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How to Start a Coffee Shop.

Updated on October 13, 2014
skgrao profile image

A qualified Textile Post Diploma Graduate and Ex.M D of a Textile Mill.

How to Start a Coffee Shop.

In South India it is easy to start a Coffee Shop as this is neither a shop or a restaurant not requiring a licence under hotels,shops & establishment act & rule.A shop sells mostly things that are needed in our daily life. A Restaurant is a place where you eat and drink soft drinks, coffee,tea or some drinks other than any alcoholic drinks.A coffee shop was not covered under this act.The word Coffee Shop was new in south Indian city's when one Coffee Powder Shop Owner started a 'Coffee Shop'.

A shop which was selling coffee powder roasted and ground in your presence was something new 50 years ago

In our residential area there was such a Coffee Powder Shop.The smell or aroma of Coffee was so much all around this shop since coffee seeds were roasted and powdered from morning till evening.The minimum quantity for ordering coffee powder was 250 gm to 1 kg,this was going on as and when customers would come and order.

Every day few people would come to this shop in the evening and ask the coffee shop owner if he was serving coffee as they are getting good coffee smell.

People in those days used to make coffee by boiling 500 cc of water and pouring it over a container having 24 gm of coffee powder,allowing it to get the roasted coffee powder to be absorbed by the boiling water and then using a white cotton cloth they would filter this concoction in to another container.and it was now coffee decoction.Out of this quantity only 15 cc of this concentrated decoction was taken in to a 60 cc of S S Tumbler called as Coffee Cup and boiling Milk would be added to this from a boiling milk container till the colour of coffee was as required by the person drinking this coffee,called as 'Filter Coffee'.

The owner of this coffee powder shop got fed up with people asking him for a coffee drink and so he made coffee decoction one evening and kept it in the same container which he boiled water and over a electric heater he kept the milk at boiling temperature.When some person came and asked for Coffee he gave him a Cup and told him the cost.The man drank the coffee and smilingly he gave him the coin.( 50 years ago only coins were used a Rs.1 Note was a great sight every body did not carry notes as there was no need since everything costed only under a Rs.1/- Currency Note ). The Next day he was back with friends who wanted to drink a cup of coffee without entering a restaurant or hotel as going there would be costly.Those were the day's no one drank just a cup of coffee in a restaurant,it would have to be only after eating some evening snacks.Soon more persons started coming to take his coffee which was liked by them at much cheaper price than the hotel across this shop.He now had to open another place call it as "Coffee Shop".This craze of Coffee Shop spread across the place and many such shops came up.Few went to the extent of offering snacks freshly prepared in front of them which was a household south Indian snack known as Bonda and Bajji or Pakoda & Vada.

This was now a much sought out place for spending evening time to end the day.

In Bangalore today there are over 1000 outlets called as Coffee Day every one owned by a big politician's family.

All you need is a simple well decorated 1500 sq ft of space. White Painted walls with Single Glass Windows on all sides in the A/C Hall with simple looking Table and Chairs with clean white table covers and a 700 Sq feet Kitchen get a good cook and a cost accountant and start your Coffee Shop.

Coffee costing.

Mumbai ther present Bollywood was earlier known as Bombay when I was working in a Reputed Textile .Drinking Coffee, after eating Idli,Vada with Sambar was the most costly breakfast on holidays to me and my friend.The restaurant that suited our purse. A small Restaurant close to our place of stay in a south Indian central subberb of Mumbai owned by a local person who was qualified in hotel management seeing us going regularly became our friend.I asked him how he controls the men working under him from giving free breakfast as he came late to his hotel and how does he prevent such freebies. He then told us that one kg of anything that goes in to making of eatable or for example coffee or Tea must show in his cash register quantity and value tally from his standards kept.He further said if one cup of coffee was given free it would reduce 5gms of coffee powder and 2 gms of sugar which would show say from 200 cups to 199 cups.He further explained how he had trained his employees what cheating would do if they were caught and every body who were working were screened and given jobs.

Mushrooming of Coffee Shops in Bangalore.

