How to buy tea room
In celebration of National Tea Day, we explore how to buy a tearoom
The UK celebrated National Tea Day over the weekend. The nation’s favourite drink was honoured across the land, with thousands of tea parties and its own dedicated event called Fes.tea.val held at Chiswick House. In recognition of this important beverage – the second most popular drink in the world after water – we decided to put together this short article on buying a tearoom. It’s a popular category for people searching for businesses for sale, and might be the perfect business opportunity for you. Tea rooms can provide a decent income, and a fun environment to work in, so long as you enjoy a customer-facing role.
Customer service is of paramount importance in this industry. It’s probably not the business opportunity for shy and retiring types, unless you decide to employ staff to work front of house. Buying a tea rooms means you’ll need to give your customers an experience; there’s an expectation level attached to businesses like these. A traditional tea rooms won’t be as bustling as a busy restaurant, as chaotic as a fast food café or have the constant in-and-out of takeaway customers. Instead, visitors will expect a calming and restorative vibe, a friendly welcome and, these days, a selection of teas and cakes that would mystify most customers of a few decades ago.
In buying a tearoom you’ll welcome an array of visitors though your doors, so you’ll need to cater for myriad tastes. Gluten free cakes, soya milk and herbal teas will be expected, as will decaffeinated and sugar-free alternatives. For while tea rooms have been around for centuries, and not so long ago were predominantly frequented by pensioners and tourists, these days they have a far broader appeal. Afternoon tea, a quintessentially British activity, has seen a huge resurgence over the last few years. No doubt popular programmes like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ have helped with that too.
Like most businesses in the restaurant industry, buying a tea rooms will mean putting in long hours. But at least the hours you’ll put in are predictable. You’ll have your peak times of the day, such as lunch and afternoon tea. But, unlike licenced restaurants, you can probably close up by early evening. You still need to be prepared for hard work, of course, but that’s probably no surprise to you. Anyone considering buying a business for sale will know that, at the beginning – and until you get to a position where you can employ staff to take on some of the workload – you’ll work harder than you would if you were an employee yourself. Ask most business owners, though, and they’ll say the benefits far outweigh the burdens. Being your own boss, and working in a vibrant industry that blends the traditional and the modern, means buying a tea rooms should be an attractive proposition.
When considering any businesses for sale, you’ll need to commit to some due diligence. And buying a tea rooms is no different. Find out why the business is for sale, what track record it has and whether there is room for improvement. Ask about its staffing arrangements, have the lease reviewed and decide what format the business transaction will take. For a more detailed review of buying and selling a business, why not take a look at some of the useful articles and guides published here?
If you do end up buying a tearoom, then we wish you all the best with your new venture. Make a note in your diary for National Tea Day next year, and make sure your own business joins in on the celebrations.