Waitrose is installing coffee machines in all of its stores following success in its c-stores.
By the end of August, Waitrose will have coffee machines across its estate, including the 92 branches that already have cafés.
Selling hot coffee would complement the rest of its food-to-go offer, Waitrose said. “We know customers like the convenience of being able to get hot drinks throughout the day, and they expect them to be available from a variety of outlets,” said a Waitrose spokeswoman.
Waitrose is selling a coffee for £2.10 but is also giving away tea and coffee to myWaitrose cardholders. The myWaitrose offer has proved hugely popular with customers, but has angered independent café owners.
“People are queuing at Waitrose now before they open. Some are waiting 20 minutes to get their free coffee,” said Nic Tuttiett, of Gilly’s Café in Nailsea, Somerset.
Since Waitrose started its free coffee promotion at the end of last year, trade in the café and at other outlets in the town had gone from bad to worse, Tuttiett added. “There are 25 members of staff here and at the ‘119’ café nearby who could lose their jobs.”