Starting a Café

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: November 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Cafés typically serve a range of simple, relatively cheap meals and snacks, such as cooked breakfasts, jacket potatoes, salads and soup, as well as soft drinks, tea and coffee. Most provide a seating area and operate an at-counter service and are typically open throughout the working day. However, they are usually more basic and informal than coffee shops or tea rooms.

Cafés are part of the highly competitive fast food sector, and are among the most common types of business start ups in the UK.

Most cafés do not have a licence to serve alcohol, although some artisan and bistro-style cafés are licensed to do so and serve a small selection of bottled beers and house wine, along with meals.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a café. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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