Organize the Wait Station
Every cafe is a little different, so the way you organize the wait station will vary, depending on whether you have a full kitchen and will be serving food, or whether you're planning a coffee shop (see below). If you are planning to have servers bring out dishes, even if these are just-warmed pastries and lattes, you'll want to have a well-organized area with plates, napkins, mugs, cleaning supplies, takeout boxes, stir sticks, etc. Your staff should also be required to restock and keep the area clean as part of their shift. An organized wait area can ensure that your staff is prepared for whatever the customers may need and keeps business going at a quick pace.
Coffee is King
IF you're planning to run a small coffee shop, your "wait area" is likely to be the bar where customers help themselves to items such as coffee cups. Nearly two in three coffee drinkers take cream or sugar, so your staff should always be prepared to restock stir sticks, sugar, creamer, lids, and other coffee accessories when business is slow. Even if you use plain white paper cups, having the area be clean, organized, and attractively laid out makes all the difference.
In addition to a deep reach-in refrigerator for those large-scale operations, you should always have an under-counter refrigerator and ice machine to access items that are used frequently. Having a small refrigeration system behind the coffee bar or by your staff's wait station allows them to easily give a customer extra ice or to substitute almond milk for regular creamer if need be. You can also store items that require constant cooling but can be prepped in advance, such as desserts or salads.
When in doubt, rent a space that was previously a coffee shop, cafe, or restaurant, as it will have the layout you're looking for. You can also take the time to build a relationship with a coffee cup and stir sticks supplier to keep the service consistent all year long. Welcome to your first day of work, future entrepreneur.</br