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    • gail.wls1
    • By gail.wls1 5th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Taking Over Cafe Business...
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    Taking Over Cafe Business... 5th Oct 17 at 9:30 AM
    Hello there,

    I'm new to the forum and am wanting some advice on taking over a small caf!. Hope someone can help?
    I have a small amount of money and have seen a caf! that I'd like to purchase as it would be fulfilling a dream.
    I have no business experience whatsoever but have been told, and read, that this is an ideal starter business.
    I have been volunteering in the caf! to gain experience and to get a feel of the place but really do need to know step by step, what I need to do and know before making an offer.
    The owner has been more than helpful by allowing me to work in there and give me advice herself but I need other peoples input as (perhaps cynically) she may just be telling me what I want to hear.
    Is there some sort of check list and dos and don'ts that you guys can make me aware of?
    ANY help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,

Page 2
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 5th Oct 17, 3:57 PM
    • 10,725 Posts
    • 8,982 Thanks
    A friend had a thriving takeaway business until McDonalds opened up round the corner, he was lucky in being able to sell the business. another friend had a wholefood type cafe, sold after 2 yrs as couldn't make the books balance favourably.

    Gail, I don't like saying this, but you seem very naive. As previous helpful posters have suggested you need the services of both a specialist accountant and solicitor. The fact that neither come cheap is immaterial, they could save you wasting a lot of money.

    Then you have to check out the competition or any possible future competition (think Subway, Costa etc)

    Next stage, given that the business seems OK and projected income will more than cover all your expenses (rent, repairs/alterations, insurances, stock, rates, water, waste collection, cleaning, cooking, heating and lighting, fixtures and fittings, purchase of lease and goodwill, staff wages and NI etc) how much is left to pay your wages? If this means you would be on NMW or slightly more/less, then for the hours, stress and aggravation, it just won't be worth it.
    Last edited by lincroft1710; 05-10-2017 at 4:02 PM.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 5th Oct 17, 7:17 PM
    • 5,001 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    The term for what is needed before parting with a single penny is "Due diligence". Check all aspects of the business including any plans submitted in the local area for developments which could pull the rug out from under what is currently a going concern.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 5th Oct 17, 7:37 PM
    • 38,606 Posts
    • 35,325 Thanks
    Theres thousands of independent cafe's across the country that manage perfectly well and provide solid incomes to their owners, otherwise there wouldnt be as many cafes.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    There's also thousands of cafes across the country changing hands on a regular basis. Every time I walk from where I work into town there seems to be a new cafe, or one which has changed hands. Some do so on a regular basis.

    OP, IF you go for this one, bear in mind you may be obliged to keep the Saturday girl under TUPE regulations, so you need to look into those. You also need to understand your legal responsibilities as an employer - holiday pay, keeping records, sick pay etc.

    I'd also wonder how a cafe can operate consistently with generally just one member of staff. You want a day off? Do you close the cafe or pay someone to open up for you? The dog's sick and needs to go to the vet? Ditto. You're not well - especially d&v? Ditto.

    And one thing that's important to me about cafes is that they are open when they say they will be open. There's a new-ish one on my route home, convenient for a coffee if I miss my train, BUT the other day it had closed early. So now I know it can't be relied on.

    I knew a couple who ran a cafe in France - it all went quite well until one of them became ill. At that point, the logistics of getting two children to school and hospital visiting in two separate directions from the cafe was just too much.
    Last edited by Savvy_Sue; 06-10-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 5th Oct 17, 8:39 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 682 Thanks
    Have you looked at your local colleges to see if they have any relevant courses to give you some business basics before you buy? They are usually only short courses but a variety of them could give you a basic knowledge which you then build on.
    • gail.wls1
    • By gail.wls1 6th Oct 17, 5:33 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Thank you I appreciated your input.
    • gail.wls1
    • By gail.wls1 6th Oct 17, 5:40 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Thank you for your input. I admit I am nave, that is why I am on this site. I don't plan to rush into anything.
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 6th Oct 17, 7:36 PM
    • 1,826 Posts
    • 1,087 Thanks
    You have zero experience in catering and zero in business. I wouldn!!!8217;t do this if I was you. Taking on a cafe with zero experience will be hard hard work. You need to take time to understand the basics also how to make food at the low cost to see for reasonable price. Such as how much of each ingredient to use to generate a profit
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