Café 2025 Report

Cafe 2025 Report

Cafe 2025 is about identifying the current industry trends in Cafes & Coffee Shops and present a vision of what’s coming to the industry in the next 5 years.

While the report is focussed primarily on the cafe industry in Australia, many of these trends are relevant to coffee shops & other hospitality business around the world.

Cafe 2025: Download (pdf)

Top 3 Summary from the Café 2025 report

2020 has been a crazy year for the coffee industry, but as things start to recover, it’s time to take stock and understand where the industry is going in the next five years.

Much of the content inside this report talks about implementing change, and there’s never been a better time to implement change in an environment such as this.

From the research we found 3 key trends that are going to drive profit & growth over the next 5 years:

  1. Automation
  2. Craft & Cuisine
  3. Fast and Slow Coffee

ubermilk milk steaming automation

Trend #1: Automation

Automation refers to anything that happens in a cafe or restaurant that could be done by machine.

We believe that the future of coffee is going to be baristas that know more about their craft and have a higher degree of interaction with the customer. In other words, we see the barista become more of a hospitality focused role than simply a machine jockey.

We’re already seeing this start to happen with the technologies that have emerged within the last five years. For example, the PuqPress with automated tamping, or the Ubermilk for automated steamed milk.

We think in the near future, companies will be launching more machines that combine all of these things (and more) into one. A couple of great examples are the Eversys Cameo and the Scanomat Topbrewer.

Is this the kind of technology that’s going to be in cafes and restaurants across the next five years? We think it is.

It could be either as the primary espresso machine or as a secondary machine to serve ‘fast coffee’ (more on that soon).

At this point, one of the questions worth asking is ‘why now for automation?’ If some of these technologies exist already, why aren’t they selling like hotcakes? Why aren’t they everywhere?

I think there are a couple of reasons, but there is one really big driver why we think automation is going to take off in the next five years:

Cafes and Restaurants are finding it more and more difficult to retain staff

When we surveyed café owners, we found one of the biggest fears and insecurities that cafe owners have in their businesses is retaining and training new staff.

cafe owners biggest challenge chart

Most baristas, by the time they’re really, really good tend to move on. Introducing automated systems means you can get coffee of a consistently quality regardless of the person behind the machine.

Now that doesn’t mean the person behind the machine isn’t still important.

The barista arguably will become even more important in the future – and not just to make sure the coffee is tasting the way it should – but also to be able to communicate tastes and craft to the customer.

Relationship with customers has never been more important.

Trend #2: Craft & Cuisine

One of the things we’ve identified in the last five years is that we’ve actually reached peak coffee in Australia. The per capita amount of coffee consumed per year has quite literally flatlined.

Yet, we’ve seen an increase in the revenue brought in by the cafes and coffee shops.

peak coffee chart

Where is that extra revenue coming from?…it’s coming from food

For a number of years, savvy operators have understood this, and they’ve expanded their food offering to grow their business.

With this increasing focus on food, businesses might start naturally thinking about how to increase their service offerings.

So, a business model that might traditionally have been a breakfast and lunch service entering into an evening service.

I think in the future we’re going to start to see a sort of blurring of the lines between cafes and restaurants.

The names won’t necessarily change, but effectively the function will be very similar.

Macho Avocado

Trend #3: Fast & Slow Coffee

The third key trend is fast and slow coffee or even fast versus slow coffee.

Let me qualify what we mean by this.

Fast coffee refers to grab and go. The 7-11 coffee model is a good example of this, but there are other ways that it can be utilised.

Slow coffee refers to quite literally the sit-down café experience. We want to be cocooned from the outside world, to sit down and relax & to socialise. It’s the traditional coffee house experience.

So fast or slow coffee, fast and slow coffee. What should I be doing in my business?

The answer depends on the specifics of your customers & your location, but you really need to be doing one (or both) very well.

You cannot be stuck in the middle somewhere – if your service is reasonably fast and it’s just an okay place to spend time, we suspect you may be in a bit of danger there.

However, you could have a lightning fast espresso window and an amazing customer experience – with relaxed furniture and space for people to spend time and connect over a quality food offering.

That’s all for now, to get into the details download the full report below:

Cafe 2025: Download (pdf)

Watch the Cafe 2025 Webinar

If the report’s not enough, here’s the full webinar with Adam & Ben discussing the findings from the Cafe 2025 Report (recorded June 24, 2020) as well as answering questions from the audience.

Adam Carr
Coffee Science and Education Centre (CSEC) Ph.D, B.E. (Chemical Engineering) Adam has worked in research for over 8 years, with an overarching focus on high temperature water technology. He has worked in Australia at the University of New South Wales, and internationally at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Aerodyne Research Inc. The applications for his research have been diverse, including advanced particle production technologies, reaction engineering, sustainable fuels processing and novel extraction technologies. Once he discovered the application of his experience to the coffee industry, there was no going back! Adam returned to Australia in 2015 to pursue his interest in designing his own coffee technologies. He created the startup Highpresso PTY LTD to provide research consulting services to the coffee industry, and build new coffee technologies. His research led him to designing a new roasting system that prevented charring of the raw beans. Now at Seven Miles, Adam uses his skills and deep love of coffee to improve our understanding of coffee science and technology through our coffee science and research center. He designs experiments around testing the latest and greatest coffee gear available to the industry, and uses his connections to develop research projects centering around brewing better coffee.