Running a seaside cafe in the 21st century

The traditional image of a seaside cafe is often a slightly rundown venue close to the beach where you can buy mugs of tea, fish and chips and ‒ if you are lucky ‒ sticky buns. Today, however, you need to cater for all the visitors to your resort and offer the kind of refreshments they expect if you want your business to be successful.


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Check out the competition

If there are other food businesses in the area, look at them and try to establish what makes them popular. Are they doing anything differently? What sort of customers prefer their establishments to yours? Do they have a higher food hygiene rating than you? In addition to displaying the inspection results in the venues, the ratings can be found on the Food Standards website. Many health-conscious parents today will be checking this, so ensure that your rating is five stars.

One idea when researching the competition is to ask friends or family to visit other local eateries and report back on the quality and variety of refreshments offered. Your regular customers may also be able to offer suggestions about what they would like to see included on your menu.


Even if you cannot afford to invest in all the latest equipment, it is important that your food and drink is kept correctly. You can source equipment such as commercial bottle coolers, which are vital for those hot, sunny days, from a selection of commercial bottle coolers by .

Ice cream is something that must be kept properly to avoid the possibility of food poisoning and it is essential to ensure that you have procedures in place for checking freezer temperatures regularly. The Guardian recently reported on a listeria outbreak related to ice cream in the US.

Other considerations

Many visitors to the seaside are families, and parents have never been more health conscious than they are today. You will need to provide fresh, healthy foods, such as salads and plenty of fruit, and make sure that you offer smaller portions for children. These can also appreciated by some older adults who find today’s normal-sized portions too big. A facility for heating baby food is often appreciated, and a clean and attractive baby changing area will attract mothers with young families.

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