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  • Alex Gough

Will a recession hurt my coffee business?

"I can always tell how financially stressed our customers are by how much coffee we are selling."


This is one of my favourite lines of conversation around my non-hospitality friends at weekend catch-ups.


Someone who fancies themselves as an economist will jump in, "Yes of course, coffee is a luxury item and it will be one of the first to go when workers are feeling the pinch."


Wrong.


"Actually, I find that the more financial stress our customers feel, the more coffee we sell."


How could that be? Why would people still spend money on coffee when they are short on cash? Because coffee, at present, is not a luxury item. Its a necessity. Coffee is as important as taking a shower every day. Its as crucial to our days as fuel is to our cars. We don't function without it. That's why, when people are stressed and have to work longer hours, the first thing they need is a coffee!


This is why December, one of the hottest months, is our busiest month for coffee sales. I love it when our customers say things like "What will you sell now that it's summer and no one buys coffee?" LOL. "Keep moving please, Sir, the queue is building up behind you!"


Sure, if a global recession made everyone lose their jobs, there might be a different story. But when the stress piles on, mortgage repayments are due, car finance repayments are hurting, school fees are coming up, the answer for most people at the moment is to take on extra work, a second job, or a weekend shift.


For us, that means more coffee.


Therefore, in the absence of a Wall Street - style GFC hitting the cities of Australia, I think we'll be fine.

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