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How to Start a Soda Shop Business

Soda Shop Business

A soda shop business is an establishment that specializes in serving a variety of carbonated beverages, commonly known as soda or soft drinks.

Soda shops are often nostalgic-themed establishments that aim to recreate the ambiance and experience of the classic soda fountains popular in the early to mid-20th century. In a soda shop, customers can typically find an extensive menu of sodas, including classic flavors like cola, root beer, orange soda, lemon-lime, and cherry, as well as specialty and gourmet options.

Some soda shops also offer milkshakes, ice cream floats, sundaes, and other sweet treats that can be made using their soda selection.

The atmosphere of a soda shop is often retro-inspired, with vintage decor, old-fashioned soda dispensers, and nostalgic memorabilia. It provides a nostalgic and enjoyable environment for customers to relax, socialize, and indulge in sweet and fizzy beverages.

Soda shops can be standalone businesses or part of a larger establishment such as a diner, ice cream parlor, or general store. They are popular destinations for families, teenagers, and anyone seeking a fun and unique beverage experience.

Steps on How to Start a Soda Shop Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research for a soda shop business is crucial to understand your target market, competition, and industry trends. First, you need to clearly outline the goals of your market research. Identify the specific information you need to gather, such as target demographics, customer preferences, competitive landscape, and market size.

Next, you are expected to determine who your ideal customers are. Consider factors such as age, gender, location, income level, lifestyle, and preferences. This information will help you tailor your offerings and marketing strategies. Identify other soda shops or similar businesses in your area.

Study their offerings, pricing, branding, customer reviews, and market positioning. This analysis will help you understand your competitive advantages and areas for differentiation.

You should create questionnaires or interview scripts to gather information directly from your target market. Ask questions about their soda preferences, buying habits, pricing expectations, and what they look for in a soda shop experience. You can distribute surveys online, in person, or through social media channels.

Lastly, once you have gathered data from surveys, interviews, industry reports, and observations, analyze the information. Look for patterns, trends, and opportunities. Use this knowledge to make informed decisions about your business model, menu, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer experience.

a. Who is the Target Market for Soda Shop Business?
  • Nostalgia seekers
  • Families
  • Teenagers and young adults
  • Tourists and visitors
  • Health-conscious consumers.
b. Is Soda Shop Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the soda shop business is considered a profitable business. But it is important to note that the profitability of a soda shop business can vary depending on various factors, including location, competition, business model, pricing, operational efficiency, and market demand.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the soda shop business.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?

The major competitors for a soda shop business can vary depending on the location and specific market. Here are some potential competitors that soda shops may face:

  • Other soda shops
  • Fast-food chains and quick-service restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Coffee shops and cafes
  • Convenience stores and supermarkets
  • Local restaurants and diners
  • Online beverage retailers.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Soda Shops?

Regulations and zoning laws for soda shop businesses in the United States can vary by county and state. While we can provide some general information, it’s important to note that specific regulations may differ based on your location. It’s advisable to consult with local authorities, such as the county or city zoning department, and seek legal advice to ensure compliance with all applicable laws

Soda shops are typically subject to health and safety regulations to ensure food handling, sanitation, and employee hygiene practices meet established standards. This can include regular inspections, proper storage of ingredients, safe food preparation practices, and compliance with health codes.

Zoning laws dictate where certain types of businesses can operate within a given area. It’s important to verify if the location you choose for your soda shop is properly zoned for commercial food service. Zoning regulations may also specify operating hours, signage restrictions, and parking requirements.

If you plan to serve alcoholic beverages in your soda shop, additional regulations and permits will apply. These regulations can include obtaining a liquor license, adhering to age restrictions, and complying with alcohol service guidelines.

As an employer, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local employment laws. This includes adhering to minimum wage laws, providing proper employee benefits, maintaining employee records, and following fair employment practices.

Businesses are often required to meet accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes providing accessible entrances, restrooms, and pathways for individuals with disabilities.

f. Is There a Franchise for the Soda Shop Business?

