Cafe's busier but still not seeing office workers after reopening

By Charlotte Bentley | Dining out | Published:

Many independent cafes and eateries have been getting back on their feet after being closed for months during lockdown.

Aroma Cafe Bar in Telford Shopping Centre. Manager, David Robinson

As trade slowly but surely increases at restaurants and coffee shops, some owners in Shropshire said this has been more from tourists and visitors than it has from office workers returning.

David Robinson, owner of the Aroma Cafe Bar in Telford Town Centre, said they are gradually increasing in trade, but they have not had many officer workers return.

"The trade is not as it was but each week is gradually increasing a little bit," David said. "Its not where it needs to be but not as bad as it was. A lot of our retired customers are still self-isolating due to health issues. We are actually getting a lot of people from out of the area coming for the day, who keep returning.

"Its uncertain times for hospitality and retail businesses and people are out of habit. We have just got to get through this difficult time, however long it lasts. I would say we have not seen any office workers come in, its more people who are now off furlough or people coming back out to shop again.

"Our core regulars have been back, and we are also getting a lot of more customers. A few other cafes have closed – Debenhams and House of Fraser are not coming back. Since we opened on July 4 we have been getting busier."

Many cafes have been getting busier, but hoped as people started to return to office working, business would increase further as people stopped by on their lunch break for a quick bite.

Hannah Newton, manager at Ginger & Co coffee shop in Shrewsbury said they've been inundated with customers, but they have been all sorts.

"Its just been crazy busy," she said. "This past week has been the busiest we have ever been since we reopened. It just hasn't stopped.

"Our customers have been all sorts, its hard to say whether its an increase in people returning to the office or not. There have been quite a few people getting takeaways, but our customers have been all sorts."

Both businesses said they were especially busy during the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which they took part in.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at

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