Thai coffee-shop business booming, but it’s a risky business


Have you ever thought about opening you’re own cafe in Phuket? It seems you’re not alone, the number of entrepreneurs starting their own coffee-shops is booming. But despite the boom it seems running a business selling coffee is fraught with risk.

Thailand’s coffee-shop industry is expected to grow 15 to 20 per cent this year, according to specialty coffee growers, driven by the country’s economic improvement and higher demand from coffee drinkers.

Specialty Coffee Association of Thailand (SCATH) president Apicha Yaemkesorn recently told the Bangkok Post that coffee shops are easy to open on any street corner in Thailand’s larger cities and more will spring up as office and condo projects continue to be built at a blistering pace.

“The growth can also be expected to spread into small provinces and towns in the near future,” added Mr Apicha.

This optimism is despite the fact that fewer than 10 per cent of Thais drink coffee, and those who do drink about 1.2 cups a day on average, compared with three cups a day for American coffee drinkers.

It can be volatile venture as well, with 30 to 40 per cent of coffee shops closing last year, and yet despite the risks, the number of new entrants to the industry is increasing every year.

Apicha says that opening a coffee shop is easy in Thailand as only a small budget is needed and coffee makers are inexpensive.

“It is an ideal business for new entrepreneurs, but many of them have lack knowledge about coffee and cafe management skills.”


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