Are you thinking of starting your own bubble tea café but don't know where to begin? You're not alone in wanting to join the bubble tea boom that's sweeping the world. The global bubble tea market was valued at $2.02 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $3.49 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period according to a report by Allied Market Research. With such a promising future, it's no wonder many entrepreneurs are turning to the bubble tea industry to start their own business. But starting a bubble tea café from scratch can be challenging and overwhelming. Do you know what steps to take to ensure your business is successful? Where should you begin? In this article, we'll guide you through the ten essential steps needed to open/start/launch a bubble tea café. By the end, you’ll have a checklist that you can use to guide you through the process of creating your own prosperous bubble tea café. So, are you ready to take the first step in making your dream café a reality? Let's dive in!

1. Identify Vision & Mission Of The Bubble Tea Cafe

Before you start your Bubble Tea Cafe business, it is essential to establish your vision and mission statements. Your vision should be a statement of your long-term aspirations, while your mission should be a clear statement of purpose that reflects your core values and unique selling proposition.

  • The Vision statement: You should be able to articulate what you hope to achieve with your Bubble Tea Cafe. This statement should communicate your long-term aspirations, such as becoming the leading Bubble Tea provider in your area, expanding your business to other regions, or becoming a franchisor.
  • The Mission statement: Your mission should be a clear statement of purpose that reflects your core values and unique selling proposition. You should be able to articulate what sets your business apart from others in your area, why you are passionate about offering Bubble Tea, and what values you uphold as a business.

Tips & Tricks

  • Keep your vision and mission statements concise, clear, and focused on your unique selling proposition.
  • Your vision and mission should be aspirational and inspiring, so take the time to craft statements that reflect your passion and purpose.
  • Be flexible: Vision and mission statements can evolve over time as your business grows and expands. Regularly revisit and update them to keep them relevant.

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2. Develop A Detailed Business Plan

A detailed business plan is the foundation of any successful business venture. It serves as a roadmap for the future of your bubble tea cafe, outlining goals, strategies, finances, and more. Here are the chapters to include in your bubble tea cafe business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary should be a brief overview of your entire business plan. It should include what your bubble tea café is, the products and services you provide, the market you will serve, expected expenses and income, and financial projections for the short and long term.

Business Description

In this section, you should provide a detailed description of your business, including the type of bubble tea products you will offer, the type of equipment you will use, the size of your cafe, location of your business, and target customers.

Market Analysis

A market analysis will help you better understand your competition, including other bubble tea cafes and food and beverage businesses in your area. It will also outline the industry trends that could impact your bubble tea cafe business.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

In this chapter, you will outline your marketing and sales strategies, identifying ways to reach your target audience to generate revenue. You should also include a sales forecast and a budget for your marketing campaigns.

Management and Operations

In this section, you should outline your business structure including organizational charts, staffing, and operations management plans. You should also outline the required licenses and permits, safety protocols, and procedures for business logistics.

Financial Analysis

Here, you will provide the financial details of your business, including a break-even analysis plan and expected revenue streams. You will provide a detailed financial plan, including your startup budget, projected cash flow, and your pro forma income statement, outlining your financial projections for the first three to five years of operation.


The appendix will provide supporting information if needed. Any relevant data, market research, prototyping of equipment, licensing, and permits should be included in this section. It should also include your company policies.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Consider the importance of location when starting a bubble tea cafe. Choose an area that sees significant foot traffic and is easy to access.
  • Do your primary research in advance and try to understand the needs and preferences of the local market before launching your bubble tea cafe business.
  • Try to differentiate yourself from your competitors to stay ahead of the curve. Offer unique flavors, combinational drinks, and/or customization options to appeal to custom preferences.

A comprehensive business plan is essential in the successful launch of a bubble tea cafe business. It will help you keep track of the pulse of your finances, organizational management, and strategies. By utilizing the above chapters, you can create a plan that allows you to stay ahead of your competition, remain focused, and make informed decisions.

