Coffee cup ban: Boston Tea Party's sales fall by £250k

Unattributed article on bbc.co.uk:

An independent coffee chain said it has seen sales fall by £250,000 since it banned single use cups last summer.

Boston Tea Party (BTP) has called for major national and international brands to follow suit.

Owner Sam Roberts said it had factored the loss in takings into its plans and that too many operators were "putting their profits before the planet".

That’s quite a headline to draw you in. But I’m guessing that’s not what they actually meant when they reported their drop in sales:

Boston Tea Party usually sells £1m in takeaway coffees per year but it is down 25%.

Revenue of £1m means net sales of £800k when the VAT is split out. So a 25% fall is £200k net in terms of revenue.

Then there are the reusable cups… they sold 40,000 of them

Mr Roberts said the firm had stopped 125,000 cups going to landfill, sold 40,000 reusable coffee cups and raised £12,000 for local charities with the money saved on buying disposable cups - roughly 10 pence for every cup.

(Bear in mind, with 22 sites open 6 days per week; 125,000 cups saved from landfill is around 18 reusable cups per day in each coffee shop.)

Just two refills of each reusable cup would equate to 120,000 cups of coffee sold, thus balancing out the loss of single-use-cup sales. The question is: are the reusable cups categorised as takeaway sales or a separate category?

Another question could be: did people buy fewer coffees because they didn’t want to pay for the reusable cup, or simply because they just can’t afford the luxury of a coffee in these uncertain times?

I’m not saying that BTP have mislead anyone - if anything, my gut feeling is the author of the piece put that £250k spin on what they reported. What I am saying is the article leaves me wondering how much of that hit to business revenue can truly be put down to this ‘brave’ decision.

Full story here: Coffee cup ban: Boston Tea Party's sales fall by £250k

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