By Nadi Ellis, Equus Partners

Nadi will be a speaker at the ASCA Symposium “Secrets of Specialty, how to run a successful café” taking place 27 March 2017 at Mercure, Treasury Gardens. 



Café owners don’t invest their money and time in a business simply to survive. They run a café business because they have the ‘X’ factor – a vision, a desire, a goal and passion. And importantly, they do it to make profit.

Or do they? The sad news is the average café in Australia makes 5% net profit. Some don’t make a profit at all. Many fail.

A café business is made up of many moving parts, runs in a typically low-margin environment and operates in a marketplace where competition is high. The problem I see is most owners get caught up working in many parts of their business rather than focussing on the areas that improve the most crucial success metric – profit.

If you are a café owner, I offer you these seven key areas to focus on, right now. If implemented correctly, this framework will help your maximise your café’s profit, as well as enjoy the flow-on effects of having more cash and a higher business valuation.

Your Plan

You need a plan to achieve your goals. Stop flying blind. Put forecasts and budgets in place to reduce surprises. Get clarity. Do you have the most tax effective business structure? If not you could be costing yourself every year.

Your Product

Getting the product mix right is key. Maintaining consistency is crucial. Boosting quality and curbing cost is a must. Ban perfection and focus on what you are really selling.

Your People

You need a great team of internal and external people. From investors to partners to suppliers to dishwasher to accountant, everyone plays a vital role in the success of a cafe. Then you need to work on motivating them to achieve a common objective.

Your Position           

If you don’t take location, layout, and design seriously, then your customers won’t. Getting the Customer Experience (CX) right is very important also.

Your Process

Build great systems, well documented and easy to follow procedures and processes to increase your output and efficiency. If your team is effectively communicating, you’re cutting out human labour and margin for error, and your levels of consistency will increase, pushing business performance up. Develop a profit allocation systems to make profit not wait for it.

Your Pricing

You can have the best product in the market, however if you’re not pricing your products correctly, you’re going to lose profit and your business will suffer. Set prices based on your product’s perceived value in the marketplace not what your competitors are charging.

Your Promotions

If you’re not selling, you’re not succeeding. Sell the second coffee, sell more food, and capture more value. Go hard with marketing to get them through the door.

Nadi Elias will be a speaker at the ASCA Symposium “Secrets of Specialty, how to run a successful café” taking place 27 March 2017 at Mercure, Treasury Gardens. Nadi is the CEO and founder of Equus Partners in Melbourne. He is an Accountant, a growing business owner, a business advisor and an investor. Business runs through his blood. He absolutely loves coffee and is on a mission to help café entrepreneurs in making the Melbourne café industry the best in the world.

He is the author of “Count More Beans: The 7-Step Guide to Making More Profit, Having More Cash and Maximising the Value of Your Café.” — a guide for café entrepreneurs to not only keep the doors open but to open more doors of opportunity. Nadi’s approach is focused on making a cafe’s financial returns even better than the coffee it produces. He works with café entrepreneurs on a daily basis on strategies to run successful cafe businesses.

Nadi will be delivering to you 7 key things you can do right now in your business to start maximising profits. His tips are practical, engaging and will get you excited to start implementing as soon as hear them.