How bars can keep up with the coffee shop boom

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Advice on improving the coffee offering in your bar or pub from WMF, specialists in coffee in hospitality

The coffee shop boom has really taken the UK by storm in recent years. The consistent year on year growth has shown a 60% increase in the number of coffee shops since 2009. Big brands have a big stake in this of course, but the independent shop numbers are growing too, and not showing any signs of slowing anytime soon.

As coffee shops are growing more popular, alcohol consumption has been declining, which is bad news for the bar trade. Although, the new craft beer craze is in full swing and may be filling the gap for some bars and pubs, if they’re not accommodating to the coffee drinkers they’re missing a trick, plus a money maker. The cost of coffee and milk is much lower than the cost of beer, wine and spirits therefore profit margins are much higher.

Diversity is key
We drink some 55 million cups of coffee in the UK per day – with 80% visiting coffee shops at least once a week, and one in six visiting them on a daily basis. That’s a lot of caffeine pumping around the veins of the average Brit. You do the maths, that’s a huge trade bars are missing the opportunity of without serving great, speciality coffee.

Coffee shops across the UK, especially the independent shops, have adapted to the market and shaped the new culture we see today. Opening later in the evening with live acoustic music and comedy shows and serving alcohol, many are cashing in on the craft beer trend mentioned above.

By making these changes they are now competing with bars, pubs and clubs. Coffee shops are fast becoming the new ‘local’, with millennials, professionals and later-lifers alike choosing to socialise over hot brewed beans rather than cold brewed beer.

What can bars do?
Its time bars caught up and evolved to support the demand for coffee. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to convert your bar/pub/cocktail bar into a coffee shop, or hire a team of baristas. There are much easier ways to cater to the coffee loving culture. Here are 3 tips on how to get your coffee on!

1. Coffee Machine
Kind of an obvious one, but it’s absolutely essential to succeed in this space. Having the right machine for the business makes all the difference. You don’t need to have an expert barista on site to make great coffee. Check out these coffee machines here, they will not disappoint.

2. Good quality coffee
You can have the best machine or the best barista, but if you don’t have good quality beans, you will never have a great cup of coffee. This doesn’t have to be expensive, try out a few and see which is best for you. Learn more about coffee and their origins here.

3. Know your coffee
People are now more informed about coffee than they ever were before. So, you can expect questions like: Where are the beans from? Are they fair trade? Is this stronger than Kenyan coffee beans? What flavours should I expect? This info will be given to you from your supplier so don’t worry, but knowing the answers to these questions can really help to set you apart from the crowd.

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