Coffee Culture Thrives as Traditional Pubs Struggle

The landscape of Czech consumption habits has been shifting significantly in recent years. Once bustling with patrons, the country’s traditional pubs are now struggling while coffee shops are thriving.

Customers of coffee shops do not hesitate to spend on a cup of coffee and a pastry, while regulars at traditional pubs are sensitive to even the slightest increase in the price of beer. This trend was confirmed by an increase in sales last year. Coffee shops performed best, while traditional pubs fared the worst.

The increasing success of coffee shops started during the COVID-19 pandemic when they faced fewer restrictions. Furthermore, the coffee culture in the country has been developing over the past few years, especially due to the younger generation’s preferences.

“The previous generation used to hang out in pubs, while the current youth, perhaps as a result of the hipster wave, are more inclined towards coffee shops,” said Petr Menclík, director of Dotykačka, a provider of checkout systems.

Moreover, coffee shop customers are much less sensitive to price increases. “While beer consumers take issue with every fifty cents for a draft half-liter, coffee shops operate with much higher margins, and customers there have no problem paying over a hundred crowns for a croissant and coffee,” added Menclík.

This trend towards coffee shops is also helped by the shift in alcohol consumption, such as cocktails in the afternoon on terraces. In this regard, they differ from fast-food establishments where alcohol is almost un-consumed.

Big chains are still doing exceptionally well, as evidenced by McDonald’s revenues, which grew by 16 percent last year in the Czech Republic.