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Many aspiring cafe owners enter the industry as coffee lovers. They think that they know what they need – a VERY good cup of coffee –  to run a successful cafe. However, this could be one of their biggest mistakes. 

They end up focusing only on gourmet coffee and as a result, these businesses struggle to make ends meet or strictly rely on the morning coffee crowd for revenue. 

While a decent cup of coffee is definitely key in a coffee shop, it alone might not be able to pay the bills. From our experience, a good cup of coffee, at best, only covers about  50% of the total revenue. What would the other 50% come from then?

For a cafe to be profitable, there needs to be a balance between a good cup of coffee, managing trends, and finding out what your customer wants, as well as looking into the possibility of adding on a larger profit menu item- for example, food. 

So what should we start with?

1. How Should I Brew My Coffee?

The types of coffee that you provide largely depends on what’s trending for your audience. If you’re a start-up, don’t bite off more than you can chew – you can’t go wrong with a good cup of espresso and with it build a strong foundation of basic coffee menu items. Also ensure that you offer options like beverage sizes and temperature (hot, cold, blended) to meet customer’s taste buds but make sure that you aren’t unnecessarily cluttering your menu as a result. 

The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, by the Specialty Coffee Association of America

2. Add A Little Spice With Specialties And Festive Menus

Ideally, specialty drinks should never overburden your coffee menu, instead, they should serve as highlights that complement your tried and true options. For example, if your cafe is based on a local concept, even a good cup of Kopi ‘O’ should definitely be on your menu. Or if you’re more into a themed menu, an addition of the Gingerbread Latte during the Christmas period would definitely attract the curious festive crowd.

In fact, research has shown that customers are far more likely to spend extra money on specialty items if they are only available for short periods of time. For example, exclusive Halloween-themed lattes at the end of October would draw in more sales because once the month is over, customers would have to wait until next year to purchase this special item.

3. Consider Non-Coffee Drinkers

Just because you’re a coffee shop that doesn’t mean that you should solely serve coffee. Even the most diehard coffee drinkers will want to mix things up now and again, so make sure that you include beverages like hot chocolate, chai latte, or tea.

4. Maximise Workflow And Optimise Hardware

Any experienced barista will be able to tell you about the regulars that come into their coffee shop – how often they stop by each week, what times they visit, and what they order. Scheduled regulars are an important (and reliable) source of revenue for any coffee shop; however, the fact still remains that a significant portion of your sales is going to be impulse purchases. This is why, more often than not, convenience serves as the backbone of successful coffee shops and why maximizing workflow and focusing on hardware optimization is absolutely essential.

I want a good coffee program but I don’t have the budget for that expensive coffee machine, what can I do?

Faema E71E

Tthe E71E can manage different coffee varieties, respecting the specific temperatures of each one for optimal extraction. Additionally, the hydraulic circuit with a GTi control system guarantees perfect management of coffee infusion times: a perfect combination for simultaneously ensuring high thermal stability and enhancement of each coffee’s sensory profile. And thanks to the ergonomic and intuitive display dedicated to each of the groups, it is even simpler to interact with the E71E.

La Cimbali M100 Attiva

Our M100 has always been the symbol of LaCimbali espresso coffee. It is a machine that combines elegance and high performance in a natural way. With thermal system, ergonomics and interface (touch or buttons), while offering different customisation possibilities. Everything has been done to improve baristas’ experience of using the new M100 Attiva and to always enable them to offer an excellent drink. Three machines, three different thermal systems and just one range: flexible, high-performance and unique.


At Caffeine Solutions we hear this all the time. Our solution is to help our customers refine and focus their concept. Then we optimise the hardware solutions to find the best value. Our approach is to view your coffee equipment as an asset and we work with our customers to select the right mix of equipment that maximises their revenue potential and productivity.

5. Look Out For Trends And What Customers Want

For a considerable portion of your customers, the coffee that they purchase from you will just be a way for them to get their daily dose of caffeine. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the customers that visit your coffee shop for an “experience”. Nowadays, with the proliferation of social media and the endless stream of foodie blogs, dozens of sources of free marketing are going to be passing through your doors on a daily basis. The onus is on you to give these customers an incentive to post positive photos, tweets, or blog posts about your coffee shop’s experience.

6. Other Alternatives

In addition to adding beverages for non-coffee drinkers, cafe owners should also consider adding alternative larger profit menu items as well. Adding alternatives to your coffee shop’s menu serves two main purposes. Firstly, these alternative food items contribute to the overall variety of your menu, making it seem more interesting and comprehensive. Secondly, these larger profit menu items can serve as a much-need boost to your overall revenue.

At Caffeine Solutions we understand that your coffee programme must elevate the experience at your cafe, while not being too complex or unsustainable. We have a diverse range of hardware, coffee options and vast experience in helping craft the right solution for our customers. Each situation is unique so come consult with us to find the best match of hardware for your menu, customers and wallet. 

Need Help Finding The Right Fit For Your Cafe?

For many newcomers (and even some industry veterans) starting a cafe can often seem daunting. The good news is that this is no longer an issue that you have to face alone.

At Guerilla, we believe that every customer’s story is unique. We start by listening to understand what’s special and then discovering what our customers truly need, not want.

Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you.

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