Bangalore population went on a fast track day by day as people found jobs in every type of job that a fastest growing city needs.One such hotel grow up by leaps and bounds was a brand hotel who overnight shot to fame to such an extent people started demanding that he should open a branch in their locality.The owner found a way by asking one of his trusted employee to go to Mangalore and bring a dozen unemployed boys and trained them in his hotel running methods with a policy credit purchase and cash sale and financed this person to scout a busy place where there are people moving fast like in bus stop or railway station and rent it.He made him put up his hotel name in his hotel name board and the branch was opened soon.Having learn't his method few people from Mangalore came to him and he helped them the same way.Another branch of his hotel opened and thus his hotel name flashed on every locality of Bangalore and from people of Mangalore.Few people who violated were not given working expenses and he removed their name boards.They had overnight jobless.However his hotel prospered every where he had opened and soon Bangalore was flooded with this hotel name and coffee cafe's were making good business.

Jobless Coffee Cafe workers.

Coffee shops and Coffee Cafe soon became Tea Stalls as few people from north India who came to Bangalore in search of manual jobs started making Tea in many centers where there were people who wanted Tea and not coffee.The demand for coffee and Tea grow up beyond any expectations as offices went on getting coffee / Tea in Flasks from these hotels and stalls and stopped making Tea to control their expenses.There was more demand for workers to make Tea and coffee from the famous south Indian hotel work force available in the port city of Mangalore in Karnataka.The workers who were working in Bangalore were in touch with people of their origin in the west coast and soon after young youths under jobless category started coming to Bangalore batch by batch started arriving and some one started a name for his coffee shop as he liked ending with Darshan and now another coffee and eatery shop under self service started.Usually in any restaurant you eat / drink and then pay.However this guy who started Darshan type was different.Here you buy a ticket at cash counter priced for what ever you want to eat or drink as for example if you want coffee it is Rs.12/- Ticket and you need to take it to the coffee counter and present your ticket to the guy who is standing behind the counter and give the ticket he will pour the coffee (decoction) a black liquid of about 15 ml and pour boiling hot sugar mixed milk over it to make coffee in a steel cup or paper cup if it is already mixed and kept in a big flask and give it to you.You can then carry it to any table where you can find a place and drink your coffee standing and after drinking you can drop the paper cup in a trash can kept and walk out.If it is a stainless steel cup you just leave it on the table.The Darshan type was soon all over the city giving employment to youth from a far off place from Bangalore.

More Jobs more boys from another place.

Bangalore was known as a cosmopolitan city.Here youths from different states came in search of any job and the people who had skill in making whatever people ate found jobs.They made PAN a beetle leaf and nut smeared on the backside with a pinch of lime water over which a brown liquid of a tree bark called as KATHA in local language of Hindi over which they added masala and if ordered a tobacco granules and folded in to geometrical shape and given hand to hand to go directly in to the person's mouth opened around 3 finger wide and shut immediately and with out taking after paying the money goes away moving his mouth like a relaxing cow to enjoy the effect of the PAN.

There were others making other eatables but they were not allowed near coffee cafe's.Only PAN makers sat in a huge box made of wood and steel or aluminum / tin sheets with two doors facing the customers with one door resting on two supports or a wall to keep the PAN making materials.These people were mostly one community from one state.These shops also would stock various brands of cigarettes which were sold from the cigarettes packets in one cigarette at a time.People who smoked did not want to carry the pack of cigarettes for the fear of their wife's wreath when they reached home.

More jobs from more Coffee Shops.

The people with skills to make snacks of various types of north and south Indian menu like Bonda from big chilli's,raw banana's.potato,onion,cabbage took up vacant places in foot path corners and set up their open to sky set ups with a big wok nearly 3/4 ths full of frying oil over a gas stove connected to a cooking gas cylinder and serving hot hot bonda to customers,but these bonda cafe's on foot path did not make coffee so they will head to the nearest coffee cafe of the young youths who were jobless - to drink only coffee as they would have eaten to their belly full of bondas or also called as Pakodas in local language kannada.The people who were good in making these varities of snacks were all mostly south Indians.

The youth of North India wanted their type of snacks made and they had found such a place in the area that had family's of north Indians and the youths who were from north who came to Bangalore for jobs could not get the job they wanted and they had no qualification that the jobs that were available set such shops like bonda in their portable trolly's making such snacks like Samose,Belpuri,Pani Puri,Dhai Puri,Dokla and different types of fried food that they liked.This soon spread out in different areas and they were prefered even by south Indians who had tasted their snacks when they were in north India during some part of their life or during visit to some tourist places in north India.


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    • skgrao profile imageAUTHOR

      S K G Rao. 

      8 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      Thanks Dr.niishta.

    • niishta88 profile image


      8 years ago



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