I regret quitting my job to open a milk tea store

This class of young people, who have not fantasized about opening a store. The best is to choose a secluded place, set up a few potted flowers, call three or five friends, and live a leisurely life of “carriage is very slow, letters are very far, only enough to love one person in a lifetime”.

As for the type of store, a few years ago to open a bookstore is very popular, with many independent bookstores closed, more and more people aim to open a coffee shop, I did not expect the coffee in China a little bit of unconventional, recently the milk tea explosion, more young people madly flocked to the milk tea market.

Some time ago, # resignation to open a store is a retreat for young people # rushed on the microblogging hot list topics. When young people aim at the “small store economy”, especially to the milk tea business, what kind of changes will it bring to their lives?

In this issue of Bistro, we found five young people who quit their jobs to open milk tea stores. Deep Burn found that people who make money have their own ways of making money, but those who open milk tea stores seem to have coincidentally embarked on the road of losing money.

These five entrepreneurs, some people mistakenly thought that opening a milk tea store is a small and highly profitable business, only to find after the opening of the milk tea store on the requirements of the shopkeeper is very high, ordinary white-collar workers are difficult to be competent; someone in the milk tea franchise business stepped in the pit, was a false milk tea brand cheated hundreds of thousands of franchise fees, and is still struggling; others tried to create a new brand in the tea market has been a red sea, and finally lost 1.5 million ; there are also people who did start a successful business, but the early stage is exceptionally difficult, and can only receive a salary of 500 yuan per month ……

In fact, with the continuous development of the tea industry, the current industry’s dividend period has passed, just open a store to make money days are gone. The whole market is seriously saturated, “ten stores nine losses” is not a sensationalist statement. Many milk tea industry entrepreneurs caution young people: here too many pits, research clearly, and then come!

The first two years were profitable, but a few months before closing the store lost 150,000

Hou Xiaoguang (Beijing, 36 years old, founder of milk tea store)

I created a business in 2017, opened a milk tea store in Beijing, and three years later, during the epidemic in the first half of 2020, I closed the store. The first year we opened the store, we made back our capital in only six months, and made money for the next two years, but lost about 150,000 in the months before we closed the store, and made very little overall.

The location of this store is very good, in Zhongguancun Food Treasure Street, which is a food street, the flow of people is very large, and many young people. We are a self-created brand, called “ins space hidden tea”, positioning in the high-end, the most expensive single cup price of 36 yuan, similar to the Xi tea. And we play the concept of health, called “enzyme drinks”, very popular with white-collar workers.

The store opened, we invested more than 100,000, including a year of rent and decoration added up to almost 100,000, which is the most important cost, equipment and materials costs to less. The store recruited four full-time employees, 4,000 yuan + housing per person per month.

Not counting take-out orders, our dine-in orders are about 150 orders on weekdays, doubling on weekends. We opened a month after the cash flow turned positive, half a year back to capital, then we want to expand to open more stores, but because our brand is not famous, has not been able to enter the hotter shopping districts.

The matter of entering the shopping district, in fact, quite a lot of pitfalls. Like the food street this kind of very hot shopping district, in order to attract flow will generally find some big brands to station, new brands want to enter will have to spend more money. The operation of the shopping district will be very calculating, he will estimate your brand every month about how many cups can be sold, how much money can be made, and then the entrance fee is similar to this number. And the contract is only for one year, when it expires you want to renew, the entrance fee will have to be negotiated again. If you do not accept, then the year of decoration and accumulated traffic is basically wasted. Some cold shopping areas are good to enter, but open a store you will find no traffic, the same can not make money.

Another big pit is to join. At the beginning, we considered joining a brand, but after researching the market found particularly unreliable.

The brand will generally fool you that the profit margin can reach 80% or so, but in fact, it is impossible. First of all, you have to pay a franchise fee, which is a large amount of preparatory expenses. Secondly, all materials have to be purchased from the brand, but the purchase price is much more expensive than your own purchase, the price difference can be two to three times. The high gross profit margin said by the brand is calculated in accordance with the rent and local minimum staffing wages in third and fourth-tier cities, if in first-tier cities, the profit margin is far from reaching.

And before you open a store, the brand will not tell you that the mall and the entry fee, and so you sign the franchise agreement, and then to find the site, you will find that the subsequent expenses far beyond your imagination.

So then we decided to do their own brand, although the first tired a little, but later brand awareness up, I can go open to join, and I am familiar with all the processes and links to open a milk tea store, which is still helpful to me to follow the store.

When I first opened the store, I was still working, and I didn’t commit myself full-time until two years later. After the milk tea store closed, I went back to work.

