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To think if everyone stopped buying take out coffee London house prices would fall?

(25 Posts)
Applesauce29 Fri 14-Aug-15 09:06:58

So going back to work post mat leave with childcare and travel at £1400 taking a massive chunk of my salary I have far less disposable income. I used to spend freely and indulge in the morning latte and almond croissant, but don't feel I have that luxury any more with trying to save for a house deposit. I can't walk for more than a minute without passing a Starbucks / Nero / Costa / Pret etc not to mention all the other fancy lunch places in the city of London <sigh> and I wonder how the people working there actually live. They don't all look like students working part time jobs. How do the hundreds of baristas and sandwich makers in the square mile live? How do they afford childcare and travel costs and where do they live? I'm guessing most of them are on the minimum wage, even tho the big companies probably make a lot of profit (if not necessarily booked in the UK).

If everyone stopped spending their money there how quickly would they shut down? Some people would be out of work, people wouldn't be able to make rent, where would they move to? Everyone says this economy is hopelessly reliant on consumer spending... What would happen if nobody in London bought take-out coffee for a month? Maybe just brought a kettle to work instead, and have a proper cup of tea from a nice china cup and saucer or a favourite mug???

I'm at risk of redundancy again after a company restructure so have stopped most impulse spending (coffee, burritos etc.). Friday morning rant, and probably naive economics...

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 14-Aug-15 09:13:39

It's interesting though! I do wonder how people manage on London, as regardless of wage, travel, food, nights out etc are the same.

treaclesoda Fri 14-Aug-15 09:17:56

Or on the other hand they might rise because all those zillions of pounds spent on takeaway coffee could go into people's savings, with the possibility of more people building up a deposit and feeling in a position to buy their own house

CarriesBucketOfBlood Fri 14-Aug-15 09:26:10

They all rent rooms in shared flats/ houses. In my experience many are foreign workers who came to London looking for well paid jobs, couldn't find them and then took up working in the coffee shop just to pay the rent.

All the ones I know have left after a year and a lucky few have found good jobs.

MrsAukerman Fri 14-Aug-15 09:28:49

None of them have kids. They're most likely all under 30 and rent a room. Possibly cycle to work so no commuting costs.

Lavenderice Fri 14-Aug-15 09:29:06

I'm the planet was being ripped apart I'd still jump over cracks filled with hot lava for my morning coffee. YABU.

Lavenderice Fri 14-Aug-15 09:29:29

*if the planet was ...

shoopshoopsong Fri 14-Aug-15 09:30:17

Really? You can't work out how poor people live?

LuluJakey1 Fri 14-Aug-15 09:31:50

I wonder that in the north-east. I am on ML and in our village there are a couple of coffee shops, a sandwich shop and a deli. Teenagers from the local comp and workers buy coffee on the way to school or to the station in the mornings, and on the way bac kin the afternoons or the teenagers form queues at lunchtime then sit on the green or wander back along the bridleway to school, eating and drinking (and don't leave litter).

I think all if those shops would close if it was not for that trade. I can't see how they could stay open.

I have no idea how the parents of the teenagers afford it. They must spend easily £20 a week on lunches and coffees. A school lunch with pudding and drink would cost £1.30 a day. Then there are the drinks and snacks on the way to or from school.

The workers must be spending at least £12 a week if they just have a coffee, never mind croissants, brioche, bacon rolls, muffins etc.

Leafy suburb so workers might afford it but it is a lot of money for parents of teenagers.

I am a teacher and have a kettle in my office.

mijas99 Fri 14-Aug-15 09:34:22

Many are 20 something's from other European countries in London to improve their English and hopefully find a job in their chosen field

They will live in shared houses, shared rooms and friends' sofas. After a couple of years if they don't find a professional job then the usually return to their countries with improved English and something to put on their CV

Howcanitbe Fri 14-Aug-15 09:38:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sexybeast Fri 14-Aug-15 09:56:27

I like your chain of thought. I used to spend a lot of money on coffees etc but have cut it all out.

Also if you take Starbucks for example - they aggressively take over areas so that local small cafes are put out of business then don't pay any tax back into the economy so if there were no Starbucks (don't know about other chains and tax dodging) then in theory the economy would be boosted by the government having a lot more money as local cafes would come back and wouldn't have the same access to tax havens etc.

Also low paid workers like barristas probably have to claim benefits to top up their shite pay. Are they on zero hours contracts too?

Applesauce29 Fri 14-Aug-15 13:44:31

Yes, the theory assumes that people don't spend their cash on alternatives in similar outlets in the city, or save more for housing costs.

