Small Business Brief


7 Tips for Opening a Donut Shop

The demand for donuts isn’t slowing down. Why not take this opportunity to finally launch your business? Here are seven must-have tips for opening a donut shop.

Starting your own business is an exciting time for an entrepreneur. Starting a business with something you love to do is the best business to own. If it will provide an income.

If you are thinking about turning your passion for baking into a business, it can actually be a great venture. If you are looking at opening a donut shop, even better.

First of all, everyone loves donuts. Anyone that doesn’t love donuts is not worth knowing.

Donuts are relatively inexpensive and easy to make compared to some other baked goods, and you already know people want them, so you know there will be a demand for them.

Here are 7 tips for opening a donut shop to help you get started.

1. Location

Finding a nice space isn’t very great if you don’t get the traffic you need. Most people buy baked goods in the morning, and they usually want to get in and get out in a hurry.

Make sure you are not trying to open your store close to another bakery or a place that sells coffee or breakfast. If you plan to sell coffee and other baked goods, you may want to consider having a drive-through space for quick and easy access.

Finding a store with ample parking is great so people can stop and shop and get to work. The location of that store is important as well. Close to a busy downtown, business centers, schools or hospitals means better sales.

2. Get Your Paperwork

Permits, health inspections, food and safety training, and certificates all need to be taken care of and in place, before you start thinking about flavors. You also need building permits if you plan to do construction, and these can vary depending on your location.

It is vital you have all the forms and inspections complete before you open, especially when selling food items. Check with your local municipality to find out what is needed and when.

Different types of shops will require different permits and there may a be a spike in the cost, like if you just have a counter or if you have table service. You need to know what type you want before going in for the permits.

3. Get Equipment

This means everything you need for opening a donut shop. Ovens, mixers, ingredients, cups, boxes, all the necessary utensils, and the computer system. This will include furniture as well.

If it is to be only you or a few staff members, you can get by with a few items for a break room. If you are opening a restaurant-style donut shop, you will need tables and chairs, plus any other supplies, like coffee, napkins, cleaning and restroom supplies.

You should watch for sales from other restaurants and bakeries that may be closing and selling off their equipment. You can get your whole kitchen supplied for a lot less than the regular price, often in perfect condition.

4. Pick Your Donut

There are a few different ways you can go when opening a donut shop. There are plenty of franchise opportunities available from well-established bakery food chains, or you can start your own.

There are pros and cons for each. With a franchise, you have the name and the brand behind you, often with start-up incentives and backing for businesses that don’t do as well. But you have to follow their recipes and their store to the last letter, without much wiggle room for your own touch.

Starting your own bakery means you can have regular donuts, artisan types of donuts or anything else you want to make, but you don’t have a big brand behind you. That can be a plus or minus, depending on what your plans are.

5. Education

Get as much training as you can. You may know baking and you may know business but you can never know enough. Find out information online from city websites or forums.

Don’t be afraid to ask people already in the business. They can have a lot of helpful tips for you before opening a donut shop. Do your own market research about the bakery business, the area you are looking to open the store and anything else trending regarding donuts.

This will include training your staff as well. And not only training by what is required by business standards, but by your standards, too. They are a representation of your name, so make sure they are all following your lead.

6. Find Reliable Vendors

Look around and find people you can rely on to deliver or supply all the ingredients and supplies you will need. Go online and ask around for the best pricing and for those who will be dependable.

It’s always a good idea to have a backup list of vendors, just in case. Weather, shortages, and accidents happen. You still need to get your product up to sell to the customers.

This will include people for maintenance, as well. If you need deep cleaning done, or someone to change the sink grease trap, keep a list of numbers close by.

7. Get The Word Out

Word of mouth, fliers, family, and friends, online email blasts, signage – whatever you need to do. Social media is a great way to reach a lot of people for no cost. You can tag your friends and other businesses to help spread the word.

You could have an innovative grand opening, with clowns or prizes to get the attention and get the people in the store. As it’s a donut shop, you have the advantage of aroma, so get that door open and draw them in by the nose.

Go Donuts

Once you have everything in place for opening a donut shop, you should have no problem making your business a success. The ingredients are not very expensive and the donuts are not usually difficult to make, so they should sell themselves.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help, as there is plenty out there.

It’s very rewarding making your own business flourish, and when it is something you love and love to do, the rewards are tenfold. If you do your homework and make some smart choices, you will have the best donut shop on the street.