How To Start A Milk Tea Business In The Philippines

By Yesh Quijano    May 21, 2024       min read

Milk tea is getting more popular in the Philippines.

According to research in 2019, the Philippines ranked second among the countries with the most bubble tea drinkers in Southeast Asia.

Starting a milk tea business in the Philippines could be a good idea, with more people drinking bubble tea.

In this article, we’ll show you how to start a milk tea business, including how to make a business plan, choose a location, find suppliers, and market your milk tea online and offline.

Why Do Filipinos Like Milk Tea (Bubble Tea) So Much?

How to start a milk tea business

Milk tea, a fusion of black tea and evaporated or condensed milk, has roots in Hong Kong and is inspired by British tea culture. This delightful drink has captured the hearts of Filipinos due to its distinct flavors and sweetness that perfectly cater to their taste buds. Its widespread popularity can be observed among different age groups throughout the country.

Is starting a milk tea business a good idea?

Starting a milk tea business can be lucrative, with the Philippines ranking second among countries with the most bubble tea drinkers in Southeast Asia. The growing demand for this refreshing beverage presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into the market.

Trailblazer Take: At this point, the milk tea trend has seemed to pass, with less shops being put up. While this can mean a decrease in demand for milk tea, this also presents an opportunity to enter a previously saturated market.

How To Start a Milk Tea Business: 7 Steps To Success

Create a milk tea business plan and marketing strategy.

One of the crucial steps is to develop a business plan for your bubble tea shop. Research your target market, including their flavor preferences. Plan your menu and be original by offering unique flavors and concepts to set you apart from competitors. Develop a marketing strategy that uses social media, influencers, plus word of mouth.

Determine your customer demographic.

Understanding your target customer’s preferences is crucial in creating a successful milk tea business. You can tailor your product offerings to their tastes and needs by identifying the demographic you want to cater to. Conduct thorough market research to gain insight into your potential customers like:

  • age group (i.e., 16-35 years old)
  • income level
  • lifestyle
  • location (are you near schools and offices or residential areas?)

Create a good business name and catchy brand name.

Smoothies tea in plastic cup

Choosing the right business name and brand is essential in starting your milk tea venture. Your milk tea shop name should be memorable, unique, and resonate with your target market. It should reflect the essence of your products and services, giving customers a clear idea of what to expect when they visit your store.

Here are some tips for creating a catchy and effective business name and brand:

Keep it short and simple: A short, straightforward name is easier to remember and pronounce. It also looks better on signage and promotional materials.

  1. Make it relevant: Choose a name that reflects the nature of your business, such as including the words “milk tea” or “bubble tea” in the name.
  2. Be creative: Use wordplay, puns, or alliteration to make your brand stand out. This adds an element of fun and makes it more memorable.
  3. Check availability: Before settling on a name, ensure another business is not already using it. Ensure the domain name is available if you plan to create a website.
  4. Consider your target audience: Consider the demographic you want to cater to and choose a name that appeals to their preferences and sensibilities.

Once you have chosen a business name, develop a catchy and cohesive brand identity that includes a logo, color scheme, and overall aesthetic.

Trailblazer Take: Planning to set up a small-scale milk tea shop? Use Canva a free (the premium version is cheap too!) to create your logo and color scheme.

This will help create a recognizable and consistent image for your milk tea business, making it easier for customers to identify and remember your brand.

Incorporate your brand identity into all aspects of the business, from the store design and packaging to your online presence and marketing materials.

Carefully crafting a memorable and appealing business name and brand can effectively position your milk tea business for success and set it apart from the competition.

Choose a good location.

Selecting the right location for your bubble tea business is crucial for its success. It’s important to find a spot with high foot traffic, such as malls, commercial centers, or schools, as this increases the chances of attracting more customers.

Find reliable suppliers

making bubble tea, scoop and pour cooked brown sugar and tapioca pearl bubble balls  into cup on white wooden table background

Research and find reliable suppliers for ingredients and packaging materials. You may consider local suppliers for fresher ingredients and faster delivery.

Register your business and get the necessary permits and licenses

Register your milk tea and get the permits plus licenses: secure barangay business permits, mayor’s permits, DTI registration, BIR permits, sanitary permits, and fire extinguishers to ensure your business is legally compliant.

