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Cafes and coffee shops in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

Cafes and coffee shops are a part of the quick service restaurant (QSR) market in the United Kingdom, along with bakery and sandwich shops. They primarily serve coffee, but some shops also offer a variety of other items such as tea, snacks, baked goods, and small meals. Over the last decade there has been an increasing trend in the number of coffee shops operating in the UK, including independent operators and non-specialists as well as branded chains. The number of non-specialists in particular has grown in recent years, as non-traditional vendors such as supermarkets and pubs started offering specialized coffee menus.

Key players in the cafe and coffee shop industry in the UK

In the cafe and coffee shop market in the UK, coffeehouse chains dominate. The leading coffeehouse chains in the UK included Costa Coffee, Greggs, and Starbucks as of 2021. Costa Coffee is a major British multinational coffee shop chain, and in 2019 was also ranked as the biggest coffeehouse chain in Europe. Despite Starbucks ranking below Costa in the UK market, the UK claimed the largest share of Starbucks stores in Europe in 2021, with over 200 more stores than Turkey, the country ranked second. There are however a number of other coffee shops and sandwich bars that UK consumers visit aside from the leading coffeehouse chains. In 2019, 10.5 million people used local coffee shops, compared to almost 20 million who used Costa Coffee.

How did COVID-19 affect cafe and coffee shop consumers?

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK restaurant industry was heavily impacted as social distancing measures forced restaurants to close their indoor dining facilities. As part of this industry, cafes and coffee shops were also affected. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of consumers using coffee shops and sandwich bars in the UK chose to sit in rather than order take away. However, during the pandemic this was no longer possible. According to consumers surveyed during this time, most chose to utilize takeaway or delivery services as their primary method of supporting local UK pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes while indoor dining remained closed. Despite a rise in the use of delivery services as an alternative to indoor dining, the UK coffee shop market value dropped by seven billion British pounds in 2020, its lowest value in the last five years, due to the effects of the pandemic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Cafes and coffee shops in the United Kingdom (UK)".


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