Free tea and coffee what is all the fuss about ?

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  • Free tea and coffee what is all the fuss about ?
  • epicsteve
    Member

    I’ve a Waitrose card so qualify for the free coffee but have never so far used it (although my wife has a couple of times). From the pattern of usage I see in my local Waitrose (Greenwich) I’d guess the actual impact on local coffee houses is very close to zero, so would tend to agree with Cameron on this issue.

    tron
    Member

    Given the context of the story – snobs complaining that it’s “attracting the wrong sorts” (and exactly what’s referred to in the BBC article), no Tory MP could ever disagree with it without getting ripped to shreds by the papers.

    And from a standard Tory free market perspective, there would be no mileage in arguing against a business doing what it wants to attract customers.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    My local Waitrose seems to enjoy a pretty much permanently full up coffee shop.

    Today I was supporting a little cafe in a little village, definitely popular and good decent food.

    Personally I never go near Starbucks, Costa etc and always prefer to support an independent.

    I despair at the world though sometimes. 🙁

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Sadly its competition and one business is forcing another to evolve or die. Its the society we live in and always was.

    My mates dad was in the same predicament 30 years ago as an independent chemist when the supermarkets started putting chemist departments into their shops.

    personally, Id prefer to have coffee in an independent shop than along side free loaders in Waitrose.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    We can all make small changes so, for example, I haven’t bought supermarket meat for years and prefer to use farm shops selling local produce.

    rene59
    Member

    Maybe the independents should give away a free basket of overpriced groceries with each tea and coffee they sell.

    See how Waitrose likes it then.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    finishthat – I am sorry to hear that. New Waitrose opened up near you then?

    andyl
    Member

    I find it’s had the opposite effect.

    Overpriced chain coffee shops put me off popping in for a coffee when out. Waitrose has reminded me it’s nice to slow down for a few minutes and have a coffee so I tend to do it more now. If every other coffee is a free one then on average coffee costs me half as much as it used to so I drink more 🙂

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Today I paid £1.30 for a mug of filter coffee. How much would that cost in Starbucks/Costa etc?

    A cafe I used in Wiltshire charged 50p for a huge slab of bread pudding. It was delicious.

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    From the pattern of usage I see in my local Waitrose (Greenwich) I’d guess the actual impact on local coffee houses is very close to zero,

    Well its threatening to put them out of business in Wokingham

    Not really fair competition is it ?

    Loss leader to attract some freeloaders basically .

    They could offer free meat (one per customer) and put the local butcher out of business too , then move on to free broccoli .
    It is not their intention to do this , it is just a lack of vision about the impact on a local trader .

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    People can only be educated if they want to be. The thing is though we’re all affected by this and I think independent shops have to work that bit harder.

    epicsteve
    Member

    The thing is though we’re all affected by this

    I’m not.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    I’m not.

    How so?

    epicsteve
    Member

    How so?

    In what way am I affected?

    AdamW
    Member

    I have the free vouchers and pop into John Lewis and have a free brew every month so far, but it it’s mainly at the insistence of a mate who wants to get free stuff.

    I don’t understand him, to be honest. I look at the cakes and choose something I like and then a hot drink I like. I usually end up with a fruity tart (a bit like me) and a mint tea (because these days I can’t be bothered with much milk). He insists on choosing the most expensive drink (“luxury hot chocolate”) and the most expensive cake so he can “get his money’s worth”. Even if he doesn’t want it.

    I like independents but you don’t get that many in Nottingham, especially ones which aren’t rammed full of people. I tried ‘Hungry Pumpkin’ the other week which was good.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Today I paid £1.30 for a mug of filter coffee. How much would that cost in Starbucks/Costa etc?

    £1.40 iirc.

    Anyway – it sucks if the little guy is out-competed, but what do you propose? Stopping this happening would require pretty significant government intervention in retail – so where does it stop? Ban H&M selling cheap clothes?

    The free coffee in Waitrose isn’t that great. If you want to stay in business then make better coffee. I’ve only been in a handful of independents where the coffee wasn’t awful and the milk too hot. One of the reason Starbucks does well is that they train their staff on how to make lattes and cappucinos properly. If you think this is a load of waffle and not important, then you are probably in the wrong business.

    There’s a Starbucks license in the basement at work. It’s about 80p cheaper than the Starbucks a couple of streets away, but I always go to the real Starbucks. The coffee is the same in the license store but the staff always make the milk too hot and it burns the coffee.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I doubt Cameron has a clue about supermarkets or coffee shops I imagine he has a flunky to sort that stuff out for him

    There’s a waitrose near s don’t go there is over priced and no amount of free tea or coffee would tempt me when there is also an excellent cafe down the road where us and out kids are greeted by name by the staff who are one of the main reasons we go to the high street

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    So the prime minister shows he really is in it with all of us .
    Waitrose offer free tea and coffee and ruin the local independents and he cannot understand the problem….

    So Dave and Sam , you run a small coffee shop on the high street, it keeps you , your wife and kids off benefits – maybe you can afford to hire a couple of part time staff.

    Waitrose offer your customers your products for free.

    3 months later the staff are laid off , next its the business rates or the mortgage ..

    He is a complete sh|$t

    CountZero
    Member

    The point is, how many places have a Waitrose, compared to how many places have coffee shops?
    Bath has a Waitrose, it also has numerous coffee shops, and a tea emporium, and umpteen cafés, and none appear to have suffered from what Waitrose is doing. I don’t actually know where the next nearest Waitrose is that’s in a town centre, tbh.
    Bristol? Swindon? Dunno. Which means that very, very few independents are going to be affected by what one, relatively uncommon, posh, supermarket is doing.

