You’ve mastered the art of brewing an exceptional cup of coffee, and you’re confident that your coconut cream pie is the pinnacle of perfection — but choosing the ideal coffee shop design and layout may be out of your comfort zone.

Coffee shop design is crucial for drawing customers and enticing them to return, making it absolutely important to get right. The following five elements are essential ingredients for designing the perfect coffee shop business.

A Clear Concept That Appeals to Your Target Audience

If you’re unsure about what makes your coffee shop business unique or why it might appeal to your target audience, you’re not quite ready to begin choosing the design for your coffee shop. Will it be old-fashioned? Modern? Tongue-in-cheek retro? Sophisticated? Fancy? Relaxing? Child-friendly? Healthy? French? Your coffee shop’s design concept will largely depend on your target audience. After all, a crowd of retirees will have different tastes and expectations than a group of young professionals. Determine your coffee shop’s target audience and design concept now and make sure that you are 100 percent clear on it to ensure consistency across the other key aspects of your business.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Things to Get Right When Opening a Coffee Shop

Storefront Design

What will the exterior of your coffee shop look like? Will you have outdoor seating? Or will it be conceived in a way that discourages patrons from hanging out in your establishment? You also want to consider any design restrictions imposed on your coffee shop by the community or venue location? Your coffee shop’s design should instantly convey the concept you have in mind. For example, if your coffee shop is intended to be modern and sophisticated, shabby chic shutters and geraniums on the windowsills might not be the best choice.

Signage

Again, your signage should reflect your coffee shop’s design concept. For example, wood is an excellent choice for an old-fashioned coffee shop sign. The same is true of the font used on the sign. Make sure that your sign is easy to read and distinctive. Signage is part of the overall coffee shop’s design and should look right at home in the storefront. At the same time, it needs to stand out so that people passing by can quickly identify what your establishment is and has to offer.

SEE ALSO: How Much Should I Charge for a Cup of Coffee

In-Store Design

Getting customers in the door is just the beginning. How you choose to design your coffee shop’s interior is equally important. From your choice of color scheme, artwork and wall decor, to the counter, dining area, seating area, display cases, menu board, restrooms, even your point of sale, your concept should be evident throughout your entire coffee shop. Choose materials, colors, and lighting that creates your desired mood. While you’re at it, consider the unique charms of the space itself. Is there a focal point in the space? How might you be able to take advantage of it?

coffee shop designed with bottle display shelves

Layout

Your coffee shop’s layout is a critical component of the interior’s design. How you lay it out will determine how efficiently your staff operates as well as how comfortable your guests feel. Evaluate the efficiency of your coffee shop’s design from both an employee’s and a customer’s perspective. Can the barista work methodically in the space allotted? Can your staff quickly get to the other side fo the cash wrap if needed? Will customers understand your ordering process upon entering your coffee shop? Coffee shop owners often underestimate how an intuitive layout design can impact their bottom line. The perfect layout promotes productivity amongst staff and enhances your customers’ experience.

The perfect coffee shop design requires a thorough understanding of your concept — and your potential customers. Once you are clear on what will make your coffee shop the most appealing for your target audience, you can begin working on the storefront design, signage, in-store design, and layout.

About the Author

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate, and Head of Marketing at ShopKeep point of sale’s UK headquarters. Paul uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.