No, there are no franchise opportunities for the soda shop business.

g. What Do You Need to Start a Soda Shop Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Shop Facility
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Equipment, Machines, and Supplies
  • Employees
  • Startup and Working Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable. Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a soda shop business are;

Creative Soda Shop Business Name ideas
  • Cool Temper® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Janice Swanson™ Soda Shop, LLC
  • Monique Garcia© Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Sarah Miller® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Daniel Thomson® Soda Shop, LLC
  • Alison Van™ Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Wayne Greene® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Keith Belk™ Soda Shop, LLC
  • Ty Lawrence© Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Tami Brown-Brandl® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Dustin Boler® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Anna Dilger™ Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Ken Stalder™ Soda Shop, LLC
  • John McGlone® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Cassandra Tucker® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Mark Estienne© Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Bret Hess® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Randy Prather© Soda Shop, LLC
  • Raluca Mateescu® Soda Shop, Inc.
  • Ronald Kensinger® Soda Shop, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Soda Shop Business?

The ideal business structure for a soda shop business is determined by a variety of factors, including the size of the company, the number of owners, the level of personal liability the owners are ready to accept, and the tax consequences of the various business structures.

However, we normally recommend that you start the business with minimal liability. An LLC is a hybrid corporate form that provides the flexibility of a partnership while also providing its owners with limited liability protection. An LLC can have one or more owners, and the owners are not personally accountable for the debts or liabilities of the business. This business form is frequently used for small to medium-sized organizations.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Soda Shop Business?
  • General Business License
  • Food service license
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Alcohol License (if applicable)
  • Music License
  • Health department permit
  • Building permit
  • Zonal Permit
  • Signage Permit
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Soda Shop Business?

You don’t need any certifications to open a soda shop business. It is a business that is open to all and sundry as long as you have the business expertise and finance.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Soda Shop Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Alcohol License (if applicable)
  • Music License
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Food service license
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Health department permit
  • Building permit
  • Zonal Permit
  • Signage Permit
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

A soda shop business may or may not need a trademark, copyright, or patent but this is dependent on the specific products, services, and branding associated with the business.

Be that as it may, a soda shop business may want to consider obtaining a trademark for its business name or logo to prevent others from using similar names or logos that could cause confusion in the marketplace. A soda shop business may want to consider obtaining a copyright for its original marketing materials, or other creative content that it produces.

They may also want to consider obtaining a patent if it has invented a unique piece of equipment or technology that is used in its business operations.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Soda Shop Business?

The cost to start a soda shop business can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the business, location, equipment, and supplies needed, staffing costs, marketing expenses, and more. However, a rough estimate could range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the size and scope of the business.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Soda Shop Business?
  • Legal and administrative costs (the cost of obtaining business licenses and permits, registering the business, and consulting with attorneys and accountants): $2,500
  • Equipment and supplies: $35,000
  • Staffing costs: $35,000
  • Rent/lease: $45,000
  • Marketing and advertising costs: $3,000
  • Insurance costs: $2,800
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: $5,000.
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Soda Shop Business?
  • The size and type of the soda shop business
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the soda shop business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the soda shop business
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • The cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms,
  • The cost for the grand opening of the soda shop business.
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not necessary to build a new facility for your soda shop business, especially if you choose to operate from a rented shop.

But, if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility for your soda shop business will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Soda Shop Business?
  • Rent or Lease Payments
  • Utilities such as electricity, water, heating, and cooling.
  • Ingredients and Supplies such as soda syrups, carbonated water, ice cream, toppings, cups, straws, napkins, and other consumables.
  • Equipment Maintenance and Repairs (soda dispensers, refrigeration units, ice cream machines, blenders, and other equipment in the soda shop will require regular maintenance and occasional repairs).
  • Inventory and Stock (variety of soda flavors, ice cream, and other ingredients available for your customers)
  • Employee Wages and Benefits
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Insurance
  • Licenses and permits such as food service permits and health department certifications.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses such as accounting services, legal fees, point-of-sale systems, cleaning supplies, waste disposal services, and general maintenance costs.
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Shop Manager – $46,000 per year
  • Cashier (Accountant) – $35,000 per year
  • Sales Assistant – $28,000 per year
  • Cleaners – $26,000 per year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Soda Shop Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Jennell Farrell™ Soda Shop, LLC is a unique and nostalgic soda shop concept set to open in Appleton, Wisconsin. Appleton, Wisconsin is a vibrant and growing city with a diverse population. However, there is currently a gap in the market for a dedicated soda shop that offers a wide range of unique and artisanal soda flavors.