3. Conduct Market & Competitor Analysis

In order to start a successful bubble tea café business, conducting thorough market and competitor analysis is crucial. This step ensures that you have a clear understanding of the industry, the target market, and competition. Here are some steps you can follow to conduct market & competitor analysis:

  • Identify your competitors: The first step is to identify the competitors in your local area. Look for cafes that sell bubble tea or other similar beverages and take note of the price range, menu, and overall customer experience that they provide.
  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses: Analyze your competitors' businesses to determine what they do well and where they fall short. It's important to identify opportunities for improvement and differentiation in order to stand out from the competition.
  • Determine the target market: Understand the age group, gender, income level, and other relevant factors of your target market. This will help you make informed decisions about the pricing, marketing strategies, and overall business strategy.
  • Study the industry trends: Keep an eye on the bubble tea industry trends, including new flavors, innovative products, and popular ingredients. This will help you stay competitive and offer products that appeal to your target market.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Visit your competitors' cafes incognito to observe their operations and customer experience.
  • Check out online reviews and ratings of your competitors to gain insights into what customers like and dislike.
  • Use industry reports and data to analyze market competition and identify trends that can help you stay ahead of the competition.

By conducting a comprehensive market and competitor analysis, you'll be able to identify the gaps in the market and create a strategy that addresses your target customers' needs and preferences. Use the information gathered during this step to make informed business decisions that are grounded in data and research.

4. Create Financial Model & Projections

Now that you have a basic understanding of the bubble tea industry and the market trends, it's time to create a financial model and projections for your bubble tea cafe business. This will help you understand your expenses, revenue, and profitability. Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Determine your startup costs: Calculate the expenses required to start your bubble tea cafe such as rent, equipment, supplies, inventory, and marketing.
  • Forecast your sales: Estimate your revenue based on the number of customers you expect to serve on a daily basis and the average price per drink. You can use market research data to make informed assumptions about your sales projections.
  • Project your monthly expenses: Include all the expenses required to run your business such as rent, utilities, salaries, inventory, supplies, and marketing. Make sure you include variable costs that may change depending on your sales volume.
  • Calculate your breakeven point: Determine how much revenue you need to generate in order to cover your expenses and start making a profit. This will help you understand how many drinks you need to sell per day in order to stay in business.
  • Update your financial projections: Once you have a clear understanding of your startup costs, sales projections, and monthly expenses, update your financial projections accordingly. You can use a spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create your financial model.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Be conservative with your sales projections. It's better to underestimate your revenue than overestimate it.
  • Include a contingency plan in case your actual revenue or expenses are different from your projections.
  • Review your financial projections regularly and adjust them as needed.

Creating a financial model and projections is a critical step in opening your bubble tea cafe business. It will help you understand your fixed and variable costs, revenue projections, and profitability. Use this information to make informed decisions about your business and stay on track towards success.

5. Secure Funding For Start-Up Costs

Now that you have a solid business plan, the next crucial step is securing funding for your bubble tea cafe start-up costs. There are several ways to do this, and we'll explore them in this chapter.

5.1. Self-Funding

If you have savings or other personal resources, using them to self-fund your bubble tea cafe can be the easiest way to get started. This approach also has the advantage of allowing you to retain control of your business and avoid taking on debt. However, it may limit your ability to scale your cafe quickly.

5.2. Friends and Family

Another source of funding for your start-up costs can come from friends and family. This approach also allows you to retain control over the business, and your loved ones may be more willing to invest in your vision. However, mixing business with personal relationships can be complicated, so it's essential to have a clear agreement in place.

5.3. Business Loans

Business loans are a common way to secure funding for start-up costs. These loans typically have lower interest rates than personal loans, and they can help you access larger amounts of capital. However, you'll need to have a solid credit history and collateral to qualify for most business loans.

5.4. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can be an excellent option for raising funds for a bubble tea cafe. With crowdfunding, you can use online platforms to pitch your business idea to a broad audience and collect small amounts of money from many investors. However, this approach requires a compelling marketing strategy to get your campaign noticed.

5.5. Investors

If you have a strong business plan and are willing to give up some equity in your company, seeking investment from angel investors or venture capitalists may be a good option. These investors can provide not only funding but also valuable guidance and network connections. However, seeking investment can be a time-consuming process, and you'll need to be willing to give up part of your ownership stake in your business.

Tips & Tricks

  • Consider using a combination of funding sources to reduce risk and optimize your start-up capital.
  • If possible, avoid taking on debt as much as possible.
  • Be transparent and clear with your investors to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts in the future.

