Brisbane has an exciting emerging café and dining scene. No longer just a big country town, Brisbane’s industry has taken off in recent years, as a host of new locals demand the great coffee and good food they are used to. It’s a great time to buy into the region with Queensland growing in popularity for workers no longer chained to the big city offices post-pandemic. According to the REIQ and CoreLogic, interstate migration to Queensland in 2020 was the highest in annual terms since 2006. CoreLogic calculated that over the past financial year, 25,350 residents relocated from other Australian states to settle in the Sunshine State.
Bringing their love for great coffee with them, they have helped Brisbane’s café culture grow over the past decade or so, with coffee-drinkers becoming more discerning and demanding the best brew. Roasters are responding to demand, opening new warehouses to ensure supply and diversity of choice.
Much of Brisbane’s café culture is about community connection and social spaces that are accessible and affordable. Many make space for people to escape for some work, meet with colleagues outside the office environment, or relax with friends and family.
With its enviable year-round sunshine and warm weather, Brisbane is an outdoor dining delight, but over the past years the city has taken a leaf out of Melbourne’s book, embracing hidden laneways and quiet corners for its latest coffee nooks. Housed in everything from heritage-listed buildings to renovated warehouses, there will be a café space to tempt the most discerning buyer.
It’s not just the CBD known for its café culture – suburban haunts are also popular with locals. The inner-city suburb of Paddington has long been a busy weekend brunch hotspot, but a series of café strips are cropping up in outer suburbs such as Nundah in the north and Coorporoo in the south. The shift to increasing flexible work, with more people working from home post-pandemic, means more locals are seeking their daily coffee fix closer to home, so don’t discount quieter suburbs in your searches either.
Here are some top tips for potential buyers in beautiful Brisbane.
Do your research:
Know what you are getting, spend some time in the places you are assessing. Do this on a number of different occasions so you have a really strong sense of what a place is like at different times of the week and day. Some buyers may even offer to work a couple of shifts to see how the place runs.
Know the area:
Make sure you understand the broader environment surrounding your proposed purchase – what future developments are planned for the area? Is there a fast food restaurant slated to open or another new café? These are key considerations when buying.
The money stuff:
Know the profit margins – is the place turning a healthy profit, or just covering expenses? Establish how much work will be required of you to earn a wage – are you looking at 40+ hours a week just to survive, of or is there some wiggle room? It also pays to check out the lease agreement – is there a good long-term lease in place, or will you soon need to negotiate a new one? Equipment is another area where buyers can be caught out. Don’t forget to check whether the equipment is owned outright, under lease or being paid off. This can greatly affect the value of a business and the price you should pay.
The people stuff:
Check into the relationships with staff and suppliers. Will staff be willing to stay on under new management? Are relationships with suppliers solid with accounts paid on time? Will they be happy to deal with you once you take over? The right staff is critical – people have high expectations of their coffee these days and Brisbane locals are no different.
Get another opinion:
Even if you’re an experienced business owner, make sure you get professional assistance by having your accountant and solicitor look over the figures and contract. Buying a business is a major investment and you want to be 100% sure you are making the right decision.