Covid-19 changed everything. How we work, travel, socialize, and go about our lives. As we move forward, we will encounter a new world that will be different than what we are accustomed to for some time. Going to a café, enjoying your favorite espresso drink and relaxing for hours isn’t an option for a lot of businesses right now, and possibly for some time. Coffee shops, big and small, are suffering and have adapted how they serve their customer. This includes closing locations that won’t help their business weather the storm.
Starbucks announced that they are closing almost 400 stores and focusing more on drive-up and take away locations. Where are some of these locations you might ask? Think about malls. It is estimated that around 25,000 shops inside malls could close around the United States because their business can’t survive being closed this long. When malls open up, which may be next week or next month depending on where you live, the traffic will be drastically reduced. Coffee shops have to adjust to consumer behavior and offer pick up and take away. Don’t think this is all doom and gloom. Starbucks does plan on opening up more than 200 locations that offer, you guessed it, pick up, and to go.
All that said, the cafés of the future, at least for the next few years, will surely resemble those in Japan, Korea, and Italy. Café’s that are small with limited indoor and outdoor seating and a majority of their business comes from orders that are picked up and taken away. You will also see an expansion of coffee shops offering their beans to take home. I will miss going to those large coffee shops, watching people for hours, or enjoying my favorite book. I am confident that we will return to those days in the US soon, but for now, I live off of the photos and stories my friends around the world who are living their lives, while here in the US we still need time to figure it out and get it right.
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