I get this question a lot–what is the optimal size for my juice bar?
As usual with these kinds of questions, the answer is that it depends.
How much traffic will your store be getting at peak hours? How much refrigeration space will you need? How much storage will you need for dry ingredients? How many people will be in the kitchen at any one time? All these questions and more must be taken into consideration.
So really, there is no perfect size for a juice bar. The size you go with is a reflection of the function you will be serving for you customers.
Seating or not?
Some juice bars decide that they won’t need any seating so right there their square footage goes way down. This could be because they are in a high traffic location where people are really coming in and out, ordering their juice to go.
Other places like to have seating and serve food items as well. Even if you’re not serving much food having at least a small amount of seating might be a good idea. Juice bars naturally tend to create community because customers tend to connect with one another about health and wellness.
You can create a space where people want to hang out if you desire. I’ve seen a lot of successful locations with small patios that accomplish this well.
Overall the size of your space is going to be most closely related with your production volume. You have to run the numbers based on the market and try your best to make accurate prediction for this. These numbers are going to affect everything.
Storage can be a big challenge especially with smaller spaces. You’ll need refrigeration space for already made juices as well as all of your dry ingredients. The amount of storage you have is also going to affect how often you will have to order more ingredients.
I had one location that was only 400 square feet and we had to use off site storage. Off site isn’t ideal, but it might actually make sense depending on the cost for square foot of the space you’re looking at. While it did get a little cramped in there at times, we were able to make it work in the long run.
My other location was twice the size and we still had to use off site storage for our dry ingredients. The most important thing in this whole conversation comes down to, what services do you really want to offer?
On the high end of the spectrum I’ve seen juice bars with over 2,000 square feet, but they were doing classes and had a ton of storage seating. If you decide to got that big, you for sure want to be using the space in more nuanced ways.
Within my online course I explore more questions around finding the right answer to this question as location is such a big key to success in this business.