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116 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Informative Guide...
Starting a cafe/sandwich bar is something that has been going through my mind for a while. Nearly all the literature out there is very US centric so it is really useful to find a good UK based book. The author's style is very readable and informative and has very good advice on subjects such as refridgeration issues, tax and employment and finding and fitting out a...
Published on 4 Oct 2004 by StevenJSinger

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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful but flawed
In many ways there is great information in this book. It's a bit dry and a little dated but it is very thorough in terms of the information that it contains. i.e. if you want to start a sandwich bar then it is certainly a good start. It provides a worthwhile road map to help you get open. There is a lot of advice on the tedious but essential stuff like dealing with...
Published on 11 Feb 2008 by James Clark


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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Useful but flawed, 11 Feb 2008
This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
In many ways there is great information in this book. It's a bit dry and a little dated but it is very thorough in terms of the information that it contains. i.e. if you want to start a sandwich bar then it is certainly a good start. It provides a worthwhile road map to help you get open. There is a lot of advice on the tedious but essential stuff like dealing with your EHO, insurance agents, surveyors etc. You even get little sections on stakeholder pensions and walkie talkies.

My issue with it is that it really the story of one man opening a sandwich bar. i.e. it is based on a very limited experience and very specific factors. The days of being able to open a sandwich bar (or a coffee bar) in the style of this are, in most areas, gone. The competition these days is ferocious and I know, from harsh personal experience, that you need to work really, really hard to survive out there.

So you may have a section on walkie talkies but you also only have a half page in the whole book about coffee and that's just some very cursory advice about the machines! A book with the title of "Starting and running a sandwich-coffee bar" is being somewhat disingenuous with the title if it only has half a page on coffee in my opinion.

It also singularly lacks any emphasis about creating something unique and almost completely glosses over the financial side of the business. The marketing sections are extremely limited too. You can see sandwich (coffee!) bars opening like this in your own town almost every year and they simply don't last.

To operate a successful sandwich or coffee bar you have to dig much deeper. You really need to focus on creating a reason for people to visit and you need to have a handle on your figures very firmly from day one. You also need to learn every marketing trick in the book and keep learning every day if you're to compete with one of the big chains opening beside you. If you rely heavily on the advice of this book the chances of long term success are extremely limited in my view.

But like I say there is some good basic advice there. I'd still recommend you have a look at it but I'd also buy at least five or six other books of this type as well. The two essential purchases for anyone who is even vaguely thinking of opening a sandwich or coffee bar are "Wake up and smell the profit" by John Richardson and "The E-myth" by Michael Gerber. Those are the two books that transformed my little sandwich coffee bar both in terms of profitability and also the ability for me not to have to be there every day myself.

And if you are thinking of opening a sandwich/coffee bar then good luck. But make sure you have removed your rose-tinted spectacles and have your eyes fully open from day one. It's a great business but a long way from being the dream-life that most of my friends think it is.
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116 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Informative Guide..., 4 Oct 2004
This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
Starting a cafe/sandwich bar is something that has been going through my mind for a while. Nearly all the literature out there is very US centric so it is really useful to find a good UK based book. The author's style is very readable and informative and has very good advice on subjects such as refridgeration issues, tax and employment and finding and fitting out a premises. The benefit of knowing some of the mistakes the author originally made on starting out and how to put them right is great. Although the book mentions business plans, it doesn't go into detail on how to put one together so you'll need to get another book to cover that, if like me you are not totally confident in putting one together. This book has definately given me the confidence to understand what I will need to do get things moving and I recommend it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great confidence booster, lots of helpful advice for starting up and running, 19 Mar 2007
By 
E. C. Jeffrey (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
I bought this as I'm considering opening my own cafe and didn't have the first clue where to start. I was doubting my own commitment to such a project as I was finding it difficult to get motivated, but this book has really changed my feelings for the better.

I found the simple style very easy to read and the message is - anyone can do it with a bit of consideration and hard work. In fact I read the book cover to cover in one weekend. It takes you through the pro's & con's of different set ups eg sole trader/partnership, owning or leasing your property etc. It is very specific to opening a takeout sandwich/coffee bar but it would be useful to any novice considering going into a catering business as it gives lots of advice on employing staff, publicity & marketing etc. I found my position had changed from one of trepidation and self-doubt at the start to feeling inspired to get on. Within days of reading I was contacting people in the industry and searching for properties.

The only area on which I would fault it was that it doesn't give any pointers on how to start searching for property (my local newspaper certainly doesn't advertise commercial properties), or any formulaic way of working out expected initial outlay - although I appreciate this is very difficult without specific contextual knowledge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
Good basics notions for opening small business, content of the book is satisfactory, can learn a few useful things. For a second hand book looks brand new, like it hasn't been used (except a few high-lightnings). Very cheap and was sent as estimated, thank you
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4.0 out of 5 stars Coffee book, 1 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
Looking for a good book to help run my own business, found this one and it has been a good read with some good ideas and easy to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful book, 12 Mar 2010
By 
JJ Shipley (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starting and Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar: An Insider Guide (Successful Business Start-ups) (Paperback)
Good solid introduction to cafe management - some helpful tips but some of it a bit repetitious
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