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5 Reasons Bubble Tea Shops Fail

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Bubble tea shops have become extremely popular around the world over the past couple of decades and more and more of them keep popping up.  As a small business owner or entrepreneur you’re probably wondering how you can capitalize on this trend and get in on the action.  But as any experienced business owner knows, not all businesses succeed.  So what separates the successes apart from the failures and what can you do to make sure your bubble tea business is a success?

Below, we’ll go into the Top 5 Reasons Bubble Tea Shops Fail and tell you how you can make yours a success.


1. Having Bad Tasting Boba

Tapioca pearls are the key ingredient in bubble tea.  If you can get this right, you’ll have foodies driving hours just to get a taste of your legendary boba.  But if you mess it up, you’ll get blasted on Yelp and Google Reviews.

Most brands of tapioca pearls are a little bit different so make sure that you adjust your cooking time if your boba is too hard or too soft.  Start with the recipe on the bag and adjust it accordingly (more water, less water, longer cooking time, etc.).

We also get a lot of people asking us “how long can I store my tapioca pearls?” or “can I store tapioca pearls overnight in the fridge?”  This is a hard no.  Tapioca pearls should be made in batches throughout the day and only stored for 4 hours.

2. Not Purchasing High-Quality Products

While you will need to budget and save money where you can, ingredients and equipment are not something you should skimp on.

Low-quality ingredients taste worse than high-quality ones and customers can taste the difference.  One of the most common complaints from customers about low quality ingredients is that they taste like chemicals.

Usually, the higher the quality of the products, the more expensive they are. This is why many tea shops reach for lower-quality ingredients but it is not a long term strategy.  Choose high quality ingredients and have some natural options for the health conscious like sugar free iced green tea with fruit.

Also, using high quality bubble tea machines will help keep your drinks consistent and having good looking equipment will also give your tea shop a higher quality image.


3. Not Keeping Up with the Latest Flavors

A bubble tea shop in the US might offer different flavors than those in other parts of the world because every area has different flavor preferences.  The first thing to do is go around to a few bubble tea shops in your area and see what flavors they have.  You can even ask them what their most popular flavor is or if they have any recommendations.

If you’re trying out new flavors you can also have a “flavor of the day” or a “flavor of the week”.  This can be promoted on your counter and if it is a hit, consider adding it to your regular menu.

You can also take a popular drink and put your own twist on it.  For example, if your competitor sells Brown Sugar Boba Tea, you can go one step further and use a Creme Brulee technique.


Creme Brulee Bubble Tea

4. A Bad Business Plan (or no business plan)

Do you have a business plan?  Or are you just going to “wing it”?

A proper business plan will not only build your confidence but it will also help solidify your ideas and create a blueprint for your success.  A formal plan will also be necessary for getting investments from friends and family or a loan from the bank.

write bubble tea business plan

5.Not Marketing

The first step to marketing is getting a good looking logo.  Depending on your budget, you can put this logo onto your Custom Cups, Sealing Film and even your Bubble Tea Machines.

Next, having a website or at least a social media presence is an easy way to boost awareness of your brand.  Marketing efforts also help more people learn about your business and pique their curiosity.

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest allow companies to make business accounts. There, you can post pictures of your drinks and write attractive captions and also let your customers know about upcoming specials and new flavors.

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