Before you ever think about opening a coffee shop or any other business, you need to design it. The design process is where you work out everything--from how your coffee shop will look inside and outside to what you will sell--all with the goal of getting your design down on paper so your plans can be clearly relayed to builders and investors. This makes your coffee shop design an important part of opening a new coffee shop business.
Select a location for your coffee shop. If you can't choose a location right away, at least determine the type of location you will be looking for. This is important when designing your coffee shop. The location could have a lot to do with the way you design the exterior of your coffee shop. If you have no specific location in mind, you should at least have some general ideas about where your shop might be.
Consider colors and decorative elements that enhance the coffee house motif. Think about having the exterior and interior walls of your coffee house painted in shades of coffee colors and decorated with coffee-themed paintings done by hand. Coffee cups, a bag of coffee with beans spilling over the top, and coffee grinders are good design ideas. In addition to the painting, you may want to decorate the store with actual coffee-themed items, including a set of antique grinders or a coffee cup collection.
Sketch as many designs as you can of the outside and inside appearance of your coffee shop. The better you render your sketches, the more effective they will be for the contractors who do the construction work. If you don't have the artistic know-how for rendering your design on paper, you may need to ask an artistic friend or find someone to do the sketches for you. Having an image of your design plan will help ensure you get what you're looking for during the building phase. As your design sketch comes together, pay attention to floor plan layout. You want something that will give your customers room to walk around without bumping into one another. Consider the furnishings you'll use. A cozy design works best for a coffee house. Stools and tables, a couple of small couches, and an area for customers with laptops are all practical design elements. Be sure to include Internet hook-up options in your design.
Design your menu with coffee lovers in mind. Because you are designing your coffee shop from the ground up, this means considering the items that might help to make your coffee shop a success. Besides well-brewed coffee, pastries and sandwiches can be profitable additions to the menu. Getting your menu down on paper and finding suitable suppliers is part of the design process that could save you time and money.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.