acceptability, you need to provide information about the nature and type of food you handle on the premises, as well as the nature of the handling. This could be preparation, packing, processing, or certain other information regarding your coffee shop. Another important aspect when it comes to setting up a coffee shop is insurance. You need to have property insurance, which helps you cover your coffee shop premises, equipment, and stock. You also require general liability in order to cover legal expenses if someone gets hurt in your coffee shop. Insurance can help you pay for equipment if it breaks down or gets damaged. You must have insurance to protect you from direct physical loss to your coffee shop as well as your personal property due to accidents. Make sure that you separate your business bank account from your personal bank account. Businesses’ expenses, cash flows, and taxes must not mix with your personal finances.


Your target niche will determine if your coffee business products will sell. The most popular beverages in most coffee shops and cafés in South Africa are brewed hot coffee and iced coffee, blended coffee, herbal teas, various brands of hot and iced tea, plus hot and cold chocolate. So, it will be advantageous to have all these various beverages in addition to other complimentary products. It is also wise to provide complimentary services such as free Wi-Fi to attract and retain customers.  In addition to selling beverages you can also sell breakfast, baked goods, and other snacks. Another essential factor in running a coffee shop is selecting the right suppliers for your coffee shop. Consider suppliers who can provide affordable and quality ingredients consistently. Your coffee shop business plan should outline the various products and services you will provide.

Competitive Analysis

There are a number of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops in South Africa, so in order for your coffee shop to succeed, you need to know your competitors. It’s important that you conduct a competitive analysis that identifies who your direct and indirect competitors are. Find out what other coffee shops’ strengths and weaknesses are and what you can emulate.  Visit their establishments to understand who their clientele is and how they draw customers. After the assessment, determine your coffee shop’s competitive advantage after assessing your strengths and weaknesses. A competitive analysis will help you determine your place in the market in order to grow your business.

Staff & Management

As a customer-centric coffee shop business, it’s important that you hire employees that are friendly and efficient. Your employees should be passionate about serving the clients. If you want to hit the ground running it’s better to hire a team of people who have experience in this business. Your baristas should be able to brew quality coffee, and your staff members should be able to serve customers efficiently on a regular basis.  Inexperienced staff members need to get extensive training before they can be given intricate brewing or baking tasks. Depending on the size of your shop, the actual number of your staff will vary however, you will need baristas, chefs, cooks, waiters, cleaners, and till operators, security as well as management. Your coffee shop business plan should cater for the salaries and day to day expenses of the business.

Some of the day-to-day operations of this business involves:

  • Brewing, cooking/baking
  • Serving Customers and doing deliveries
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Managing Staff
  • Marketing and advertising

When you are handling food products and beverages you should always remain aware and alert by paying attention to how the food and beverages are prepared. Food contamination can cause serious health issues. It is also crucial to adhere to all industry related safety measures in place. These safety measures cover the cleanliness of your environment; how your staff members dress plus how and where food is prepared and stored. Businesses related to the preparation and serving of food can be a great risk that is why adhering to health and safety regulations is important.

Sales And Marketing Strategies

Marketing a coffee shop is different compared to other businesses; it requires you to be more subtle. A coffee shop provides a highly social experience that relies on word-of-mouth advertising and personal recommendations from other customers. Your coffee shop will benefit from creating a wide, customer-friendly suite of services, since word-of-mouth can be an effective way to turn people into loyal customers. Make sure that you offer free Wi-Fi in your shop and that you install electrical outlets at each table for laptops and phone chargers. Take advantage of live entertainment and regularly book local artists in your shop. Consider hosting poetry readings and other events that have a community feel. This will make your coffee shop stand out in a place that has more than one coffee shop option in the area.  Make sure your coffee shop offers a drink, snack, or meal that is not offered by other restaurants or cafes so that your regulars will bring their friends.


