Is Opening A Bubble Tea Shop A Good Idea?

Spamalot
Spamalot

Although bubble tea isn't really popular in America YET, its popularity is growing rapidly. I was thinking that I could capitalize on this since since the competitions low. Do you guys think starting a bubble tea shop would be profitable?

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http://www.quicklyusa.com/
happy_sad
happy_sad

What makes you think it is growing rapidly? Why doesn't Starbucks sell it?

cum2soon
cum2soon

Start in a city with a large Asian population and wait for it to catch on. It's coming on locally, but Murricans are only just learning how awesome tea is, much less bubble tea.

@happy_sad

They're into tea. Look up teavana.

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Spamalot
why not start with something requiring far less capital... like a kiosk, or a food truck. opening a store would take lots of money.

Inmate
Inmate

@Spamalot
Do you guys think starting a bubble tea shop would be profitable?
High school and college age girls/Asians love this shit. Do it by a university. Probably carry smoothies n baked goods too

Methnerd
Methnerd

@Spamalot
The asian girls I work with love this shit. It's ok once in a blue moon, but it's too sweet for me generally. If you want to sell it to americans, it needs less sugar I think.

Skullbone
Skullbone

If you're in an Asian area, you're fucked. Asians will play dirty and put you out of business because profit margins mean nothing to them.

If you're in a non-Asian area, it's easy peasy. Upscale interior and smiley staff.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@Spamalot
Go to mall near uni for once to get food
Massive line for some store
Asians only, majority female
All of the ones leaving have bubble tea

Put it near a large uni and/or a popular after school hang out where school kids go

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

@Spamalot

Not a good idea, it's just tea with milk in it, but Americans don't drink tea, and Americans don't like kawaii things.

Any place that has a lot of Americans that do like those things already have a lot of bubble tea shops, aka Seattle, SF, Chinatowns, etc.

You're late to the party, even fucking Froyo is newer than bubble tea.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Spamalot
asian here

that idea is way overplayed and the market is too saturated

think of something else

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@BinaryMan
that idea is way overplayed and the market is too saturated
Depends entirely on OPs area.

girlDog
girlDog

@Spamalot
we had a short hype here in Europe. bubble-tea shops popped up on every corner, even McD started to sell them.

As fast as they came they vanished again. Everyone tried this stuff once and that was it, nothing to throw money on regularly.

Don't know about murricans, but it could be the same process, just slower

Playboyize
Playboyize

@girlDog
This.
Holy shit so many shops bombed because of this.
There was one asian fast food restaurant that bubble tea a major selling point with new advertisements, menues and bill boards. Now nobody cares and the shop just looks cheap and you wouldn't guess you can buy anything else than bubble tea.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

Holy shit this board is full of flyover posters. I don't know what it's like in Iowa but bubble tea has been big in real cities for a long time. Do you guys have avocados yet?

SniperWish
SniperWish

Here in Brazil ppl doesnt even know BubbleTea, ofc im generalizing but we had it once at a shopping mall but the location inside was really poor and nobody bought. Few months later this kiosk was gone.

I really liked that shit, maybe a good idea reopening one in a better place?

StonedTime
StonedTime

@Spamalot
Restaurants and coffee shops are rarely good investments. The amount of competition for what most people look at as a luxury/leisure food source is going to make it difficult for you. Doing a primarily bubble tea business is going to be a struggle, because you won't have the variety that will attract a large crowd of people on a consistent basis. That's not to say you should have everything under the sun, but you may want to focus on making a lunch type business and then making bubble tea a commodity you market as a major beverage.

Bidwell
Bidwell

@Spamalot
Bubble tea is blowing up, homie. Pick an area with a bunch of rich chinks; they'll be on that shit like white on rice, then the trendy whites will notice it. My town's in the middle of a bubble tea cafe/pho restaurant boom and it is ludicrous how many of these places are printing money.

massdebater
massdebater

@Spamalot
In Europe, never heard of this stuff and I have lived in every hip large city in Belgium. Might be a good idea here as even in the over saturated coffee market people are thriving.

