The Coffee Shop Fallacy

The coffeeshop fallacy is a mismatch between the work one imagines to be involved in a pursuit and the actual day-to-day labour.

It is most common in industries with a strong survival bias which create a fun or desirable product.

This is a great article that everyone should read if they are thinking of starting a coffee shop/brewery/arcade/boutique shop/etc…

A few years back, my wife and I decided to open a coffee shop in our little town here. Seeing as there was no shop for miles around, its seemed like a great idea. We did all of the research, picked a spot, and even started down the path of branding. It wasn’t until one day, a friend of mine who previously owned a fancy shop downtown sat me down and told me what no one else would.

I had visions of sitting in our shop chatting with locals while a barista served me Cortados all day long. Little did I know, such businesses were almost never profitable, constant headaches, staffing issues, cleaning, supply chain issues and not to mention, I would end up cornering myself into my own minimum wage job for the foreseeable future.

Ultimately, we ended up scrapping the idea of starting a shop and one did open. I can now sit in there comfortably drinking a Cortado and know that I can just up and leave when I’m done without having to first mop the floor.