Securing funding for your bubble tea cafe start-up costs is a critical step in launching a successful business. Carefully consider your options, and choose the funding sources that align with your vision and goals.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits & Licenses

Opening a bubble tea café requires you to obtain a variety of permits and licenses. In some areas, you may need multiple permits and licenses, so it is important to do your research and determine what is required for your specific location. This step is absolutely crucial and should be conducted before you invest in any equipment or start the renovation process. Failure to obtain the necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines and legal complications.

  • Business License: A business license is required to operate any business in the United States. You can obtain a business license from your city or county clerk's office.
  • Food Service License: Depending on your location, you might need a separate food service license in addition to your business license.
  • Building Permit: Before renovating your space, you may need to obtain a building permit from your local building department. This permit ensures that your renovations meet safety codes and zoning regulations.
  • Health Department Permit: You will need a health department permit to ensure that your establishment meets all health and safety regulations. This includes proper food storage and preparation, equipment maintenance, and regular inspections.
  • Liquor License: If you plan on serving alcohol at your bubble tea café, you will need a liquor license. The process for obtaining a liquor license varies by state, so be sure to do your research.

Tips & Tricks

  • Research the specific permits and licenses required for your location before starting any renovation work.
  • Apply for your permits and licenses as early as possible to avoid any delays in the opening process.
  • Consider hiring a professional to help you navigate the permitting and licensing process.

Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses can be a time-consuming and confusing process. However, it is essential for the success and legality of your bubble tea café. Take the time to research which permits and licenses you need, and be sure to apply for them well before your projected opening date.

7. Find Suitable Premises

Finding the right location for your bubble tea cafe is crucial to the success of your business. Here are some steps to help you find a suitable premises:

  • Determine your target market: Before selecting a location, it is important to determine your target market. If your customers are mostly students, then a location near a university or college campus would be ideal.
  • Consider foot traffic and visibility: A location with high foot traffic and good visibility can help attract more customers. Look for a premises in a busy shopping area, near a major road or public transportation.
  • Check local regulations: Check with your local council or government to ensure that the premises you are considering meets all the regulations and requirements for opening a food and beverage business.
  • Review leasing agreements: Review leasing agreements for the premises you are considering, paying attention to all terms and conditions. Ensure that the lease agreement is favorable to your business needs.
  • Consider competition: Scout the area for potential competitors. A location with little competition may help your business to stand out.
  • Calculate the costs: Calculate all costs associated with leasing and outfitting the premises, including rent, utilities, renovations, and equipment. Ensure that these costs fit within your budget.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider the long-term viability of the location. A busy street today may be devoid of foot traffic tomorrow.
  • Visit the premises at different times of day to get a sense of the area’s activity levels.
  • Be sure to factor in parking availability when selecting a location for your bubble tea cafe.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that you find a suitable premises for your bubble tea cafe that appeals to your target market, is visible and accessible, meets all legal requirements, and fits within your budget.

8. Establish An Appropriate Labor Force

One of the most important aspects of opening a Bubble Tea Cafe business is finding and hiring the right employees. Establishing an appropriate labor force will not only ensure smooth operations but also contribute to the overall success of your business. Here are some ways to accomplish this:

  • Clearly Define Job Roles and Responsibilities:

To hire the right people, you should have a clear idea about the roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. Based on the size and nature of your business, define the required roles, and establish job descriptions and titles for each position. This will help you to communicate the roles properly to the potential employees, and they will be able to understand the expectations clearly.

  • Create a Competent Job Posting:

The job posting is the first point of contact with prospective employees. Create a job posting that is both informative and engaging - it should clearly highlight what you're looking for in a potential employee, the expected qualifications, experience and skills. A good job posting will help you attract quality hires to your business.

  • Develop an Efficient Interview Process:

The interview process is where you get to meet and assess the potential candidates. Develop a structured interview process that will help you efficiently evaluate candidates, without wasting too much time. You can include questions about their previous work experience, qualifications, and what they hope to achieve in the future.

  • Provide Adequate Training:

Once you've hired your employees, provide adequate training to help them fulfill their roles effectively. This will help to ensure that they are fully equipped to handle day-to-day activities and can provide excellent customer service to your clients. Don't just stop at the basic training, but include ongoing training to keep your employees up to date with industry trends and practices.

  • Incorporate a Performance Management System:

Some employees might underperform or be unproductive. You need to have a system to monitor and manage their performance. Having a clear set of performance expectations, and then measuring and providing feedback to your employees can help motivate them, identify areas of improvement, and keep them on track.

