coffee shop owner

The profitability of a coffee shop is determined by a variety of factors, including location, menu offerings, labor costs, and more. On average, a coffee shop can bring in about $873 in revenue per day, processing around 79 transactions at $11.11 per ticket. However, these figures can vary greatly depending on the specific coffee shop and location. Some coffee shops have a profit margin between 3% and 5%, while others can range from 0% to 15%.

Since coffee shops face substantial competition, it is necessary for business owners to understand the major expenses associated with running a coffee shop, such as rent, wages, and the cost of goods sold. In addition to the profit gained from coffee sales, additional revenue streams, such as food options and merchandising, can impact overall profitability as well.

One of the most critical aspects of a successful coffee shop business is choosing the right location, as this can greatly influence foot traffic and the overall market for your coffee shop. With these factors in mind, potential coffee shop owners can better grasp the necessary steps to achieve profitability and long-term success in the industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee shop revenue depends on factors such as location, menu offerings, and labor costs.
  • Major expenses for coffee shops include rent, wages, and cost of goods sold, which influence profit margins.
  • Choosing the right location is crucial for attracting customers and achieving success in the coffee shop business.

Understanding the Coffee Shop Business

Types of Coffee Shops

There are several types of coffee shops, each catering to different customer preferences and business models. Some common types include:

  • Independent coffee shops: These are locally-owned and operated, often providing a unique, personalized experience for customers. They may serve specialty coffee, locally-sourced ingredients, and offer a cozy atmosphere.

  • Franchise coffee shops: These shops are part of a larger chain, such as Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. They offer a consistent experience, menu, and branding across all locations.

  • Specialty coffee shops: Focusing on high-quality, artisanal coffee and espresso, these shops often serve single-origin beans, pour-over coffee, and other premium beverages.

  • Cafés: Offering a more extensive menu, including food items like sandwiches, pastries, and salads, cafés typically cater to customers seeking a comfortable place to work, socialize, or enjoy a meal in addition to their coffee.

The Business Model

The coffee shop business model centers around the sale of coffee, espresso-based beverages, and other food and drink items. Revenue is driven by the number of customers served daily, the average bill size, and the number of days the shop operates.

Revenues A coffee shop's revenue consists of various factors:

  • Total customers served: The more customers a shop serves, the higher the revenue. This is influenced by factors such as location, marketing, customer loyalty, and quality of products and service.

  • Average bill size: Higher-priced specialty beverages and food items can increase the average bill size and therefore, the revenue.

  • Operating days: The number of days the shop is open can impact the annual revenue.

Based on the provided information, an average coffee shop that serves 200 customers a day with an average bill of $6.20, operating 365 days a year, can generate an annual turnover of approximately $446,400.

Costs A coffee shop incurs various costs, including:

  • Rent and utilities
  • Labor and staff salaries
  • Inventory (coffee beans, milk, ingredients, etc.)
  • Equipment (commercial espresso machines, brewing equipment, etc.)
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Licenses and permits

Profits Profits in the coffee shop business vary based on factors such as location, pricing strategy, and operating costs. Small coffee shop owners typically have profits ranging from $60,000 to $160,000 per year. The average coffee shop's weekly revenue is around $10,000, with about 4% profit margin (or $400) remaining as net profit after all expenses.

Major Expenses for a Coffee Shop

Inventory Costs

One of the primary expenses for a coffee shop is the inventory costs, which include the coffee beans, milk, flavorings, and other consumables needed to prepare the beverages and food items on the menu. These are known as the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and are by definition variable costs, meaning they can change depending on the volume of sales.

Some key factors affecting inventory costs are:

  • Quality and type of coffee beans
  • Local or imported ingredients
  • Seasonal availability of certain products

It is crucial for coffee shop owners to carefully manage inventory levels and make informed decisions on the types of ingredients to purchase while keeping an eye on the ingredient market prices.

Operating Expenditure

Operating expenditure refers to the costs associated with keeping the coffee shop running, such as rent, utilities, maintenance, and insurance. These costs vary depending on the size of the shop, location, and build-out requirements. For instance, a coffee shop built from the ground up may incur additional construction costs for running utilities during the initial phase.

Some common operating expenditures for coffee shops include:

  • Rent or mortgage payments for the venue
  • Utility bills such as electricity, water, and gas
  • General maintenance to keep the shop clean and functional
  • Liability and property insurance premiums

Cleverly selecting a location and negotiating good lease terms can often help reduce these operating expenses.

Personnel Costs

Labor is an essential component in running a coffee shop, and personnel costs often make up a significant portion of the overall expenses. This includes wages, benefits, and training for the staff, such as baristas, waitstaff, managers, and other positions necessary for the smooth operation of the coffee shop.

