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Now that you’re up to speed on our general guide to starting your business, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty details of opening a coffee shop.
You’ll need to apply for a business licence and registration from the local council. The local council will ask you to provide information such as:
For information on the process with your local council, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service.
You’ll also need to apply for a number of certificates from the local council, including perhaps:
You’ll then need to pay the associated fees and fill out the required paperwork.
If you plan to serve food in your cafe, you’ll need to follow food business licensing requirements, which also vary from state to state.
Food business licensing ensures your venue can produce safe food before it is supplied or prepared for the local community. Licensing requirements vary depending on the size of the venue and state or territory where you’re establishing the business. You can view the relevant licensing requirements for your bar below:
There are also several other licenses that you may require, so it’s best to seek advice.
Food Authorities and local councils work together to inspect coffee shops on a regular basis. Before you start trading, a representative will need to inspect the food premises to ensure it meets requirements. The onus is on the business owner to arrange this final inspection.
These inspectors will also complete regular food inspections to ensure your cafe continues to comply with regulations.
If you want to use a public space to serve food or drinks (for example, the footpath) you will need to apply and receive approval from council.
And ensure you’re across smoking regulations for your state; most states have banned smoking in outdoor areas.
You must also understand and comply with Fair Work laws, national employment standards and work, health and safety law.
Additionally, owners of a café franchise are subject to the rules and regulations put forth by the franchisor.
Location can make or break your café business, so it’s important you consider every aspect of it, including the pros and cons of a specific location before setting up shop. A coffee shop is a versatile business that can really make the most of many kinds of locations.
Putting up a ‘Help Wanted’ sign is a great way to find staff. A loyal customer could end up being your best employee. Advertising online will give you a greater pool of applicants and a greater ability to find qualified staff.
Qualified staff may be hard to come by, so don’t be afraid of hiring under-qualified staff. Sometimes the best staff haven’t had an opportunity to prove themselves.
Look for staff who put a lot of stock in presentation. In the age of Instagram, taste isn’t the only important factor in food and coffee. Just look at how the popularity of foam art has grown. Charisma and ability to keep a cool head under pressure can also make a huge difference.
Reward your employees hard work and treat them with respect and you will be rewarded with dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees.
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