Letter from the Editor 2021

Article by Sean Edwards, Cafe Culture International

Hi all, it’s been a while since I have actively put pen to paper. Like most of us I personally have been reinventing everything I have created over the last 20 years, firstly to survive and from there we have looked at ways to streamline and be new and creative in all our businesses.

Covid has shut down a big percentage of cafes nationally that were already struggling from issues relating to drought, fire, staff shortages from restricted travel, increased freight cost and a host of other reasons. Covid signed the death penalty on many cafe owners, forcing them to take the shutdown option.

The 2021 Cafe Pulse Survey

Café Culture prepared a small Pulse Report in April 2020 to see how the industry was faring at the start of the pandemic, and we knew from this survey the outcome for many businesses was going to be a challenging time. As a publication we tried to stay strong and communicate positive messages to our readers, but we could feel the pain.

We got very upset with the mainstream media who were promoting cafes as unsafe places and blaming owners for not collecting check-in data, when most were doing what was required with what tools were available at the time. We went on a very defensive campaign and were proactively challenging Government agencies to implement the needed practices so cafe businesses could at least trade takeaway. 

We have now launched the latest Pulse Report survey and we need cafes to supply us with their feedback so we can provide the correct data to the Government to help these businesses get back to normal. The survey takes 20 minutes to complete and is totally confidential. The key information collected will be made available to cafe owners, which will help them make smart post-Covid business decisions. Interestingly, business trends have dramatically changed.
If you are interested in taking part please click here to start the survey

covid cafe

The Reusable Cup

Another Covid crisis we are seeing in the coffee roaster/cafe supply chain is the increased use of paper packaging. There are some myths circulating that you still can’t use reusable cups, which is total crap. This myth started overseas by a very large coffee chain and has caused a global sustainability crisis, with a massive uptake of single use paper cups filling our landfills.

We could see this happening by the mountains of cups building up in coffee roasters warehouses, so we jumped on board with an innovative company, Sirron Holdings in Newcastle, with the invent of “Café Dunk”. This allows cafes to wash customers reusable cups in a safe, quick and hygienic way. Sadly, cafe owners have ignored their customer base and still refuse to support their ethical decisions and will probably lose their business if they don’t act now.

Cities are already talking about banning paper coffee cups, so reusable and dining cups are the future. Our Government is behind the times in recycling and their quick solution is to continue doing what is in place now.  I urge cafes to offer a discount to customers who use their own cup.

reusable cup

Barista Engage Workshop

Café Culture are excited to launch the first series of Barista Engage workshops in Brisbane in June at The Coffee Commune. We want to expose baristas to a career opportunity via a mentor program where a chosen group of coffee personalities share their tips and tricks of their career journey.

This is a first of positive workshops designed to give coffee enthusiasts some direction in their career choice. The Alternative Dairy Co has kindly sponsored the event and are excited about this new format for baristas to join forces and contribute to their future. If you can’t get to Brisbane for this event there will still be an opportunity to join the day with a live online platform where you can contribute as a conference delegate.

If you would like to register for the event please click here.

Barista engage

To finish, I am urging cafe owners to look at their future and make the needed changes in their business to become sustainable. Please seek help from other successful operators before giving up, sometimes simple ideas are not always obvious.

Please stay safe


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