Top Practical Tips For Opening A Cafe On The Gold Coast

With its oh-so-sunny disposition, diverse crowd of locals and tourists alike, and thriving cafe culture, the Gold Coast is the perfect destination for anyone who is looking to turn their cafe dreams into a reality. 

However, as all entrepreneurs know, the path to a successful cafe business is not without its challenges. Indeed, to truly flourish in the competitive Gold Coast cafe scene, you’ll need a detailed strategy. Fortunately, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. 

In this article, we share 7 practical tips for opening a cafe on the Gold Coast. So if you’re looking to make some gnarly waves in the Surfer’s Paradise cafe scene, read on to find out more! 

  1. Take Advantage Of Online Invoicing

When it comes to running a successful business, cafe or otherwise, prudent financial management holds the key to long-term success. After all, the last thing you want is to find yourself drowning in a sea of unpaid invoices, receipts and rage-inducing paperwork while trying to create the perfect latte art or curate a mouthwatering menu that will leave customers coming back for more. 

Thankfully, with Zeller Invoices, the best online invoices available, you can transform and even automate your cafe’s financial processes. By harnessing this online invoicing technology, you’ll be able to streamline your record keeping, speed up payment processing and access your cafe’s financial records on the go. Not to mention, online invoicing simplifies international transactions by offering multiple currency support and secure payment gateways. This can be especially helpful when you’re sourcing unique ingredients and cafe supplies from around the world. 

By incorporating online invoicing into daily operations, you’ll have more time and resources to focus on what truly matters: brewing the perfect cup of joe and creating an exceptional dining experience for your loyal customers.

  1. Secure Yourself A Killer POS System

If you’re thinking of opening a cafe business in 2023, securing a killer point of sale (POS) system is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. Think of your POS system as the beating heart of your cafe’s operations. It’s not just a fancy cash register; it’s a loyal tool for managing orders, tracking cafe inventory, and collecting precious customer data. 

When it comes to choosing the perfect POS system for your cafe, we recommend choosing a system that seamlessly integrates with your cafe’s operations. Always look out for features such as simple user interface, easy order customisation, and real-time analytics that will help you make informed decisions day in and day out. If you’re not sure where to start, this Zeller vs Square comparison is a fantastic resource that will provide you with everything you need to know to make the perfect choice for your cafe.

  1. Cater To A Wide Range Of Dietary Requirements

It’s no secret that the Gold Coast is a melting pot of individuals with various dietary needs, from gluten-free and keto to vegan, vegetarian and everything in between. To ensure that you’re not missing out on a significant portion of potential customers, catering to a wide range of dietary requirements is always a good idea.

To get started, we recommend doing some market research to understand the specific dietary preferences and demands of your target audience. With this invaluable information in hand, you’ll be able to curate a menu that appeals to a wide variety of people, regardless of their allergies or dietary preferences. Remember — inclusivity is key to expanding your customer base, remaining relevant and showcasing your culinary innovation and expertise. 

While you’re at it, don’t forget to ensure that these options are clearly labelled on your menu, making it easy for customers to identify suitable choices. Your staff should also be well trained in these dietary needs so that they can easily guide customers through the menu.

Top Tip: To ensure your customers are kept safe and happy, it is important to implement strict hygiene and cross-contamination prevention protocols in your kitchen. Separate cooking utensils, prep areas, and storage for allergen-free ingredients are all great ways to prevent accidental exposure.

  1. Channel Gold Coast Vibes Through Thoughtful Decor

One of the most fun things about starting your own cafe has got to be the design process. Decor is a great way to not just set the mood and tone of your space, but also create a lasting impression on your customers and anyone who walks by your establishment. Obviously, you’ll want your cafe to channel the Gold Coast vibes through thoughtful decor, so embracing the city’s coastal-chic vibes is key. 

To get started, consider incorporating elements like driftwood furniture, tropical indoor plants, beach-inspired artwork, and oceanic colour palettes into your decor. You can also celebrate the Gold Coast’s vibrant arts scene by adorning your walls with works from local artists and showcasing pieces that capture the city’s essence, from stunning beachscapes to urban street art. 

If you want to drive online interest and engagement, incorporating captivating photo spots that people can use as an Instagram or photo backdrop is an excellent idea. This might include a beautifully designed feature wall, a gorgeous mural, or even a specially crafted neon sign with your cafe’s name or a popular Gold Coast phrase.

Honestly, the options are truly endless here, and we don’t want to bore you with hours of design talk. Long story short, be sure to think out of the box and develop a signature style that sets your cafe apart from its competitors, while paying homage to sunny Surfers Paradise. At the end of the day, you want to create a unique space that people want to come back to time and time again, so let your imagination run wild. 

