Ah, cafés: the home of chats, charm and coffee. If you love to frequent them, you’re not alone – they are, after all, designed for recreation.
As a visitor, it’s up to you whether you choose to unwind or socialise at this kind of venue, as it tends to offer opportunities for both. No wonder they’re so popular.
And their appeal continues to soar. In fact, according to industry experts, as of last year, 3.3 shops were opening on a daily basis in the UK. This number has likely grown since.
But why is this? Let’s examine the booming sector to find out.
Why is it Booming?
Cafés have attracted people for centuries; but their magnetism has heightened considerably over the past few years. Why?
It’s mostly down to societal changes. Public attitudes towards health have transformed over the past decade – more people are choosing to eat and drink healthily.
The number of UK pubs has decreased by 25% since 2001, for example. We as nation have begun to replace alcohol with less damaging substances, such as coffee, tea and other soft drinks, all of which can be found in cafés.
Tax rises on alcohol have also contributed to this shift in consumer habits. As alcohol prices have increased, more of us have turned to other public venues.
As a result, kitchen suppliers are starting to specialise in equipment specifically for cafés.
Has the Internet Helped?
In short, yes. The internet plays a huge role in most of our lives and is shaping consumer habits.
Its growth has been especially beneficial for the hospitality industry. Online stores are beginning to eclipse the high street – but this is actually benefitting the hospitality sector. Cafés are doing particularly well, for one simple reason.
You don’t need an actual store to buy goods; the internet can easily recreate the retail experience.
But it can’t offer what cafés can: social interaction, fresh food, and a space for briefly escaping from reality.
Will it Continue to Grow?
Nobody can predict the future; but the rise of cafés looks set to continue. And this is largely because of who’s visiting them.
A survey by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) illustrates the relationship between age and café trips.
While Generation X (38 to 53 years) makes up around 25% of café sales, Millennials contribute to 50% of coffee bought outside of home.
So, as the population ages, we’ll likely see the industry grow.
The café industry is flourishing. It could even become the main sector for leisure in the UK. This is a promising time for all hospitality entrepreneurs and coffee fans alike.