Some of the many benefits of starting a juice bar business include no previous experience and low start-up costs…… let’s see how to do it.
Starting a juice bar business is a very viable option if you are thinking about a new venture but are not sure where to start or have a minimal start-up budget.
The start-up costs are relatively low, the food prep is often minimal compared to other food operations and it has a low barrier to entry. But with little experience, it can be hard to know where to start.
In this guide, I will lay out the 9 steps on how to start a profitable juice bar. So let’s dive in!
1. Market research
This is an important step and one worth spending some time on. You need to know what other juice and smoothie bar businesses are in your area.
You also have to consider the demographics, such as age, gender, education and income.
2. Find a location (fixed or mobile?)
When starting a juice shop you will have to consider the location. Questions such as will there be enough footfall in the area, or is it the right demographics (age, income) for the type of products you are selling. The rent of the property, business rates and other expenses will also be a factor.
However, there are a number of ways you can start a smoothies shop without making the initial step of getting a fixed location. And this may be in fact the wiser option.
Starting a juice business from home
All you really need to start a juice or smoothie business from home is a commercial juicer or blender, a decent sized kitchen and a social media presence or website. We will talk about online marketing in the final step.
You can then deliver to customers in your local area.
Starting a mobile juice bar or juice Truck
Another cost-effective way to start a juice bar is to go mobile. You can either sell your juices and smoothies from a converted truck or from a street food stall.
The same principle applies to find the right location but there are many food markets and festivals around now, so finding a spot should be easier.
In the related article below I go into more details about how to get up and running from a mobile truck or food stall.
3. Create a name and logo
You want a name and logo which is both catchy and clearly states what you sell. I find it’s best not to be too clever and I try and stay away from ambiguous names that leave people unsure what you are selling.
Something like “The fabulous Drinks Team” doesn’t really say you are a juice bar. On the other hand, you shouldn’t be in too much doubt about what “Jamba Juice” does.
Fiverr and 99designs is a good website for logo design.
4. Juice & smoothie menu ideas
Creating the juice and smoothie menu is the fun part for me. There are almost endless combinations so you will never get stuck for juice and smoothie ideas.
Keep the menu simple and easy to edit as over time you will work out what sells and what doesn’t and adapt accordingly. In my experience Green juices and mango, strawberry and banana smoothies sell well.
Have around 10 options if you are a fixed juice bar, and 4-8 if you are selling from a juice truck or stall. Too much choice can lead to customer paralysis. You want to make it easy for people to make a decision and place an order.
Having a smaller menu also helps with stock control. Otherwise, you end up buying a lot of different ingredients which can be a nightmare and lead to waste.
5. Juice bar start-up equipment
Again depending on how you intend to sell your juices (fixed location, juice truck, from home) will determine what equipment you will need.
Here are some essential pieces of equipment needed for a juice bar, juice truck or stall:
- Stainless steel surfaces
- Handwashing facilities
- Large containers for fruit and veg
- Prepping knifes
- Gazebo (if using a stall)
I’ve written a more in-depth article on all the equipment you need for a juice bar below you may find useful.
6. Packaging (cups & straws)
You have probably heard all the bad press when it comes to single-use plastics, such as bottles and straws. The public is now more environmentally conscious and you’ll get a lot of questions on the type of packaging you use.
So make sure all your cups, lids and straws are compostable or biodegradable. There are plenty of companies out there that now sell these types of disposables (Vegware in the UK for example). It is also very good for business.
7. Account for seasonality
Depending on where you are in the world, selling juices and smoothies in countries like the UK, where there is not all year round sun can be tough.
The way around this is to sell hot drinks such as good quality coffee and teas and a few warm food options. Soups and vegan foods are very good complementary products to juices and smoothies.
8. Juice bar regulations (licenses and certificates)
The type of licenses you will need to run a juice bar will differ from country to county. In the UK you will need the following:
- Public Liability insurance – This covers you for any claims against your business.
- Food Safety & Handling Certificate – A day course online or at your local college. This ensures you understand the risks associated with transporting, storing and cooking foods.
- HACCP Plan – This shows you have a system in place for how your food is transported, stored and cooked.
- Register with your local Council – A food and hygiene officer will visit you at your home/kitchen/food truck and give you a hygiene rating. Having a HACCP plan is very important for getting a rating. If you don’t have one you automatically get a zero, no matter how clean your business is.
- Register as self-employed or as a limited company – It is probably best to start as self-employed as it involves less paperwork.
- Get an Accountant – If you register as self-employed, it shouldn’t cost more than £350 for a basic end of the year tax return. Being a Limited company will be more expensive.
9. Social media & online marketing
If you are looking to be in this for the long game then building a website and having a digital marketing plan will take you to the next level.
This is where the public gets to know about you, and if you are mobile, how you get the private and corporate events.
Essential online platforms:
Website (I use Wix)
An Instagram page
A Facebook page
How much does it cost to start a juice bar?
So how much does it cost to open a smoothie shop? This all goes back to my early point of whether you aim to start from a fixed location, mobile juice truck or from home.
Starting a juice bar from a premises = $25k – $100k
Starting a juice bar from a juice truck = $10k – $25K
Starting a juice bar from a stall = $1k – $1.5K
Starting a juice bar from home = $500 – $1k
This is purely the start-up costs and does not include the day to day running costs such as staff, stock, rent (if in fixed premises) and utilities.
Is a juice bar profitable?
So the big question is do juice bars make money? The appealing thing about this type of business is the profit margin from juices and smoothies are relatively high. We are talking about between a 50-70% profit margin here.
So if you are wondering how juice bars make money, its because the fruit and veg that go into a, say 16oz cup can cost as little as 50c, with a retail value of $4-$5.
Benefits of starting a juice bar business.
So to wrap it up, what are the benefits of starting a juice bar in comparison to other ventures?
1. High-profit margin
2. Minimum prep time and cooking
3. Depending on the model, this type of business doesn’t take that much start-up funds
4. You Don’t need any prior catering experience (low barrier to entry)
Successful juice bars
And for inspiration of what works, here are some examples of some successful juice bars in both the UK & US.
Joe & the juice (UK
Boost Juice Bars (Uk)
Pressed Juicery (US)
Juice Shop (US)
So there it is. If you have any questions on how to start a juice bar, leave a comment and I’ll reply to you as soon as possible. Good luck!