Repair Cafe Denmark prepared a guide for entities wanting to open a Repair Café. AVA has been granted permission to pass on and select universal recommendations:

  • Keep it simple
  • Start small and build from there
  • Find a catchy name that people will associate with the local area of the Repair Café
  • Create a Facebook page and/or website with practical information and pictures
  • Find volunteers to help with the preparations and volunteer fixers, who can repair things on the day itself. Start out by finding a few friends or acquaintances or set up advertisements in the local area
  • You will need volunteers to help set up the Café, welcome people and to fix used items. As a start, you should find a minimum of 1 person to fix electronics, 1 seamstress and 1 person checking in/receiving guests. As you become more successful, you will need more fixers
  • Once you have assembled your team of volunteers, you must find out what you want/can help with repairing. Remember the Café activities should not distort competition with local businesses
  • Find people to give or lend you tools in your network
  • Find out if you can get sponsorship from the local construction market, local committee or municipality
  • Make sure to be present as often as possible and acknowledge all the volunteers for helping to make a difference
  • Communicate important information in a simple and clear manner
  • Find out where you can borrow a free room: local associations, cultural centres, libraries, cafes, schools, the municipality or an existing café (preferably non-profit). Most Repair Cafés have between 10-50 visitors at once, so there should be plenty of space. The room should accommodate 4-5 tables for fixers and users to sit. Involve and engage people and let them own the event. Everyone should be able to join regardless of age
  • Create a cozy setting
  • Keep track of all the practicalities and make sure your tools are in order
  • Find out how often you want the Repair Café to open. Start with fewer times i.e. with a pop-up event. Remember that everyone is a volunteer, so do not have too to high ambitions for how often you can open the Repair Café. We recommend to open the Repair Café once a month for approx. 3-4 hours. But most importantly, be consistent and people will start coming too


It is essential to do some PR activities including: Time, place, date and what you offer to repair.

If you get sponsored for your Repair Café, it is a good idea to credit the sponsors in your PR material.

Always remember to use your Repair Café logo.


Examples of PR activities
  • Make a post on the local Repair Café Facebook page
  • Make a post on your own Facebook profile and share. Also consider sharing on other social media, e.g. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Create a Facebook event that people can sign up for and share
  • Make flyers to hand out and posters to hang in the local area, e.g. at libraries, cultural centers, cafes, sports centers or similar
  • Contact the local press (local newspaper/radio  TV) and invite them to come by so they can make an article


Before holding a Repair Café

  1. Be sure to bring a computer/lists to record visitors and their belongings
  2. Remember tools, sewing machines etc
  3. Bring a weighing scale to weigh all items
  4. Print lists where new volunteer fixers can sign up
  5. Print lists of local seamstresses, bicycle blacksmiths, mobile phone repairers, etc. You can refer to
  6. We do not charge money for the repairs, but it happens that the visitors will put a coin in the coffee box

A few days before the Repair Cafe, it may be a good idea to send a message to the volunteers, telling them what time you will meet and how the day will pan out.

Celebration - tasks on the day

  1. Set up tables before the Repair Café opens. Be ready on time. Also remember that there must be tools and good light for the fixers
  2. It is important to have a person responsible for welcoming visitors and registering items to be repaired. All information is registered directly on the website (or in the excel sheet)
  3. Take photos or short films for your Facebook page
  4. Repairs should NOT distort competition in relation to local companies, but we should provide things that were otherwise thrown out for a longer life. If you are in doubt about whether the repair is distorting competition, it is a good rule of thumb to ask the user if the item is thrown out or not
  5. If the fixer is in doubt whether he/she can repair the object, then first ask one of the other fixers, if no one can repair, you refer a nearby company for help
  6. Make sure that your visitors stay while you repair, and preferably help them to fix their own item as much as possiblee



After the first times you have held a Repair Café, it is good to evaluate the day

  • Make a list of pros and cons of the day
  • Make a list of what is missing for next time, etc
  • Feel free to share photos and stories on social media along the way and afterwards
  • Starting a Repair Café is not difficult - just do it! But it requires one or two coordinators who keep the pot boiling
  • Enjoy!