When opening a cafe, the menu is one of the most important aspects of your business. Deciding what should go on the menu of your cafe is going to be a very important decision and it should include some of the following items: 

  1. Sandwiches 

  2. Specialty coffee drinks 

  3. Pastries 

  4. Soups and salads

  1. Sandwiches 

Sandwiches are often some of the most overlooked items on a coffee shop menu but in reality, you should not open your cafe without them. 

Sandwiches are filling food items that can attract any number of customers who are looking for a good but simple meal. 

Sandwiches are also simple enough where they aren’t very complicated to make and can pair with almost any number of drink items. What Should be On a Café Menu

  • What kind of sandwiches should you offer

Grilled cheese 


This classic is one of the most beloved sandwiches anywhere you go. It’s warm, creamy, and can be filling. 

Grilled cheese is of course even better when paired with tomato soup. 

One of the best things about the grilled cheese is how easy it is to make, it can be done in minutes and it anyone can do it. 

Offering the grilled cheese sandwich in your cafe is one of the best decisions you can make. 

BLT sandwich 

The BLT or bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich offers so many possible variations that it is perfect for any cafe. 

Outside of the base three toppings, the BLT, you can add any number of different toppings. 

This sandwich is fairly easy to make, easy to serve, filling, and isn’t very common in many restaurants so it will be a big customer lure for your cafe. 

Turkey and cheese

Once again, a very simple sandwich with simple ingredients is a staple for many people. 

This sandwich reminds many people of going on a picnic, so maybe you can take advantage of that and offer a meal with this sandwich and a lemonade/tea. 


While not technically a sandwich, the two are similar enough where you can place them together. 

Wraps are very common especially today. The great thing about them is that you can place nearly anything in them to make them however you would like! 

Any vegan sandwiches 

Offering vegan options is a great way to attract a larger customer base. 

The recipes for these sandwiches are limitless so find what you like and stick with it! 

2. Specialty coffee drinks

If you have any knowledge about coffee shops and the money that certain items What Should be On a Café Menubring in, then this entry should come as no surprise. 

Specialty coffee drinks are often the biggest moneymakers for any coffee shop. 

These types of drinks include things like lattes, frappuccinos, espressos, as well as several other kinds of coffee items. 

Offering these items will bring in more customers who are seeking out these types of drinks which in turn will give your shop a healthy boost! 

  • What kind of specialty drinks should you offer? 

Seasonal coffee drinks 


This includes things like peppermint mochas around Christmas, pumpkin spice lattes in the fall, and special frozen drinks in the hot summer. 

Espresso infused drinks 

Espresso is a very common drink in Europe and over the last decade or so it has become increasingly more common in the US. 

US coffee drinkers have put a bit of a twist on the trend with many preferring to have drinks infused with espresso. You can offer everything that the big coffee shops offer from lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and so on.

This gives the drink a bit more of a kick and may help you attract quite a few new customers, particularly those who fall into the younger demographic of coffee drinkers.

Blended frozen coffee 

Blended frozen coffee has become very common among younger coffee drinkers many of whom are willing to spend a bit more than the average consumer. 

Because of this, offering frozen coffee is a great way to increase the number of customers that enter your shop! 

3. Pastries/ Baked Goods

If you go into nearly any coffee shop around the world, you’ll notice that nearly all of them have pastries in a glass container so that they’re completely impossible to miss. 

This is of course done on purpose so that when you walk in and see these pastries, you’ll have almost had to purchase one.

This is perfect because, for one, most of these pastries are easy to make and can be done before opening every day.

What Should be On a Café Menu

On top of this, most pastries sell for a fairly high profit margin which is great for your business.

  • What kind of pastries should you put on your menu? 

    1. Cakes 
    2. Donuts 
    3. Cinnamon rolls 
    4. Croissants 
    5. Bread 
    6. Muffins 
    7. Anything else you can think of

All of these pastries and baked goods are incredibly common in nearly every cafe for a reason. 

For one, these items often have strong smells that are known to coerce customers into purchasing them simply by smelling them, 

Additionally, these items can all serve as breakfast foods, giving customers a reason to stop by your coffee shop in the morning besides just the coffee. 

If you play your cards right, these items could greatly increase the revenue and traffic that your coffee shop sees daily!

Check out the unique things to offer HERE.

5. Soups and salads

Soups and salads, while they may not go with coffee necessarily, are a staple in many cafes. 

These options are both healthy options when compared to many other options that you have for lunch and other meals. 

Not only this, but these are both easy to make and can be served quickly to customers. 

What Should be On a Café MenuYou can have pre-made salads ready to go and soups prepared in-to-go containers ready for customers who order them. 

This will allow you to see more customers in a day than you may normally would.

  • What are the best soups and salads to include on your menu? 

This question is a bit more complicated to answer than some of the others we’ve answered and is it more of a subjective type of question. 

Nevertheless, however, we are going to give you a list of what we believe to be the best soups and salads that you can include on your cafe menu!


Poultry salad

Poultry salad, or simply any salad with chicken in it, is incredibly common in restaurants that pride themselves on healthy options. 

Offering a poultry salad option, particularly a grilled chicken salad, is a fantastic way to attract a healthier crowd who would be willing to spend a bit more for an option like this!

Fruit salads

When made with fresh fruit, a fruit salad can be fantastic! 

A good fruit salad could put any cafe on the map, so including it on your menu could only help!

Pasta Salads

Who doesn’t love a good pasta salad? With such a large variation, you can choose any kind of pasta salad you could want. 

Requiring only a few simple menus, adding a pasta salad to your menu could be very beneficial! 

Seafood salad 

These types of salads are not as common in some areas, but in others, they are pretty standard! 

Thus, if you think the area you are in would enjoy something like this, then offer one and see what happens! 


Chicken noodle soup 

What else could you put at number one! Chicken noodle soup is a classic that goes well both by itself as well as with other items like sandwiches. 

Let’s be honest, offering chicken noodle soup would be a major mistake, so don’t make that mistake and put it on your menu!

Tortilla soup

While this isn’t as common as chicken noodle, it’s still popular in many areas and for many people isn’t something you can find very easily. 

Vegetable soup 

Many people, believe it or not, enjoy the vegetable soup! 

All jokes aside, vegetable soup is a favorite of many, so if you can offer it, you won’t regret your decision.

Cheddar and broccoli 

This type of soup is especially enjoyable when it gets lower in temperature. For many, including me,  it reminds them of their childhood. 

Playing on this sense of nostalgia can be very beneficial, so including this on your cafe menu is something you should think about.

What Should be On a Café Menu

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a cafe owner make? 

The average cafe owner makes somewhere in the range of $60,000 to $160,000 a year in personal income. 
This means that after all expenses, the owner of a cafe is going to get this amount of money deposited in their bank account. 
Of course, the amount that a specific coffee shop makes is going to vary depending on the size and area of a coffee shop, but it’s still likely to fall between 60 and 160 thousand in a year. 

What coffee drinks are the most popular

Over the last couple of decades, specialty coffee drinks have risen in popularity as the younger population, younger millennials, and gen z, become a bigger part of the coffee market.

Given that, the coffee market is changing so you may be wondering what the most popular drinks are as of right now in 2021? 

Iced coffee drinks 
Sweet/ sugar-filled drinks

To learn more on how to start your own coffee shop checkout my startup documents here

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.