The coffee industry. Curious how much it makes?

*Disclosure, this is information based off 2 years ago, but I was in the industry 8 years*

We all know profit is added to everything. But have you ever thought about the coffee industry? How much it makes, how much resources it gets through? Vegans beware.

Firstly I’m English and I cba to convert to all currencies (American posts never convert to others so why should I?). Convert to your own currency for an idea for you.

I used to work in a high end supermarket cafe. I was trained both front and back of house but I generally worked back (aka cooking). I did full breakfasts, burgers, toasties, lasagne, soup, salads, etc etc. Standard cafe food. I was also a fully trained barista.

On a normal day (not a special holiday or anything) we used to get through about 6-8 bags of coffee beans and about 40-60 bottles of 4 pint bottles of milk. Not including soya milk. At Christmas it was 80-100 bottles and 12-16 bags of beans. That’s a lot of milk and beans.

Given here an Americano (coffee and hot water) is about £1.65 and a latte (coffee and hot milk) is £1.85 you know that the establishment is paying for the person to make it, clean up afterwards, the dishwasher, the detergent, the table, the chairs, etc etc.. would you like to know how much that americano cost the company?

3p. That’s all. Your coffee is 3p, even after grinding and heating.

next time you feel guilty for your morning cuppa being made wrong think to this post... the company won’t suffer. The barista might be peeved but you have well and truly paid for your coffee to be made right!

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Milk costs like 25p for the portion of milk you use in a coffee from a supermarket. But that has taxes and imports and profit margins in it.

    Cost and Starbucks I assume supply their own milk so they pay pennies for the cost of the milk. Cofeee is the same. They pay 1 pound a day for workers in Africa. No cost there.

    The only cost is the salary of the workers which is like 30p per coffee.

    So you are literally talking £2 per coffee profit minimum.

    That is very profitable, especially as i am from the automotive industry. We do not have profit margins like that. Our initial spend is waaaay higher

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    • I worked in a supermarket cafe. It came straight from farmers and didn’t have the added costs on. Cafes also attract VAT which is calculated into the price.

      Coffee is NOT the same... I’m too flabbergasted to even try and approach that one... that’s like saying all oranges are the same.

      I would be amazed if the cost for the worker was that high to be honest. Given the speed a trained barista can go at and the wage over here

Most Helpful Girl

  • I used to want to work in Starbucks so this was interesting to learn

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What Guys Said 5

  • It's very profitable. Here Dunkin Donuts prevails in the Northeast US. I think you can open up a franchise for like 1/2 million. They're located as free standing stores, part of gas stations, parking lot kiosks, home renovation stores, the department of motor vehicles... freaking everywhere! :o

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    • Oh yeah. But when you think about the amount of commuters, lorry drivers, etc you can understand why they are everywhere. A little perk to get you through the last 10 Miles before bed or to help wake you up on the way to work.

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    • It would take much to produce a better cup of Joe, but I'm seriously thinking people are drinking more iced coffee even in the winter! I used to be able to specify a medium regular, NOW it's medium regular hot! Damn, one more word I need to grunt through the drive through speaker in the morning! :-p

    • Haha, well, if you can steer away from chains you will get a better coffee! Independent cafes invest more in quality and take less profit so you usually have a competitive/cheaper cup of much nicer mud! I’m not saying go super hipster where it’s served in beakers by an ordained monk, but just a non-big brand cafe. Eg, I find most hot chocolates synthentic until I found this cafe... they made hot chocolate from real chocolate shavings and hot milk, sprinkled with shavings. Choice of white, milk or dark. It was gorgeous!

      I personally don’t like Starbucks of Nero’s coffee (two big people here) but like Costa. I can’t stand iced tea/coffee but it’s more an American thing. A lot of it comes down to the coffees origin and roasting method but unless you a coffee nerd, just try some stuff and see what you like :)

  • This is a really good post you have here dear Hidden P, I love it.
    Totally agree with you on the price/cost, I used to work as part time in a super market when I was still a student, and I know how "Low Cost" things can be.
    It is all about big "Retailers" and "Suppliers".
    The coffee shop indeed supply with big quantities which makes it have the "Best Deal". Not to mention if the coffee shop itself already owns the company that supplies beans and milk, that way the cost is again reduced more.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us dear, and I also like the fact you know how to cook delicious platters. Personally am a fan of cooking. I love it. It distracts me and at least I know what is in my food ;-)

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    • Lol thanks!

      I prefer to cook but I admit, more so in the winter than summer. I’ll happily spend hours on making dinner

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    • Through winter I normally do roasts or stews. A roast is 3-4 hours, a stew normally 6hours plus. In the summer I do jacket potato (2 hours low heat) and salads, or grilled meats or pastas

    • Wow <3
      That is extremely delicious!!!
      Low heat cooking is one of the best methods ever.
      Frankly, I do have kind of an addiction to BBQ meat or chicken, I just take my time mixing every kind of sauce and peppers I have to get to a one the stings the brain if you know what I mean, and just marinade the meat in it, then BBQ it!!!

  • £1.85? 😂 More like £3.50

    Even at that price though, many independents barely get by, although I didn’t think 4 shots and milk only cost 3p

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    • Places like Costa will tack on more but I’m talking about your average coffee.

      Don’t believe the price, pop into a supermarket cafe lol

    • Also depends where in the country you are. I think a medium latte from Costa where I am is £2.10 or something?

  • I. Love. Coffee.

    You were in the industry? Why are you not my friend?

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  • Interesting Information.

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