Author Archive: Harmony Cafe

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Starting Your Own Cafe Business

Are you considering starting your own business and launching a successful cafe? It’s a thought that’s crossed many of our minds at some point, especially after a visit to a particularly awesome coffee shop (or maybe even a disappointing one that makes you think you could do better)! There’s no doubt that it’s a lucrative market that’s not going to disappear any time soon, but how can you hope to succeed with so many players already in the game? Here are the crucial steps you need to follow.

1) Plan your business

Early on you will need a comprehensive business plan, starting with market research to justify your endeavour and finishing with a detailed analysis of how you’re going to make a profit and why you’re confident. This will be essential to secure bank loans and other investments; however, it isn’t the first step. Even before all that, you need a basic pitch that fits onto one page and explains why your plan is unique.

2) Plan your location

Assuming your business plan is watertight, the next essential element is location, location, location. Not only does the physical building need to be suitable and affordable, but your cafe needs to be somewhere where you can easily attract passing trade, and ideally even become a local landmark. Do your research and be creative, because this is going to be vitally important to your success. (more…)

The World’s Most Unique Coffee Shops

Coffee shops can be found on nearly every street corner, not just in the UK but all over the world. We just can’t get enough! But do you prefer the big brands like Starbucks and Caffe Nero, or perhaps you’re more interested in the smaller, quirky places that are a little less known? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most fabulous independent coffee shops in the world, and after looking at some of these you might be a lot keener to try something different next time.

The Vintage Emporium, LondonThe Vintage Emporium, London

This cafe in the heart of London is a truly unique experience. Not only do they serve up great coffee, the Emporium doubles as an antique shop. You can take a seat and relax surrounded by old curiosities, with many items from the Victorian era on display and almost all of the pieces available to buy. This bizarre boutique is well worth a visit.

The Grounds, Alexandria, AustraliaThe Grounds, Alexandria, Australia

Built inside the shell of a historic warehouse, The Grounds is perhaps the ultimate hipster coffee shop, featuring some incredible industrial yet cosy décor. Its lush surroundings are enhanced by a beautiful herb garden, and the coffee itself is produced with beans from all over the world in a high-tech facility right next door – you can see all the action as it happens through a glass wall from the cafe. (more…)

Top Café, Bar & Restaurant Furniture Designs

One of the best surprises when you visit a new café or restaurant is often the furniture you get to relax on while you’re there. Sometimes a place will catch you by surprise if you were expecting one thing and end up getting a completely different style, or perhaps a mash-up of several looks, as is quite popular.

The chairs and tables you choose can really make a difference to the overall look and feel of a place, so we tend to notice when some thought has gone into this. Here are some of our favourite pieces we’ve found for cafés, bars and restaurants.

1) Patchwork Daw Arm Chairs

Patchwork Daw Arm Chair

These are one of our absolute favourite modern designs if you’re looking for more relaxed and quirky bar and restaurant chairs. The fun colour combination can lend itself to various different overall design schemes, and the combination of materials used including steel and beech make this an attractive and practical choice. (more…)

Luxury Gourmet Food Experiences

luxury dining

Food is something many of us take for granted, even if we do enjoy it. We like to discover more unusual and exciting ideas, exploring the different ways people have found to enjoy food as well as cafe and restaurant culture. We also think that great eating experiences don’t have to cost a huge amount of money most of the time! However, that’s not to say that we don’t recommend indulging in some truly luxurious treats from time to time. Here are some of our favourite brands, products and places if you’re looking for a unique gourmet experience.

Siberian & Russian Caviar

You may know that caviar is becoming more of an everyday food in a sense, despite its traditional opulent connotations. Even supermarkets offer basic iterations of the famous delicacy, but the true luxury brands are still well worth the investment. For example, the Royal Siberian caviar and the Russian sturgeon caviar called Royal Oscietra Caviar are among the best we have found in the UK. (more…)

Fun food delivery services

tea deliveryThe food and drink industry is still firmly based around physical locations that people can visit and enjoy, including cafes and restaurants. However, food is set to become the latest industry to see “on demand” services becoming the norm, as soon as our infrastructures can support the model. At the moment most of the services already available are focused on the higher end of the market, which makes sense due to the high costs involved while this remains on a relatively small scale. Not all of these are available in the UK at the moment, but they have seen some success around the world and might be the next trend here!


This is a simple but clever one, as so many people don’t have time to get a proper breakfast in the morning. Cereal and muesli delivery services like Yousli in Australia allow you to be very specific about what you want to start your day with, including gluten-free and high-fibre options.