By implementing these steps, you will be able to establish an appropriate labor force for your Bubble Tea Cafe Business, which will go a long way in contributing to the success of your business.

9. Design Marketing Campaign

One of the most critical steps in launching a bubble tea café business is developing a strong marketing campaign. Without effective marketing efforts, it's unlikely that your business will succeed. A comprehensive marketing strategy is necessary to introduce your bubble tea café to potential customers, promote your brand, and develop engagement.

Below are some key steps to designing a marketing campaign that will help you attract customers and begin generating revenue:

  • 1. Conduct Market Research: It's essential to understand your target audience and their preferences, behaviors, and needs. By researching your competition, current market trends, and customer demand, you can design a marketing campaign that is tailored to your specific customer base.
  • 2. Develop a Brand Identity: Your brand identity should represent your bubble tea café and what it offers. This can include a name, logo, slogan, and color scheme. Your brand identity should be consistent and recognizable across all marketing channels.
  • 3. Define Marketing Channels: Different marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and paid advertising, will be more effective for different companies. You'll need to research which channels your target market uses and which are most effective for your brand identity.
  • 4. Set Marketing Goals: By setting measurable marketing goals, such as increasing website traffic or engagement on social media, you can track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and make adjustments as necessary.
  • 5. Content Creation: Creating engaging and relevant content is critical for driving engagement and sales. This could include blog posts, social media updates, email newsletters, and videos.
  • 6. Implement and Test: Start implementing your marketing strategies and monitor their effectiveness.
  • 7. Make Changes: Based on the data from your testing, adjust your marketing strategies to optimize engagement and maximize sales.

Tips & Tricks

  • Consider hiring a marketing professional to aid in developing an effective campaign.
  • Make sure to monitor and respond to reviews and comments.
  • Use influencer marketing to boost sales and brand awareness.

With a solid marketing campaign, your bubble tea café can attract customers, increase revenue, and position itself as a leader in the industry. Always strive to develop creative and innovative campaign ideas that resonate with your target market.

10. Execute The Plan

Congratulations! You have reached the final step of opening your bubble tea cafe business. By now, you have researched and analyzed the market, identified your target audience, created a business plan, secured funding, found a location, designed your space, built relationships with suppliers and employees, and established a marketing strategy. Now, it is time to execute the plan and open your doors to customers.

  • Hire and Train Employees: Your team is the backbone of your business. Hire employees who are passionate and knowledgeable about bubble tea and train them on your company's policies and procedures.
  • Finalize Your Menu: Your menu should be final and ready for customers on the first day of business. Consider limited-time offers and specials to attract new customers and keep returning ones interested.
  • Test Run: Before the grand opening, consider having a soft opening or test run to work out any kinks. This could also be a great opportunity to invite family and friends to give feedback on your products and service.
  • Grand Opening: The big day is finally here! Make sure your space is clean, your staff is ready, and you have enough supplies available. Consider offering promotions and discounts for the grand opening to draw in customers.
  • Monitor Operations: As your business starts to pick up, it is important to monitor operations closely to ensure that things run smoothly. Address any issues that arise and adjust accordingly.
  • Customer Feedback: Encourage customers to leave feedback on your products and service. Use this feedback to improve and grow your business.
  • Expand: Once you have established your business, consider expanding to other locations or offering additional products and services.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Don't be afraid to make adjustments as you go. Your business plan is a guide, but be flexible and open to changes.
  • Continuously analyze your market and competition to ensure you stay relevant and competitive.
  • Keep your customers happy by providing excellent customer service and high-quality products. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

Remember that starting a bubble tea cafe business is a process that requires hard work, dedication, and patience. Execute your plan with confidence and passion, and soon you will see your business thrive. Good luck!
In conclusion, building a bubble tea café is a lucrative and exciting undertaking. With the right strategy, you can establish a successful business that attracts and retains loyal customers. Remember the ten crucial steps to launch a bubble tea café: Identify your vision and mission, develop a comprehensive business plan, conduct market research, create financial projections, secure funding, acquire necessary permits and licenses, find the ideal location, build a suitable team, design a marketing campaign, and execute your plan. The global bubble tea market presents a significant growth opportunity for the industry, and you can tap into the market's potential with the right approach. So, take the leap of faith, and pursue your dream café by following the checklist we've provided. Good luck!

Excel financial model

Bubble Tea Cafe Financial Model
  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support