UK’s Coffee Industry Faces Barista Shortage

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. scarcity / ˈskɛər sɪ ti / (n) – the state of not having enough of something

    The region is currently experiencing a scarcity of resources due to the recent crisis.

  2. detrimental / ˌdɛtrəˈmɛntl̟ / (adj) – causing harm or a negative effect on something

    The scandal caused a detrimental effect on the company.

  3. entice / ɛnˈtaɪs / (v) – to attract a person or a certain group of people

    The new restaurant hopes to entice students with its budget-friendly meals.

  4. looming / ˈluː.mɪŋ / (adj) – about to occur soon

    The president called for an emergency meeting to discuss the looming water crisis.

  5. in view of (something) / ɪn vjuː əv / (idiom) – due to something

    In view of the coming typhoon, the government issued warnings to the public.


Read the text below.

The United Kingdom’s coffee industry is facing a scarcity of baristas as it grows at a fast pace, according to a recent report.

The report, published by market research company Allegra World Coffee Portal and The London Coffee Festival, found that over 6,500 new coffee shops are estimated to open all over the United Kingdom by 2023. As there was a rise in the coffee industry’s value to £10.1 billion last year following an increase in the demand for coffee in the region, the industry is expected to face shortages of baristas in the coming years.

In order to meet the increasing demand for coffee within the next four years, shops will need to employ 40,000 new baristas. At present, there are about 160,000 baristas employed in the United Kingdom. However, the report claims that this figure may decrease following Brexit, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU).

Leaders in the coffee industry are concerned because Brexit may have a detrimental effect on the industry. They believe that it will be more difficult to entice foreign workers because of the looming problems concerning immigrants’ work permits. This is particularly alarming since according to a representative of a major UK coffee and food shop, most of their potential employees are from EU countries.

In view of the new report, Allegra Group CEO Jeffrey Young agrees that the number of baristas joining the profession should be aligned with the coffee industry’s growth. To achieve this, he proposed to make the profession more attractive. According to Young, people should view the profession as a high-skilled job that requires extensive understanding and expertise.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, how would the possible scarcity of baristas affect the country’s coffee industry? Discuss.
• If you were working in the coffee industry, what strategies would you employ to make the barista profession more attractive?

Discussion B

• What are some industries you foresee growing in the near future (e.g. media, real estate)? Why?
• Which of these industries do you think is the most sustainable? Explain.