I am aware of how poor people live, Shoop, just not quite why so many of them would wish to have the quality of life where you're living in shared accommodation, most likely overcrowded, in an undesirable part of London, for a job that's unskilled (or could be taught in a week if you think I'm giving baristas / sandwich makers a hard time). My cleaner for example I believe also lives with her daughter (also emigrated from Bulgaria) and helps her with free childcare, and is very careful with cash, but then takes two month long holidays a year to go home where the cost of living is a lot cheaper.

nonameatall01 Fri 14-Aug-15 13:47:53

Lots of the staff in the central London coffee shops I go to are foreign students house sharing. They would be the people most immediately affected if no-one bought coffee for a month.

SnozzberryPie Fri 14-Aug-15 13:59:02

I'm not on minimum wage but since going back to work after having dd I no longer buy coffee from the work canteen and bring in sandwiches instead of buying lunch every day. These costs really add up every day.

I remember being young and living in London on a low wage. We shared grotty houses in Tottenham or hackney (before they were trendy), took the bus or bunked the tube and drank supermarket vodka at house parties because we couldn't afford pub prices. I had a great time grin

It wouldn't be as much fun in my thirties, or with family to support.

featherandblack Fri 14-Aug-15 13:59:19

So you would like to take poor people's jobs away so they are forced to move elsewhere, relieving the pressure on housing for people like you?


babybat Fri 14-Aug-15 14:04:05

Research indicates that the average London property price increase is around £35k a year. You'd need to be drinking a hell of a lot of coffee to make a dent in that.

violetwellies Fri 14-Aug-15 14:07:08

Feather I think you are deliberately misunderstanding. In any case it would be better for everyone that the coffee was bought from a small independent.

limitedperiodonly Fri 14-Aug-15 14:15:05

Interesting idea OP This is just one article highlighting the recruitment policies of coffee/sandwich shops such as Pret A Manger.

It's from the rather right-wing, youth and commuter friendly Evening Standard.

This excerpt seemed bad:

'A factor that has not been flagged up in the debate over Pret's controversial recruitment is its distinctive "graduation day" - the hiring ritual that stands between Pret hopefuls and a job at the company. it is worth considering whether a system where a group of overwhelmingly foreign staff get to vote on every new colleague risks making life more difficult for British applicants...Izabella [the manager of that branch] denies that Eastern European staff show favour to fellow Slavs on graduation days but there is a challenge for Pret to ensure that its apparently democratic hiring procedure doesn't favour the groups that already predominate in their shops.'

That stopped me patronising their shops. That and the fact that you can't get a decent sandwich for a decent price.

There are other articles talking about the same thing.

limitedperiodonly Fri 14-Aug-15 14:19:55

Lots of the staff in the central London coffee shops I go to are foreign students house sharing. They would be the people most immediately affected if no-one bought coffee for a month.

If they cannot sustain their lifestyles they will have to leave to cheaper parts of the UK or cheaper parts of the world.

I am not a charity.

I have nothing against the individual members of staff but I do have quite a lot against companies such as Pret whose business models rely on employing young, keen people with no dependents for low wages for a small period of time.

nonameatall01 Fri 14-Aug-15 15:38:31

limitedperiodonly - not sure I get your response "I am not a charity" to my post. Charity surely is giving something for nothing, not paying for a coffee you have bought?!

We all have the freedom to buy or not buy coffee from where-ever we want.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 14-Aug-15 16:18:11

one barista I know works as a writer in her spare time as well as 'running' a local coffee shop in a station. I don't know how she does out of the writing though.

limitedperiodonly Fri 14-Aug-15 16:43:48

not sure I get your response "I am not a charity" to my post. Charity surely is giving something for nothing, not paying for a coffee you have bought?!

I did say your idea was interesting OP

Charity takes many forms.

After the First World War there were plenty of disabled servicemen who eked out a pitiful existence selling matches or playing cards.

No one really wanted them. But it was a way of giving charity without insulting the person. The model of handing over a donation for useless goods has been corrupted.

These days it's straight giving of cash or goods to a homeless person sitting on the street.

Sometimes it's a one-off donation in a rattling box or a standing order.

But it's also the idea of being encouraged to support a selfish business model and I'd put Pret, Costa, Starbucks and similar retailers, especially in Central London, in that group.

I prefer not to contribute to their profits. Plus the coffee and sandwiches are shit so I can do without them .

youareallbonkers Fri 14-Aug-15 18:14:28

It makes perfect sense, after all the coffee shop staff are the people who own the expensive London properties...aren't they?

minitoot Fri 14-Aug-15 20:08:24

A few years ago I knew someone who worked in a bar near Liverpool Street - they lived above the bar in dorm-style accomodation, and I think the rent was somehow taken out of their wages/ factored in. he was early 20s. You can live that way, just not save or have a family....
I think if we all stopped buying designer coffee, the UK economy would take a major hit. It is easily my biggest non-essential expense. (Actually if just I stopped buying designer coffee the UK economy would probs take a major hit grin )

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