2020 for cafes is a tale of two halves
By the summer of 2020 Cafes seemed to fall into two camps, those who were busy, but struggling because of lack of covers due to social distancing measures and those who were struggling due to lack of commuter customers.
Many towns, cities and boroughs have brought in temporary traffic restrictions in a bid to help cafes by enabling them to use the pavements and road to serve their customers and for many cafe owners this has been the lifeline they needed to keep going.
On the other hand, reports from cafe owners and in particular the big brands like Costa in commuter areas have been reporting rapid downturn in business despite social distancing measures being in place to serve customers.
The seaside towns have seen a busy July and August with the high numbers of holidaymakers taking their annual holidays in the UK leading to business booming and being tethered only by social distancing measures. Those fortunate enough to be able to move outside and who have had the weather to do so have enjoyed the opportunity to boost the finances for the hardship of winter that is to follow.
Meanwhile commuter cafes are having to think outside the box to survive. The main way that many are managing is to offer mail order coffee and other items to their customers. By moving their trade online they are able to sell the coffee and other products in a different way and hopefully keep trading that way.
A sector that is suffering is like charity shops, charity cafe schemes have frequently not been able to open and the impact on many charities due to lack of fundraising activities this summer is massive. The National Trust have opened over 100 of their cafes with Covid safe measures in place and they, like many other charities are suffering financially.
Many holiday resort cafes have a much smaller earning window opportunity and sadly the Easter boost and Mothers Day rush was not available in 2020 to boost the coffers. Unlike commuter cafes who are busy all year round and restaurants who have a second spike of income due to Christmas and New Year parties. We know that cafe owners expect to make most of their money in the summer months, and hope that you have made enough to see you through.
The import thing to remember is not to ignore or hide the problems. Talk it out. Try to think of the ways that you can work with the measures in place to still create turnover and keep going.
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