In the United States, more than 50 percent of individuals over 18 consume coffee daily, according to a survey by the National Coffee Association. This number of caffeine aficionados represents 150 million daily coffee drinkers. Thirty million Americans drink specialty coffee drinks daily. Drinks include espresso, lattes, cafe mocha, cappuccino and frozen or iced coffee beverages. Internationally, Finland is the largest coffee consumer; Britain consumes the least amount. Annual median salaries of coffee shop owners in the United States vary dependent on geographical location, amount of patrons, operating costs and the ever-fluctuating price of coffee.


Independent coffee shops produce more than $12 billion in annual sales. The average drive-through espresso stand sells 200 to 300 cups of java a day. Seattle has the most coffee shops per capita of any city in the United States. reports that in 2011, coffee shop managers in New York City earn an average of $66,699. In Phoenix, the average annual coffee shop manager income is $45,961; and in Miami, coffee managers earn $54,075. Seattle coffee shop managers earn an average of $54,899. The national average is $46,353. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage of salaried food service managers (including coffee shops and espresso stands) were $46,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent of managers earned between $36,670 and $59,580. The lowest 10 percent of wage earners received less than $29,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,940.

Job Description

Coffee shop owners select the brand of coffee they wish to promote, order equipment and supplies and manage shop employees. Coffee shop owner/managers prepare coffee beverages and wait on customers. They arrange for regular maintenance of equipment, and implement practices that comply with local health ordinances and regulations. Coffee shop owners manage banking transactions, payroll, insurance and state and local licensing requirements. Coffee shop owners who manage their own establishments may net a higher average annual income than those who have the additional operating expense of hiring a manager to run their business.


Although the majority of coffee shop owners and managers receive their training on the job, many have post-secondary education in hospitality services, business or restaurant management. Owners may attend industry conventions, trade shows or participate in barista workshops and training seminars. Owners with formal business management training are likely to employ successful management techniques that result in a higher profit margin and more income than those without experience or formal training.

Economic Outlook

Americans love coffee. Coffee shops are opening all across the country as enterprising entrepreneurs capitalize on the gourmet coffee drink craze. Coffee shop owners who create a cozy atmosphere that encourages coffee consumption and conversation have an edge. In areas where the local market is not saturated with gourmet coffee shops, coffee shop owners are building a solid base of repeat customers.