How to start a Vegan Cafe in UK USA (Business Plan)

Vegan Cafe

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • What is a Vegan cafe?
  • How to start a Vegan Cafe?
  • How much does it cost to start a Vegan Cafe?
  • How to find the best location to open a Vegan Cafe?

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is a Vegan Cafe

With a global market value of around USD 12.69 billion in 2020 with a CAGR of 8.7% from 2021 to 2028. The Vegan Food Industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now.

Starting a Vegan Cafe can be profitable as it is an essential part of the Vegan industry. It can be a rewarding business for those passionate about veganism and customer service.

A vegan cafe is a business that serves food and drinks made without animal products. This includes plant-based milk, meat alternatives, and dairy-free cheeses. 

A vegan restaurant may also offer a variety of baked goods, salads, sandwiches, and other foods that are free from animal products.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to start your very own Vegan Cafe and the critical considerations for making it a success.

Market Insight: Between 2014 and 2017, there was a 60% increase in people identifying themselves as vegan in the United States. And around 62% of the UK population in 2019 identified themselves as Vegan.

Coffee Shop Business

Types of Vegan Cafe Business models?

There are several different types of Vegan Café business models, each with its own unique features and advantages. 


Some examples include:


1. Traditional brick-and-mortar café: 

This is the most common type of vegan café, where customers come in and sit down to enjoy a meal. This model offers a wide range of menu options, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and may also offer catering services.


2. Fast-casual café: 

This type of vegan café typically offers a more limited menu than a traditional café, but customers can still sit down and enjoy their meals. This model may also offer take-out and delivery options.


3. Food truck or pop-up café: 

This model involves a mobile café that can be set up at different locations, such as street fairs, festivals, or farmers’ markets. They offer a limited menu, but it can be a great way to reach a wider audience and test the market before opening a more permanent location.


4. Online café: 

This type of vegan café operates entirely online and offers customers the ability to order food for delivery or pick-up. This model may also offer meal-plan subscriptions and home delivery services.


5. Catering-focused café: 

This type of vegan café provides catering services for events, parties, and corporate gatherings. This model may not have a physical storefront, but instead, it focuses on providing off-site services.


6. Community café: 

This type of vegan café focuses on creating a community space for customers to gather, socialize, and connect with like-minded individuals. This model may offer classes, events, and other activities in addition to food and drink.


Note: It’s worth noting that there are many variations of these models, and some businesses may combine several of these models.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Vegan Cafe

Pros and Cons of a Vegan Cafe

Pros of a Vegan Cafe in the USA and UK include:

  • The demand for vegan and plant-based options is on the rise. 
  • Vegan food can be a healthier option for customers.
  • Veganism is associated with ethical and environmental considerations, which appeal to customers concerned about these issues.
  • Vegan ingredients are often cheaper than animal-based products. 
  • A vegan cafe differentiates itself from other cafes, making it more attractive to certain customers.
Cons of a Vegan Cafe in the USA and UK include:
  • Veganism is still not as mainstream as other diets.
  • Some people may find the menu options at a vegan cafe to be too limited or unappealing.
  • Some vegan ingredients can be more expensive than traditional ingredients. 
  • Some vegan ingredients can be difficult to find, limiting menu options and increasing costs.
  • Some people may view veganism as a fad or an extreme lifestyle choice. 

How much investment is required for your Vegan Cafe?

The investment required to start a Vegan Cafe business in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of equipment and supplies needed, and the labor cost.


The average cost to open a small Vegan Cafe in the US ranges from $50K – $500K. While in the UK, the average cost to open a small coffee shop ranges from £50K to £200K.


Some Common Expenses of running a Vegan Cafe include:


  • Rent or mortgage payments for the building or space
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Ingredients 
  • Employee wages and benefits
  • Insurance
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Maintenance and repairs for equipment and the building
  • Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet
  • Point of sale systems and software
  • Professional services such as accounting and legal fees
Coffee Shop Business

How much will you earn in a Vegan Cafe business?

It is easier to estimate earnings of a Vegan Cafe with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining your earnings.

The average US vegan cafe revenue is around $50K – $100K annuallywhile in the UK it’s around £25K – £75K per year, with a profit margin of about 5% – 25%. 


Busiest time for your business:

For most café businesses, the busiest times are usually during the warmer months, when people are more likely to be out and about, enjoying the weather. The weather is warmer and people tend to spend more time outdoors, café businesses may see an increase in foot traffic and customer demand.

Additionally, the holidays may also bring an increase in customer traffic to vegan cafes, as people may be looking for specific food options for special occasions, for example, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.

