Independent Coffee Shop Startup Cost Calculator

Click the links below to jump to either the coffee shop startup cost calculator or spreadsheet:

This is a detailed startup cost calculator for an independent coffee shop business. The goal of this tool give you an accurate estimate of the three major cost categories associated with starting this small business. Descriptions of each category are outlined below:

  • Build Out: Standard costs associated with converting a retail space into a coffee shop, including the plumbing and electrical setup.
  • Equipment: This is the cost of essential coffeehouse equipment like an espresso machine and convection oven.
  • Other: Expenses that don’t fit into the other categories, including the first month lease payments, labor expenses, and working capital.

As you might expect, each coffeeshop or coffeehouse is will have a unique total startup cost. The cost is determined by a variety of factors that’s unique to each entrepreneur’s situation and goal. The square footage of the location, part of the country and city you plan to operate, and the equipment you choose are all examples of highly variable costs that go into determining the total startup cost.

Tips for using this calculator and editing the startup estimate based on your unique situation is available below the online calculator. By default, we’ve filled in the cost estimates for each field based on a low-end to average industry average expense so you can use it as a guide. To get the most accurate estimate for your situation, enter data that’s relevant to your future business based on monthly lease quotes and the pieces of equipment you’ve priced out.

You can get the results emailed to you for future reference or inclusion on your business plan by clicking the button located at the bottom of this calculator. We’ve also included this information in a spreadsheet at the bottom of this post that can be downloaded. We hope this free calculator will serve as a helpful resource when starting your own independent coffee shop!

Coffee Shop Startup Cost Calculator

Cost Considerations When Starting a Coffee Business

The type of coffee shop you plan to open will determine the level of budget you need to get started. Even if you aren’t able to raise 6-figures of capital required to open a small coffee shop, don’t let lack of funding hold you back if this is a business you’re determined to start. When it comes to breaking into the coffee business there are lower and higher-investment ways to make it a reality. Here’s how much you should expect to invest for each type of coffee business:

  • Coffee Shop: Coffee shops can be started between $100,000 on the low-end – $300,000 on the higher end. You can find similar estimates on price ranges from reputable sources like CrimsonCup.com and Investopedia.
  • Coffee Truck or Trailer: Going mobile on a coffee truck can reduce your startup costs by more than half. You can also cut out the monthly lease expense by doing this. Ballpark this will cost about $50,000 – $75,000.
  • Drive-Thru Coffee Stand: In certain areas of the country, drive-thru coffee stands have become popular. Due to the small space and being able to operate the business with 1 – 2 employees the startup costs are lower than corner coffee shops. Startup costs are between $40,000 – $100,000 typically.
  • Coffee Kiosk: A coffee kiosk can be a lower cost way to open in a public place like a shopping mall, hospital, train station or other high traffic area. Generally speaking these are oven lower priced than a coffee truck and can be started for between $40,000 – $75,000.
  • Coffee Cart or Catering: These are the lowest barrier to entry options. You could realistically start here as as a cottage food business for between $10,000 – $15,000. If you hustle and reinvest the profits you could scale into a larger coffee business in a short time period.

Independent Coffee Shop – Startup Cost Spreadsheet

Here’s a direct link to copy and paste the columns and rows of your own coffee shop cost estimates into a spreadsheet. Below you’ll find a description and cost estimate of each line item.

Build Out
Coffee Shop
 
About Expense
Plumbing You’ll need a professional to complete plumbing. Price Range: $5,000 – $6,000.
Electrical You’ll will need a professional to complete electrical installation. Coffee shops require a lot of electricity to operate equipment.  Price Range: $5,000 – $6,000.
CountersCounters will wrap your coffee bar / equipment. Price Range: $12,000 – $20,000.
FlooringHighly variable depending on square footage. Price Range: $5,000 – $10,000.
Menu BoardsLists the prices and menu items for your cafe. 
Price Range: $1,000 – $5,000.
Merchandising DisplaysFor display food items (fruit, baked goods) or branded merchandise like cups and t-shirts. 
Price Range: $2,000 – $10,000
ShelvingStacking and organizing product like coffees / syrups.
Price Range: $500 
Alarm SystemProtect your business from bad guys. 
Price Range: $500 – $2,000.
Permits, liscense, PlansHighly variable depending on location. 
Price Range: $2,000 – $3,000.
General Construction Cost Buffer Costs generally run higher than you expect. This is a buffer for building expenses. 
Price Range: $5,000 – $10,000.
Water Filtration SystemYou need really pure tasting water to improve taste
of beverages. Price Range: $1,000 – $4,000.
External SignageMarketing expense to help you location stand out. 
Price Range: $1,000 – $5,000.

