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How to Buy a Coffee Shop

The coffee industry is thriving in South Africa and a great way to get involved is to buy a coffee shop.

If you want your coffee shop to beat off the competition and keep serving cup after cup to happy customers, there are a few things that you will need to be smart about when going about buying one. 

Industry overview

The coffee industry in South Africa has grown rapidly in the past 10 years increasing the number of roasteries from 20 to over 100. The country was a litter slower to adapt to coffee culture than the rest of the world but, once it did, the industry boomed.

The boom in the industry has come along with a much larger interest from consumers, however, there is also a lot of competition and this is something that anyone wanting to enter the market will have to keep in mind.

Independent and small coffee shops are competing with larger franchises and it has become more and more important that you consider your options and how you are going to make sure that your coffee shop is profitable.


The coffee industry is one that seems to be at the mercy of trends. It is important that anyone that owns a coffee shop or is thinking of owning one keeps up to date with what consumers are looking for.

It may be worth offering something new to keep customers coming through the door. Recently, alternatives to the hot coffee have become more popular. A lot of customers are opting for iced coffee, particularly in the summer months and coffee cocktails have also become more popular.

Environmentally friendly options are also something that consumers are looking for. Offering discounts to customers who bring reusable mugs or cutting down on the plastic that you use can be a great way to keep on trend and help the planet.

Whatever the trends are that you do or don’t pick up on, there is no getting away from the skill and knowledge that is needed to go along with serving coffees in this competitive industry.

Things to consider

It is worth noting the type of customer base that you will be trying to attract.

Coffee can, in a lot of parts of South Africa, be an item that appeals to the more ‘upmarket’ or knowledgeable customer and so the location that you choose or how you choose to market your business will be very important.

Do your research

The only way to make sure that you are buying the right coffee shop for you is if you do as much research as possible. You will need to have a very clear idea of whether or not you will be able to turn a profit after buying that coffee shop.

It is absolutely necessary to do a thorough due diligence of any coffee shop that you are thinking of buying.

Make sure that you get an accountant or a lawyer to have a look at the finances of the business going back a few years.

You will need to do your due diligence on the business, but you will also need to do as much research as possible on the type of footfall that the business has, what goodwill it has and how the location of the business is going to impact on the kind of sales that you will be able to do. 

If the coffee shop has not been financially viable in the past, what is it that you are going to do that will change this? You do not want to just repeat the mistakes of the previous owner.

After identifying the right business to buy and getting to grips with the industry it will be down to serving the right drink or food, marketing and building a solid customer base in order to make sure that your business continues to attract customers.


Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.

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