Factors influencing personnel costs are:

  • Local minimum wage laws
  • Employee turnover rates
  • Training and skill development initiatives

To manage personnel costs effectively, coffee shop owners need to maintain a balance between maintaining quality customer service and minimizing labor costs. This can be achieved through efficient staff scheduling and providing proper training to employees to limit turnover and reduce the need for additional hirings.

Profit from Coffee Sales

Price of Coffee

The price of a cup of coffee can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size, type of beans, and location of the coffee shop. A small cup of regular black coffee may range from $1 to $2, while specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos can be priced anywhere from $3 to $6. The average coffee shop generates $10,000 in revenue per week, but this number can be significantly higher or lower depending on the shop's reputation, clientele, and location.

Cost of Making Coffee

The cost of making coffee consists of several components:

  1. Cost of raw materials: Coffee beans, milk, sugar, syrups, and other ingredients contribute to the cost of each cup. The price of beans can vary depending on origin, quality, and seasonality.
  2. Labor costs: Baristas and other staff members hired by the coffee shop contribute to labor costs. Wages will depend on factors such as the local market, staff experience, and the shop's hours of operation.
  3. Equipment and maintenance: Coffee machines, grinders, water filtration systems, and other equipment are essential for brewing coffee. These tools need regular maintenance and occasional replacement.
  4. Overhead expenses: Rent, utilities, insurance, and other items must be factored into the cost of making coffee.

The profit margin for a typical coffee shop is around 4%. To calculate the profit, use the equation: monthly sales x profit margin = profit. For example, if a coffee shop averages $16,000 per month in sales, the profit would be $640. The annual salary for coffee shop owners can range from $60,000 to $160,000, depending on the size of the shop and the success of the business.

Additional Revenue Streams

Coffee shops often rely on multiple revenue streams to increase their profit margins. In this section, we will explore three additional revenue streams that coffee shops can utilize to boost their overall income: Food Items, Merchandise Sales, and Catering Services.

Food Items

In addition to offering a wide variety of coffee beverages, coffee shops can also profit from selling various food items. These can include:

  • Bakery items: Pastries, muffins, croissants, and other baked goods are popular among customers who enjoy a sweet treat with their coffee.
  • Sandwiches and salads: Offering a selection of sandwiches and salads can attract lunchtime customers and help boost overall sales.
  • Breakfast items: Serving breakfast dishes such as egg-based dishes, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits can draw in early morning customers and increase revenue.

Adding food items to a coffee shop's menu not only increases profit potential but also establishes the business as a one-stop destination for hungry customers.

Merchandise Sales

Another way for coffee shops to generate additional income is through the sale of merchandise. This can include:

  • Branded items: Mugs, thermoses, reusable cups, and T-shirts featuring the coffee shop's logo can be aesthetically appealing and promote brand loyalty.
  • Coffee beans and brewing equipment: Selling bags of coffee beans and various brewing equipment, such as French presses or pour-over setups, allows customers to recreate their favorite beverages at home.
  • Gift items: Offering a selection of gift items, such as books, candles, or coffee-themed accessories, can encourage impulse purchases and contribute to overall sales.

Merchandise sales provide an opportunity for coffee shops to showcase their brand and appeal to customers who may be interested in more than just coffee.

Catering Services

Providing catering services for events can be an excellent additional revenue stream for coffee shops. This can include:

  • Coffee catering: Serving coffee and espresso drinks at corporate events, conferences, or social gatherings can help expand the coffee shop's customer base and generate extra income.
  • Food catering: In addition to coffee, offering an assortment of food items such as pastries, sandwiches, and fruit platters can cater to a broader range of customers and further diversify the catering options.
  • Beverage catering: Expanding beyond coffee, offering other drink options like tea, hot chocolate, or flavored waters can enhance the catering menu and help facilitate new client engagements.

Catering services allow coffee shops to tap into a market beyond their in-store customers, increasing sales and overall profitability.

Location and Market Factors

Urban vs Rural Locations

Coffee shop revenues depend on various factors, such as location, menu, labor costs, and more. Urban locations typically see higher foot traffic, resulting in more potential customers. On the other hand, rural locations tend to have lower rent costs, which can positively affect profit margins. In 2021, the revenue of the coffee market in the U.S. was nearly 82 billion U.S. dollars and the number of coffee shops in the U.S. reached 38.4 thousand.

  • Urban locations:

    • Higher foot traffic
    • More potential customers
    • Higher rent costs
  • Rural locations:

    • Lower foot traffic
    • Fewer potential customers
    • Lower rent costs


The coffee industry is quite competitive, with 71,693 coffee shops in the United States in 2022. This means that individual coffee shop owners must find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Some factors that can affect a coffee shop's success include the quality of their products, ambiance, and customer service.

Coffee shop owners can make between $5,000 to $13,000 per month or more, depending on factors such as their marketing efforts and unique selling propositions. Custom branded coffee cups and coffee sleeves can help increase brand recognition.