I don’t really recommend young people to open a milk tea store now, the first few years are relatively good to do, now there are milk tea stores everywhere, the competition is too fierce. The threshold for joining a good brand is too high, and if you do it yourself, you don’t have a brand or traffic, so it’s hard to do. Unless your financial strength is particularly strong, dare to spend money to do publicity.

In addition, I do not recommend part-time store, because the energy simply can not take care of, want to do a good job especially difficult. Naked resignation to open a store is possible, can devote themselves to, but this risk is also very big.

Half a year loss of more than 300,000, each link in the pit

Wu You (Guangzhou, 30 years old, general manager of a snail noodle brand)

In 2018, I opened a milk tea store with a friend in Guangzhou, which was still considered a small and highly profitable business that year, attracting many entrepreneurs to go forward and backward. A year before that, I left a big factory and a friend started an app, and by the end of the year, I was acquired and quit, so at the beginning of 2018, I was in a work window, plus I didn’t want to make money by working 9 to 5 anymore, so I finally decided to open a milk tea store with a friend.

From the idea to the opening of the milk tea store, it took less than three months, but just six months after opening, it was closed because it had been losing money. My partner and I were naive at the beginning, thinking that the business was good and we could make back the money within a year, but the gap between the actual situation and the initial vision was very big, and now when we review the situation, we can say that we stepped on potholes or deviations in basically every aspect at that time.

When preparing for the market research, we studied and compared a little bit, CoCo and other big brands in the market and some small brands, but finally we chose a small brand. Before my career is smooth all the way high, whether in the big factory to do the project, or start a business to do APP, I have done well, so my partners and I thought that even if it is a small brand, as long as we can get a set of systematic opening standards, combined with our own understanding will be able to make this thing.

And the key is that the big brand and the small brand of the two pre-investment is very different, the big brand pre-investment franchise fees, store decoration costs, etc. may add up to about 300,000-500,000, the application review is also relatively harsh, while we choose the small brand as long as 70-80,000.

As it turns out, from the beginning of the brand selection we have a deviation. Large brands and small brands in the brand effect, product updates, operational support has a very big difference, small brands can be said to give almost no support, we later understood that the small brand to join can actually be said to be a fast recruiting company, earning is the franchise fee, they circle a wave of money, will change the brand, and then continue to circle money.

In the site selection, join the brand will not give advice and reference, we can only decide for themselves, and finally settled on an old pedestrian street, the place traffic is okay, in order to sign the store, we also paid a sublease fee of 70-80,000. But the result is that although there is traffic, but the majority of white-collar workers, and white-collar workers are not very interested in our milk tea. When we officially opened, if we wanted to cover our expenses in a month, we had to have a turnover of 40,000-50,000, but at that time we only had a turnover of 20,000-30,000 every month.

Besides, I encountered some problems in the process of opening this store, which also made me think more deeply about reality and human nature. For example, when setting the site, we had a battle of wits with the second landlord, and since my partner and I were weak in business negotiation, the sublease fee of 70-80,000 was actually higher at that time. In addition, even though the store was monitored, there were employees who received money privately and enriched themselves, and there was sometimes a 10% discrepancy between the amount of raw materials purchased and the output preset.

From the third month, I had the idea of closing the store, and after six months, I still couldn’t see any hope, so I closed the store. In total, the milk tea store, my partner and I threw in more than 300,000. The good thing is that this number is not too big for us, 6 months on the closure is also considered a timely stop loss.

Now I hear some young people say: “do not want to work, want to quit to open a store to do a small business”, I would like to say, or honestly work better. After that milk tea store experience, I understand that an ordinary white-collar worker is just a screw even on a large platform, it is difficult to have the ability to operate a good all-round store. The operation of a store requires a full range of skills such as market research, business negotiation, employee management, government relations, etc., which is quite a challenge for an ordinary white-collar worker.

Spent 280,000 just opened a month, learned that the franchisee is a fraud

Fay (Tianjin, 24 years old, a franchise owner)

In September 2020, I moved to join the idea of honey snow ice city, so I searched on WeChat to add the honey snow ice city WeChat public number, and in accordance with the above instructions to join the operation left the phone. Then a manager Sun who claimed to be a Honey Snow Ice City employee added my WeChat.

He first sent me the Honey Snow Ice City franchise information, the franchise fee of about two or three hundred thousand, and then told me that it is not recommended to join Honey Snow Ice City, said they already have a lot of stores in Tianjin, Honey Snow Ice City opened a new brand called Yu tea, the owner is the same person, quite cost-effective. His WeChat avatar was a photo of Honey Snow Ice City, and his circle of friends were all information about Honey Snow Ice City and Yu Cha.

