How to Start a Juice Bar

Overview

How to Start a Juice Bar

Juice bars are popping up, everyone.  People are more health-conscious, and fresh juice bars offer a healthy alternative to other beverages.  Why not get in on the action and start your own juice bar?   It’s a great way to make a living and be in control of your future.

Business Overview

A fresh juice bar makes juices and smoothies using fresh fruits and vegetables to sell to customers.  They may operate from a small store, a kiosk, cart, or a food truck.  The appeal to customers is that the juices are made fresh on the premises.  Some also sell small food items.

Industry Summary

According to IBIS World, the Juice and Smoothie Bar industry has a market size of $2.4 billion as of 2021 and is expected to grow 2.7% during the year.  The industry has declined at an average rate of .9% for the last five years, in part due to a decline during the pandemic.  There are more than 5,200 juice bars in the United States.

The popularity of the industry is largely due to the growing health consciousness of consumers.  Juice cleanses are popular and affect the product offerings of juice bars.

Target Market

Your target market will be health-conscious consumers.

Skills, Experience, and Education Useful in Running a Juice Bar

There are several specific skills that you will need to open a juice bar.

  • Experience.  Experience making your own juice is helpful, as well as working in a juice bar or restaurant setting.
  • Business knowledge and experience.  You will need to have at least some basic knowledge of marketing, finance/accounting, and human resources.
  • People skills. You’ll need to be able to build rapport with your customers so that you retain them as customers and keep them coming back.

Checklist for Starting a Juice Bar

If you’re thinking about starting a juice bar, it’s important to do your research first. Here is a checklist to help you get started.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

After coming up with the idea, the next step in starting your juice bar should be to write a business plan.  The business plan will make you focus on some important aspects of the business, such as who your customers are, how you plan to reach them, projecting sales and expenses, competitors, and more. You’ll also need to do some research to calculate exactly what your startup expenses will be and what your ongoing expenses will be.

Not only will a bank require you to have a business plan and financial projections if you need financing, but multiple studies have shown that having a good business plan increases the odds of starting a successful business. Writing the plan helps you to think through all the aspects of the business and then serves as a guide as you begin.

Related: How to write a business plan

Step 2: Name the Business

Finding the perfect juice bar name can be challenging. Not only does the name have to reflect what you do and be appealing to customers, but it also has to be available to use. You can check your state’s website to see if the name is available and register your name.  Your name should make you stand out, reflect your brand, and tell potential customers exactly what you do.

Related: Tips for naming a juice bar

Step 3: Form a Business Entity

A business entity refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business entities to choose from, which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.

When deciding on which business entity is best for a juice bar, it normally comes down to the sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company.

A partnership opens the owners up to unnecessary personal liability because if a partner does something to get the business sued, or runs off with cash from the business, the other partners are personally liable to repay. The corporation can be a good choice because it separates the business assets from the owner’s assets. If the corporation is sued or certain business debts can’t be paid back, the owners aren’t personally responsible to repay them. The downside to the corporation is that it is more complicated than all the other entities and requires more administration than the LLC. If you plan on raising a lot of investment though, the corporation is usually the better choice.

That leaves the sole proprietorship and LLC.

The sole proprietorship is the least expensive and easiest entity to start which is appealing. The downside is the owner is personally liable should anything happen to the business, which is an important consideration. The LLC offers the ability to operate as a sole proprietorship with the liability protection of a corporation. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500, which is pretty inexpensive for protecting the owners from business-related lawsuits and certain debts.

Related: Guide to forming your LLC
 

Forming an LLC sounds complicated and expensive, but using an entity formation service guides you through the process so you know it was done right.


Some popular LLC formation services include:


IncFile - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

IncAuthority - $0 plus state fees & free registered agent the first year!

ZenBusiness - $49 plus state fees & free registered agent for 1 year!

Step 4: Select your Location

You need a location that has high foot traffic, such as a shopping mall, airport, or busy downtown areas. Successful juice bars have also rented space where there are health-conscious people, such as yoga studiosgyms, and spas.

Related: Choosing a business location

Step 5: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Juice bars will need to obtain licensing from the local health department in order to legally operate. It’s important to talk with the local health department before constructing your facility or cart, so it’s done right the first time.

In addition, there will be general business licenses needed, such as a sales tax permit and an Employer Identification Number.  

