The Dos and Don’ts of Starting a Coffee Shop in Ontario

Canada has one of the most stable economies in the world, and Ontario is one place where people love to consume coffee. This makes it the perfect area to open up a coffee shop because it has the potential to thrive. 

It’s said that no matter what business structure you choose to open in Ontario, the area offers a favorable business climate. However, even though Ontario has a thriving coffee culture, there are some key factors you need to consider before opening up your cafe in the region. 

In today’s post, we’ve provided valuable tips on the do’s and don’ts of opening up a coffee shop in Ontario so you can create a successful cafe from the get-go. 

The Do’s of Opening a Coffee Shop in Ontario 

Create a Business Plan 

A business plan is one of the most important documents you can create before launching your coffee shop. Your business plan can give you insights into different areas of your cafe. For starters, the document helps you determine the financial feasibility of your shop. 

Additionally, with a business plan, you can discover your target market and help you understand the local coffee industry in Ontario. You’ll also identify your competitors and how you can differentiate your coffee shop from theirs.    

Do Research on Your Target Audience

Before launching your coffee shop, you want to do thorough research on your target market. You want your shop to appeal to a special kind of audience. For example, some coffee shops can appeal to truckers, while others may catch the eye of college students. 

Decide which type of people you’d like to attract to your coffee shop so you can create marketing campaigns that will appeal to this demographic. 

Ontario has over 24 colleges and 500 private career colleges and institutions. Perhaps you can target career-driven people or students who love to follow trends. 

Make Your Coffee Shop Look Inviting 

One of the best ways to attract people to your coffee shop is by making it look inviting from the outside. Use platforms like Pinterest to give you inspiration on architecture and decor for sophisticated coffee shops. 

Since it snows during winter in Ontario, you may want to choose dark colors like emerald green awnings and a dark face brick exterior. Use warm lighting outside to give your coffee shop a cozy aesthetic.  

Create Speciality Coffees 

If you want to stand out from other coffee shops, especially bigger franchises like Starbucks, then consider creating specialty coffees. You can also have coffees that are only available for a short time. For example, Starbucks makes pumpkin spice lattes during fall. 

Come up with your own specialty or seasonal coffee that will attract more buyers. You can create a candy cane hot chocolate for Christmas or a chocolate egg and marshmallow beverage for Easter. 

Hire Quality Staff  

You can’t run your coffee shop by yourself. If you’re serving food and hot coffee, you’ll need to hire quality staff for the job. Post a job description on social media to attract candidates and conduct interviews to find the best talent for your coffee shop. 

The Don’ts of Opening Up a Coffee Shop in Ontario 

Don’t Open Your Shop in a Generic Space 

One of the worst mistakes coffee shop owners make is opening their cafe in a generic area that won’t get them any foot traffic. You want to open up your shop in an area where there’s an influx of people every day. Consider opening your coffee shop near a university. 

Don’t Choose Low-Quality Equipment 

Another mistake coffee shop owners make is buying low-quality coffee machines or using the wrong card machines. You must have the best merchant services so that people can pay for their coffee using various methods like credit cards, debit cards, tap and pay, or even Apple Pay. 

Don’t Slack on Marketing 

As a coffee shop owner, you must bring in as much business as possible. Just because you have customers doesn’t mean they’re always going to visit your cafe. That’s why it’s important to always market your business through social media, email campaigns, and even flyers if you have the budget for them.  

Final Thoughts 

Creating a successful coffee shop business can be difficult, but with the right strategies and plans, you can create a cafe that everyone wants to hang out at. Ontario is the perfect place to open up a thriving coffee shop, especially if you’re targeting executives and trendy college students. 

Use this post as a guide so you can surpass your competitors and build a coffee shop that may even become better than large franchises. 

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