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Selecting the ideal spots for your coffee van venture

A thriving coffee van business requires more than just an impressive menu and excellent service, it also needs the perfect location. So, where are the best locations to setup my coffee van business? Selecting the ideal spots for your coffee van can be a real game-changer in your business venture. Imagine serving hot, aromatic coffee in a bustling city centre, or near a serene park where people come for morning walks. Consider places where footfall is high such as business parks or near universities. It's all about being at the right place at the right time.

The role of demographics

Understanding your target market of your potential locations is the first step. Where you park your mobile coffee business should largely depend on the people you aim to serve. Certain groups are more likely to turn to coffee as their go-to beverage, making them your potential regular customers.

Setup near educational institutions

University students, often burning the midnight oil for their studies, are a prime demographic for coffee vans. Setting up your mobile business near universities, colleges, or even high schools could provide you with a steady influx of young adults seeking their caffeine fix.

Be in proximity to industrial estates and offices

Industrial estates make for an excellent location for a coffee van business. With workers often seeking a quick caffeine boost during their breaks, being near office buildings or business parks could significantly attract customers and boost your sales.

Coffee van insurance

Running a mobile coffee van business can be an exciting venture, filled with the aroma of fresh coffee and the hustle-bustle of busy customers. However, it's not without its risks. That's where mobile catering insurance for coffee vans comes into play. It is vital for protecting your own business from any unforeseen accidents or damages.

Mobile catering insurance for coffee vans provides coverage for things such as equipment damage, theft, or loss; third-party liability. Don't forget to consider insurance for your mobile catering business from Mobilers. Our catering liability insurance team can help find the appropriate cover to suit you and your mobile catering business.

*Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may vary between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria

Evaluate the competition

Coffee trader selling coffee

Surveying the competitive landscape is equally important. While competition can foster innovation and growth, jumping into a saturated market could pose significant challenges for your coffee van business.

Beware of coffee giants

Establishing your coffee van near a large chain store can be risky. Big names in the coffee industry account for a significant portion of the sector's profits, primarily owing to their widespread reach and brand recognition. Be cautious about opening your business in proximity to these giants.

The ubiquity of large chains like Starbucks or Costa has unquestionably altered the landscape of the coffee business. While they pose a serious competition, they also create awareness and appreciation for speciality coffee drinks that can benefit small businesses.

On one hand, these chains use their extensive resources and economies of scale to lower their prices, making it challenging for a smaller coffee shop to compete. Their extensive marketing budgets and established brand recognition also give them a significant advantage.

These chains have played a big role in popularising coffee culture. They've introduced consumers to a wide range of beverages, from lattes to frappuccinos, effectively expanding the market for these products. This has opened up new opportunities for small coffee vans to thrive by offering something unique or superior.

Furthermore, many coffee drinkers today are increasingly valuing local and independent coffee shops for their authenticity and personal touch. Therefore, while large coffee chains impact small coffee shops, it's not a one-sided story. Small coffee shops can definitely carve out their own niche and succeed in this evolving market landscape.

Food truck markets

A food truck market is a great place to setup a coffee van. Setting up a coffee van in a food market caters to those busy shoppers who need a quick mobile coffee fix or those who just want to sit back and enjoy their shopping experience with hot beverages. There are some important things to know before setting up a within a food truck market, we put together 18 things you should know before becoming a market trader within the UK.

In a food market, you are not just limited to regular customers but you also have the chance to win over passers-by and first-time visitors. The foot traffic in food markets tends to be high, which means more potential customers for your own business. Stamp your local authority within your local food business scene and begin your mobile catering business.

Timing is key

Consider the peak traffic times in your potential location. If your coffee service hours align with these periods, your coffee business could become a regular stop for many coffee drinkers.

Catch the morning commuters

A coffee van needs to be at the right place at the right time to catch the morning rush of coffee customers craving a freshly brewed coffee.

Being present at peak times ensures that a coffee van can maximise its sales and profits. Moreover, timing is also essential in terms of freshness of the coffee. Using your coffee machine to serve a freshly brewed coffee enhances the flavour and customer experience, thereby securing repeat customers and building a loyal customer base.

But it's not just about being punctual; it's also about understanding the rhythm of the day and aligning with the ebb and flow of people’s daily routines. Timing, in this context, is not just a schedule, but an understanding of the mobile coffee business landscape. Therefore, whether it's being prompt for peak sales hours or ensuring freshly brewed coffee, timing indeed plays a pivotal role in the success of a small coffee van.

Tap into the lunch rush

Areas bustling during lunch hours could also prove profitable, offering mid-day hot beverages to workers and shoppers alike.


Finding the best locations to setup your coffee van is a complex task involving a careful study of demographics, competition, neighbouring businesses, traffic times, and the cost of living. Here are 20 marketing tips to boost your mobile catering sales. With patience, deep research, and perhaps a bit of luck, you can secure a lucrative spot that can significantly boost your coffee business success.

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