A business plan serves two main purposes. It provides a basic blueprint you can use to stay on track as you start and operate your business, and it lists important information for lenders and investors to review if you seek outside financing. The business description can range from a few paragraphs to a few pages long. Keep your coffee house's business description as short as your business's complexity allows.

The Industry

Start with a brief description of the coffee-house industry as it is today and as you predict it to be in the future. Discuss trends regarding the coffee houses in the area. Include information about different target markets in the industry, such as cappuccino or espresso drinkers or individuals who prefer to consume environmentally friendly products, in addition to the overall food and beverage market.


Make your case for the profitability of a coffee shop by including statistics. For example, you might include statistics that demonstrate how much the market has grown in the last decade. You might also include statistics that demonstrate how much the average cost of a cup of coffee has risen in recent years. Support your assertion that you can make this business profitable. For example, if you will open a specialty coffee shop, include statistics that show that these shops do well in your area or have done well in similar areas.

The Coffee Shop

Add information about whether your coffee house is retail or wholesale. List the neighborhood or business district. Briefly describe the shop's square footage, its theme, the type of customers you expect it to attract and its seating and serving arrangements. Detail the number of patrons it can serve and how you will decorate it. Share information about any amenities you will provide, such as free Internet service. These details provide insight into what your coffee house will look like and demonstrate how you will make it distinctive.

Your Menu

Provide a brief description of the items you will sell: for example, regular coffee and specialty coffee drinks, tea, juice or flavored water. Likewise, include details of the types of cups you will use to serve your coffee, such as porcelain, stoneware, paper or Styrofoam. Include a brief description of any snacks or foods you will serve, such as breakfast sandwiches, muffins, cakes or cookies.

Ownership and Legalities

Include details about whether you will run the coffee house as a sole proprietorship, partnership, publicly or privately held corporation or limited liability company. List the principal owners of the coffee shop. Share whether it is brand new or an expanded or repurposed established business.

Profit Potential

Detail how your business will turn a profit. You might include factors like the presence or absence of competition nearby, the use of special equipment or the sale of special products. If one of the founders managed a successful coffee house or has extensive marketing experience in the industry, note these details. Describe how your pricing plan might help you to turn a profit.