How to Open a Unique Coffee Shop in 2022?


There are 200+ million people drinking coffee every day in the U.S. alone, which clearly indicates that there has never been a better time to open a coffee shop. There is a growing trend among Americans to visit their neighborhood coffee shops rather than drink at home.  

As of 2022, there are 65,410 Coffee & Snack Shops businesses in the U.S., an increase of 2.4% from 2021. Source

With many coffee shops or cafes in most neighborhoods, you don’t want to open the next one; you want to open the unique one that is different from the rest in many ways. Otherwise, it may be challenging to make your business a success. 

In this article, we want to help you do just that.

For a unique coffee shop to be successful, there are two main factors:

  • thoroughly carrying out the basic design tasks
  • creativity

The following are necessary, of course, but we won’t go into details because these are not the steps that will make your coffee shop unique:

  • business plan: don’t start without it
  • find the right location: considering expected pedestrian traffic and parking facilities
  • file for permits and licenses: it is crucial to note that waiting for approval on your permits may take time
  • finding suppliers

And now for the exciting part – the tasks you need to do if you want to open a unique coffee shop. Let’s go into more detail.

Importance of the layout

Try to focus on serving people efficiently, especially during peak times. A much-needed rule of thumb is to make sure that your floor plan for your coffee shop provides employees with sufficient space to work efficiently.

The two most important questions you should ask when planning your layout:

  • Could your staff be moving around effortlessly?
  • Is seating comfortably accessed?

The layout of your coffee shop tells your customers exactly where to go while drawing their attention to the products you want them to buy. Customers are more likely to purchase more than just a cup of coffee if bags of coffee or merchandise are placed in their line of sight as they put their order.

coffee shop music

Create a space that’s Instagrammable and interactive

Studies show that the restaurant industry is still doing well because people like immersing themselves in experiences, such as going out to eat. Additionally, with the growth of social media, and platforms like Instagram that allow people to share their experiences, more people look for places that are “instagrammable.”

When you design the interior of your coffee shop with eye-catching, attractive elements, you are aiming for the best coffee shop experiences for your guests, but you could also be generating free social marketing.

If you have outdoor space, creative decorations like colorful flowers can attract the passerby, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee will sure make them purchase one.

MUST READ: How to Design the Perfect Atmosphere for your Coffee Shop?

Choose a theme and build the atmosphere around it

Coffee shops should be decorated according to a theme to enhance their distinctive features. You can, for example, use colors and styles from the 1950s if you are looking to have a vintage-style cafe. Color trends from the mid-20th century include pastel colors schemes, black and white dots, pink, mint green, turquoise, blue and pale yellow. There was also a time when black, white, and red colors were in vogue. 

When designing a coffee house for a specific demographic, complementing colors and lighting – dim or bright – are also important considerations. 

Strong themes are sure to attract a specific type of customer base. An example of this would be a dog-friendly or cat-centric coffee shop, which would cater almost exclusively to pet owners.

Find furnishings and decorative elements – such as sculptures or expensive art – that enhance the mood of the theme. Large and impressive is fine, even if you must sacrifice a few seats. Believe us; you’ll be more successful if your café’s interior is unique than if you had three more seating available. Perhaps you should invest in some designer coffee machines or a counter—something you won’t find anywhere else in the neighborhood.


Internet access

It may not sound exciting or important at first, but believe us, it is. Your coffee shop must provide customers with Internet access in this digital age. Students and working professionals who need to check email, conduct online research, or write a complicated term paper often seek refuge at coffee shops. Customers choose coffee shops instead of libraries and book stores to accomplish their online tasks because they want a fresh alternative to a muted location.

Are your customers likely to spend a lot of time working on their laptops? How many electrical outlets do you have? Many people who work from their computers choose coffee shops based solely on whether they can charge their computers or phones. You can also differentiate your coffee shop by having the fastest Wi-Fi, the most outlets, and the most laptop-friendly space.

Put the cherry on top with the coffee shop background music

Suppose you’ve completed the previous steps diligently; there’s still one more thing to consider in order to achieve creating a really unique coffee shop! And that’s background music. 

What makes the background music in your coffee shop unique? If you don’t play the same coffee shop genres as everyone else.

Choosing the right type of music for your cafe depends on the mood you want to convey. Consider a relaxed/chilled environment. It will help if you design a place where your customers can feel at home and enjoy their coffee or snacks while having conversations with others. To create such an environment, you must have genres that promote this type of atmosphere—some ideas for the music genre: jazz, deep house, and lounge.

MUST READ: How to Choose the Right Music for Coffee Shop?

These days, there are plenty of online resources for playing music. These include YouTube, Apple Music, and Spotify. However, they all provide a personal license, so you cannot use them in a business environment, including cafes, or you will face very high fines.

Can I use Spotify, Youtube and Apple music as a commercial music provider? The answer is here.”

To solve this problem, you’ll need to select a business music streaming service that offers a wealth of tracks, curated playlists, and other helpful business features in exchange for a low monthly subscription fee.

One such provider is Jukeboxy Music for Business, which gives you the industry’s largest selection of music for $24.95 a month, and in a few minutes, you can have fitting music playing in your coffee shop. 

You can see what features are available with your subscription here:

Jukeboxy Music Features


To summarize, these are the areas to look out for if you want your coffee shop to be unique:

  • design a great layout for your shop
  • provide the fastest Wi-Fi and the most electrical outlets
  • create an eye-catchy space for Instagram sharing
  • choose a theme for your niche and build an atmosphere around it
  • play coffee shop background music that is unique to your business