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Spamalot
Saw one in Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, pretty good idea mate, you should do it.

The drinks were expensive as FUCK.

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@iluvmen
But I must say, if you're gonna do it, do it properly, and make sure that you take pride in it.

Techpill
Techpill

@Spamalot
Western Europe here.
The disgusting Bubble Tea hype was ~4 years ago.
Thanks this shit is gone now.

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@Techpill
it was killed by some scientists that testet a new aperature on bubletea
then the media pushed headlines out
what the doc said >its inhealthy
what the media said >its full of shit and cancerous

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

@CodeBuns
Those potato starch balls are the cancerous problem.

Just use alternative jellies.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@Stupidasole
Could you post this cancerous ball and the altarnative one?

TreeEater
TreeEater

@Spamalot
bubble tea isn't really popular in America YET

lol

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

bubble tea is fucking delicious

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@Spamalot
It could be. That's all I can say.

Right now I own a little burger shop, and it's directly across from a university student's center. A couple of other students and I bought the building for about $50k (it's big enough for a grill, deep frier and counter top) and we sell one product, and host condiments for customers to use.

The only reason we're profitable is because we have one single product to sell, not even menu choices or drinks. We just make decent cheap burgers.

The problem with bubble tea in my view is that you are both limited in your product line (just teas) while at the same time customers typically want variety within that scope anyway, which means your main crutch will be appropriate stocking for all your various flavors. What you CAN do to mitigate that is hire a coffee shop owner from another town as a start up consultant. It's more cash up front, but you're cutting your chance of going under within the first few months significantly, notwithstanding variation between summer and winter sales.

I'll monitor the thread while its up if you want to know more.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

Bubble Tea is so 2011

Gotta find a new memedrink, bro

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@BunnyJinx
@BinaryMan
@Spamalot
I live an hour east from SF and there are 23 bubble tea shops within 25 miles of me, and likely more than a hundred more if I include the big cities by doubling that radius.

It's beyond a meme in California

idontknow
idontknow

@Poker_Star
That's why you differentiate.

For example focus on baked goods. Then you are a bakery and a bubble tea place. Or coffee and bubble tea. Or hell all three. Add karaoke nights or a night with a piano player and you have a cool hangout spot. Maybe throw in some board games people can play

I know these Asian types. It's like their kawaii version of an American sports bar. They either have one they always go to for their favorite drink or they try all the different places.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

@Methnerd
americans
less sugar
Heh

CodeBuns
CodeBuns

@Raving_Cute
hur dur just add aspertam

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

Well theres two options
you can open your own shop up, pretty expensive. You will have to do a lot of product tasting etc. Very resource intensive, since you have to do your own marketing as well to get customers

Second option is opening up a well-respected franchise like Kungfu. Their bubbles don't taste like feet (strike one for normies, most basic bubbles in tea taste like shit and are overly chewy), they have food flavors and taste (strike 2, it might be hard for you to otherwise get a feel for peoples taste and design the drinks otherwise), and they are well known in places like NYC by people that enjoy bubble tea so anyone thats visited nyc and tried it for the first time on the east coast, will know it and probably go there (strike 3 if you're on your own. You would have to market and brand your tea to people that otherwise may not be familiar with it)

On the west coast or the interior of the U.S? Might as well not open a shop then.

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

I like that ice cream of the future
Do that.

Now

Methnerd
Methnerd

I like boba tea... eventhough it is horrible for you tons of chinky fake cream, sugar, and more carbs in the tapioca... and they are the perfect size for going down your windpipe!

These are common in bay area

http://www.quicklyusa.com/

always dead inside or pre-college kids hanging out. They make lots of chinky snacks (I used to buy the bahn mi, but it sucks compared to a real viet deli).

They go out of business all the time too...

Work in a Bubble Tea Shop before you invest in it!

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@Spamalot
Although bubble tea isn't really popular in America YET, its popularity is growing rapidly.
I discovered bubble tea over a decade ago, its no more popular now than it was then. If Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts were selling it then I'd agree with you.