Related: Common business licenses, permits, and registrations by state

Step 6: Find Financing

Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start a juice bar business is another.  In order to get a loan, the borrower(s) will need to have good credit and be able to invest 15-25% of their money towards the total start-up costs.

Related: Finding the money to start a business

Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your small business and personal finances in separate bank accounts is important to track the income and expenses of your business and identify trends.
 
Many banks offer free business checking accounts, so be sure to find a cost-effective option for your business.

Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place

A juice bar will need to set aside a budget to cover marketing costs on a continuous basis. Common marketing techniques for a juice bar include social media marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp, along with online advertising on Google. Developing a website can be a significant expense, but it can also give your juice bar greater visibility online.  Most of your business, however, will come from foot traffic, so appealing signage is critical.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

One important marketing task is developing an online presence. A website developer may be out of the budget, but Wix makes it easy for non-technical people to get a website running quickly and affordably.

Step 9: Get Business Insurance

There are several types of insurance to consider when starting a juice bar. A few of these include:
– General liability insurance can help protect you from third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage.
– Worker’s compensation insurance covers expenses like medical bills and legal fees that a business might face if an employee were ever hurt while working.

The cost to insure a juice bar will vary depending on a number of factors. To get the most accurate idea of what to budget for insurance, request quotes from multiple providers. When comparing the quotes, consider not only the premiums but also how the plan exclusions, coverage limitations, and deductibles compare.

Related: Common types of insurance a business may need

Step 10: Hire Employees

You will need employees to help you run your juice bar.  Make sure that you select people with appropriate experience.

In addition to salary costs, your budget will also need to include other employee-related expenses. Workman’s comp insurance, unemployment insurance, and paid time off are common expenses that a business will need to cover when hiring staff.

Related: Hiring your first employee 

Step 11: Set up an Accounting System

Setting up an accounting system for your juice bar is critical to the long-term success of your business.

Staying on top of taxes not only keeps the business out of trouble with the government but the numbers can be used to track and monitor trends and cash flow in the business and maximize profits.

Related: Setting up the accounting for your business

The thought of accounting can be intimidating for a lot of new entrepreneurs. There are a number of ways of handling bookkeeping, from DIY to hiring a bookkeeper. These include:

- Pen and paper - Low expense, but difficult to track.
- Spreadsheet - Low expense, but easy to make errors.
- Accounting software - Medium expense, but owner typically inputs expenses. Some great accounting software programs include Freshbooks or Wave Accounting.
- Hire a bookkeeper - Higher expense, though very affordable at $100-$200 per month in most cases. A dedicated bookkeeper will probably save money because, in addition to handling all of the bookkeeping (so you can focus on the business), they also provide personalized tax advice and ensure the business is in compliance.

Find bookkeepers in your local area or use a service like 800Accountant.

How much does it cost to start a juice bar?

Here are some of the typical costs you will face when you open a juice bar.
– Initial deposit for rent and utilities $1,500- $3,000
– Location preparation – furniture, storage, signage, cash register/point of sale (POS), menu board, etc – $2,000-$20,000
– Equipment such as commercial juicer, blender, fridge, freezer, knives, etc. $3,000-$10,000
– Initial inventory such as cups, straws, lids, etc. $1,500-$5,000

How much money can you make with a juice bar?

Juice bar revenue can range from $100,000 – $600,000 annually on average, but your revenue will be highly dependent on your location and size.

In addition to juice, some juice bars will expand their offerings to include juice shots, protein shakes, or smoothies to generate additional sales.

Ingredient costs will make up a large part of your overhead, so you should try to work with local farmers and suppliers.  The juice bar industry is a growing one, so you’ll have chances to grow with it.  Since many of the ingredients used for a fruit juice bar are perishable, learning to forecast sales will be an important skill.

Are there grants to start a juice bar?

It’s extremely rare to find a grant to start a juice bar. If you search for business grants, you will come across a lot of scams and misinformation. Occasionally an organization will offer grants to start a business, however, be skeptical and don’t provide any sensitive personal information or pay money to get more information.

Legitimate federal grants can be found at Grants.gov and you can check on your state’s economic development office to see if they have any grants available.

What is the NAICS code for a juice bar?

The NAICS code for a juice bar is 722515, which is classified as a Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bar.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code and how to find your

Subscribe Now to the 60-day Startup Challenge!

Subscribe Now to the 60-day Startup Challenge!