Recently, I have discovered a new “ultimate small store model” in the increasingly inward-looking coffee track.
This brand is called 9 square meters of coffee (hereinafter referred to as 9 square meters), and as the name suggests, each store is 9 square meters, neat and tidy; The human efficiency is extremely high, one person can operate a store, and 80 cups can achieve breakeven.
At present, 6 stores covering an area of 9 square meters have been opened in Suzhou and Shanghai, with the highest daily turnover of over 15000 yuan per store.
How does a 9 square meter coffee shop play? Can the ultimate small store model still give birth to the next Manner?
1、 9 ㎡ Coffee Shop Becomes Popular in Suzhou and Shanghai
Here comes the new “ultimate small store model”
In 2023, as the coffee price war intensified, a brand jumped out of the price war and directly attacked the size of coffee shops.
This coffee brand, called 9 square meters, originated in Suzhou and benchmarking against Manner in terms of model. However, in terms of store model, it is more “thorough” than Manner (most of Manner’s stores are over 10 square meters, except for its founding store on Nanyang Road, which is 2 square meters).
9 square meters of coffee, as the name suggests, all stores only need 9 square meters, and all stores have the same area and appearance, which is neat and tidy.
In terms of human efficiency, Manner has greatly improved the efficiency of cup production by the way of barista assembly line division of labor, and exchanged price with quantity. The same focus is on white-collar workers who just need 9 square meters. Generally, one person can operate in a store. Only stores that produce more than 200 cups need to consider increasing staff.
On the product, I found that the price of 9 square meters is not cheap, even slightly higher than most new coffee brands. The lowest American coffee is 18 yuan/cup, and the new mountain tea Huaqingti American style, co branded with RIO, sold for 25 yuan.
Overall, the price range is concentrated between 18 to 20 yuan, with little discount except for a small promotion of 9.9 yuan during the opening period.
On social media platforms, it was found that “9 square meter coffee shop” has opened 6 direct stores in Suzhou and Shanghai. What is this new gameplay? I contacted Wu Jian, the founder of 9 square meters of coffee.
2、 9 square meters, 1 person, 80 cups is the breakeven point
When it comes to the small shop model of coffee, most practitioners who focus on the coffee industry will think of Manner, but with the same small shop model, 9 square meters has taken a completely different path.
(1) Only 9 square meters are needed to achieve “one store free shipping” globally
A 9 square meter store looks like a large suitcase from a distance. The entire store is 3.5 meters long and 2.2 meters wide, accounting for less than 9 square meters of area. The bar and operation area are like the gaps left after the top of the suitcase is opened. The metal appearance and store color can also be personalized according to the surrounding environment.
Unlike most offline stores, 9-square coffee shops do not require finding shops or renovations. “We fully considered the convenience of logistics in our design, and one container happens to be one store, which can achieve global shipping for one store
In office buildings, industrial parks, etc., after selecting a location, the store logistics will pass by and it will open in 20 minutes.
Many people think when they see this, isn’t this the container point?
But unlike container stores, a 9-square meter store includes a bar, equipment, power line design, and solves water and beverage store electricity issues. With a mobile phone, the store can be opened and closed with just one click, and there are retractable wheels at the bottom. If you want to move, two people can push the store away.
(2) 1 person+200 cups, single store mode has been established
Out of a responsible attitude towards the brand, Wu Jian said that he does not plan to open franchisees for the next two years and is currently conducting tests on six direct stores. He has summarized a model of “9 square meters, 1 person, 200 cups”.
In the single store model, due to its low floor area and labor costs, in Suzhou and Shanghai, 80 cups is basically the breakeven point. If we can achieve a daily sunrise of 200 cups, the profit situation will be very good, “he said.
Taking Shanghai Wanshuo Store, which has a good operating condition of 9 square meters, as an example, in the early stage of its opening, 2 people+2 single head coffee machines+1 robot arm formed a “human-machine cooperation mode” of manually extracting coffee liquid and integrating robot arms to pull flowers. The highest day of the store was 15000 yuan in revenue.
