Take away coffee in Italy. Could it work?

It is know worldwide that espresso culture is identified with Italy.  It is a tradition deeply rooted in our DNA.

New ways to drink coffee, for instance filter coffee, are difficult to introduce and strive to find a place in any coffee menu. However, in recent years, thanks to the effort done by small indipendent roasteries a small specialty coffee scene has been created in Italy too.

We made a small but significative step forward but suddenly all the positive effects of this quality-focused work have vanished due to the Coronovirus pandemia and the ongoing lockdown.

Small coffe shops will not have enough resources to survive the major impact that this crisis is producing. Furthermore if coffee shops are closed, micro roasteries won’t be able to survive relying only on their e-shops. There will be a deep gap between job search and job offers regarding the barista profession.

These are just the micro consequences. Useless to say that the worse crisis will be the social one with lack of employments, loss of self confidence, and the major effects on the mental health of workers in the sector.

What is predictable is that the Italian way to drink coffee must change as to adapt to the new law dispositions. Till now there are no equal ordinances and the Italian Regions don’t know how to deal with the ongoing lockdown that condemned the sector to stay closed until June (date to be defined). Uncertainty and chaos reign.

On the other hand take away seems a tangible opportunity. what lacks here is the consuming paradigm: people are not used to walk with a paper cup holding their coffee. If we are doing so it is because with the Starbucks opening we felt more “Americans” to hold a frappuccino in our hands while walking in Duomo and in the city center.

But espresso is another story….

Most professionals deny the possibility do develop a take away line in their coffee shop as espresso should be ordered and consumed at the bar.  Caffè Vergnano started a delivery service on 16th of April with coffee and croissant deliveries in the city of Torino. This initiative was suddenly interrupted four days ago as the street food vehicle didn’t have the licence to carry out this service. going digi

Italians have radically changed their way to shop food: according to Daniele Contini (Just Eat country manager) in the last two months the delivery platform signed an increase during week ends and for specific goods. “Delivery is now seen as a reward, something for particular moments or an easy way to have lunch break for smart workers. Restaurant owners must increase their data awareness” as reported on 10 April during a PwC webinar on the latest delivery developments.

The next big challenges will be:

  • going digital,
  • change our consuming paradigm.

The first one seems a challenge accepted as we were forced to change our approach and everyone is trying to “be online”. The risk however is high too in this situation: going online with no strategy can work in the first period but shorty it will have a negative outcome.

Changing the way we consume, and honestly how much we buy, will be the most challenging improvement.

We have one month ahead to figure out how the espresso ritual will be or not affected by the new situation.

Will there be more street coffee veichles on our venues?

 

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