Despite the recent trend toward healthy eating, people still love dessert — that’s why dessert cafés are becoming more popular nowadays. So, let’s answer, “what is a dessert café?”
Dessert cafés offer sweet treats that customers may enjoy on special occasions or make every day more special. Opening a dessert café may be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, especially if you have a knack for creating delectable desserts.
Your dessert café should be welcoming and lively to enhance customers’ sense of luxury and satisfaction when they indulge in your desserts. If you are considering starting a dessert café, you should have a strong idea and a solid business plan to achieve your future goals.
7 Things To Know Before Opening A Dessert Café
1. You Cannot Make It Happen Overnight
You cannot make it happen overnight. Even if the place you have chosen for your café is in perfect condition, you cannot simply open it for business immediately.
If you decide to open it anyway, there is a high chance that you will fail within six months. There is a reason why the previous tenant left; there may be a problem with the building, neighborhood, or other issues that could impose difficulties for new businesses. You must first find out if there is indeed any problem with the place, come up with a solution, and then decide whether it is still good for your business or not.
The best time to open your dessert café is within three months from the time you started renting the space. For this time frame, it is already reasonable to negotiate a rent discount or simply start with enough money.
2. Give Enough Value To Your Customers
Customers are more likely to buy a product that provides them with value. From the appearance and feel of your business to how it fits into a person’s lifestyle, there are numerous ways to define value.
Start by customizing and conceptualizing your dessert menu to ensure that they stand out from those offered by other dessert cafés. Customers should have a whole new experience when they visit your café.
For example, you may want to concentrate on making pies, just like your grandmother taught you. This may seem like a sure thing that will work, but as tastes and styles evolve through the years, you may not encourage customers to come in and buy nowadays. Now, pie slices served in small cones with a message to cheer them up could be just the thing; this way, your customers can hold their pie in one hand and coffee in the other.
Offering something new or different will create buzz, develop customer curiosity, and may even cause hype on social media.
3. Have A Clear Identity
A lot of fun and creativity is involved in starting a dessert café, but there is also the business aspect of the entire journey. This includes assessing your available resources and developing a financial and marketing strategy. At the foundation of all the plans you put in motion, you will find that you have established a clear identity for your café.
This is more than just the delicious sweet treats you will create; and also includes the appearance and feel of your products. Some people believe that having a clear identity may be pricey, but you do not need to pay for everything at once. You have the option to lease out items that are costly and decide whether it is worth investing in them or not.
Ensure you can reach your customers through active marketing and encourage them to check out your products. Sampling is perhaps the cheapest and most effective way to receive direct and honest feedback on your product so you can make necessary changes.
4. Gain Practical Experience
Understanding customers’ behavior and what they want in a dessert café is the key to starting your business right. There are not many specialty dessert cafés, but there are lots of coffee shops that offer desserts.
You need to spend some time working at a dessert café or coffee shop to gain practical experience. You can try talking to customers to receive firsthand feedback on their experience. Find the holes, and ensure that your café will fill them in.
Furthermore, working at dessert cafés or coffee shops may also give you an idea of how many desserts you have to sell and at what price to make a profit.
5. Choose Between Fresh Or Frozen
The equipment you will need depends on the desserts you sell— fresh or frozen desserts. Fresh desserts are often baked or cooked, requiring specialized equipment such as ovens, warmers, and the like. This is one of the simplest ways to distinguish these two types of desserts.
On the other hand, frozen desserts are different, as they require equipment that can keep raw ingredients at their best — you will need large freezers, cold displays, and more. Fresh ingredients are usually dry, while frozen ingredients are usually wet. Depending on the weather, your dessert café may become seasonal.
6. Have A Wide Variety Of Desserts
The United States consumes about 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream annually, and we all know this product is most popular during summer. More ice cream is produced in June than in any other month. That’s why having a wide variety of desserts is always a good idea, as it can help prevent lulls in your business.
It is ideal to sell ice cream and frozen yogurt since they are both easy to serve and profitable for many months of the year. In addition, it is also a good idea to become familiar with catering, as many local businesses usually order cakes and cupcakes. This can help you fill in the gaps, especially if your shopfront business is slow.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on the most profitable things to sell in a coffee shop.
7. Market Yourself
Once you have learned the basics of starting a business, then it’s time for you to set yourself apart from the competition.
The best thing you can do is consider hiring a marketing professional to help spread the word about your dessert café. Not only that, but they can also help you start your business in many ways, including building a website, identifying your potential customers, and assisting you with branding, logos, etc.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on how to attract customers to your coffee shop.
Here are some other important things you need to consider before opening a dessert café:
- Research permits, regulations, and other legal procedures that may be specific to your area. For example, some places do not allow selling homemade food — this can be a problem, especially for businesses looking to operate from home.
- Consider forming partnerships with grocery stores and other businesses to provide you with what you need for your business.
- Establish ties with your suppliers and get to know your customers.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on how to create a coffee shop business plan.