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Vegan Cafe

Types of Vegan Cafe Niches you should consider

A vegan cafe niche is a specific area of focus or specialization within the vegan cafe industry. Identifying and catering to a particular place can help a vegan cafe stand out and attract a dedicated customer base. Here are some examples of vegan cafe niches:


1. Plant-based comfort food: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in vegan versions of classic comfort foods, such as burgers, mac and cheese, and fried chicken.


2. Raw food: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in raw, uncooked plant-based dishes. These may include salads, smoothies, and dehydrated items.


3. Gluten-free: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in gluten-free options for customers with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.


4. High-protein: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in high-protein options, such as seitan, tempeh, and beans.


5. Desserts: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in vegan desserts such as cakes, pastries, and ice cream.


6. Health-conscious: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in healthy and nutrient-dense options, such as salads, smoothies, and bowls.


7. Ethical and sustainable: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in sourcing ingredients from local, organic, and ethical farmers.


8. International cuisine: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in a specific type of international cuisines, such as Indian, Mexican, or Italian.


9. Eco-friendly: 

A vegan cafe that specializes in eco-friendly practices such as using biodegradable packaging, composting, and recycling.


10. Community events:

A vegan cafe that specializes in hosting events such as cooking classes, workshops, and meetups to promote veganism and community building.

A typical day in a vegan cafe business includes:

1. Opening the cafe
2. Preparing of the food and all the other ingredients
3. Serving customers
4. Managing inventory
5. Cleaning
6. Closing the cafe
7. Paper work and administrative tasks
8. Maintenance

Vegan Cafe

Vegan Cafe Menu!

Whether vegan or not, any cafe should always have a detailed overview menu highlighting its best dishes and drinks. So, here is an example of a straightforward menu for a vegan cafe:




1. Vegan Breakfast Burrito: 
A warm flour tortilla filled with scrambled tofu, diced tomatoes, avocado, and black beans. Served with a side of salsa and vegan sour cream.


2. Vegan Smoothie Bowl: 
A blend of frozen berries, banana, and almond milk topped with granola, chia seeds, and fresh fruit.


3. Vegan French Toast: 
A thick-cut bread dipped in almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, topped with maple syrup and fresh fruit.




1. Vegan Caesar Salad: 
Romaine lettuce, croutons, and vegan parmesan cheese tossed in a creamy vegan Caesar dressing.


2. Vegan Club Sandwich: 
Grilled tempeh, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and vegan mayo served on whole wheat bread.


3. Vegan Black Bean Burger: 
A homemade patty made of black beans, brown rice, and spices served with lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo on a whole wheat bun.




1. Vegan Lasagna: Layers of pasta, marinara sauce, tofu ricotta, and spinach topped with vegan mozzarella cheese.


2. Vegan Stir Fry: A mix of vegetables like broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms stir-fried with tofu in a savory sauce served over a bed of rice.


3. Vegan Curry: A flavorful curry made with your choice of vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes, simmered in a creamy coconut-based sauce served over a bed of rice




1. Vegan Chocolate Brownie: 
A rich and fudgy brownie made with flour, cocoa powder, and vegan chocolate chips.


2. Vegan Cheesecake: 
A creamy cheesecake made with cashews, coconut cream, and lemon juice, topped with fresh berries.


3. Vegan Ice Cream: 
Various flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry are made with coconut milk or soy milk.




1. Vegan Coffee: 
Made with plant-based milk such as soy, almond, or oat milk.


2. Vegan Tea: 
A variety of herbal and black teas.


3. Vegan Smoothies: 
A variety of flavors made with a blend of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based milk such as soy, almond, or oat milk.




1. Vegan Energy Bars: 
A variety of flavors made with a blend of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.


2. Vegan Chips: 
An array of flavors like sea salt, barbecue, sour cream, and onion.


3. Vegan Crackers: 
A variety of flavors like sea salt, sesame, and rosemary.

Trends & Challenges in a Vegan Cafe

Trends in a Vegan Cafe

1. Plant-based meat alternatives
2. Health-conscious menu options
3. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices
4. Online ordering and delivery
5. Innovative and creative menu options

Challenges in a Vegan Cafe

1. Competition
2. Finding and retaining quality staff
3. Sourcing ingredients
4. High operational costs
5. Seasonality
6. Regulations and compliance

Vegan Cafe

Employees to hire for your Vegan Cafe

When hiring employees for your Vegan Cafe, You should fill several key positions to run the business smoothly. Here are some types of people you may want to hire:


  • Chef or Cook
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Barista
  • Server or Waiter/Waitress
  • Manager
  • Dishwasher
  • Marketing or Social Media Manager
  • Cleaner


Hiring the right people is crucial to the success of your cafe. Find employees with a good attitude and a good fit for your business.

TIP: People like coming to clean & hygienic places, keep premises neat & clean. If you are operating from home or counter-selling, make the area clean & safe. Unhygienic products can make your customers fall ill. It will again make you lose your customers.