Check our articles here on business registration.

Hire an employee or employees

Attracting and retaining the right employees is essential for the success of your bubble tea business. Treating your staff as investments and providing them with a supportive work environment will contribute to their job satisfaction and positively impact your business. Here are some tips for hiring and managing employees effectively:

  1. Be selective (make sure the staff is passionate – or at least cares – about milk tea)
  2. Provide the appropriate training
  3. Encourage a positive work environment
  4. Offer incentives and recognition based on their performance
  5. Be flexible and understanding; people make mistakes!
  6. Invest in employee growth

Know how to market your business online and offline.

a shot of brown sugar flavored tapioca pearl bubble milk tea with glass straw in night market of Taiwan

Marketing plays a crucial role in the success of any business, including your Booba tea venture. Knowing how to market your business online and offline will help you attract more customers and grow your brand.

This article will discuss effective ways to market your milk tea business online and offline in the Philippines.

Online Marketing Strategy: Social Media Marketing

  1. Create engaging content: Post eye-catching photos, videos, and stories of your own milk tea products on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share information about new flavors, promotions, or events to keep your audience interested and engaged.
  2. Use hashtags strategically: Use popular and relevant hashtags to increase your post’s visibility and reach a wider audience—research trending hashtags in the milk tea and local food industry to maximize your exposure.
  3. Collaborate with influencers: Partner with social media influencers who have a significant following and align with your target audience. They can help promote your booba tea business by sharing their experiences with your products, hosting giveaways, or offering exclusive discounts to their followers.

Offline Marketing Strategies for Your Milk Tea Business:

  1. Flyers and tarps: Design eye-catching flyers and tarps that showcase your milk tea products, special offers, and location. Distribute these flyers in strategic areas like malls, schools, offices, and public transportation hubs where your target audience frequents. Display tarps in high-visibility locations to increase brand awareness.
  2. Referrals: Create a referral program that rewards customers for bringing in new business. Offer incentives such as discounts or free items for customers who refer their friends and family to your bubble tea shop. This will encourage word-of-mouth marketing and help you build a loyal customer base.
  3. Word of mouth: Provide exceptional customer service and high-quality milk tea products to encourage customers to share their positive experiences with others. Satisfied customers will naturally promote your milk tea to their network, making word-of-mouth one of the most effective marketing strategies.

By implementing these online and offline marketing strategies, you can effectively promote your bubble tea business and increase your customer base. Remember to continuously evaluate and adjust your marketing efforts based on your target audience’s preferences and feedback.

Equipment Needed for Milk Tea Business

Bubble Milk Tea - pouring cream cheese into glass of milk tea with black sugar syrup and hot black pearl

Some of the essential equipment needed for your own bubble tea shop includes:

  • Tea brewing machine
  • Cup sealing machine
  • Stove or table burner
  • Blender
  • Strainer
  • Cooking pot
  • Measuring scoop
  • Tapioca container
  • Dome lids
  • Cups and lids
  • Shaking cups
  • Water dispenser
  • Refrigerator
  • Cash register
  • Oversized straws
  • Utensils

Capital Needed For Milk Tea Business

The required capital for a milk tea business in the Philippines ranges from Php 30,000 to Php 300,000, depending on the size and scope of your business.

Expected Daily Sales

Assuming you sell 50 cups per day at Php 80 per cup, you can earn approximately Php 4,000 daily, or Php 112,000 to Php 120,000 per month. This is a rough estimate, and your actual earnings will depend on various factors, such as location, marketing, and product offerings.

Start Your Bubble Tea Business Today!

In conclusion, starting your own milk tea business can be fun and profitable, especially since milk tea is becoming more and more popular among Filipinos.

As you start this journey, don’t forget how important it is to plan well, know your target audience, choose a good location, get all the necessary permits and licenses, and buy the right equipment.

About the author 

Yesh Quijano

Yesh Quijano is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who's been in the game for over 11 years. He started several businesses and helped countless others reach new heights. His goal is to make digital marketing for SMEs simple, accessible, and effective. When he's not working, you can find him cuddling with his two cats.

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