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When is a coffee shop not a coffee shop?

27 May 2015 #Commercial Real Estate

In the recent article “A glass of wine at Starbucks? Is diversification the answer for retailers?” we explored the growing number of retailers seeking to diversify their offering to increase customer numbers and improve profits.

It appears that there will be an intensification of this trend in the coming year as many more retailers have outlined fresh plans to offer their customers a different experience to that which they might usually expect.

Shortly after Starbucks announced their new evening menu, Pret A Manger has started trialling an after work concept. Again Pret plans to serve wine and beer together with hot dishes brought to your table on plates, not disposables.

Coffee shop operators are also using the opportunity to change their night time offering to increase customer numbers during what is usually a relatively quiet time for selling coffee. A good example of this is Grind & Co in London. Currently, they operate four shops in Shoreditch, Soho, Holborn and London Bridge and each one becomes a bar by night serving cocktails and a more sophisticated evening menu.

Newly appointed CEO of McDonald’s Steve Easterbrook is tasked with improving the falling profitability of the fast food behemoth and they too see the advantage in expanding their hours of service. Traditionally, the McDonald’s breakfast offering always ended at 10.30am but in the USA they are currently testing an all day breakfast menu. If successful it is likely to eventually be adopted across the UK stores too.

In considering changes to trading hours and the use of a retail/restaurant premises there are obviously a number of factors that need to be addressed – from whether the lease allows the change in use and the increase in hours to whether a planning permission or premises licence is required - and these are covered in more detail in our recent article mentioned above. Click here for a link to it.

So, whether you like to have your breakfast in the afternoon or to consume a cocktail in a coffee shop it seems clear that the customer will continue to benefit from the operators’ desire to diversify their offering to the consumer.

Clarkslegal, specialist Real Estate lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Real Estate matter please contact Clarkslegal's real estate team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Simon Ralphs

Simon Ralphs

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Commercial Real Estate team
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