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A juice bar uses fresh ingredients to prepare smoothies and a wide variety of juice drinks. Many juice bars also offer other types of health food products and some provide seating for their customers to enable them to socialize while enjoying their products.
Who is this business right for?
A juice bar is a great business for high-energy, health conscious people who want to contribute to the overall health of their communities.
What happens during a typical day at a juice bar?
Some of the daily activities of a juice bar business owner include purchasing ingredients, developing new recipes, pricing drinks, updating your menu, training new staff, and of course keeping your books up to date.
You will also want to set aside time for promoting your business.
What is the target market?
Preferred clients include health conscious people with a desire to increase their energy levels.
How does a juice bar make money?
A juice bar business makes money by charging customers for fresh, quality juice-based beverages. Pricing depends on the ingredients, time, skill, and expertise it takes to purchase and prepare these drinks. Many juice bars partner with health food stores to provide other healthy food products as well.
What is the growth potential for a juice bar?
Jamba Juice, one of the most well-known juice bars, earned 62.35 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2016, of which 26.335 million was profit. The store boasts 800 locations in 26 states as well as several international locations. Of those locations, approximately 287 are company-owned, while about 517 are franchise-operated.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful juice bar?
This business also requires a wide knowledge of fruits and vegetables, including which are in season and when, their nutritional value, and taste combinations. Communication skills are essential since you will be working with vendors, employees, and customers on a daily basis. Negotiation skills are also in high demand in this business, since produce must be purchased daily to maintain freshness.
What are the costs involved in opening a juice bar?
Opening a juice bar business can be done with less than $10,000 including the necessary business licenses, permits and insurance. The cost depends on whether your juice bar will be a part of another business such as a fitness center, or whether it will be a stand-alone store. You will need to rent space that includes a sink for washing and preparing the fruits and vegetables. The cost for a basic juicer is approximately $100, while cold-press machines cost about $300. Vegetable juicers are more expensive, starting at $2,400. You will also need a supply of cups, preferably biodegradable, which, if ordered in bulk, can cost less than twelve cents each. Straws are also a staple item at most juice shops.
Read our juice bar purchasing guide to learn about the materials and equipment you'll need to start a juice bar, how much to budget, and where to make purchases.
What are the steps to start a juice bar?
Once you're ready to start your juice bar, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your juice bar is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your juice bar keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Where can I find a business mentor?
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
How to promote & market a juice bar
One of the best ways to promote a juice bar business is to partner with other local businesses such as gyms, wellness centers, and health food stores. Partnering with local farmer’s markets allows you to offer the freshest ingredients from a trusted source while potentially reducing the cost of your ingredients.
Creating and offering a new recipe each month is another effective promotional strategy. It can also prove to be profitable if the recipe uses ingredients that are in season and affordably priced. Juice bars tend to experience seasonal spikes in business. For example, they are more popular during summer months and just after the New Year, when people are especially health-conscious. Putting extra effort into marketing during off-season months is important to sustain your business year-round. Advertising your healthful products in the form of tempting seasonal recipes to build up the immune system before cold and flu season is one effective way to do that.
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How to keep customers coming back
Attending local events such as concerts or even Little League games with fliers and free samples is one good way to attract new customers. Parents usually appreciate an alternative to sugary drinks and snacks. Once you have attracted some customers, one good way to retain them is by giving them ways to provide feedback about your products and service. One great way to do that is by posting a survey on social media offering several tempting recipes and the opportunity for customers to vote on which one will be featured the following week. Those who participate can receive a discount on their next purchase. As with any business, the best way to retain customers is by providing a superior product along with excellent customer service. In this business, having sufficient staff to keep every surface gleaming is equally important for inspiring your customers’ trust in your commitment to their good health.
How and when to build a team
It’s important to build a team of vendors and trained staff before opening your juice bar for business. The success of your business will depend on your ability to provide fresh ingredients that are prepared and served by skilled and personable staff.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate juice bar business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
In particular, most states also require retail businesses to obtain a seller’s permit. A seller’s permit allows states to record and collect taxes from goods (and sometimes service) sales.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
Juice bars may be randomly inspected by the local health department on a regular basis. These inspections will check for compliance with local health laws, typically related to prevention of food contamination.
In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For example, an juice bar will need licensing from a local health department, which will vary from town to town.
For more information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources
Maintain Personal Asset Protection
Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
Certificate of Occupancy
A juice bar is generally run out of a small retail location. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a retail location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a juice bar.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build your juice bar:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for you business’ location to ensure your juice bar business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
Most juice bar owners try to keep the cost of ingredients down to about 30 percent of the retail price to be able to cover ongoing expenses and realize a profit. A juice drink containing several ingredients can cost anywhere from $6.00 to $16.00, depending on the cost of ingredients and the local economy. Organic ingredients command a higher price.
What are the ongoing expenses for a juice bar?
- Rent for retail space
- Cost of Ingredients
- Staff salaries
- Equipment maintenance
- POS/ Inventory software service
How much profit can a juice bar make?
Well-established, successful juice bar businesses have reported profit margins from 30% to 40%.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Adding extra healthful ingredients such as bee pollen or spirulina for an additional charge can increase profits. Providing healthy foods, such as salads, which are made from the raw ingredients of your juicing products can also be lucrative. Some juice bar owners also contract with local event coordinators to provide food and beverages for community and sporting events.