Choosing Cafe Premises


Choosing Cafe Premises

Whether you are moving to a better position or larger location, or starting a new business from scratch choosing the premises for your cafe is incredibly important.  Let’s take a look at what to consider:

Location, Location, Location

This cannot be reiterated enough, your location must be right for the type of cafe you are planning to run there.

A workers lunchtime cafe must be convenient to where people work.  A chic boutique style to catch the ladies who lunch crowd needs to be in the right part of town.  A dog friendly cafe would benefit from being close to where people walk their dogs and a cafe for holiday trade would benefit from being near tourist attractions.

The town, village or road, that you want to open the cafe on are all considerations when working out your plan.

Size Matters:

A cute little cafe may seem quaint and attractive, but will you have enough space to serve enough customers?  If it is small, but otherwise perfect is there a room upstairs that could be incorporated into the cafe? Or is there a garden that could be used as a tea garden?

It is a big mistake to sign a lease on a cafe that is too small.


How many people are you going to be employing?  If the answer is “err, just me”, then layout is especially important, you need to be able to see who is coming and going if not all, most of the time.  The layout needs to lend itself to the style you have chosen and to succeed you want a natural flow to the premises.  There will need to be a clear line from the door to the main counter.


When making your plans, make sure that there is good wheelchair access and ease of use for parents with pushchairs too.


Think about how many changes you will need to make to create the decor that you want.  When choosing the decor, try to create a theme that is timeless and unique.

Think about the lighting, the temperature in different areas, the sound system and where you need power points, for example if you are going to have a separate coffee section.

If the premises is already a cafe does it have easy to clean furnishings and an easy clean floor surface.  Old wooden floor boards may look great before you start, but they can be tricky to clean and keep looking great. 

Kerb Appeal:

How does the cafe look from the road, what will you change?  Does it still fit your dream now that you are looking at it?


Write down a list of pros and cons and weigh everything up before making your decision.  Ask questions, look around the neighbourhood. Check out the local competition.  Check and the double check the existing use license code and what you need to do to change it if not.

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