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. Below you’ll find detailed information on the specific café licences, rules and regulations, as well as tips for choosing your location and staff.
This guide is also available in a downloadable format and includes an extra comprehensive startup checklist – a perfect way to keep track of your progress!
Business and food licences are designed to help cafe owners follow proper food business requirements and protect their customers from contracting food-borne illnesses.
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.
Food business licensing ensures your cafe 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.
These can be viewed here:
There are also a number of other licenses you may need, so it’s best to seek advice. For example, if you plan to play music at your coffee shop, you may need a music license to cover copyright issues.
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; some states have already banned smoking in outdoor areas (i.e. NSW), and others are following – Victoria will see the ban come into force from August 2017.
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.
In the hospitality business, finding good staff can be a difficult but worthwhile endeavour. Café staff need to be friendly, outgoing and loyal. For a successful café, it’s imperative your barista is talented and really understands the art of making a good coffee.
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.
Get in touch with our hospitality POS experts to see how Impos can help your business thrive.