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  • #994920
    ljmemm
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    Hi! For about a year now I’ve been researching and planning to open a deli in a small seaside town. I swapped my corporate job for a deli one to gain experience and pick up tips, and worked in cafes and restaurants for over 7 years before that.
    My vision is a small delicatessen that offers both dine in and take away cheeses, cured meats, salads, sandwiches, breads and small goods. I also make my own cheese, so am considering also offering beginners cheese making workshops in store. Another aspect (that I’m still tossing up) is offering a few (and I mean a very select few) wines by the glass and beers. Who doesn’t love a cheese plate and a vino?
    Due to an already existing high number of cafes in the area, I’ve decided not to serve coffee, but rather offer fresh juices. I’m not interested or skilled in the art of coffee so could not offer any competitive advantage in the area.

    That’s it in a nutshell! As far as my progress, I’ve attended a small business course as well as working on my Business Plan over the past 6 months. It’s a slow process but I’d rather be as prepared as possible before signing on a lease.

    Has anyone else opened a similar venture?

    I’m also a little lost in terms of where to go next. Once my business plan is complete, what is the next logical move? Do I get an ABN and start applying for licences before looking for a shop space? Or vice versa? When should I start purchasing equipment?

    #1199152
    Rohan@TD
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    Hi [USER=81390]@ljmemm[/USER],

    Your business plan should never be complete. It’s an evolving document you’ll use to establish, develop and grow your business over the years. They help guide your priorities and decision making along with other key documents (such as your strategic plan). Once you’ve started trading, your business plan should be updated to reflect your actual, versus planned, circumstances and adjustments made.

    Your next logical step is converting your current business plan into a development / action plan. Essentially, breaking down your business plan into a step-by-step process, dividing and assigning responsibilities to parties involved. Keep it flexible, a ‘To do’ list (albeit huge) is the bare minimum.

    Use hard surfaces (such as liquor licensing) to help guide the priorities within your action plan. If you haven’t already, I recommend you seek guidance from your relevant liquor licensing authority to confirm their requirements and lead times. If you are not taking over an existing liquor licence, applying for a new one can take a considerable and sometimes unclear (6+ months) for new applications depending on the approval authority.

    Identifying your shop space should be a priority, as it will drive your equipment and other set up needs.

    I’d recommend you to look at purchasing equipment only when you have identified your venue and confirmed your venue’s concept. However, putting together a list of necessary equipment (such as in excel, hyperlinked to your potential slipper), is a good idea – Although, doing this to identify your startup capital needs is wise.

    Cheers

    Rohan

    #1199153
    bb1
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    ljmemm, post: 235588, member: 81390 wrote:
    Due to an already existing high number of cafes in the area, I’ve decided not to serve coffee, but rather offer fresh juices. I’m not interested or skilled in the art of coffee so could not offer any competitive advantage in the area.
    ?

    I love the amount of research and work you have already put towards your concept, and [USER=78618]@Rohan@TD[/USER] has given some great advise for the next steps.

    My big concern is your comment I have quoted above. Have you done research on the number of coffee drinkers compared to just Juice drinkers, and yes when I ask that I know there is a big Juice franchise out there but they basically just sell juice.

    And my question is more aimed at how many people come in to dine and drink juice??? A big question in my opinion.

    even most of the health foodie type shops selling meals, sell coffee, I know when I go out with friends in particular for meals, everyone wants a coffee if its lunch or afternoon / morning snacks, very few have juice. Ok that’s extremely poor market research on my part, but look around at most tables and what is on them, coffee not juice.

    Also with take away food, what walks out the door in larger proportions, coffee.

    When I worked for a big corporate people went out and purchased coffee’s, not juices.

    To me (just my opinion), you shouldn’t be looking at the coffee as a competitive advantage, rather as a good addition to your product range, and invest the time and effort in becoming proficient. You don’t want people bypassing your shop, because you don’t provide one of the things that they see as essential.

    #1199154
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Could’t agree more with bb1.

    The most important part of your research should arguably be customer research so you should go out and profile your ideal customer and then survey their wants and desires and what they do not like about their current providers.

    Sounds like an interesting concept but the liquor licencing fees might surprise you around their costs.

    Cheers

    #1199155
    roxanne40
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    Sounds very exciting and very clever of you to go into the industry and get lots of experience. You are going into it with ‘open eyes’.

    Specialising in one concept is clever instead of trying to put too many fingers the pie. You have identified a concept that gives you a point of difference. I am presuming that none of the other cafes are doing what you are doing?

    I think if everyone else is doing coffee then that tells you something, sounds like the coffee is what in getting the people in the door. I think in winter people are not wanting a juice, you need to offer something warm. You could be different and offer specialised tea? Do great hot chocolates! That will get all the mums in with the kids.

    Who are the demographics? Office workers, holiday makers, mums with kids.
    Work with who your intended customers are.

    There is so much more to just offering good food to make your Cafe work.

    Ambiance, customer service, consistency, value for money, opening hours, reliably, great marketing, packaging.

    Cannot offer any advice with regards to wine…. Wine and Cheese definitely do go together but it sounds like getting a liquor licence is hard work, and expensive. What about local sparkling grape juices to go with that?

    Having owned a cafe for 8 years I know how many hours and physical hard work it entails. Do your research well, get a great marketing plan in place and
    best of all have fun.

    good luck.

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