Owning a coffee franchise can be a very rewarding experience, but before you sign on the dotted line and start serving hot cups of 'joe', there's certain things you need to know so you can make the right decision. If you go into buying a coffee franchise blindly, you could end up making a very costly mistake.
First things first, get a reality check. You should know going in what kind of money you have to put towards a coffee franchise, you should understand your strengths and weaknesses in running a business and be very honest with yourself about how much time you're willing to spend in your business. If you do this, you'll be way ahead of the curve. Don't jump into any decision. Take your time, consult with franchise experts and do your due diligence.
The attractive thing about owning a coffee franchise is the cash flow and profit margin. People are drinking coffee today like it's going out of style and they are happily paying upwards of per cup. The real cost of the coffee is under $ .25. The profit margins with coffee are HUGE! On the contrary, only making a few bucks per cup isn't going to get you a mansion in Beverly Hills. A Coffee franchise is 100% a volume business. You have to crank out thousands of cups per month to see any real income. Some of the most successful coffee franchises have drive-thrus which can make up to 70% of the revenues.
The real secret of a coffee franchise is NOT the coffee, but the atmosphere. People can get coffee anywhere, but they come to these shops because of the social element. They come to hang out, conduct business, surf the web, relax, read a book, whatever. That's why so many coffee franchises have the relaxing and mellow look and feel to them.
However, there are things about a coffee franchise that aren't so fun from the very start. First, the high start-up costs can be huge. Not only will you have to pay a hefty franchise fee, but then you have to get a location, you'll have to get equipment, you'll have inventory to get, fixed costs, variable costs, employee wages and on and on. The costs can be high. Don't forget about the royalty fees that are based on gross revenues, not net profits.
Now even if you are financially capable of buying the coffee franchise, that won't matter because there are more pre-qualifiers you must meet. You're going to need a considerable net worth, a good credit history but the real challenge is that you have to get approval to buy the franchise. If they don't like you, they won't sell you a franchise.