Coffee Shop South Africa


The demand for coffee in South Africa is huge and increasing. The demand for instant coffee especially among the younger working class has been driving up the demand for coffee consumption in the country. This can be seen by an increase in the frequency with which new coffee shops are opening in the country. The South African market for specialty coffee, is relatively small. There are only a handful of local roasters sourcing and producing coffee of a standard that could be considered specialty. Also, research has shown that the market for coffee especially specialty coffee is limited by the high costs of equipment and the general running of the coffee shop. That being said, the rise of the coffee culture, with big international brands like Starbucks competing locally with independent South African coffee franchises like Vida e Caffee, Mugg & Bean and Bootleggers indicates great potential in the beverage. A majority of consumers’ do not simply drink coffee, instead many of them want to have a coffee experience. Having coffee has become a daily ritual for many students and professionals. Many coffee lovers require a caffeine boost at different times of the day or simply have it as a way to connect with friends and colleagues at a favourite coffee shop.

Is A Coffee Shop A Good Investment?

There is no denying that there is a reasonable number of coffee shops with a large market share in South Africa. Nonetheless, it is still possible for you to own your own coffee brand or even go the less riskier route by becoming a franchise. Many might find operating as a franchise limiting but being a franchisee can help you operate your business as part of an existing chain. Of course, building your own brand from scratch is more rewarding if done well. Whatever route you decide to take, investing in a coffee shop is a profitable venture, but obviously, this will depend on many factors such as your target market. The input costs of making coffee and other hot beverages is relatively lower compared to running a restaurant for example, so it is possible to make huge profit margins. Apart from the obvious advantages of becoming financially independent and becoming your own boss, running a coffee shop can be a rewarding way of uplifting your community.

Given that the South African market is one of the leading emerging economies on the African continent there is potential for high growth. The food and beverages sector in the country has been growing steadily for the past 10 years, thus opening a coffee shop is a good investment. Whether you are a young entrepreneur, a professional seeking to start your own business or someone who needs a retirement plan, investing in a coffee shop is something worth considering. One thing that can set you apart before investing in any venture is developing a business plan. A well thought out business plan will help you in both the short term and long term for your investment. There are various risks associated with running a coffee shop, like any other venture, your coffee shop business plan should clearly outline the risks involved and ways to minimise them.


For an in-depth analysis of the coffee shop business in South Africa, purchase our coffee shop business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many South Africans were venturing into the coffee shop business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.

Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a coffee shop business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as the coffee shop business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the coffee shop business. The business plan is designed specifically for the South African market.


The coffee shop business plan can be used for many purposes including:

  • Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Start-up guide to launch your coffee shop business
  • As a coffee shop business project proposal
  • Assessing profitability of the coffee shop business
  • Finding a business partner
  • Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
  • Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation


The business plan includes, but not limited to:

  • Market Analysis
  • Industry Analysis
  • 5 Year Automated Financial Statements [ Income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, monthly cash flow projections (3 years monthly cash flow projections, the remaining two years annually),break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortisation]
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Risk Analysis
  • SWOT & PEST Analysis
  • Operational Requirements
  • Operational Strategy
  • Why some South Africans in the coffee shop business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
  • Ways to raise capital to start your coffee shop business in South Africa

The Coffee Shop Business Plan package consist of 4 files

  1. Coffee Shop Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 99 pages)
  2. Coffee Shop Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 99 pages)
  3. Coffee Shop Business Plan Funding Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 48 pages)
  4. Coffee Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)

The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the markup, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change. 


We decided to make the business plan affordable to anyone who would want to start the business, and the price for the pre-written business plan is only 500 Rand.

We have several payment methods which you can use.

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Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Visa Card/MasterCard then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

Payment Method 2 (Instant EFT - FNB, Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank, CapitecBank, Investec, TymeBank and African Bank. )

Click Buy Now below to purchase. After you have purchased, you will instantly see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. We will also email you the download link. Get instant access to the business plan now!

If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once using Instant EFT then  click here: Business Plans Store

The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on sales@bizbolts.co.za and we will assist you.

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Call/Whatsapp us on +27606334830 for the other payment methods. (Whatsapp us by clicking the link https://wa.me/27606334830). Email: sales@bizbolts.co.za .