I looked at the brand Yu tea is Jiang Shu Ying endorsement, join the information also wrote with Jiu Yang soy milk, the United States Mission have cooperation. Manager Sun said they began to attract investment in August 2020, recruiting the first batch of franchisees, such as the convening of all 100 stores, intends to do a 100-store opening ceremony, when Jiang Shu Ying will come to Shanghai to cut the ribbon. I heard quite impressed, went to Shanghai to sign a contract, the franchise fee of 120,000, and 10,000 yuan of security deposit, a total of 130,000.

After paying the money, they have been calling me, let me pay the money to upgrade the district agent, I was not so much money in hand, so I did not rise. I paid the money when a bunch of them made everything look easy, and I thought I could put in another 60,000 to 70,000 yuan to open up the store. But after paying the money found that the first purchase of materials will require 60,000 to 70,000, but also to find a store to rent a house, I do not have so much money to open this store.

Until March this year, I partnered with a friend to open up the store, plus the franchise fee we invested a total of 280,000. After the store opened a few days of activities, we bought the material itself is quite expensive, profits are very little a lot, plus engage in activities, although the first sold a little more, but also basically in the loss of money. After the end of the event at the beginning of the day can still have a 500 yuan turnover, and then basically a day on a couple of hundred, every day is losing money.

More tragic is that, more than a month after opening the store, I learned that the online rumors of Shanghai cracked 700 million milk tea store scheme fraud case inside our brand, the boss is said to have been arrested. Indeed, I later recalled that after we opened the store and then send a message to the headquarters of no one cared, before the introduction of joining the Sun manager WeChat avatar has also changed, the circle of friends can not see the content.

I calculated that according to the cost structure of our store now, about 500 yuan a day to have a little profit, but now only a couple of hundred a day, not counting labor costs each month will have to be backed into four or five thousand.

Now my store brand, the location is not good, the taste is also general, and there is no place to buy raw materials, I and other franchisees are being pitted to discuss solutions. Of course, this situation has a lot to do with my own, the preliminary homework is not enough to change the franchise brand I now have no funds.

According to the current situation, I may not be able to operate this store, I intend to operate in the short term, the back of the failure may be closed.

I have not opened any store before, and no special in-depth understanding of the industry, I think it’s good to open a milk tea store, thinking that work is not free, their own business as a boss, if the operation is good, hire some employees, occasionally go to the store, you can also carry out other businesses. I was thinking that the official website is not going to lie, and I believed in the people I added from the official website.

I now regret the point is not to open a store this thing, but their own stupidity, did not recognize the scam. I think young people still should not easily quit naked, but if you really have their own ideas, plans, but you can put up a fight.

Wanted to create a new tea brand, did not expect to lose 1.5 million had to close store

Sky (30 years old, Guangxi, the founder of a tea beverage brand)

Last year in Hainan, I found a new milk tea category out of Haikou City – burst hit lemon tea, this category has not yet appeared head brand, and the very beginning to do this category of brand stores, almost all of them are burst single. Although I understand that the current milk tea market is relatively saturated, but saw such an opportunity, but still decided to try.

Haikou has a lot of stores in the same category, so we opened the store in Nanning, Guangxi, thinking that the number of people in Nanning is three times that of Haikou, so the market space should be bigger. Before I went to work to do exhibition planning made a small profit, so the start-up capital has some, so I found a good store, after recruiting staff, the milk tea store opened up.

Our initial intention was of course to become bigger and stronger, and eventually create a brand, and later even introduce a franchise model. Unexpectedly, the reality was much more cruel than imagined.

At the beginning, we chose the place with the largest flow of people in Nanning, the idea was that the milk tea stores around the business is good, then our family must not be bad.

But we overlooked the problem that other milk tea stores opened earlier than us and are living well, which means that their brands are not bad and have certain loyal customers, so how can we, as a new brand, compete? So, although we opened the milk tea store in a very high traffic area, but the conversion rate to the store, as well as the brand product appeal, did not meet expectations.

What’s worse, the tea giants have an advantage in the control of the supply chain, the application of big data, and have the Internet scale effect, all of which makes the new brands lose the first opportunity.

To take the simplest example, at the beginning of this year, because of the frost, the price of lemons rose and became in short supply. Seeing the shortage of lemons, some head brands directly contracted a lot of orchards, prompting the price of lemons to rise from more than two dollars a catty to a maximum of thirty-five dollars. This is the fatal blow of head brands to small and medium-sized brands.

It’s not that we didn’t want to change our strategy during the start-up period, but when we wanted to remodel the store or use new marketing methods to attract customers, we found that we didn’t have enough money on hand. No money, which is almost a fatal blow to open a store, because every business to step on the pit, in addition to experience to survive, the most important thing is to rely on money to smash flat.

