Coffee Shop Business Models – Part 2

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Coffee Shop Business Models

This is the second part of our business models article. If you haven’t read part 1, you might want to head over to

Coffee Shop Business Models – The Full Guide Part 13. Themed Coffee Shop Business Model


3. Themed Coffee Shop Models

If you have a love for something, and also want a career in the coffee industry, then a themed café could be the perfect opportunity for you to embrace both.

Your passion will always shine through when running your themed coffee shop. But you could come across a lot of hurdles along the way.

However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a load of fun. You will be around people who have the same interest as you, love to talk about the same things and want to enjoy themselves as much as you do.

One thing to think about here though is setup costs. Cost is certainly an important attribute of your business and it’s probably the one thing that will need the most monitoring when breaking into the ‘themed café’ market.

So, in this section we are introducing you to a few different styles of themed coffee shops.

We’re giving you some key nuggets of information to help if you decide on taking the big leap of faith into running your own.

Also, if you’re looking for more inspiration, there a various links for you to follow to other websites, which are sure to help you on your quest for success.

3 Examples of a Themed Coffee Shop

Cat Café

Cat Café’s are all the rage in 2019 and beyond. The people of today aren’t afraid of having animals with them while drinking their coffee or nibbling on their afternoon snacks.

Customers tend to have an area where they will lay down and play with the cats, while at the same time having the opportunity to learn more about their feline friends.

Having cats around you is said to be extremely therapeutic. It has even been known for cat cafés to have a bistro area. So, you could expand your business if it makes sense to do so.


Board Games Café

Keeping people in your coffee shop to buy your products can be tough. But when they are in there, then at least you have a much better chance of selling something.

One way to keep them in, is to give the punters something to play, such as board games.

Some board games can last forever, which is good and bad.

It’s good because it means people are associating themselves with your business. But it could be bad if they are simply taking up space for free and not buying any of your products.

One way around this might be to charge a small fee for the time they spend at the tables and/or on the board games.

Board game coffee shops have seen some amazing success in some areas of the world.

So why not give it a go?

Simply get hold of some old board games and build out your supplies from there.


TV Show (Friends)

If you’re stuck for ideas, try to pick one of your favourite TV shows and design your business around that.

Sound crazy?

Not so crazy.

In around 2012, there was a coffee shop set up in Liverpool City Centre called Central Perks.

That’s right, it had the same name as the café on the TV show – Friends.

Everything about the café resembled the show. They had the same sofas, stools and even light fittings.

People visited the store from all over the world and, at one point, the coffee shop obtained a 4.7 star rating on Trip advisor.

There are hundreds of types of interests and we may not have covered yours here. So, don’t be afraid to try a different theme if there’s something you are passionate about.

If you’re looking for even more inspiration, have a read of this article which provides a list of the 20 most amazing themed cafes around the world.


Important Attributes of a Themed Coffee Shop

Fixtures & Fittings Could Set You Back

You want your place to be the best you can make it. Especially if it resembles your passion.

As part of this, your fixtures and fittings will need to be up-to-scratch.

That means, you won’t want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to giving your customers the experience they are expecting.

With that said, careful planning and implementation will be crucial. Even more so, if you have time constraints against your initial opening day.

Remember to keep a very close eye on costs, because whatever you spend here will need to be reflected in the price of your products and services when you open your doors.



High Footfall Could Determine Your Success

Choosing a great location for your business could be the difference of success and failure.

It’s sometimes said that people don’t decide what they are doing until they have done it.

So, if they happen to walk past your door and make a split-second decision to come in, you will prosper from unexpected trade.

On the other hand, if you are hidden away and they never walk past – they may also never make that split-second decision to go in.

That’s not to say you can’t make a success if you are hidden away.

It just means you will need to do more marketing so that people make the conscious effort to come to your place of business for an experience and coffee or a cake.


Your Equipment List & Setup Guidance

We’ve already talked about the importance of fixtures and fittings in a themed coffee shop.

So, let’s now tell you some of the essential equipment you will need.

Then, we will give you some setup guidance so that you can do a bit of crucial planning.


Machine Type

For this type of business, you will need a 2 group 12 litre boiler espresso coffee machine.

By purchasing one of these, you will be guaranteed to fulfil the demand of the customers in the short time they expect to be served.

Speak to one of our team if you need more advice on purchasing a coffee machine.


Coffee Menu

It’s likely you will have an ambitious interior setup with a themed café. Therefore, you should keep your menu as simple as possible.

By keeping it simple, your staff will be able to easily remember how to ensure the food and drink is consistent. Leaving them more time to get involved with the themed experience of your business.



Due to setup and running costs, you should be charging a premium price for your food, drink and other services.

If you offer things other than food and drink, then be sure to generate a revenue from these extra benefits that you’re giving to your customers.

Remember, you will have bills to pay and you need to make sure you generate an income from your efforts of running a business. Particularly in the long run.



It can be difficult to find staff who have the same passion as you for your business. However, it is crucial that you find a team who love your theme as much as you do.

If they don’t LOVE IT, they will never embrace it and the service will eventually go down-hill.



Expect to work long hours, as in any business.

Opening times will need to be 7 days per week so you can take advantage of people who have time on their hands.

Opening early in the morning and closing early afternoon is usually a good rule of thumb for this type of coffee shop.

The Constraints of a Themed Café

One of the main constraints when setting up this type of business, is the change in taste of consumers – i.e. knowing what’s fashionable now.

What’s fashionable today can disappear in an instant.

Therefore, be prepared to monitor the changes in consumer tastes within your chosen theme. And make changes to keep up with demand.

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