With a typical coffee shop profit margin between 3% and 5%, it is essential to factor in the impact of both location and competition on a specific business. For example, a coffee shop with a weekly revenue of $10,000 can expect a net profit of around $400, assuming they do not roast their own coffee beans and instead buy wholesale from another vendor.


In this section, we will discuss the average revenue a coffee shop can generate, the factors that contribute to these earnings, and the costs associated with running a coffee business. The information provided is based on industry data and real-world examples, providing a clear, knowledgeable, and neutral perspective on coffee shop earnings.

The average revenue of a coffee shop greatly depends on several factors, such as location, menu offerings, labor costs, and even the time of the year. Research suggests that on any given day, an average coffee shop generates about $873 in revenue, processing around 79 transactions at $11.11 per ticket. However, this is only an average, and specific figures will vary between establishments.

To provide a bit more context, the coffee market in the United States generated nearly $82 billion in revenue in 2021, with approximately 38.4 thousand coffee shops operating nationwide. The number of Americans drinking coffee daily continues to grow, with 62% of adults in the U.S. consuming coffee every day in 2020.

When it comes to the profitability of a coffee shop, costs play a significant role. On average, a coffee shop serving 200 customers a day incurs monthly expenses of $31,000 to $40,000. Some essential costs include:

  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
  • Labor expenses
  • Rent and utilities

A coffee shop with an annual turnover of over $675,000 could potentially achieve a net profit margin of around 9%, assuming effective cost management and a well-defined business strategy.

In conclusion, the financial success of a coffee shop is highly dependent on various factors, such as location, menu, costs, and business strategy. While the industry as a whole remains strong, individual coffee shop owners must consider specific aspects unique to their situation to determine the potential earnings of their establishment.


Coffee shops have become a popular business venture due to their potential for profitability. On average, small coffee shop owners can make between $60,000 and $160,000 per year, with the industry generating about $70 billion in annual sales nationwide. Standalone, independently owned coffee shops can expect an average annual gross revenue of around $500,000. These figures are influenced by various factors such as location, size, and competition.

When discussing profitability, it is essential to consider the cost of goods sold (COGS), which typically range from 20% to 25% of revenues for coffee shops. The main contributors to COGS include coffee beans, milk, sugar, water, and other consumables. Keeping the COGS in check can greatly impact the overall profit margin.

The average profit margin for a cafe ranges between 2.5% and 6.8%. However, if a coffee shop also roasts its own coffee, the profit margin can increase to 8.79%. Maximizing profitability requires a combination of efficient operations, effective marketing, good location, and managing COGS.

It is also important to note that revenue can vary greatly between different coffee shops. On an average day, a coffee shop brings in about $873 in revenue, processing around 79 transactions at $11.11 per ticket. The number of customers, ticket price, and daily transactions directly affect revenue generation.

In summary, coffee shops can be a profitable business venture, but the exact revenue and profit margins will depend on a variety of factors. With proper planning, management, and strategy, coffee shop owners can enjoy a successful and rewarding endeavor in the thriving coffee industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average revenue for a small coffee shop?

A small, independently owned coffee shop can expect to make an average annual gross revenue of about $500,000. This is based on the assumption that the average receipt is $7 and the coffee shop serves approximately 250 customers per day, six days a week, for 52 weeks in a year.

What are the typical monthly expenses in a coffee shop?

The monthly expenses for a coffee shop can vary depending on factors such as location, size, and the range of products offered. Some common expenses include rent, utilities, labor costs, equipment maintenance, inventory, insurance, and marketing. Typically, the cost of goods sold (COGS) for a coffee shop, which includes items like coffee beans, milk, sugar, and water, will range from 20% to 25% of the revenue.

What is the profit margin of a coffee shop?

The profit margin of a coffee shop can vary, but it generally falls between 3% and 5%. Some establishments may experience profit margins as low as 0%, while others can achieve up to 15%. Profit margins can be affected by factors such as pricing, efficiency, and competition.

How much do coffee shop owners typically earn?

The personal income of coffee shop owners may vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the business and the location. Most coffee shop owners can expect to make anywhere between $60,000 and $160,000 per year. In the first 1 to 5 years of operation, coffee shop owners will likely earn less due to startup expenses; however, after the five-year mark, yearly earnings can increase substantially.

How long does it take for a coffee shop to break even?

The time it takes for a coffee shop to break even will depend on factors like initial investment, monthly expenses, revenue, and business growth. On average, a coffee shop can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to achieve a break-even point, after which the business starts generating a profit.

How many customers visit a coffee shop per day?

The number of daily customers for a coffee shop can vary based on factors such as location, popularity, and competition. On average, a small independent coffee shop may serve around 250 customers per day. However, this number can be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances of the business.

Coffee shop tips
Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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