The covid pandemic adversely affected industries and people with lockdowns, and layoffs, it has been challenging for businesses to say the least. Coupled with working from home still in full force, the coffee shop has had a turbulent 18 months.
Challenges Faced by Coffee Shops During the Pandemic
Covid-19 is unpredictable and with variants, people are still worried about contracting the disease, especially when visiting the public. As a result, more people preferred to stay at home even in the absence of lockdown. Also, a significant number of coffee consumers decided to prepare it at home instead, leaving coffee shops with fewer regular customers.
Reduced barristers and various customer service personnel
During the pandemic, thousands of workers in the coffee industry lost their jobs. In the year 2020, coffee sales had dramatically reduced. With reduced income, they were forced to downsize the number of staff which made it more challenging to deliver to customers efficiently.
It took 15 minutes on Sunday to get a takeaway Starbucks with only 3 customers in the shop.
After some of the Covid-19 safety restrictions were lifted, many coffee shops could not open their shops. Despite the open jobs, people were unwilling to return to work, opting to work from home. Hospitality industry jobs, in general, were considered unstable during the pandemic with a significant percentage of former coffee shops staff transitioning to a different industry.
Delayed and low supply of Coffee
The pandemic disrupted the transport industry. Covid had a direct impact on the transport infrastructure and indirectly impact the functioning of warehouses. This resulted in delayed delivery of Coffee.
A Way Forward for Coffee Shops
The pandemic has demanded government intervention to avoid further adverse economic effects. With the UK spending billions to try and support local businesses.
The food market is expected to rise due to the easing of restrictions and the vaccine rollout. People are free to visit the public and sit at cafes for a drink. A more significant rise in food demand is expected by the end of the year 2024. However, there are restrictions in place to ensure no further spread of the disease. Also, the future is uncertain, and it is unclear how long the new normal will last. This calls for innovation and adaptation in the hospitality industry to prevent inconveniences.
The Café Opportunity
The coffee shop environment changes periodically. This is primarily due to trends and developments that keep emerging, forcing the businesses to adapt. It is crucial to stay on top of emerging trends and developments in the industry. It will open sustainable opportunities and allow the business to satisfy the customers. Further, it will prevent negative trends from impacting vulnerable businesses.
Use technology when ordering
Innovations and technologies play a significant role in customer experience. While it is essential to adhere to the safety guidelines, it is vital to ensure your customer gets the best experience. Click and collect is an excellent example of innovation to add to a coffee shop. More importantly, allow your customers to navigate the purchase journey using their electronic devices, including payment.
Installation of more safety procedures
Safety procedures and implementation is likely to remain a part of the coffee shop experience for the foreseeable future, safety remains a priority. Cafes must continue adopting the safety protocols. This includes having dine-in restrictions and hand sanitizer stations. Also, coffee shops should consider wipe clean furniture to accommodate their customers and keep them safe as possible.
Investing in the future
Investing in the young generation will ensure an innovative and sustainable solution for the current challenges. The youth should be encouraged to pursue careers that will enable them to work in the coffee industry. But, young entrepreneurs fear investing in the coffee sector due to less infrastructure and job instability.
It demands intentional coaching, training, skill developments and access to finances to encourage young people to invest in the coffee sector. The coffee industry presents vast job opportunities both at the production and processing and service provision level. Quality and traceability can only be achieved through a vested interest in the young generation.
Takeaway Coffee saved many cafes from closing during the lockdown. Younger consumers are likely to go in public, with one in every four purchasing a takeaway coffee drink while out and about. Now that lockdown eased, outdoor socialising will become more popular. Takeaway options, a good environment and a convenient distance are advantageous to the café business.
Catering to home workers
The lockdown leads to an increase in demand for home delivery and at-home coffee consumption. There are people already working from home, and a significant number planning to work from home in the future. Therefore, delivery is an excellent opportunity for café operators that are capable of meeting customers demands. It is, however, devastating news for businesses that do not have a channel for diversification.
Quality and consistency are two primary factors that will ensure that food to go, café operators, are flourishing.
Supporting local shops
Supporting local shops is one of the new trends evident during the pandemic. One positive trend is people have developed a collective attitude to supporting local businesses.
Besides the service provision sector, the pandemic has also impacted the production and processing of Coffee. Experts anticipate that the industry could face sustainability issues.
Consumers are now more aware of issues affecting farmers and the supply chain. Coffee shops need to be transparent concerning coffee sourcing practices and should continue honouring sustainability obligations and the coffee industry to prosper in the long run.
Coffee as a health drink
The pandemic made many consumers reconsider their lifestyles, incorporating healthy options as an addition can benefit coffee shop sales.
Setbacks that could potentially slow recovery of coffee shops
- Slow return of customers. Financial crisis during the pandemic affected the spending power of consumers.
- Low-quality services. The coffee industry is still struggling due to a lack of staff.
People missed visiting coffee shops during the lockdown.
Safety procedures, invest in technology, support locally, cater to home workers, invest in the young generation, and honour sustainability obligations.
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