Setting up a cafe in London and Surrey

Cafe Consultancy – Setting up a cafe in London and surrounding areas

Welcome to Pistachio’s in the Park Café Consultancy.  Whether you are an existing café owner / manager or if you are just starting out and looking to set up your very own café in London and surrounding areas for the first time, here at Pistachio’s in the Park we provide all the tools to help you.

It is well known that local councils hike the prices to café owners for standard tools which are a legal requirement, including Food Standard Information, Management Tools and Full Opps Manuals.

Through our accredited provider, Pistachio’s in the Park are able to supply the same tools to cafe owners at a fraction of the cost.

Here to help entrepreneurs who wish to set up a cafe business in London and surrounding areas

Collaborating with existing cafe owners we offer a selection of tools to help you to assess and maintain an excellent standard of service, whilst to support new cafe owners we provide a range of services which aim to assist in the launch of your exciting new business from premises right through to the supply of consumables .

Before you decide if running a café is for you let’s look at the at the pros and cons:


  • Pistachios in the Park is a chain of welcoming cafés in local parks throughout London and the south East. Our child friendly cafés offer a wonderful menu.Ability to be your own boss and have more control over you career.
  • If successful, financial reward should be far superior to working for somebody else.
  • Open and peak hours are more likely to be during normal business hours and daytime weekends in contrast to restaurants or bars.
  • Ability to utilise a range of different skills that you may not get as regular café employee.
  • Ability to meet a lot of new people, and establish the goodwill of the local demographics.


  • Running a café not a job and business hours don’t exist. It requires a significant investment of personal time money and planning.
  • Cafes can fail- meaning a huge drain and stress on financial resources and time lost.
  • Subject to seasonal variances, meaning cash flow can be notably stress point for café owners.
  • You will need a range of different capabilities beyond hospitality to be a successful owner of a café, including business and finance management skills.
  • Employee turn around can be lower than other industries; meaning more time spent required to find and train staff.

Now that you are ready and you’ve considered the above and still want to go ahead and open a coffee shop. You need to choose your location; location can make or break your café business, so it’s important that you consider every aspect of it. A coffee shop is a versatile business that can really make the most of many kinds of locations.

Before you settle on the location in London and surrounding areas you need to consider:

• How many people reside locally and who are they?
• Is the area densely populated? (i.e. lots of “chimney pots”) and are they the sort of people who will appreciate and leave home for a decent cup of coffee and a bite to eat? Check out the area first for yourself.
• Is there parking and good transport links?
• Is there a good footfall?
• What else is there in the neighbourhood such as competitors?
• Are you close to a major shopping area?
• Will the coffee shop be near an industrial site or offices?
• Are you close to a park or a tourist destination? It’s rare for the coffee shop to be the primary destination for your customers, so consider what makes the area special
• What can you offer the community that is new and innovative? If you plan to move in somewhere with a lot of competition. You will need stand out from the crowd.
• If so, what are you intending to offer that is special and will stand out from the crowd?
• Finally, the most important, has the site A3 catering usage? Because if you’re intending to have 12 seating and above and you’re serving food you will need this license.

Now that you have found your location and your premises, you need to come up with a name for the café such as “Cup of Joe”, “Amy and Steve’s”, “Parched”. The name is totally up to you, but it needs to be easily remembered and easy to say.

Pistachios in the Park is a chain of welcoming cafés in local parks throughout London and the south East. Our child friendly cafés offer a wonderful menu.You then need to register it with company house if you’re going to be a limited company, the inland revenue for VAT (although this can be done later once you reach turnover of £85,000) and the local council as a coffee shop and eatery. They will need to know:
• The type of food that you are serving.
• Whether the food is pre-packed or prepared to order.
• The name of your EHO (Environmental health Officer)

You will need an operation’s manual in place, whereby constant logs, cleaning schedules, food labelling, food complaints in place, employment contracts and health and safety laws.

Food Authorities and local councils work together to inspect coffee shops on a regular basis. Before you start trading, a representative will need to inspect the food premises to ensure it meets requirements. (Although not always the case as councils are very busy, but they will turn up and inspect very soon once you are open) The onus is on the business owner to make sure all regulation are kept and the staff are aware of their duties.

These inspectors will also complete regular food inspections to ensure your cafe continues to comply with regulations.

Additionally, If you want to use a public space to serve food or drinks (for example, the footpath) you will need to apply and receive approval from council.

In the hospitality business, finding good staff can be a difficult but worthwhile endeavour. Café staff need to be friendly, outgoing and loyal. For a successful café, it’s imperative your barista is talented and really understands the art of making a good coffee.

To find them advertise everywhere:

Putting up a ‘Help Wanted’ sign is a great way to find staff. A loyal customer could end up being your best employee. Advertising online will give you a greater pool of applicants and a greater ability to find qualified staff.

Don’t be afraid of training:

Qualified staff may be hard to come by, so don’t be afraid of hiring under-qualified staff. Sometimes the best staff haven’t had an opportunity to prove themselves.

Staff should add value to your business, look for staff who put a lot of stock in presentation. In the age of Instagram, taste isn’t the only important factor in food and coffee. Just look at how the popularity of foam art has grown. Charisma and ability to keep a cool head under pressure can also make a huge difference.

For good staff, you must be a good employer:

Reward your employees hard work and treat them with respect and you will be rewarded with dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees.

Now that you know all the above you are set to go But! You still lack the major tools to run your coffee shop that is the Operation’s Manual. You can order this from us from as little as £4.99, so please contact us direct or if it’s the “tools” that you need to run your business alone, such as Food Standard Information and Management guides including the employee’s handbook etc.

You can purchase this all from our brand new app:
Food Standard pack £4.99
Management pack £4.99 or – Full Opps Manual including the food standard pack and management pack consisting of; employee’s handbook, employee’s contract, fridge temperature logs etc: for £7.99

To find out more about setting up a cafe in London and surrounding areas and to order your own cafe tool set, please download our Cafe Consultancy APP today: or see our Cafe Consultancy Guide for more details.