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How much does it cost to start a bagel business?

There are many factors that you need to consider to answer this question :

·         What is the square footage of your location

·         Will it be sit down or take out –sit down is the most expensive

·         What type of work is needed to finish your décor

·         What cosmetic improvements the location needs, and whether you or the landlord pays for cosmetic expenses-(cosmetic costs include plumbing, electrical, ventilation, demolition, counter work, and all other expenses that are required to complete a bagel store other than equipment costs.

Here are some estimates:

·         “NEW” equipment-$120,000-$200,000

·         “USED” $85,000-$135,000

·         Décor & improvements anywhere from $45,000-$200,000+

·         Other fees to consider are architectural, signage, deposits, legal, professional, etc.

What about training? I have no idea how to make a bagel or how to cook. I have no food experience.  Can I really make bagels even with no experience at all?

Yes, you can if you learn from a pro. I can teach you how to make bagels and run a bagel store but your ability to master it will come in time. No matter how much you learn, you will find yourself needing help, and I am the one to call.  I have had the experience you are going through and can give you the answers you need quickly.

What kind of square footage does a typical bagel store need?

The best size store would be 1,200-1,500 sq feet for a take out operation and 1,800-2,500 sq feet for a sit down operation.  I have built a take out bagel store in as little as 700 sq feet. It was very small and hard to work with but the location was too good to pass up. The cost of rent may dictate the size you choose.  In other words, some stores that are full sit down operations and have sales of 25k a week are stores as large as 2,500 sq feet with very high rent and will not make as much profit as a store that’s 1,500 sq feet and does 10k a week in sales. A store will not make as much money if the operating expenses and overhead are high.


What does the average bagel store gross a week?

Take out-$6,000-$10,000 Profit $1,000-$3,000

Sit down-$8,000-$25,000 Profit $2,000-$6,000

Is the bagel business seasonal?

Only if your store is in a seasonal area, such as a vacation or tourist area.  The only time the bagel business is slow is usually the first week of January and February.  Snowfall usually produces a slow day but rain produces a busy day. Let it rain!

Do you have references? How can I trust you know all you say you know?

Yes, if you need them I have them. If you hire me to consult you and after a half hour you think I have no relevant information, or I am not helpful, you can tell me and pay nothing.  Everyone I have consulted has had very good questions and after 15 – 30 minutes of conversation everyone has realized that they are in fact talking to the “bagel guru”.  No one has cancelled a consult.

It is very rare, if not impossible to find someone with as much experience as myself. I say this because yes you can find someone who has been in the business longer than I have, but they have no experience pertaining to the installation and/or design of bagel equipment, or they just owned one store and never negotiated multiple leases nor made bagels in different parts of the country let alone the world. I could go on and on but in reality, there is not one person with as much diversified bagel experience. If you find them, let me know, please. They say everyone has a twin but I have yet to find mine.

What are the risks? A bagel store cannot fail.

Everything has risks, but I believe that a bagel store cannot fail. In a bagel operation, you are a manufacturer.  If retail business is slow, you need to obtain wholesale sales to compensate. Wholesale is selling to supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, schools, etc. If your operation is $1,000 short of making a profit, then you need to get wholesale accounts. To make up for the shortfall, you need to sell about 500 dz bagels wholesale, that’s about 75 dz a day. Most supermarkets sell 25 to 50 dz a day, so even one supermarket could make your store profitable. I can show you how to get any wholesale account.

Another way to compensate for a shortfall is to offer catering. The potential is endless. The average bagel store has about 200-500 customers a day.  You need to get some of them to do catering and office lunch meetings.

These are the most frequently asked questions. If you have any more questions, you can hire me to consult. My fee is $150/hr and can be done on the phone or in person. You can click the link on this website to see my bio.

There are so many commonly asked questions so I wrote a manual. It is about 500 pages of very useful information. My advice if you are interested in going into the bagel business is to purchase the manual and then hire me to consult you. Each situation is different and although the manual is very complete, your particular concept, location, business plan, etc. will be unique and that’s why a consult is necessary.

If you are looking to buy an existing bagel store, you will need my help. My experience in selling bagel stores is vast. You will need someone who has been on the other side. I know what to look for and will save you thousands. Most importantly, I will help make your decision a good and profitable one.


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