Designing the layout for your coffee shop

Coffee Roasters
September 4, 2010
Staffing your coffee shop – how many Baristas?
December 5, 2010

I have watched independent coffee shop owners go out and spend ten’s of thousands on consultants to design their new shop. Some of them look pretty good and others look like any other high street chain and I wonder why you would pay money to a consultant to copy every other shop on the high street?

We have not paid a penny to design consultants and have no intention of doing so, some may argue it shows. I guess it does depend on the look you are going for but I would argue as an independent you need to do something different, to copy is to compete and you don’t want to compete directly with the likes of Starbucks and Nero. By doing it yourself you will give it that unique touch and you will be surprised how easy it is to do.

There are however some things you must get right and that is the customer flow & experience, this should be the first thing you design and add the rest on top. We worked out this by looking at our high street competitors who will have spent serious money on working out what works best. So we just copied them but added our own twists on the theme.

Here are my rules for layout:

1- You want a customer to be able to make eye contact with a barista from the shop door so try and have a clear line of sight between the door and the serving area.

2- You want the customer to walk past the self pick up products first like soft drinks and cakes before reaching a barista.

3- You want the till before the coffee pickup point as it breaks up the queue by ordering and paying then moving onto pick up your coffee.

4- Try and make sure you can engage the customer as soon as possible when entering the shop so they don’t have a chance to turn around and walk out.