The Ultimate Guide to Building a Coffee Business in the Philippines

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

A barista prepares a latte behind the espresso bar in a coffee shop

If you’re looking to start a coffee business in the Philippines, it’s not enough to count on the trend of a thriving industry. It pays to seek business consultants for your cafe or at the very least read up on guides that will detail what is needed to succesfully build your own.

Which brings us to Bean & Barley’s ultimate guide to building a successful coffee business in the Philippines. This article will break down everything you need to know about starting a coffee business that’s built to succeed, from planning to execution.

Planning your coffee business

As with any other business, planning is crucial if you want your coffee business to succeed. One of the most lethal mistakes entrepreneurs make is underestimating the coffee industry. The consensus is that coffee isn’t all that hard to sell. Surely, anyone can do it. Wrong. The coffee industry is hyper-competitive. Just ask the 3 out of 10 coffee shops that fail in just two years after launch.

Though a positive mindset is a good start, a well informed business plan will help get things started on the right foot. As a start, you’ll need the following:

Concept: Are you building your coffee shop from scratch? Are you purchasing a franchise? What does your coffee brand believe in and what is it trying to say? Do you have a concept that will separate your brand from the rest?

Market Research: Working with your concept, how do the odds stack up? Who are your direct and indirect competitors? What is your edge over them? Does your business idea bring anything new to the table?

Location: Location is crucial for coffee shops. If you’re planning to build a shop anytime soon, you must have a short list of viable locations already on-hand. These locations must have good foot traffic and access.

Financing: How are you going to finance your coffee business? Are you taking it out of your pocket? Are you working with investors? Craft a finance plan or hire an accountant, or better yet, financial planner to help you out.

Business Plan: With everything else sorted out, it’s time to build a solid business plan. A business plan is essential wheather you’re pitching to investors or financing the business yourself. Your business plan is the document you will reference throughout the journey of building your coffee shop. It is your roadmap.

Necessary Paperwork: Permits, certifications, approvals, etc. Hang tight. This process will take anywhere from weeks to months to even years to complete. It will be grueling, for sure. But in doing this, you’re setting up your business for success, and the rest of the journey will become easier and faster.

Building your coffee shop

Successful coffee shops have a few things in common. One of those is a clear understanding that coffee is an experience. Sure, there are big-ticket coffee brands like Starbucks Coffee that effectively commoditize the beverage. But many businesses know that people shuffle into coffee shops to do something: chat with a friend, meet with a client, or catch up with work. Your actual coffee shop delivers half of that experience alongside the coffee itself.

With this in mind, you have a few factors to consider:

Location: Is your coffee shop accessible? A good rule of thumb is to build it on main roads or in malls where foot traffic is guaranteed.