TreeEater
TreeEater

@Spamalot
Eurofag here.

Was a thing around here some 4-5 years ago. Became hip, the whole wold thought about making a quick buck, market got oversaturated and it completely disappeared in less than 18mths.

Remember your only target group are teenagers. Yes, they do have money, more than ever before. And yes, they are easy to influence.

However, there is a downside. They are easy to enthuse by everything that's new, and since they don't earn their own money, they don't care much where to spend it. So you might be somewhat succesful with your bubble tea joint, but after a while the teens will move on the next hot shit while you sit in an empty store with a 6figures inventory.

Just my two (€-)cts...

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

You're going to probably have to go about having it by a university. This is because people tend to have more limited options on a campus, and will come to you. Also college students tend to be less conscious about their diet if convenience outweighs it. Depends on your area, but many colleges have large asian populations (mostly at colleges on either the west or east coast), and these patrons would gladly buy from you since it is familiar to them, but also practical given the location.

askme
askme

make it a cart/kiosk
go on yelp and find an area that is sparse ie away from malls and asian grocers

SniperGod
SniperGod

Go to taiwan, find the best bubble tea shop and rip it completely off. It's the only way you're going to succeed

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

I really enjoy this bubble shit but cant find someone selling around here (Brazil).
Does anyone know where can i buy small amounts (like 1-4 bottles) of these popping bobas to just use on drinks made by myself at home?

Every store that i find is just big asian companies who sells 1 ton or above.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@Spamalot
The real question is where OP is located.

I've had bubble tea a couple times; it's pretty good, certainly better than coffee, imo. But in my metro area, there's only one place that sells it that I'm aware of, and I moved away from them ~2 years ago, so I can't get it any more unless I drive 25-30 minutes to go to that one place.

If you did it in Minneapolis, you could find a decent market for it. Good-size Hmong/Viet/Filipino population here, decent commercial rent rates, and lots of progressive white people who will glom on to anything new & trendy. If you captured the asian population, then opened up a shop in a trendy suburban mall or something, you could have a pretty good business going, I reckon.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Spamalot
there are like a million bubble tea places here in Toronto and they're pretty much all popular.

Just open one near a large asian population

hairygrape
hairygrape

@Spamalot
go to local university campus that has lots of chinese students.Have a food truck that sells bubble tea and bunch of other asian stuff.

Getting a permit from university can be problem though.But if you get it you can make decent amount of money easily.

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

@Carnalpleasure
be the new distributor of bubble
Learn how to soak and make them chewy.
doesn't brazil produce tapioca? you could even manufacture

JunkTop
JunkTop

@massdebater
That's because they like coffee and not bubble tea

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

Here in Hawaii we have Boba places all over. They normally sell from $4 - $6 for one drink, and they're for the most part pretty packed. Some of the places have board games too, so it attracts a lot of groups. Everyone posts their boba drinks on Instagram too, so free advertising everywhere.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

Like others have said, stick to a mall or any place with heavy asian foot traffic.

In my home town we have a Chinese food court spot that sells bubble-tea and its not a huge pull desu outside of asians and weebs.

Granted my city is 92% white and they could do a better job at advertising it.

JunkTop
JunkTop

@Spamalot
I don't know where the fuck you've been for a past decade, but it's everywhere here in LA.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Spamalot
There's an extremely popular place in my city that sells only bubble tea. The thing is I live in a state university college town and its on the edge of downtown and the dorms. It's really only popular because it's trendy amongst the students and because they only hire quite attractive people and are open til like 4 every morning. Stuff like that is quite hit or miss so it's up to you, but hit or miss food ventures usually survive on atmosphere and hot workers DESU, so keep that in mind.

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

@ZeroReborn
But it also has tapioca balls. That's the main sell of bubble tea

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

you need to be asian, or higher asians to work for you, there's no other way.

farquit
farquit

@Evil_kitten
*hire

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