The Evolution of Coffee Shops & Cafes Amidst a Global Pandemic

Thriving on Coffee

Human beings have been thriving on coffee since the dawn of time. With the average age of caffeine consumption becoming lower and lower, the odds of becoming a coffee addict by the end of high-school is quite high. You realize the burst of energy and sense of alertness you get from caffeine and BOOM, you’re hooked!

With the COVID-19 pandemic, unless you were an essential worker, going to work ceased to exist. Coffee intake, however, did not. That leads us to this question: with many companies not returning to full, in-person, what is the future for coffee shops and cafes? We know that the restaurants we have worked with have adapted amazingly, and that was a huge reason why we began our online ordering service to begin with. Today we want to take a look at what your local coffee shop has to offer and break down the evolution its probably undergone since the pandemic began. Trust us, you will appreciate them even more – and maybe be inspired to run out and grab an evening espresso!

Evolution of Local Cafes

The adaptations and evolutions of local businesses during the pandemic is incredible. Now that in the U.S. we are looking at defeating the pandemic and pushing into COVID-free times, there is a lot of room for growth amongst local businesses. While coffee shops and cafes had a very difficult time staying open during the height of COVID-19, they are on the rebound, and boy does that make us at UBMe happy! We are especially excited to see our local Bethlehem friends at Lit continue to flourish and celebrate another anniversary – their espresso below says it all!

Lit Coffee Roastery and Bakeshop, Bethlehem, PA

The Growth of Charity

When you think of charities and coffee, initially you may not link the two together. We’re about to change that! Starbucks made it their mission to give out 2.2 million cups of free Tall Brews to front-line responders during the month of December as a small token of thanks and appreciation. Since then, they have given out over 4.2 million cups within 6 months. They have acted as an inspiration to many local businesses who have also provided essential workers and front-line responders with the caffeine they were in desperate need of. We salute all of the amazing charity work that has gone on throughout the pandemic and has continued on!

‘Roasting’ Memberships

One major way that cafes stayed open during COVID-19 was by offering roasting memberships. They began to send their own coffee for at-home brewing to customers on a subscription basis. With the at-home-coffee drinkers heavily increasing during the pandemic, the subscription caffeine membership industry was up by 109% in 2020. While businesses are back to opening, it doesn’t seem like people are willing to give up their at-home brewing just yet, so this is now an additional revenue stream for cafes and shops, which we love to see! Next time you’re buying a cup of coffee in person, make sure to ask if you can get in on a local roasting membership!

Coffee Delivery Anyone?

Yes, now you can get your favorite cafe treats and coffee delivered to you! This is one thing we can thank the pandemic for. What started out as a way to keep local businesses afloat is now actually becoming a huge convenience. (Just make sure that you’re not having DoorDash or UberEats deliver, because then the cafe is losing A LOT of revenue). Regardless, it is quite exciting to see that coffee can now really be on the go, even when you might not be! It doesn’t hurt to see if your favorite, local cafe offers delivery next time you’re in!

Local Determination

At UBMe, we just have to take a moment to applaud all of the local businesses that has persevered throughout the entire pandemic. We take pride in knowing that we work with many of these hard-working, talented people who were determined to remain open and keep serving their communities. Looking ahead at the future of local coffee shops and cafes, there are so many exciting opportunities. At-home-brewing, roasting memberships and delivery are just a few ways the coffee industry has already evolved. As big caffeine drinkers, this is incredibly exciting to us!

We hope you enjoyed our update on the local coffee industry! Don’t forget that while businesses may be reopening, they still need community support. The best way to do so is to go on in and order a nice espresso! Local businesses are so positively impactful on society and supporting them is of utmost importance, especially now!

Looking to Offer Online Ordering?

As a final note, if you’re a local coffee shop or cafe and are in need of an online ordering service, UBMe can absolutely help you out! Our free online ordering system has 0% commissions as well as no monthly fees. We also do all of the work by setting it up so you don’t have to! You can sign up for your free demo today to get a taste of how it will benefit your restaurant, bring in new customers and increase revenue overall!