We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Tech Helproom


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Advice needed for setting up internet cafe


MikeSA

Likes # 0

I intend setting up an internet café and would appreciate any advice. What computer specs would be ideal and what pitfalls to avoid? Am I correct that low-spec machines would suffice as customers would only be browsing and not wanting to play high-end games. Is there software available specifically for internet cafes would it be imperative to install Windows 8 on all the machines or would I get by simply with Windows XP or an open source operating system?

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 1

I hate to tell you this but with the advent of Smart-phones and Tablets, the day of the Internet Café has come to an end, unless you are in somewhere like Northern Australia, Nepal or Brazil, where Treckers need one to contact home.

Of course you may be the one business to buck the Trend, so bully for you and as FE suggests. Do your research.

Find out who would use your Service and, because they haven't a Smart-phone or Tablet, whether they have sufficient funds to visit your place on a regular basis. Also, how you would persuade them to buy other products other than time on a PC!

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm but I ran my Café for 25 years. My lease ran out in March 2005. It has had 6 sets of Owners since then. The last set closed their doors at the end of November last. Their Bank did not have sufficient confidence in their abilities to let them trade over Christmas.

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

I have been ruminating: Remember the old adage ~ "Location, Location, Location".

That does not mean that you have to be in a prominent site on the High Street. It means that you have to be at a place where your Customers can get to you easily and have somewhere to leave their Transport that does not cost them an arm and a leg, preferably Free.

You can be in a Side Street if they have to walk through it to get from the Free Car Park and the Union Bar, or close to a Theatre that regularly hosts Concerts.

If you plan to employ Staff, remember to become 'au fait' with the regulations, before you employ them. Even unpaid/voluntary Staff are protected by the laws of the Land.

If you plan to sell food, or even just coffee, you will need to be inspected by the Local Authority and be aware of the regulations. Remember that they can lock your doors at any time if you fail to match up to their expectations.

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

As to the PCs you have available, surely they would not all be the same.

A group of basic machines for simple tasks would be essential.

Then you could charge a higher rate per minute/hour for High Spec Gaming Machines, even more if two or three were to be networked together for playing competitively.

At least one Mac would be essential.

A selection of Printers, both Laser and Inkjet, with access controlled by your staff, chosen mostly for quality of Output, with quietness at a premium to you.

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

When it comes to Funding.

You must have sufficient resources available to run for the first 6 months at below break-even.

Like this post
spuds

Likes # 0

Location and research are your main concerns at present, because either can bring rewards or failure.

Where I live, quite a number of people jumped on the internet cafe idea, but most have since gone out of business. One or two are still open, servicing their regular clients both with internet services as well as booze and food, as an extra sideline.

One even transferred from internet cafe to a government funded computer training centre. Their place is very open plan, and it always seems busy.

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

"...with the advent of Smart-phones and Tablets, the day of the Internet Café has come to an end"

That's not true at all. I live and work in London, and I see dozens of them. One, a few miles from where I live, is packed every day. It isn't a café at all in the accepted meaning of the word, there are no refreshments on offer.

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

FE, I accept what you say. There must be a huge Metropolitan Clientele who need to need to access the net, outside their work environment.

On the Coffee+ thing, I was considering the development of additional, parallel income streams and some of the problems that might come with it.

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

MikeSA: How's the project going?

A little more from you about the projected "Customer Profile" might elicit responses from Members other than myself and FE.

Sorry, I'm known to have a bee in my bonnet about people starting up businesses without sufficient preparation ~ I did not mean to put you off the Project

Like this post
Sharm12

Likes # 0

Hi Mike SA, I'm a journalism student and I am currently looking at whether internet cafe's are still a viable business in 2013. How is the setting up going? Do you plan to be purely dependent on the internet cafe as income or specialise in other services too, ie other computer services or food and drink. I would really appreciate a response.

Also wee eddie you seem to be well informed on the matter, do you still see internet cafe's as sustainable if they are done well?

Thanks

Like this post
wee eddie

Likes # 0

Sharm: I come from the Café side of the Market, so can only guess at whether an Internet Café is still economically viable. That does not mean that there are not Internet Café's still being run by enthusiasts, for rather less return than most folk would consider adequate.

FE says that he knows of many, and I don't doubt that, given an area where Internet is not common then those that live there and those that are visiting will be a potential Customer Base.

My guesses at suitable sites, would be 'Tourist Honeypots' (but customers would be for a single visit only, so continuous promotion would be necessary) and Metropolitan Universities. On the University side of things - If most of the Students commute from home, then forget it, they have internet at home, there needs to be a vibrant Campus life based on Students living in "Digs".

Also areas where there are large numbers of Young People living in Shared Accommodation.

There must be other sources of Custom but my analysis, when I was thinking of setting one up, fell down on Items one and two. Someone else did use the site, that I had investigated, as an Internet café and failed within 6 months - They didn't even make the first years Accounts.

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features. The next version of Windows will run on everything:....

IDG UK Sites

An Apple fan's perspective on the Windows 10 launch

IDG UK Sites

Sensor-laden kids' watch with 3G launches in Japan

IDG UK Sites

2014 Retina iMac release date rumours, specs and features: 27in 5K Retina iMac 'launching this mont'......