Britain Facing Brexit Barista Shortage, Reveals Study

As the UK coffee industry continues to grow, the UK is facing a shortage of baristas, research has revealed.

With the industry’s value growing 7.9% in the last year to hit £10.1 billion in the UK, another 6,517 coffee shops are projected to open in the next four years, according to the study.

To satisfy this growing demand an additional 40,000 coffee professionals will be needed by 2023, this will be in addition to the 160,000 baristas currently working in the UK.

However, industry leaders have warned Brexit has made it more difficult to attract applicants from EU countries, while British workers have not yet made up for the gap.

In 2017, Pret a Manger HR boss Andrea Wareham said just one in 50 applicants for jobs at the chain are British.

According to the new research by the London Coffee Festival and Allegra World Coffee Portal, half of all bosses in the coffee sector are worried about Brexit.

Jeffrey Young, chief executive and founder of Allegra Events – which runs the festival – said: “Brits are a nation full of coffee lovers so it’s fantastic to see the industry continue to grow at such an incredible rate, however, it’s alarming that the number of baristas joining the profession does not match this growth.

“Being a barista is a brilliant job, requiring a great deal of knowledge and skill. I firmly believe it should be as well admired as sommeliers at top restaurants.”

If enough new recruits can be found to match the growing industry, the UK will employ 10 times more baristas than it does barristers.