How to Start a Juice Bar

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Quick Reference

Juice bars are popping up, everyone.  People are more health-conscious, and 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 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.

Industry Trends

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.

Costs to Start a Juice Bar

Here are 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 blenders, knives, centrifugal juicers, fridge, freezer, etc. $3,000 – $10,000
  • Initial inventory such as cups, straws, lids, etc. $1,500 – $5,000

Steps to Starting a Juice Bar

Step 1: Write your 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
Free sample business plans

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 a 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.

RelatedComparison of Business Entities

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.  It’s important to talk with the health department before constructing your facility or cart, so it’s being 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 business and personal finances in separate business bank and credit card accounts makes it easier to track the income and expenses of the 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

Step 9: Get Insurance

A juice bar needs several types of insurance for full coverage:

General liability insurance can help protect you from third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage.

Professional liability insurance protects you from claims of professional errors or negligence that result in a financial loss.

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.

Insurance policies will vary. 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: Hiring 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 accounting for your business

How Much Can You Potentially Make Owning 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.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Juice Bar

Running a juice bar or any business will have its challenges.  You need to be prepared and make sure that you know what you’re getting into.

Marketing and acquiring customers will be your biggest challenge and an ongoing expense.  It will take some time to build a brand and a customer base to earn steady income.

Developing recipes will take some time to get right. Just because friends and family like your recipes, be sure to listen to customers and ensure you are selling what they want to buy.

Some juice bars will expand their offerings to include juice shots, and protein shakes to generate additional sales.

You will face competition, so your marketing will need to make you stand out, and your juices must be of high quality.  Try to find a location where there is no direct competition.

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 juice bar are perishable, learning to forecast sales will be an important skill.

Talk to other business owners for tips on starting a business and do your homework to determine costs.  Research other juice bares to see what they offer and what prices they charge.

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