A Social and Business Café

Posted by Kirhat | Wednesday, July 26, 2017 | | 0 comments »

Business Cafe
Opening a social café has been in the mind of many entrepreneurial Filipinos, especially the fresh graduates who possess bright minds and business spirit that drive them to ensure success.

If you try to look around the business districts and mall areas, cafés are treated as social, affluent, and downright hip. Given the avid patronage of young student muggers, Filipino’s discriminating palates and the western-influenced pastime of eating outside the office, setting up a café can be a tantalizing taste of a profitable business.

However, there are several things that are needed to make certain that the café will appeal to the cake sage, latte lover and occasional hipster. Before entertaining any of your culinary dreams, you may want to check below first:

Zoning Areas

First of all, the new café has to be officially compatible with the existing residents and businesses. As far as possible, the new café has to comply with the character of the extant community. The café de’ founder must have approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the local government unit (LGU).

Looking for s possible café name search can be done electronically via the SEC's online verification system, but applicants must pay for the reservation fee on site at the SEC. Once the reserved name is approved by the SEC, it costs PhP 40.00 for the first 30 days. The company name can be reserved for a maximum of 90 days for a fee of PhP 120.00, which is renewable upon expiration of the period.

To get the barangay clearance, the following documentary requirements should be submitted to the Barangay: Application form, SEC Certificate of Incorporation and approved articles of incorporation and bylaws, location plan/site map and the contract of lease over the corporation's office.

Aside from paying the basic and additional community tax from the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), special books of accounts are required for registering with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). The books of accounts are sold at bookstores nationwide. One set of journals consisting of four books (cash receipts account, disbursements account, ledger, general journal) costs about PhP 400.00.

Haste Makes Waste on Taste

One of the more important steps is to make sure that the products ace the taste test and not give clients projectile diarrhea. For instance, as a (relatively) inexperienced barista, it is highly likely that your first few cuppas’ would be a far cry from satisfactory. A handful of trusty food samplers in the form of your critical (but nonetheless loyal) friends and family would go a long way.

In addition, don’t compromise on the calibre of your cakes and coffee beans; you’ll need to do your homework and source for and liaise with reliable food suppliers that would swear by the quality and safety of your ingredients.

Making It Your Own

Cafés in the Philippines, especially in business centers, are a dime a dozen. To stand out, consumers will be looking for novelty and innovation (cronuts, anyone?). Don’t be afraid to be fiercely abhorrent of normalcy and ensure that you make your café your own.

One big way to do so (and establish the sacredness of your café) lies largely in its ambience. A tasteful interior will set an established café apart from having a 'no-frills coffee shop'. A quirky row of artistry sprawled across the wall and the right mix of slow jazz and chanson tunes will make for a very laid-back atmosphere (recommendations from existing clients can help boost your income further).

The Business Plan

Last but certainly not the least is the café’s business plan. A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

Business plans may also target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan is required, since investors will look for their annual return in that timeframe.

Business plan notwithstanding, your café in its infantile phase would require you to bleed red ink, at least for a while. As a newly-baked business owner fresh from the oven, you should expect to have no salary to call your own. You could take up freelance or part-time jobs on the sideline, or give tuition if you can still remember how to solve your simultaneous equations.

It also helps to have a contingency plan on hand. Abiding by the law of Good ol’ Murphy, it is important to think of what can happen and plan for unexpected situations accordingly. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

In short, to start a business is no piece of cake, but religiously adhering to the nitty-gritty details is one step closer to showcasing your novelty and your inner hipster heart – and your very first café.


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