How to Start Your Own Shipping Container Cafe


While the restaurant industry is emerging from the pandemic, it’s clear that the path to recovery is not as smooth as we had hoped. Everywhere, restaurants and cafes are being hammered with high overheads and rent inflation, which is making it especially difficult for first-time owners to break into the industry.

If you are looking to start a cafe in 2022 and are worried about these challenges, creative solutions await. One of these is to start a shipping container cafe, which is cheaper, easier, and more flexible than the “traditional” cafe approach.

Read on to find out how you can launch a successful shipping crate cafe.

1. Plan Your Cafe Business

With any shipping container business, planning is essential. You must draw up an airtight business plan with all costs accounted for.

This is especially true if you are planning to fund your shipping crate restaurant with a business loan. Consider what your niche will be and the kind of customers you wish to attract.

Get detailed figures on the monthly costs of running your container cafe, including leasing costs and payroll. This will ensure that your business gets off to the best possible start.

2. Location, Location, Location

Where you choose to put your shipping contain cafe is probably the most important decision you will make. You will need to pick somewhere with sufficient footfall and a local demographic that is willing to pay for your food. You could choose a dedicated food truck park or container space with other similar businesses.

If you would prefer to avoid the extra competition, you could apply to have your container cafe set up in a business park or near an office, where you can attract the attention of the lunch crowd.

Remember, the benefit of owning a container cafe is flexibility, since you can move somewhere else if your current location is not working out.

3. Buy Your Shipping Container Cafe!

Now, you just need to buy a shipping container. You can buy storage containers online for reasonable prices, with some retailers even offering ready-to-use customized shipping container cafes. If you buy a restaurant-ready container, you can simply install your cooking equipment and you are good to go from day one.

4. Decorate

Any good cafe should have plenty of personality. Make sure to take time planning the decor for your shipping container cafe so that it is somewhere that customers actually want to spend time in. Consider how your furniture and wall art can make a statement about your business and the vibe you are trying to cultivate.

Don’t forget to make use of plants to liven the space up. In addition, your choice of background music will also have a significant impact on the atmosphere of your cafe.

We Help Self-Starters

Starting your own shipping container cafe is a creative way to target a rapidly-growing niche in the F&B industry. With these tips and a little bit of business savvy, you can launch your foodie career one container at a time!

At Daayri, we love self-starters such as yourself. We’re here to offer free, trustworthy insights for startup founders looking to build a successful business on their own. Make sure to consult our daily-updated startup guides for advice that you can use to build your empire.