Later, we could not compete with other milk tea stores, and no money to adjust the positioning of the direction of change, and could only see the store deteriorating. At its peak, I opened three stores, but now two are closed, and now there is one left, and it is ready to be closed.

I opened a milk tea store single store invested 400,000, from the store to today, not only did not earn money, but also lost 1.5 million, is really a lesson in blood.

Now I realize that the times have really changed, and now the head brands have capital to build a moat, they have a stronger supply chain control ability, the ability of product promotion, and the ability to select products, which is difficult for ordinary entrepreneurs to counteract. If it was ten years ago, the probability of success of creating a new tea brand is still quite large, but now, the whole tea has entered a stable period, it is difficult to have new opportunities.

I do not support young people to quit their jobs and open a milk tea store. If you want to open, unless you are rich or have plenty of money in hand, otherwise, now the milk tea store competition is very fierce, the initial investment is high late and can not return the capital, it is easy to open and support can not go on. Even if you join a well-known brand, now that the dividend period of the tea industry has passed, the success rate of joining is not so high. Now the average daily turnover of 480,000 milk tea stores nationwide is 600 yuan, but a large part of these daily turnover is the contribution of the head brand, entrepreneurs really need to shine their eyes on the reality.

Opening a milk tea store is a protracted war, “just do it” certainly not

Mo Dada (Guangxi, 29 years old, a beverage store entrepreneurs)

As soon as I graduated, I worked in the system, but I am a person with many ideas, not used to working from 9 to 5 every day in a routine. Two years later, although my family did not agree with me to quit the iron rice bowl, I still resolutely quit my job and friends to open a store.

The initial start-up capital is not much, a total of only forty-five thousand. We found an isolated place in the county to open a dessert studio, accumulating the first customers. When I decided to open a beverage store, I spent a lot of effort to understand the market in our county, such as how the best peer business, how the worst business, and then combined with their own ability to see what can be done.

The next thing is to think about positioning, I was thinking of focusing on high-end, healthy ingredients, drinks without jam. My friend and I also have a clear division of labor, I am responsible for creativity, innovation, she will help me to implement and improve. The first six months of the business was very hard, we both received only 500 yuan a month, the rest of the expenses are saved for the future purchase of equipment and upgrade the store to prepare.

Now, our first store, which has expanded from 40 to 50 square meters to 200 square meters, with me taking half of the shares, can earn 40 to 50 thousand a month, and there are two new stores under renovation.

In fact, at first I wanted to do a dessert store, did not want to do milk tea, just with a little drink, but I did not expect that instead of a breakthrough, the beverage effect is very good.

At first, some customers said our drinks are not good, hearing this kind of evaluation, I am actually a little unconvinced. Later, I started to study the drinks like desserts, thinking about why customers say it is not good, if a customer says the milk tea is a bit greasy, I will find a way to adjust the taste to be more refreshing, in short, the taste slowly to adjust to better.

During the business, in fact, can not stop learning, I always let myself keep learning. I learn to pay tuition and travel expenses are 40,000 to 50,000 every year. Now, for every 100 yuan of turnover in my milk tea store, 40 yuan is the cost, 15 yuan is the labor, water and electricity, 10 yuan of tuition, 5 yuan is the loss of no type, and 30 yuan is the profit.

Compared to joining the milk tea store, we have the benefit of this kind of self-made milk tea store is that do not have to be subject to the constraints of the franchise, such as my own debugging of a certain drink taste very good, the day you can get a new, but the bad place is that out of what drinks and new products have to think for themselves, if it is to join, these are to help you think well.

Franchise store water is very deep, but many people think that resignation to open a franchise, nothing to know how to make money, which is easy to be cut.

In the eyes of some people, we seem to be like an outbreak of households, and many friends and relatives want to learn from me, and then open branches, but in fact, this is also a threshold industry, such as with milk tea is becoming more and more life, from pearl milk tea, burnt sienna, orange tea, Hong Kong-style stocking milk tea to tribute tea, baked milk, fruit tea, black sugar pearls, a variety of fruit tea, categories have changed many kinds, many people do not even understand.

Now it seems to me that quitting to open a store is a right choice for me. But now there are young people to quit to open a store, I would suggest to do a good job of planning in advance, now start a business, not to sell an apple, go to the street to sell it, first of all, to know what customers need, what they can do, and through marketing methods, so that customers see. It’s not easy to be able to do this set.

Open milk tea store is also a protracted war, not that this year want to do a little, next year will not do, if you just want to make life lazy, resign out, just do a little stall themselves, that is certainly not.

At the request of the interviewee, the text Wu You, Fay, Sky, Mo Da Da is a pseudonym.