Efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have spurred companies around the world to encourage workers to telecommute as opposed to traveling to offices at city centers. As coffee is the lifeblood of many a desk worker, that doesn’t mean that San Franciscans are doing without their java, but local coffee shops say that their traffic patterns have changed dramatically as part of the sudden move to remote work.
The Washington Post reports that downtown San Francisco buildings like Salesforce Tower are “largely empty,” a condition that has had a “devastating” impact on the 181 Fremont Street location of Andytown Coffee Roasters, co-owner Lauren Crabbe says. “Our sales have been down 60 percent this week” at the downtown spot, Crabbe says. “And today was the worst yet.”
Crabbe says that she thinks Thursday’s drop is attributable to companies that sent out directives on Wednesday for their employees to work from home. She might be onto something: Bernadette “Bernie” Melvin, the owner of Bernie’s Coffee, says that her Noe Valley shop was “surprisingly busy” on Thursday, but that “patterns were totally off.”