    One of the reason Starbucks does well is that they train their staff on how to make lattes and cappucinos properly

    Yeah? So how come the Starbucks in Chippenham closed two years ago, while others in town continue to do well, and one of the two in Bath closed around the same time.
    Not especially impressed by their coffee, pretty weak, really, and you really shouldn’t have to ask for a second shot to make it drinkable.

    antennae
    Member

    Today I paid £1.30 for a mug of filter coffee. How much would that cost in Starbucks/Costa etc?

    In Pret, ninety-nine pennies.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yeah? So how come the Starbucks in Chippenham closed two years ago, while others in town continue to do well, and one of the two in Bath closed around the same time.

    How the f should I know? I drink there I don’t run the bloody place!

    Starbucks DOES do well though, as a company.

    racefaceec90
    Member

    i thought this was going to be about blood donation (have to do it again).

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    How the f should I know? I drink there I don’t run the bloody place!

    Because you claim to know why Starbucks does well ?

    I agree with CountZero it’s unlikely to be because of their pisspoor coffee. I suspect their success is more down to marketing/image.

    chewkw
    Member

    I prefer to support independent cafe but then they must brew proper coffee if they want to survive in this cut throat business.

    The killer is the business rate that prevents people from experimenting with start ups.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Ok – thanks for picking me up on that. I think it’s really contributing to the thread. I should have said ‘I believe that one of the reasons Starbucks does well is that….’

    Happier?

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Hey molgrips, chill. 🙂

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    I should have said ‘I believe that one of the reasons Starbucks does well is that….’

    Happier?

    And what about Starbucks avoidance of UK tax, that must help them hugely no ?

    FeeFoo
    Member

    Free coffee with sugar and squirty cream – yummy!

    Premier Icon pb2
    Subscriber

    The industrial waste lands of the north west (where I live) are thankfully light on Waitroses stores so it has no direct impact on me however I side with the posters who think Cameron is a knob and Waitrose are overpriced and lacking in marketing imagination.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    posters who think Cameron is a knob

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I thought starbucks did terribly last year thats why they couldnt pay any tax in the UK, the poor dears

    batfink
    Member

    In Sydney there is a HUGE coffee culture – and 99% of the coffee shops are independents.

    Starbucks does exist (there is maybe 5 of them in the whole of Sydney), but it’s only frequented by brit/american tourists. There is also somewhere called “Gloria Jean’s” which seems only to attract tramps.

    The reason that Starbucks etc has failed to take off here, is because the coffee from the independent shops is significantly better. Seriously, it’s amazing.

    There is also an intangible piece about “experience”….. why the hell would I want to sit in a supermarket and drink a coffee? Not exactly a deluxe experience is it? Would I sit in a supermarket and drink a coffee, even if it was free? no, probably not.

    As far as I can see – if the independents in the UK are a) offering better coffee, and b) offering a nicer experience/environment, then they have got nothing to worry about. If they can’t offer better than a supermarket (not a very high bar), then they are probably not a very good coffee shop.

    Don’t mean to sound harsh – but there it is.

    torsoinalake
    Member

    The free coffee in Waitrose isn’t that great. If you want to stay in business then make better coffee. I’ve only been in a handful of independents where the coffee wasn’t awful and the milk too hot. One of the reason Starbucks does well is that they train their staff on how to make lattes and cappucinos properly.

    I’m inclined to agree here. If you are being put out of business by a machine that hands out coffee, then you need to try harder. However, as I have said before, Starbucks is dire, and really shouldn’t be used as any sort of benchmark.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    The coffee in our Waitrose is great (I only have plain coffee). it’s free and it encourages me to use a shop that on the whole treats staff and customers well, pays taxes etc, rather than the local coffee chains. Can’t see how this becomes a political issue.

    The odd thing is that Waitrose has a pay cafe at one end and the free version at the other by the front door. The cafe always seems busy though.

    Thank you Waitrose.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    it’s free and it encourages me to use a shop

    Really ? You are more likely to shop in Waitrose because you can have free coffee there ? That’s amazing, I never had you down as someone who could be swayed with an offer of free coffee 🙂

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    not even a coffee drinker but batfink has nailed it.

    I think Melbourne has a reputation for being more coffee snobs too, with the saying if your serving bad coffee in the morning don’t expect to be in business in the afternoon.

    Not much on offer in the UK would make it over here in a major city, most wouldn’t make it against Gloria Jeans which is as batfink says where you don’t go.

    the real giveaway is most people/cafe’s in the UK can’t even make a proper tea, charging somebody and putting a tea bag in a mug (or worse a leaky pot) is a sign of contempt.

    Today I paid £1.30 for a mug of filter coffee. How much would that cost in Starbucks/Costa etc?

    I didn’t think people still drank filter coffee….

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Yep, visits to Waitrose up as a result.

    Then there is the income effect. The money I saved in Waitrose is spent on a nice cake in the coffee shop next door. I didn’t use to bother with the cake but it seems such a waste of a nice cup not to have one and thanks to Waitrose the very nice lady now has a new customer. Her Bakewell Tart is magnificent and much better than the Waitrose version. Everyone’s a winner.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    The money I saved in Waitrose is spent on a nice cake in the coffee shop next door. I didn’t use to bother with the cake….

    You certainly like to count the pennies! And good for you……..money doesn’t grow on trees eh ?

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    I didn’t think people still drank filter coffee….

    People drink filter coffee all over the world. In some coffee shops, you can have a cup of filter coffee instead of the various espresso variants if you so wish. Some people prefer it – including, it seems from when I’ve visited, shedloads of French folk. Have you really missed this?

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Your right Ernie it doesn’t, and remember the old adage, look after the pennies…….

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