Coffee, Coronavirus And The Uncertain Future Of High Street Cafe Culture


Before coronavirus hit, the UK had a thriving coffee shop culture, with around 26,000 coffee shops across the country. But by the end of March 2020 many coffee shops were closed, or only open for takeaway. Up to 92% of coffee shops are estimated to have closed at some point during the lockdown, as it was not viable, or possible, to continue on a purely takeaway basis.

By September 2020, many have reopened, although it is thought that around one third of coffee shops remain closed and some may never reopen. The Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which gave diners big discounts, boosted sales in August. But the amount spent in coffee shops remains significantly reduced, with spending on takeaway hot drinks still at 50% of 2019 levels.

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