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Pros and Cons: Start, Buy or Franchise Your New Cafe Business

  • 3 min read

You’ve decided to take the steps towards your dream and run a cafe. This can be done in many different ways, you should first ask yourself if you want to start, buy or franchise your new cafe business.

Let’s break it down, you have three choices: Buy an Exisiting Cafe, Fit out a New Cafe or Buy into a Franchise

For either choice you must consider your individual needs and resources. Here I have listed the pros and cons for each.

Buying an Existing Cafe


Buying an existing cafe allows you to inherit a host of possibilities. When you step into an already functional cafe Existing cash flow, established processes for staff and systems for suppliers, existing menu, you can step in and earn money from day one, there is always room for improvement that you can offer.


If the cafe has a bad reputation it can be difficult to rebuild and acquire the type of clientele that you would consider ideal. When the cafe changes hands you could lose business during the ownership shift and possible change in style.

Fit Out a New Cafe


Sometimes a fresh start can be the best thing for your new business. You can set the whole cafe up in the way you imagined, get the equipment you know is best for your needs. This builds curiosity for prospective customers.


It takes time, energy and money to create your original concept from scratch. There is zero cashflow during the set up period and it takes time to build the business, it can take a very long time before you see any profits. You will also be managing the tradespeople as they create your dream cafe

Buy into a Franchise


There is a proven system you will be buying into when you buy into a franchise and there will be support for you from the frnchisor. There will be an existing strong brand value and business concept that you can work with. Training staff will be a supported process as the systems will be in placed


You have a limited future when you buy into a franchise, it is unlikely that you would be able to implement any unique ideas that you may have. There is a higher entry price that you have to buy into and you have to follow the instructions that is passed down to you, making you feel less like the boss you wanted to be.

Start, Buy or Franchise Your New Cafe Business

As with anything, before you make a decision, you must consider your lifestyle, experience, location, investment return expectations and your budget.

Ask all the questions!

If you’re buying an exisiting cafe, ask to see their profit and loss statements so you can have scope with what you’re getting into. If you’re getting into a franchise ask to see the existing business and marketing plans. And if your starting from scratch find a support system that will guide you through the process

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