December 09, 2023

Why Shipping Containers Make Great Cafés

Opening a café is a risky move for a small business owner. Consider some of the benefits and advantages of setting up shop in a converted shipping container.

The café scene has always been about creativity, innovation, and offering a warm and welcoming space for customers to enjoy. Recently, a new trend has emerged in the world of cafes – using shipping containers as the foundation for these unique spaces. But why are shipping containers becoming the go-to choice for small business owners? Here are four reasons why shipping containers make great cafés.

Cost-Efficient and Eco-Friendly

Shipping containers are an affordable option for small business owners looking to establish their café. Purchasing a used shipping container can cost significantly less than building a traditional brick-and-mortar structure. This helps save money that can be invested in other aspects of the business, such as marketing, menu planning, and staff training.

In addition to being budget-friendly, shipping containers are an eco-friendly option. Reusing old containers that are already available reduces the need to produce new building materials and lowers the carbon footprint of the café.

Quick and Easy Construction

Another reason why shipping containers make great cafés is because they provide a lot of opportunities for upstart restauranteurs who want to try something new. Small business owners want a fast and efficient way to get their cafés up and running and shipping containers provide the perfect answer to this need.

Shipping containers are well-suited for off-site construction, where they can be designed, outfitted, and prepared for customers before being transported to the final building site. This approach ensures minimal disruption to neighbors and reduces the time spent on construction for quicker revenue generation.


The rectangular shape and flat sides of shipping containers create a blank canvas, allowing business owners to get creative with their café designs. One of the most significant benefits of using shipping containers for building materials is how versatile they are and how easy you can modify them. They can be outfitted with large windows, glass façades, or retractable doors, giving the café ample natural light and an open feel.

Not only can shipping containers be adapted to the desired aesthetics of the café, but they can also be stacked or combined to create more space. This versatility is perfect for meeting the unique needs of each café owner.


Another fantastic benefit of using a shipping container for your café is the portability it affords. If your cafe's location turns out not to be suitable transporting the shipping container to a new location is easier than moving to a new brick and mortar spot. Many portable cafés find luck bringing their business where there’s a lot of foot traffic like flea markets or sporting events.

An added bonus of this portability is the ability to test out multiple locations without having to invest in permanent structures. This flexibility can be invaluable when determining the ideal location to attract your target audience.

The innovative use of shipping containers as the foundation for cafes is redefining the landscape of the food and beverage industry. Affordable, versatile, quickly constructed, and portable, shipping container cafés are an ideal solution for small business owners looking to make their mark on the café scene.

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