5 Elements to Consider When Designing a Coffee Shop

October 31, 2019

When you’re opening a new coffee shop, it’s not enough to offer the best cup of coffee in town and a mouth-watering blueberry muffin that would make Mary Berry green with envy.

You want to create a comfortable and welcoming space that shouts your brand values, attracts new customers and helps turn you into a community hub that people can’t wait to visit.

Here are five tips that will help you get the design of your coffee shop right and launch a highly profitable new business.

1. Seating, floor plan and layout

Customer comfort should always be your priority when you’re designing your coffee shop.

For that reason, take time to consider how to make the layout work best for the space available. Develop a floor plan that allows you to fit in as many covers as you can without feeling cramped, whilst also allowing your staff and customers to move around freely.

Remember to include the counter, the point of sale, the space around the tables and the type of seating you will use in your calculations.

If you have limited space or you’d like the space to be more versatile, consider using stacking chairs such as the Stanway 3. This chair can help you maximise the space you have while allowing your customer to feel at ease in your coffee shop. It’s also modern, durable and available in a variety of materials and colours.

2. Niche or target audience

Considering your niche and target audience will help you stand out from the crowd, attract your ideal customer and build a brand that people will talk about and remember. Get clear on this ASAP and make sure you use it across your branding.

Start by thinking about brainstorming ideas based on what appeals to you and what will make your coffee shop unique. How do you feel about Retro? Modern? Themed? Fancy? Child-friendly? Healthy?

Then think about where your coffee shop is located and the type of customer you’re most likely to attract, then take these into consideration too. For example, if you’re in an area close to a school or with a large number of young families, you might want to be more child friendly.  

Don’t let yourself be limited by these groups – people often do travel across town if they know that your establishment will offer both the great experience and great cup of coffee they’re looking for.

Also, consider what’s trending right now. For example, a more trendy coffee shop would likely sell meals such as avocado on toast or salmon and poached eggs. You can also adapt your menu for the seasons, such as pumpkin-spiced drinks in the autumn, Christmas-themed treats in winter, and iced coffees in the summer. This would also be an excellent opportunity to cook with local produce as you alter your menu to fit with what foods are in season, boosting the local economy.

3. Storefront design

The outside of your coffee shop is just as important as the inside, especially during the early days of your business.

It’s like a 24-7 business card, spreading the word about your brand concept and the experience that customers can have when they pay you a visit, even if your business is closed at the time.

Get it right and you’ll attract your target customers and allow your business to grow organically. Get it wrong and you’re making success much harder to achieve.

Make sure this matches your overall branding and concept whilst also complying with local or community regulations regarding elements such as outdoor seating, umbrellas or other similar regulations.

4. Interior design scheme

Remember that your customers aren’t just buying a cup of coffee when they pay you a visit. They’re buying an experience. This means you need to get your interior design spot on before you open your doors.

Give the design scheme careful consideration, thinking about your design concept, the needs of your target audience, and your branding.

Stick to the same branding throughout including in the colour schemes you choose, the artwork and any other quirky details you’d like to include. Don’t forget to think about lighting as it can make or break the ambience of the space and help shape how your customers feel about your coffee shop.

It’s also worth considering if the space itself has anything special to add to the design scheme. Interesting period features or unusual architectural features are often worth incorporating this into the overall design scheme where possible as they add a touch of the unique.

5. Signage & branding

If you want to stand out from your competition, appeal to your ideal customer and become a community hub, you also need to get your branding right. This includes your logo, your colour scheme, your interiors, your menus, your signage, your website and social media pages- everything!

Use the same brand colours, fonts and materials throughout your business and make sure any lettering is simple, easy to read and catchy if possible. It should also target the same audience whilst reflecting the concept of your coffee shop.

When designing a coffee shop, make sure you get those smaller details right so you can stand out in an already crowded market. Start by considering your target customer and niche market, consider layout and seating, design your interior and exterior, get your branding right and then ensure these work throughout your coffee shop.