top of page

Top 11 insider tips to start a successful bubble tea café

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

#bubbletea #singapore #boba #cafe #taiwan #milktea #pearl

Tea is undoubtedly a go-to beverage for many people around the globe, including in Singapore, thanks to its innumerable health benefits and delectable flavors. While there is a whole gamut of teas that you can find—from green tea to black tea to oolong tea—there’s a particular variety that’s stealing hearts in many places. It’s bubble tea, also known as boba tea. Let’s get to know more about the drink here.

A peek into bubble tea

Bubble tea finds its roots in Taiwan and has come to become the favorite drink of many consumers. Essentially, bubble tea has a base of tea, milk, chewy tapioca pearls, and fruit. The discovery of this drink is believed to be accidental. It apparently emerged when a woman at a Taiwanese tea café dropped her Tapioca pudding accidentally into her tea. Surprisingly, the taste of the drink was plain amazing.

Since then, there’s no looking back. The drink became an integral offering of the café and people simply loved it. Ingredients like tapioca have certainly made the concoction popular amongst lovers of sweet tea, children, and adults alike. Over time, the drink evolved in taste owing to people’s experimentation with different ingredients besides tapioca, such as fruit jelly, popping boba, chia seeds, fruit pudding, and many more. It is served in clear cups that allow you to see the color of the drink and most importantly, the pretty tapioca pearls.

In addition to being a delicious drink, bubble tea is packed with many health benefits. It’s seen as an intense energy booster, especially when caffeine and raw sugarcane are included. Moreover, the drink can boost your immune system, strengthening it with antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins, which prevent oxidative stress.

Starting a bubble tea café

If you have always aspired to start your own café or restaurant business in Singapore, you should consider offering boba tea to your people. It is expected that the worldwide bubble tea market would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 percent from 2020 to 2027. It is expected to hit USD 4.25 billion by the end of the reporting period (Source). Also, the global consumption of the drink is projected to hit 475,501 tons by 2032. These impressive figures can certainly convince you to embark on your venture.

Singaporeans love their tea, and when it comes to bubble tea, there’s certainly a sweet spot in their hearts. So, starting a bubble tea café in Singapore is a lucrative business opportunity that you should tap into. However, just like starting any other business, you will require a strategic approach. When you have a solid plan and a clear-cut business idea, you are sure to succeed. If you are clueless about where to start, then below are a few tips that should give you some clarity. Check them out:

#1 Come up with a business plan

First and foremost, you need to come up with a clear business plan that outlines your business idea and your strategy. A business venture without a plan is no less than a ship lost at sea. Always remember that starting a bubble tea café involves a significant monetary investment. Without having a solid plan, your investments would be all over the place. When you put in the time to create a business plan, you get a strategic roadmap. It builds credibility and makes it easier to communicate your business goals to banks, venture capitalists, manufacturers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

A business plan for your bubble tea café should have an executive summary, which gives lenders and investors an overview of your business. It’s essentially a summary that outlines key points related to your business and gives stakeholders the clarity they need. You also need to perform a market analysis to know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and provide a clear roadmap for your business operations, marketing, management, and logistics.

#2 Conceptualize your café’s brand

Some popular bubble tea brands in Singapore

After you come up with a robust and clear business plan, your next step should be to develop the core concept of your bubble tea café. Your café is not just a business, but it’s poised to become a brand. There’s no limit to experimentation. You always have the option to think out of the box and incorporate the many ideas that you have. However, you should work with a concept that reflects your innate creativity. Think about the kind of café you wish to establish. Does it have an extensive menu? Is it a carry-out or a sit-down café?

Once you have developed the concept of your café, you should proceed to brand it. Think of a catchy name that defines the characteristics of your bubble tea café. Also, you will have to develop a distinct brand identity that differentiates you from your competitors. This includes a logo, storefront design, and other in-store elements. When you create a memorable brand, your café is more likely to enjoy footfalls and ultimately, become a successful business venture.

#3 Choose a good location for your café

Believe it or not, the location of your bubble tea café can either make or break your business. You may come up with the most unique storefront design and concept for your café, but everything will go in vain if you choose the wrong location. People look for convenience and ease in everything. Going out to a café is not an exception. Your choice of location will greatly determine the footfalls your café gets and how efficiently you can manage the logistics and operations of your business. It’s a critical decision but not necessarily a tough one to make.

When considering a location for your bubble tea café, you should go for a place where people love to spend maximum time. A busy area that receives high foot traffic can be an ideal location. But you will have to care about the convenience factor. Does the place have parking spaces? Is the space big enough for large crowds? How safe is the neighborhood? How are businesses in and around the area doing? Answering these questions can help you settle on an ideal location for your bubble tea café.

#4 Figure out your financing options

Finance is the lifeblood of any business. Most people fail to realize their dream of owning a business because of a lack of finance. Although some of them may choose to bootstrap their venture, it does not always work that way. There is a range of fixed and operating expenses that have to be borne by business owners. That’s possible only when they have sufficient funds in hand. The idea of starting a bubble tea café can be realized only when your financing options are in place.

If you are unable to fund your venture, you always have the option of external financing. There are many banks, private investors, and small business agencies in Singapore that provide loans and financing options to aspiring business owners. You can always approach them with your business plan to secure funding for your bubble tea café. You can even consider online lending, crowdfunding, and business grants as feasible financing options for your business. Just make sure you are clear about periodic installments and interest amounts so that nothing burdens your pocket.

You may consider tapping on government grants such as PSG to subsidize some of your kitchen equipment or digital ordering systems and POS system. There are some basic criteria to meet, such as your company is registered and owned by a Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Reside