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Sarah Ward

Types of Cafés: 12 Classic and Innovative Types of Cafés

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Learning about all the types of cafés is a delightful part of the journey of learning how to open a café. The cost to open a café can vary in some ways depending on the type of café you decide to open. You’ll discover the type of café that works best for you as you read through this BinWise blog and in the process of writing a café business plan

All these types of cafés strategize through content marketing and customer satisfaction to deliver on customer experience and prioritize customer retention strategies. From hosting brunch to utilizing restaurant tech for a streamlined business, any café, no matter what the type, has an edge as a type of café for its marketing and sales tactics. Read on to learn all about it.

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Unique Types of Cafés: The Expansion of Cafés

The diversity among these types of cafés we’ve gathered for inspiration showcases the range of what cafés can be. A café is defined as a small restaurant. Beyond that, the possibilities for interpretation are endless. These 12 types of cafés give a general overview of what lies ahead in possibilities. For your café, like concepting a restaurant, you can give it a personal spin.

12. Drive-Thru Cafés

Drive-thru cafés can take many forms. Some are coffee shops. Others are more along the lines of a Sonic-esque place, with a drive-thru and places to park. Many are somewhere in between. A drive-thru café is a great option if you’re working with a limited budget and you want to create a business that is easy to maintain.

11. Café Food Truck

A café food truck fits in among all types of food trucks. If you’re located in one of the best places to start a food truck business, a café food truck is a great plan. It can even turn into a café with a permanent brick-and-mortar location.

10. Coffee Shops

Coffee shops are the type of establishment many people think of when they hear the word café. A coffee shop café is a solid business plan for any location since you’re likely to find coffee lovers no matter where you’re at. 

9. Pop-Up Café

A pop-up café is a smaller scale version of a pop-up restaurant. With pop-up restaurant marketing tactics and delicious food, a pop-up café is another great way to open a cost-effective café business and draw in the crowds.

8. Café Bakery

When people think of cafés, after thinking of coffee they generally drift to considering baked goods. A café bakery, therefore, is the perfect place in the world of cafés to build a business that customers will love. Who can say no to delicious pastries and drinks all in one place?

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7. Themed Cafés

Themed cafés are a subset of café businesses that can be many things to many people. A themed café is, at a base level, any sort of café. The unique type of café comes into play with the theme decided on by the owner. From a cultural theme to a location-based option, themed cafés can be anything you can dream up and work through with your executive chef.

6. Specialty Cafés

Specialty cafés are a café of any size or shape that has a specialized offering for customers. Some popular options are to offer a specific type of cuisine or a branded space that speaks volumes. 

5. Cat Cafés

Cat cafés do, technically, fall under the umbrella of themed cafés. Cat cafés have, however, become such a common and famed theme that they get their own spot on this list. You can serve up any dish at a cat café, the truly important factor is the cats!

4. Brunch Cafés

Brunch cafés make up some of the best cafés and the best brunch places around the world. That’s not an exaggeration, brunch truly has taken over the world in recent years. A brunch café business will bring in customers, as long as you get the eggs Benedict right and have other amazing offers on the brunch menu.

3. Pub Café

A pub café is, to put it plainly, a café type of restaurant with a pub design. This type of café blends in with hole-in-the-wall spots and greasy spoons. It’s a mix of cute and rugged that you can’t go wrong with.

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2. Breakfast Café

Breakfast cafés are a subset of specialty cafés, with their specialty being everything to do with breakfast. You can do an expansive breakfast café with all manner of brunch and lunch items. 

1. Classic Café

A classic café takes the number one spot on this list as a classic for a reason. A classic café is a small restaurant, with a number of meal options throughout the day. It’s down the middle, and a perfect option for anyone looking to open a café and see where it goes.

"Key Takeaway: A café is defined as a small restaurant. Beyond that, the possibilities for interpretation are endless."

Frequently Asked Questions About the Types of Cafés

All the types of cafés you can own tend to lead to more questions for current and future café owners. There are plenty of types of cafés, and with so many options for themes, it’s no wonder the topic of what a type of café is and what that means spurs such curiosity. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you more information about all the types of cafés.

What Is a Mini Café Called?

A mini café is often a coffee bar. It could also be a sidewalk bar with café menu types of food or a hall-in-the-wall type of place. Any of all the types of cafés can be classified as a mini café depending on the size of the location. A mini café of any type often leans into the cozy atmospheric vibes that work for café businesses in small spaces.

What are Café Themes?

Cafe themes can be subtle or overt themes and ideas that feed into the design of the café. Themes can be culturally based, with a Moroccan or Greek café incorporating decorations and specific dishes. Themes can also be event-based, including birthday party cafés or nautical-themed cafés for a pier location. Overall, you can pick a theme and run with it.

What Makes a Place a Café?

A café is classified as a small restaurant, often specializing in coffee drinks and delicious treats. A café can be any type of small restaurant, and effectively, any restaurant can be a café. The main features a place needs to be considered a café are a small space, delicious drinks, and coziness. With those qualities, you can make a café your own and have a successful business.

What Is a Cheap Café Called?

A cheap café is often referred to as a greasy spoon. It could also be a dive bar type of place or a hole-in-the-wall establishment. A cheap café may sound like a poor business decision, given that it has cheap in the name. There is, however, a large audience for greasy spoon types of spots. As long as the food and drinks are on par, a cheap café can be a great business.

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Types of Cafés: What’s Your Type? 

These 12 types of cafés are a great source of inspiration for your own café business. When you’ve chosen your type of café and you’re ready to open the doors, reach out to BinWise and BlueCart

The BinWise Pro inventory program, paired with the BinScan app, eases the process when you take inventory. BlueCart’s order management software simplifies your order management system. Reach out to schedule a product demonstration, and learn what BinWise and BlueCart can do for you and your café.

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