Equipment
Costs

FridgeKeep milk, smoothies, fruits and other products cool. 
Price Range: $1,000 – $1,500.
In-Line
Fan
Proper ventilation is needed for coffee shops. 
Price Range: $500 – $1,000.
CupsHighly variable cost. Mugs or disposable cups?
Price Range: $1,000 – $2,000.
Espresso Machine and GrindersGrinding coffee throughout the day is important for best taste. Price Range: $7,000 – $17,000.
Bag
Grinder
Used to grind coffee beans. 
Price Range: $1,000 – $3,000.
Convection OvenWarm up baked goods and other food.
Price Range: $2,000 – $3,000.
Coffee Brewing SystemUsed to make standard drip coffees. 
Price Range: $2,000 – $8,000.
Computer Accounting, communication, other. 
Price Range: $500 – $2,000.
Hot Water Tower or
Dispenser
Immediate hot water with drinks. 
Price Range: $500 – $1,200.
Two-Door CoolerMay be needed to store food and drink items. 
Price Range: $2,500 – $4,000.
Underbar SinkFits under a counter. Extra hand washing location. 
Price Range: $500 – $1,000.
Small
Wares
Measuring cups, syrup pumps, spoons, sugar pourer and other small items. Price Range: $1,000
Stereo System /
Ceiling
Speakers
Helps set the mood / vibe of your shop. 
Price Range: $600 – $1,500.
Microwave OvenWorth having on hand for requests to heat up coffee, etc. Price Range: $200 – $500.
Dish
Washer
May not be needed with minimal menu and
disposable cups. Price Range: $3,000 – $10,000.
Display
Case
Where you will display baked goods and menu items for sale. Price Range: $7,000 – $15,000.
3-Compartment SinkYou will be required to install this for washing hands and equipment. Price Range: $500 – $1,500.
Commercial Freezer Keep items frozen. Price Range: $2,000 – $5,000.
Wireless
Router
For offering free internet access to guests. 
Price Range: $200 – $350.
BlendersFor smoothies and other blended specialty drinks. 
Price Range $400 – $1,000.
Brooms / Mops Keep things clean! Price Range: $100 – $200.
Vacuum CleanerKeep the floors clean. Price Range: $300 – $400.
Tables / Chairs Furniture for guests to be comfortable. 
Price Range: $2,000 – $25,000.
Patio
Furniture
May not be needed. Depends on location. 
Price Range: $500 – $4,000.

Other Startup Costs

Initial Inventory Coffee beans, syrups, cups, straws and other product.
Price Range: $5,000 – $7,000. 
Initial Marketing CampaignAdvertising to help get your name out into the community. 
Price Range: $2,000 – $10,000.
Website
Development
Highly variable cost. 
Price Range: Free – $10,000.
UniformsHighly variable cost. 
Price Range: $500 – $1,000.
General Office SuppliesPaper, pens, notepads, calendar. 
Price Range: $200 – $300.
POS System / Cash RegisterHow you accept payments from guests. 
Price Range: $500 – $1,000.
First 3-Months Rent / Lease PaymentHighly variable cost depending on where you’re opening. 
Price Range: $3,000 – $12,000.
First Month of Labor / PayrollHighly variable depending on the number of
employees you plan to hire. 
Price Range: $5,000 – $10,000.
Working Capital Money needed to operate business day-to-day. The more available dry powder the better. 
Price Range: $10,000 – $20,000
Total: Low-End Startup-up Cost Estimate $100,400.
Total: High-End Startup Cost Estimate: $241,900

We hope this calculator and spreadsheet makes it easier to estimate the total startup cost of your dream coffee shop. Question about the cost estimates for this free online calculator? Drop us a line in the comment section below.