Wu Jian has undergone store testing and found that for a 9 square meter store, a minimum of 200 cups can be produced by one person.
The robot arm in the device is an alternative. If the barista has sufficient experience, the cup can be made manually. If the store has a high cup volume, the robot arm can be selected to replace some of the manual.
The future will definitely be a human-machine collaboration model, and robots cannot completely replace shop assistants. Coffee shops still need services or personal emotions inside, and machines can only help solve some of the problems and labor intensity. “Wu Jian concluded.
(3) Equipped with a cash register, supervision, and reporting system, with one click control
This integrated store also faces an important problem, how to solve the warehousing problem?
Wu Jian stated that in the sampling stage of the machine, full consideration has been given to the warehouse, operation, supervision, cashier, and reporting systems of the store.
Our store is basically an integrated system. Firstly, the raw materials that can be stored in one store can support a turnover of 6000 yuan. Currently, stores with a daily revenue of less than 6000 yuan adopt a daily delivery method
Secondly, in actual operations, the cash register and reporting system are interconnected. Once the system detects that the raw materials are less than 20%, it will automatically calculate the raw materials that need to be reported based on the cash register, and then manually review them
Thirdly, the store has a monitoring system for dead corners. Where should the cleaning cloth be located, when the raw materials were opened, and whether the expiration date has arrived? The monitoring system will record and report any violations to the police
(4) Own equipment factories and baking factories to connect the industrial chain
Unlike most brands that choose to expand with minimal assets, 9 square meters started with a “heavy model”.
Founder Wu Jian comes from an engineering background and has an equipment factory in Suzhou. In the first two years of the store’s launch, he spent tens of millions of yuan on design, grinding tool development, and sampling processes in the store.
At the end of last year, when the store was just launched, a baking factory was also established in Suzhou, with an annual production capacity of around 500 tons.
The domestic coffee is too rolled, how can we win without our own unique model? “Wu Jian sighed.
3、 Europe plans to open 200 stores next year, and he wants Chinese coffee to be exported globally
This year, Wu Jian participated in food and beverage exhibitions in multiple European countries. After receiving feedback from multiple exhibitions and inviting olive branches to open stores, he found that Chinese coffee is currently leading globally.
How do I say this?
Based on our coffee research data from multiple European countries, it has been found that Chinese coffee is currently leading the world in terms of processing methods, baking curves, and later product development. Many foreign coffee shops now come to us to order beans after drinking our coffee at exhibitions
According to Wu Jian’s understanding, coffee is a necessity in Europe. After reaching the initial stage of demand, local people do not have as high requirements for the taste of coffee beans as they imagine. “Most of them use deep roasted beans, and what they need is caffeine, and their requirements for the taste are not high
The demand for premium coffee is even lower, and even very niche. But they can drink good or bad, and the products they drink will be surprising. So when we go abroad, we can do better and have a higher probability of success than in China
Currently, the 9 square meter stores in Suzhou and Shanghai are newly opened test stores, and there is not much consumer feedback data available on social media platforms.
However, in multiple European countries, 9 square meters of olive branches have already received many invitations to open stores through exhibitions.
Wu Jian plans to go both domestically and internationally. “The competition in the domestic market is too fierce, and overseas may be a worthwhile channel to try. By the end of this year, we plan to open 200 stores in Europe
4、 This year is a year for tea beverage brands to focus on going global.
Southeast Asia, Sydney, Canada and other places have seen a trend of group drinking “Chinese tea drinks” to check in.
Recently, the news of Ruixing opening a store in Singapore has also attracted the attention of many industry insiders, successfully taking the “first step towards going abroad”.
With the improvement of supply chain, product strength, and supply chain technology, is it time for Chinese coffee to be exported in reverse? Welcome to discuss in the comments section.

By orchioo

Related Post