With our distinctive concept and focus on quality, we believe there is a significant opportunity to capture the attention and loyalty of local residents, families, tourists, and nostalgia seekers.

b. Products and Service

At Jennell Farrell™ Soda Shop, we will offer an extensive menu of handcrafted sodas made with premium ingredients and creative flavor combinations. From classic favorites to innovative twists, our sodas will cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

In addition to sodas, we will also provide milkshakes, ice cream floats, sundaes, and light snacks to complement the beverage offerings. Our commitment to using high-quality ingredients and providing exceptional service will set us apart from the competition.

The management team behind Jennell Farrell™ Soda Shop, LLC brings a wealth of experience in the food and beverage industry, with a strong focus on customer service, creativity, and business acumen. Led by Jennell Farrell, our team is dedicated to providing a memorable and enjoyable soda shop experience while ensuring efficient operations and sustainable growth.

c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a delightful and memorable experience to customers through a wide variety of handcrafted sodas, delectable treats, and a charming retro ambiance. With a focus on quality, creativity, and exceptional customer service, we aim to become the go-to destination for soda enthusiasts and those seeking a nostalgic beverage experience.

Vision Statement

At Jennell Farrell™ Soda Shop, LLC, our vision is to create a haven of nostalgia and delight where customers can indulge in handcrafted sodas and treats that transport them to a bygone era. We strive to be the premier destination for soda enthusiasts, families, and nostalgia seekers, offering a diverse menu of artisanal soda flavors, exceptional customer service, and a charming retro ambiance.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a soda shop business are to offer an extensive menu of handcrafted sodas made with premium ingredients and creative flavor combinations.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Shop Manager
  • Cashier (Accountant)
  • Sales Assistant
  • Cleaners

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Jennell Farrell™ Soda Shop offers a distinctive and nostalgic soda shop experience, setting it apart from traditional beverage establishments.
  • The soda shop provides a diverse menu of handcrafted sodas with creative flavors, appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences.
  • The retro ambiance of the soda shop creates an immersive and nostalgic atmosphere, enhancing the overall customer experience.
  • The commitment to using high-quality ingredients and homemade syrups ensures a superior taste and sets the soda shop apart from competitors.
  • The knowledgeable and friendly staff are dedicated to providing personalized service, creating a welcoming and enjoyable environment for customers.
  • As a new establishment, the soda shop may initially face challenges in building awareness and attracting a consistent customer base.
  • The success of the soda shop relies heavily on the local market, and any shifts in local demographics or economic conditions could impact the business.
  • Ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities, and ingredients can be a significant financial burden, particularly in the early stages of the business.
  • There is a growing trend of consumers seeking unique and immersive experiences, which the soda shop can capitalize on with its nostalgic concept.
  • Implementing targeted marketing campaigns can help create awareness among the local community and attract the attention of the target audience.
  • Building partnerships with local businesses, such as event organizers or tourist attractions, can expand the reach of the soda shop and attract a diverse customer base.
  • The beverage industry is highly competitive, with various established players and alternative options available to consumers, such as fast-food chains and convenience stores.
  • Shifting consumer preferences, health-conscious trends, or changes in beverage consumption patterns could impact the demand for soda products.
  • Adhering to health and safety regulations, licensing requirements, and other legal obligations can pose challenges and potentially disrupt operations if not managed properly.
b. How Do Soda Shop Businesses Make Money?

