Finding location for a coffee shop

to combine physical and technological accessibility



By Manon Wambre

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



In the French Flanders, a new demand of accessibility is developing and globally coffee shops are becoming an institution. The idea is to combine both elements to anticipate trends to settle in an increasingly dynamic market.

This paper is driven by two factors: proving to coffee shop entrepreneurs that location hugely matters and showing that accessibility offers full of opportunities to differentiate.
The best location for a coffee shop to combine physical and technical accessibility is Cassel, a small city in the French Flanders where the rent is not expensive and the demand is increasing. 
This means that the best location for the coffee shop is not always in big cities. In fact, it shows to entrepreneurs that even if the market of large cities seems very attractive, obstacles such as the cost often occur.

Key words: Site location, Accessibility, Infrastructure, Digital, Legal rules, Bikes


“An outlet can have quality offerings, excellent personnel, (…) but fail because it is not conveniently located.” Coffee shops’ most determining success criteria is: position of the site. The following analyze is mainly motivated by a personal will to open an independent coffee shop myself in a French city of at least twenty thousand inhabitants.

However, from an accessibility and technological point of view, the site location is facing two issues. The first difficulty lays on the reluctance from neighbors and city hall due to noise pollution, waves from the internet, the probable need of an off-record contract and so on. Local and legal documentations can become constraints if contracts and clauses are not transparent or not deeply analyzed. As Darren Buckner (2015) explains it, the location of your coffee shop will determine all your possibilities in terms of developing and designing your coffee shop as planned in your strategy. The second obstacle is to ensure the location would be accessible to the increasingly trendy way of access by walk and by bikes. (traditional and electrical ones) This paper aims to bring awareness to my potential future project but also cross knowledge between business and technicity, which could be useful for people who want to discover one of the two fields through an innovative process. A purpose is also to have a more detailed view on building permits or other documentations when being independent, out of the franchising process.

Currently, in France, an increasing number of cities are rethinking the roads by transforming them into pedestrian areas and urging people not to use their car. With initiatives such as Gobee Bike, premium of 20% for the purchase of an electrical bike, … a movement of technology need and new transportation means is spreading. Coffee shops location should consider adapting the infrastructure for a better access to both technology and transportation. Indeed, as this paper would focus on coffee shops that can offer people a place to work and discuss, technological requirements such as free reliable WIFI (For instance at least 20 mbps), electric sockets or desks adapted to electronic devices are unavoidable

The idea of this paper is to show how to choose the right location enabling to design and build adequate facilities for pedestrians and bike users inside and outside the coffee shop. Finally, the overall strategy is to focus on legal constraints, new consumers’ habits and adaptation.

Thus, this paper aims to find answers to the following questions:

  • Firstly, what are the best choice criteria to select the right location for an optimized adaptation design?
  • Secondly, what type of city offers the best accessibility or opportunities of accessibility?


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

About the Author

Manon Wambre

SKEMA Business School
Lille, France


Manon Wambre
is a French student in Project and Programme Management & Business Development at Skema Business School.  After passing her high school diploma and continuing her studies through two years of preparatory classes, she spent her first year in Skema Lille discovering all the faces of management.  Then, she began her work experience as a saleswoman, these three months taught her a lot about customer loyalty, merchandising and team work.

She chose to begin her first semester of Master degree studying in Oxford Brookes University. Her level of English is nearly fluent now and she mainly learned about marketing communication and business strategy. Next, with five months of a first experience in project management for a central purchasing in Brussels for the company “L’Agence pour le Non-Marchand”, she now has a global vision of project management: creating a project from scratch, defining a business model and strategies, planning, leading a team, estimating a budget, communicating. She was the coordinator of the project in a team of seven interns and developed her sense of responsibility. This internship confirmed her to choose project management as a specialty. That is why Manon is currently preparing her MSc thesis.

During this master degree, she plans to make a one year placement to develop her knowledge in project management and to apply the theory learned in AgilePM, Prince2 and Green Project Management.  This year, she was highly involved as a project manager of a student event organized with PMI France Chapter. Within a team of five students and mentored by one teacher and one member of PMI, she had the opportunity to organize an afternoon seminar and she learned a lot about logistics and leadership.

Manon is particularly interested in the relationships between entrepreneurial skills and project management competencies. She is mainly attracted by innovative projects of small and medium firms.  Manon can be contacted at [email protected]