  1. Focus On Local and Sustainable Sourcing

Anyone who has been to the Gold Coast will know that its people are all about the sustainable and eco-conscious way of life. With this in mind, focusing on local and sustainable sourcing is key to attracting hordes of customers to your cafe and, more importantly, ensuring that they become loyal repeat patrons. 

For starters, get in touch with some local farmers or artisans when sourcing your ingredients. Consider switching your menu up every few months to reflect what’s in season, or even stocking some locally sourced ingredients such as honey that customers can purchase to take home. This ensures that not only are you supporting local businesses, but you’re also committed to serving your customers the freshest and best quality food that money can buy. 

Another easy yet effective way to highlight your commitment to sustainability is by choosing eco-friendly materials and packaging. Yup, this means waving goodbye to those marine-life murdering plastic straws and flimsy single-use containers that harm our precious earth. Instead, opt for biodegradable or reusable alternatives such as bamboo or bagasse that demonstrate your dedication to protecting the environment. 

  1. Build An Engaging Online Presence

In a world where we’re glued to our phones 24/7 (guilty as charged), building an engaging online presence is crucial to a business’s success. Like it or not, the digital realm has become a primary platform for connecting to customers, and your online presence can truly make all the difference. Fortunately, building a solid online presence doesn’t have to be too complicated or costly. Here are some key things to focus on: 

  1. A Visually Appealing Website

Your journey towards a kick-ass online presence starts with a visually appealing website. Your website should feature high-quality images of your cafe, an easy-to-navigate menu, and important information like your location, opening hours and contact details. 

Before you let out a disgruntled sigh, the good news is that you don’t have to be an expert coder or graphic designer to make this dream a reality. There are numerous platforms such as Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace that eliminate the need for technical knowledge, allowing you to build a stunning website in a matter of minutes. 

  1. Vibrant Social Media Profiles

Once your website is up and running, it’s time to start your social media platforms on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter (sorry, we refuse to call it X), Facebook and the like. Your social media presence provides a direct line of communication with customers, so be sure to curate your feed(s) with visuals that reflect your cafe’s personality and style.

  1. Regular Updates and Posts

Having a picture-perfect social media presence isn’t enough. To ensure that you remain at the forefront, it’s important to schedule regular updates and posts to keep your audience and customers engaged. This includes posts about your menu, new dishes, special promotions, and discounts. You can also mix things up with fun and/or informative reels and stories that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of your cafe. Share the story of how you created your menu, introduce your staff to the world, or teach your followers how they can create the perfect latte art at home. By providing a diverse range of content, you not only keep your feed interesting but also establish a stronger connection with your audience. 

  1. User Generated Content

In this day and age, user generated content is king. People rely on reviews and recommendations more than ever before, so encouraging your customers to share their photos and reviews of your cafe on social media is a great way to get your name out there. You could even offer a small discount to customers who leave a great review. 

  1. Online Advertising

Consider allocating resources for digital ads to extend your reach. Utilising tools such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads can be highly beneficial since they let you precisely pinpoint particular demographics and interests – making sure your advertising lands with the apt audience. Such strategies prove particularly robust in marketing exclusive events, special deals or tantalising fresh additions to the menu.

    7. Prioritise Customer Service Excellence 

Last but not least, the final ingredient in your recipe for Gold Coast cafe dominion is none other than customer service excellence. Seriously, you could have the best matcha lattes and eggs benedict in the world, but without killer customer service, your cafe is most likely going to fall short of becoming a local gem. As they say, it takes months to build a loyal customer base, and only seconds to lose it. 

For starters, all your staff should be trained in the art of exceptional customer service. Teach them to be friendly, attentive, courteous, and responsive to customer needs. Remind them that active listening and going the extra mile to make each customer feel valued and appreciated goes a long way, not just in earning repeat business but also in creating a positive reputation for your cafe.

Furthermore, remember that consistency is key. Ensure that the high standards of customer service are maintained consistently, whether it’s a busy Saturday morning or a quieter weekday afternoon. Every interaction counts, and customers should receive the same level of service regardless of the day or time.

So don’t let all your efforts go to waste and get started on building the customer rapport that your cafe truly deserves. Afterall, when customers feel valued, heard, and well-cared for, they are more likely to become loyal patrons and brand ambassadors.


And there you have it — everything you need to know to start the Gold Coast’s next hottest cafe destination. With the right strategies in place, your cafe can stand out as a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. So go forth and conquer. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for the world!

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