Soda shops make money by selling an extensive menu of handcrafted sodas made with premium ingredients and creative flavor combinations. In addition to sodas, they also make money from selling milkshakes, ice cream floats, sundaes, and light snacks to complement the beverage offerings.

c. Payment Options
  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  • Gift cards and store credit
  • Installment payments
  • Cash on delivery.
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Advertise our products and services through local newspapers, magazines, and radio stations.
  • Place ads in local community event guides and directories.
  • Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote our products, share recipes, and engage with customers.
  • Use email marketing to communicate with customers, share new product information, and offer promotions and discounts.
  • Offer special deals and promotions to attract new customers and retain existing ones
  • Local partnerships with local restaurants, catering companies, and other food businesses to offer custom orders and packages.
  • Host events and demonstrations to showcase our products and services.
  • Community involvement in the local community by sponsoring events, participating in local food festivals, and supporting local charities and causes.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?

Single-serving cans or bottles: The price of a single-serving can or bottle of soda typically ranges from $0.50 to $2.00, depending on the brand and size. Discounted prices or promotional offers may be available at certain stores.

Two-liter bottles: Two-liter bottles of soda, commonly used for parties or gatherings, generally range from $1.00 to $3.00, depending on the brand and any ongoing promotions.

Multipacks or cases: Multipacks or cases of soda, typically containing 12 to 24 cans or bottles, can range from $3.00 to $15.00 or more, depending on the brand, quantity, and any discounts offered by retailers.

b. How Much Profit Do Soda Shop Business Owners Make a Year?

The profitability of a soda shop business can vary significantly depending on various factors, including location, operating expenses, sales volume, pricing strategy, and overall business performance.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the soda shop business and their sales volume
  • The location of the soda shop business
  • The management style of the soda shop business
  • The business approach of the soda shop business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the soda shop business.
  • The number of years the soda shop business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Soda Shop Business?

Profit margins for soda shop businesses typically range from 5% to 20% of total revenue. However, it’s important to note that these figures can vary based on factors such as the size of the business, cost structure, efficiency of operations, competition, and market demand.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $320,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $400,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Soda Shop Business?
  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for soda in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of soda shops and related businesses in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking, and security et al
b. What State and City is Best to Open a Soda Shop Business?
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Miami, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • New York City, New York
  • Nashville, Tennessee
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Soda Shop Business?
  • Soda Dispensing Equipment (multiple dispensing heads, syrup pumps, CO2 tanks, and regulators).
  • Ice Cream Machines (soft-serve machines, batch freezers, or commercial-grade ice cream makers).
  • Refrigeration Equipment (reach-in refrigerators, freezers, and display cases)
  • Blenders
  • Prep Stations and Countertops (mixers, scales, and measuring tools).
  • Storage Shelving and Racks
  • Cash Register or Point-of-Sale (POS) System.
  • Dishwashing Equipment (commercial dishwashers, sinks, dish racks, and cleaning supplies).
  • Seating and Furniture (tables, chairs, booths, or bar stools to accommodate customers for on-site consumption).
  • Utensils and serve-ware such as cups, straws, napkins, spoons, spatulas, tongs, and other serving tools.
  • Safety and Sanitation Equipment (fire extinguishers, first aid kits, hand sanitizers, and other safety equipment).
  1. Hire Employees

The decision to hire or not to hire employees for a soda shop business depends on the size and scale of the operation. If the business is small and operates on a small scale, it may be possible for the owner to handle all aspects of the business on their own.

However, as the business grows and the sales increase, it may become necessary to hire employees to handle various aspects of the operation.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

Launching a new business is key to how successfully the business can gain traction in the market space. So, you must make sure you organize a launch party that will attract people that live in and around your target market locations.

a. What Makes a Soda Shop Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location to launch the business
  • Make sure you offer a variety of products and services that are top-notch
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the soda shop business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your soda shop business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your soda shop business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Soda Shop Business?

A typical day at a soda shop business can involve a variety of activities to ensure smooth operations, exceptional customer service, and the preparation and serving of delicious soda-based products. While specific routines may vary based on the size, location, and operational model of the soda shop.

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Soda Shop Business?
  • Excellent retailing skills
  • Excellent quality control skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Hygiene and safety experience
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining and bidding skill
  • Work experience in a soda shop business environment
  • Experience in managing people.