How to Open a Bubble Tea Shop
Alright, so you want to open a bubble tea shop and now all you need is a plan. The most important aspects of starting a Bubble Tea Store are Costs, Store Design, Necessary Equipment, Product Sourcing, Training, and Location.
Bubble Tea Store Costs:
A high end Bubble Tea Shop can cost over $100,000 to open and a franchise can cost even more. A successful bubble tea shop requires proper equipment, training and high quality ingredients. These all cost money, but don’t worry! I’ll show you how to open a bubble tea business without breaking the bank. With this Bubble Tea Business Plan you’ll be able to open up your own store for $25,000-$40,000.
Bubble Tea Store Design and Lay Out:
The size of your store will be directly correlated with your cost. Basically you need counter space and sinks. Everything else is just personal customization. We recommend using stainless steel for your counter space. Many stores still use wood, and while wood has a lower start up cost, it won’t last very long. Within 5 years the constant liquid environment will degrade the wood and have it looking shabby and unprofessional.
Bubble Tea Equipment:
High quality bubble tea equipment is one of the most important parts of opening a bubble tea shop.
Boba Tea Sealer Machines are a staple at any real bubble tea shop. They create an airtight seal giving your cups an authentic look and feel. Sealer machines also save money in the long run because plastic sealer film is cheaper than traditional lids.
Tea Shaker Machines will help mix your hot tea, with powders and ice to make sure they dissolve properly and create the “bubbles” on top of your tea.
Sugar Dispensing Machines are the best way to make sure that your drink quality is consistent and your customers get the exact level of sweetness that they ordered.
Automatic Tea Brewers can save time and cut employee costs. But if you’re just starting out, you can also brew tea using a gas or electric stove.
A stove will also be necessary for cooking your tapioca pearls (boba). The main differences between a gas and an electric stove are speed and heat consistency. A gas stove will heat up faster and bring your water to a boil much faster than an electric stove. However, an electric stove will produce a more consistent heat source which will make cooking your tapioca pearls a lot easier!
Some other necessary items are tea shop utensils, shaker cups, stirrers, tea dispensers, measuring cups, etc.
Bubble Tea Ingredient and Product Sourcing:
Bubble Tea was invented in Taiwan and the best ingredients come from Taiwan. At BubbleTeaology we source high quality ingredients and equipment from Taiwan. The ingredients are all SGS, HACCP and ISO certified. I have personally visited many factories in Taiwan that produce Bubble Tea and have selected the highest quality Bubble Tea ingredients. We currently supply US customers from our US warehouse locations and International customers directly from Taiwan.
Bubble Tea Training:
Making Bubble Tea is a skill similar to making a cocktail or a great cappuccino. Proper training and recipes are necessary to ensure that your Bubble Tea tastes great and that your customers keep coming back.
Bubble Tea Store Location:
Bubble Tea is currently extremely popular in places like LA, Austin and New York while it is only starting to emerge in other places like the Midwest. Don’t be intimidated if there are already Bubble Tea Shops in your area. This means that they are there making money and if you can serve a superior product than you should have no problem gaining market share.
Bubble Tea Store Size:
The size of your store is going to impact the cost more than anything else. I’ve seen giant bubble tea shops with tables and couches and I’ve seen tiny ones that can fit into a 100 square foot location! If it’s your first store, then we generally recommend starting small. This will significantly decrease your costs and having a smaller store will make it look more crowded and therefor more in demand.