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Beyond the Beans: What’s the Difference Between Cafe and Coffee Shop?

By Maria Hickey on September 5th, 2023

For many, the terms “cafe” and “coffee shop” are interchangeable, but in reality these two establishments have distinct characteristics that set them apart. 

In this blog, we explore the key differences between cafes and coffee shops in the UK, including their features and the various types of coffee drinks available in each establishment.

Coffee Drinks in Cafes and Coffee Shops

One of the significant differences between a cafe and coffee shop is the variety and preparation of coffee drinks they offer. While both establishments serve coffee, the types and styles of coffee drinks can vary greatly.

Differences in Coffee Drinks

At a coffee shop, you can expect to find a wide variety of coffee drinks such as espresso, iced coffee, cappuccino, latte, and macchiato. All of these drinks can be made with different types of milk (e.g., soy, almond, oat) and syrups for flavouring.

On the other hand, cafes tend to serve more traditional drinks such as black coffee, filter coffee, and French press. They are less likely to serve specialty coffees, such as cold brew or nitro coffee, and may not offer flavoured syrups.

The Atmosphere of a Cafe vs Coffee Shop

When it comes to cafes and coffee shops, the differences go beyond just the types of coffee drinks available.

Cafes are typically found on quieter streets or tucked away in residential neighbourhoods. They tend to be smaller and more intimate, providing customers with a cosy environment where they can chat and relax. 

In contrast, coffee shops are typically larger establishments with ample seating space and they tend to be located in populated areas such as city centres. The atmosphere of a coffee shop is usually bustling and fast-paced, providing customers with a great spot to work, meet friends, or simply grab their morning coffee on the go.

Food Options at a Coffee Shop and Cafe

The food options that cafes and coffee shops offer can also vary significantly. Cafes often feature freshly-baked pastries, sandwiches, salads and other light snacks. They may also offer heartier options such as mac ‘n’ cheese or lasagne.

On the other hand, coffee shops typically focus on pre-made items such as prepackaged sandwiches, muffins and cookies. The focus is more on providing customers with a range of beverages to accompany their snacks,  rather than offering an extensive selection of meal options.

Insuring a Coffee Shop and Cafe

Despite the differences between a cafe and coffee shop, they both face the same risks that they need insurance to protect them against. For instance, an insurance policy can cover both against damage caused by fires or floods, as well as theft of cash or property.

It’s important to note that the type of coverage required will depend on the size and scope of the business. An independent cafe may require different types of coverage compared to a larger chain. Additionally, some policies can cover additional expenses such as employee salaries and lost revenue due to business interruption. 

Having the right insurance in place helps ensure that the cafe or coffee shop is protected against financial losses should something unexpected occur.

Cafe vs Coffee Shop: Which is Better?

The answer to this question really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a wide selection of food options and a relaxed atmosphere, then a cafe is the better option. On the other hand, if you need a quick caffeine fix and don’t mind grabbing pre-made snacks, then a coffee shop might be more suitable.  

Whether you prefer a relaxing and quiet atmosphere, or a more bustling and busy one, both cafes and coffee shops offer unique and enjoyable experiences for coffee lovers in the UK.

Get Coffee Shop Insurance Today

Here at Brisco, we offer comprehensive coffee shop insurance packages to help business owners protect their operations from financial losses. With our policy plans, you can rest assured that your coffee business is covered in the event of any unexpected issues.

We understand the importance of having peace of mind when running a coffee shop and our skilled team is here to help guide you through the process. To learn more about our full coverage options, get a quote today. 

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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