Another less healthy breakfast option is having bacon delivered to your door, offered in the UK by Cure and Simple. They vacuum pack their pork for posting and even spray it with dog repellent to ensure it doesn’t get eaten by your pet on arrival. They offer different subscription packages depending on how often you need bacon to appear on your doorstep. (more…)

Online alcohol delivery services

order alcohol onlineAlthough we think it’s important to support local bars and cafes, online businesses offering delivery in their local area also deserve a lot of praise for bringing original ideas to the market in a new way that’s simply aimed at giving people a great experience. Online food and drink delivery is growing, and one of the areas we’ve noticed rising fast is alcohol delivery. It’s convenient and quick, so it’s no surprise plenty of people are catching on. These are some of the top services available in the UK right now.

1) Amazon

If you don’t need your alcohol delivered on the same day, Amazon probably has the widest selection. As we all know, they have a massive infrastructure in the UK that allows Amazon Prime customers to get delivery within 24 hours on a huge range of products including drinks, plus they have been testing Prime Now which allows for delivery in only a few hours. It’s probably the best choice if you’re good value on a wide range of drinks and you’re happy to wait a little while for your delivery.


How seasonal branding has changed in food service

starbucks christmas cupsMany large food service brands in the UK and across the globe are known for their seasonal branding. It’s classed as a major sign that Christmas is officially approaching when the likes of McDonald’s and Starbucks roll out their annual festive menus, cup designs and promotional campaigns. Supermarkets and pretty much every other sort of retailer tend to undergo branding adjustments for major holidays, but for them it’s more a case of survival. Regardless of where they do their shopping, people still visit cafes and restaurants over the festive season, and in fact they probably do it even more so, so why do they even need to put so much effort into the colour of their cups?

In reality this trend is relatively recent, only happening over the last 10 years or so on the scale we see now. The overwhelming need for businesses to throw themselves into rebranding exercises over Christmas (and to a lesser extent, other events like Easter and Valentine’s Day) has seemingly stemmed from a wider trend for the power of nostalgia and emotion. (more…)

Mobile food and drink services you didn’t know existed

We love finding new and exciting services that are still emerging in the UK. As much as we love the traditional approach when it comes to cafes and restaurants, it’s important to embrace new trends too. With modern lifestyles getting faster every day, everything needs to be on the move and that’s why we’ve seen an increase in mobile businesses that are able to move to where the action is.

Lots of companies have cropped up offering mobile food and drink services for events and functions, which is a great idea for the businesses hiring them who want to create a unique experience for their visitors. Big brands sometimes use pop-up stands and trailers for promotional purposes in city centres and so on, but at smaller conventions and outdoor events it might be a great idea to hire something similar from a specialist.

For example, did you know you can hire your own concession stands to handle the catering at your event?

cafe santiago mobile coffee vanA great option for public and private events might be mobile coffee van hire for which our favourite choice would be Cafe Santiago. Operating across the UK from London, they offer an amazing service with everything you could need from a cafe, all supplied directly at your event. Whether you need to make use of their awesome mobile vans or need a bigger stand set up, the options on offer here are great for a range of requirements. (more…)

Food and alcohol delivery services – what about your business?

waffle deliveryOf course we don’t think there’s any substitute for the atmosphere of a great cafe or restaurant where you can enjoy the full experience that goes with your food and drink. However, everything about the modern world and the constant growth of online shopping is centred around convenience, so it’s no surprise that food and alcohol delivery services are on the rise. More akin to online shopping than local takeaway services, many of these services can cater to the whole of the UK within 24 hours, and some of them can deliver within hours.

Small businesses that were quick off the mark have done well in this relatively new market, but even giants like Amazon have stepped into the fray now. Amazon Prime Now has been trialled across the UK over the past couple of years, starting off in London and now covering several major cities. Although reports vary about whether they’re actually able to stick to the advertised speed, in theory food and drink deliveries are arranged within less than an hour. The infrastructure is still being developed with this, so in the meantime we still don’t have a universal service that can deliver anything we want immediately, although it may only be a few years away. For now the market belongs to those businesses that have been able to take over a specific niche. (more…)

Unusual cafes in the UK

cereal cafesWe think it’s great that there are an increasing number of unique and interesting cafes popping up in the UK. There has been a boom in new businesses catering to different niche areas over the last few years, so here is a collection of some of our favourite ideas.

Cat cafes

This one has to be our top choice, as the idea of a cafe with added cats is simply inspired. cat cafesYou can find these in London, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Nottingham to name a few, and although they’re all completely independent each one has rave reviews. There’s nothing radical about the cafes themselves or the food and drink available, but the bonus of having friendly cats wandering around is enough to bring visitors flocking, and most of these have customers booking their slots weeks in advance (but we think it’s worth it). (more…)