Vegan Cafe

Licences needed for a Vegan Cafe 

While the basic licences such as Business Licence, Health and Safety regulation, Sales Tax Permits are applicable to almost all business (To read more about the licences ‘Click Here to read our Mini Guide’). 

Some specific licenses and permits might be needed to open a Vegan Cafe in the UK and the US. Those licenses are as follows :

1. Food Hygiene Rating: 

A food hygiene rating is a score given to a business based on an inspection carried out by the local council’s food safety team. The industry will be rated from 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating.


2. Premises Licence:

This document issued by the local council allows a business to sell alcohol, provide late-night refreshments, and put on regulated entertainment.


3. Music License:
If you plan to have live music or play recorded music in your café, you will need to obtain a music license.


4. Licenses for Food Handling, Allergen management and Hygiene:
These licenses will be required by the food safety authorities.


5. Food Service Permit: 

A food service permit is issued by the state or local health department and verifies that the business meets state and local food safety regulations.

Some tips to help your Vegan Cafe grow:

1. Offer quality products
2. Have a unique atmosphere
3. Make use of social media
4. Provide excellent customer service
5. Offer a variety of food and drink options
6. Use technology to your advantage
7. Continuously innovate
8. Partner with local businesses
9. Keep an eye on your competition

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Find a good location for your Vegan Cafe!

Tips on finding a good location for your Vegan Cafe:


  • Look for high-foot traffic areas, such as busy streets or shopping centers.
  • Consider the demographics of the site and make sure there is a demand. 
  • Try to find a location that is not saturated with other vegan cafes.
  • Consider the cost of rent and utilities in the area.
  • Think about the visibility of the location
  • Research the local regulations and permits.
  • Look for a place with enough space to accommodate everything.
  • Make sure the site has good parking and public transportation access.
  • Look for a place that has a unique character or charm. 
  • Consider the long-term potential of the area.
  • Look for a place that is easily accessible to your target customer base.
  • Make sure the site is compliant with any health and safety regulations. 
  • Think about the outdoor space available to you
  • Check for any restrictions on signage or outdoor displays.


A good location will determine whether your business will succeed in the future. A perfect place with your tasty vegan food & drinks will always bring profits to your business in the future. 

Vegan Cafe

Shall I go for a Vegan Cafe franchise?

Buying an existing Vegan Cafe Franchise of a recognized brand is a good idea; however, it is expensive also.

On the other hand, the franchisor will benefit you will all the existing brand image, customer loyalty, advertising, market research & strategies.

In addition, you will get guidance from the franchisor about training the workforce & ambiance of the premises. 

Some of the top Vegan Cafe Franchises in the UK and USA:


  • Wildwood Kitchen
  • By Chloe
  • Redemption Bar 
  • Veggie Grill
  • Freshii
  • Native Foods


In conclusion, starting a Vegan Cafe in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. 


However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding is crucial. In addition, it is essential to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 


Following these steps, you can set your Vegan Cafe up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

TOP 8 VEGAN RESTAURANTS IN LONDON – 2021 ft. Short Rib Tacos, Grilled Cheeze and Chickn Pad Thai!  – YT Channel ‘TOPJAW’

How a 23-Year-Old Vegan Cafe Owner Is Feeding Brooklyn’s Soul | NBCLX – YT Channel ‘LX News’

A Day in the Life of a Vegan Cafe – YT Channel ‘Lauren Mattice’

A. Starting a vegan café business can be expensive, as there are several costs associated with opening and operating a café business such as rent or lease for the location, equipment and supplies, inventory, staffing, marketing, legal and accounting fees, insurance, and business rates. 

The costs can vary greatly depending on factors such as location, the size of the café, and the type of business model. However, it’s important to note that the cost of starting a vegan cafe can be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances of the business.

It’s recommended to conduct a thorough market research and feasibility study before starting a vegan café business, in order to have a better understanding of the costs and the earning potential of your business. Additionally, consulting with a business advisor or accountant would be helpful to get a more accurate estimate for your specific business.

A: A vegan cafe is a restaurant that serves plant-based food, and does not use any animal products in its menu.

A. Here are a few well-known Vegan Cafe chains in the UK:

A. Here are a few well-known Vegan Cafe chains in the US:

 A: Vegan cafe menus typically include a variety of plant-based options such as salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, and desserts. Many vegan cafes also serve smoothies, juices, and other specialty drinks. 

 A: A vegan diet can provide many health benefits, such as weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of certain cancers.

A. No, anyone can eat at a vegan cafe regardless of their dietary preferences. Vegan cafes are a great option for those who are looking for plant-based options, or for those who want to try something new.

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