Re: So iam looking to open a hookah lounge?
Starting off will take at least 40-50k and a great location. If you want a bar open a bar, if you want a hookah lounge then open a hookah lounge, do not mix the two, only serve non-alcoholic drinks. As for food, only serve simple foods that are easy to prep and make; Sandwiches, cake/pie, bagels, muffins...kinda like a coffee shop, keep it simple, by all means nothing fried or spicy. Make sure you all know how to correctly pack a bowl!
Here are a few more pointers I can give.
1: Do not have 5 partners, you will lose, 2-3 people, 3 being too many IMO and you all have to work extra hard to keep it going!
2: Do a survey at the college to see how many people would be interested and how far they would be willing to travel as they will be 95% of your business. A hookah lounge near a college is a great idea.
3: Hire at least one good looking female to be a hookah/food/drink runner, this will attract more guys.
4:Get quality merchandise, you don't want cheap junk breaking down on you and you do NOT want bad tobacco and coals or smoke will be horrible which leads to no return customers.
5: Prices should vary, starting off with weekday specials having a door fee and on weekends charging per bowl, maybe $15-$20 all you can smoke weekdays and $7-$9 per bowl on weekends. Don't get too greedy, keep prices low at first then raise if you can get away with it.
6: Mid to late hours, opening at about 6PM and closing at around midnight should be great hours around a campus, although your first 2-3 months should tell what hours work best.
7: Make sure you have comfy yet sturdy furniture, the best I have seen is a place with large curved couches with a simple small round iron table screwed to the floor with an area for the hookah to sit inside so it cannot fall off.
8: Use the college talent to your advantage, hire on comedians, musicians, actors... whatever to get people in to see them. You will not have to pay much if anything to them... maybe even just tips!
9: Play various music on non-talent days... nothing hardcore, try alternative type music and some light rap, keep it fun playing Jack Black/Adam Sandler type music is good sometimes as well.
10: Keep the atmosphere a light mellow mood, blue, tan, brown... paint the walls different colors and find an artist that will sell his/her work in your shop to hang on the walls. That leave no upfront costs to you. Do a simple stained concrete floor so if any coals do drop you have no burns.
This is all I can think of ATM, but i put a lot of thought in this as I was going to open a shop with a friend in the past. Just make sure you are ready to put a lot of time and effort in making it, like any other business if you half ass it you will be on your ass in no time. Good luck and I hope you can make this happen.