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Designing Your Coffee Shop

You have developed the perfect recipes, a clear business plan, and the perfect location for your coffee shop. What’s next? You have to start thinking about the best way to design your shop layout to entice customers and make them feel welcome. You may not be very artistic or a professional designer, but if you keep the following in mind, you will be fully equipped to get the job done.



Before doing anything, you should have a clear understanding of your target audience. What sort of customers are you trying to attract? A younger audience will more than likely not have the same expectations as an older crowd. Accordingly, you can determine the appropriate vibe and/or theme—for example—modern or retro, fancy or casual, family friendly or adult only, nautical or sci-fi, etc. Knowing this will help you make thoughtful design decisions, and maintain a sense of consistency.

Exterior and Signs

The exterior design of your business should immediately and clearly convey your concept and brand message. It should be tasteful, yet appropriate, and should be in accordance with the regulations of your location. Potential customers should be able to understand what your business is all about just by looking at your storefront. All of this also applies to your signage. Signs, both inside and outside, should be simple and distinctive. Even the materials should be reflective of your concept. For example, if you are going for a sleek and modern look, old wood is probably not ideal. Also, if those signs include text, they should be easy to read. Fancy or odd fonts may look pretty, but if they are not legible, what is the purpose? Remember, when it comes to design, everything should have a purpose.


Inside Layout

When designing your coffee shop’s interior, you should think about the experience of the customers and your staff. The customer should know exactly where to go, and the flow of traffic needs to be well defined, while allowing your staff to operate effectively and efficiently in the space. Does it feel crowded and cramped, or inviting and relaxing? If you find that navigating the shop is challenging, it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Ultimately, you want your customers to feel at home, and have some motivation to return.

Inside Décor

It is worth repeating that all of your design elements should tie together, and should reflect your concept and brand personality. This includes everything from the style and shape of furniture, to the type of materials, the color scheme, the lighting, the displays, the signs, and even the artwork. Again, it is certainly possible to create a welcoming atmosphere that has character and is still relevant to your concept and your customers. At first, designing the coffee shop of your dreams may seem confusing and completely unattainable, but if you take it step by step, you can go from concept to finished product. Effective design is all about putting thought into every single decision that you make.
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