The one thing I would never do when opening a coffeehouse is opening without a lack of vision.
What I mean by this is that I see many examples of operations across America where the operator is kind of doing things willy-nilly or without a grasp of whatever it is s/he is trying to do.
Many people will tell you "don't do 20z drinks," "don't do syrups," "don't do this" and "don't do that." Truth is, there may be a very compelling and legitimate reason you want to do any of those things that people tell you not to do. What's wrong for someone else might be very right for you. My suggestion is that you know exactly why you want to do whatever it is that you're doing.
Let's take The Spro, for example. We take a relatively hardcore approach when it comes to coffee. I train our baristas extensively and, hopefully, they're able to carry our mission of hospitality and culinary excellence forward. Sometimes we stumble and fall, and other times I hear that we're spot on the money. You come to The Spro and you cannot get a 12z cappuccino. You only get one choice. There are no frozen drinks on the menu - it just ain't gonna happen, no matter how much you protest.
But maybe you come in on a Thursday and you want soup. We can accommodate you. In fact, while others may poo-poo on soup, I think we do a very high level of soup using only the finest locally sourced ingredients, handmade by us. The stock is made by myself using only local (or organic) vegetables and pastured chickens or cows. Even in the middle of winter when fresh produce is difficult to come by, we're either sourcing hothouse grown veggies or stuff that we've preserved from the local farms before last season ended. Whatever the soup, it was made that morning and never came out of a commercial processor.
So the one thing to hold firm to is your vision of your business. Define it, understand it and deliver on your promise.
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