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Why do cafes close early – 3 startling reasons why your local café is not open late

Soul Mates shed light on why cafes close early

Why do cafes close early – 3 reasons why your local café is not open late


Why do cafes close early? Or is it, why does my local café close just when I think about going in for a late afternoon pick-me-up coffee?

Why do Cafes close early? It’s because Cafes open early

It may surprise you to know but most cafes around Melbourne open at around 7am which of course means that the staff have been there from around 6.30am (sometimes earlier)


The bustling morning coffee trade, which a hotly contested space for cafes competing in the suburbs and now post-COVID lockdowns, around the CBD, means that to be consistently open for you coffee-addicted regulars, is an integral part of your strategic plan.


Yes, café owners have (or need) a strategic business plan.


Being open early suits many café owners. Most cafés will report that their traffic comes in waves: the morning coffee rush, after school drop-off parent rush, mid-morning pre-lunch or “elevenses”, the lunch rush, and the afternoon tea trade.


Of course there’s also the other traffic  which occurs as folks see you closing up for the day, bringing in your outdoor chairs, tables and umbrellas, fondly called the “Are you still open?” rush.


*Inside thought alert*


“Hmmm…yes…we can still be open for you, but please don’t be difficult, and please order quickly..”


Also, next time…come and buy your afternoon coffee before closing time.

Spiderman questions why do cafes close early and why do people stay late


So, why do cafes close early? 

If early to you means 3pm then consider the café’s start time of 6.30am.  Then also consider your average work day hours.  For café workers, owners and chefs, working in a fast-paced café is a physical job. It’s front-facing serving the public, and there is little down-time. The day is a full one.

Labor Shortages are part of why cafes close early

It’s news to no-one that there is a critical staff shortage across all industry sectors currently.  Retail, construction, tourism, health, education and yes…you guessed it…hospitality.  A key reason why cafes close early (or earlier than they used to) is the shortage of qualified hospitality workers.

Rising Operational Costs

Lost revenue from lock-downs, higher wages for workers especially on Sundays and public holidays, and food inflation hiking up prices have all led inexorably to a slow squeeze on cafes.  Its harder than ever to own and run a profitable cafe, where your efforts are reasonably rewarded for the hours of input. 


Why do cafes close early? – You’ll never think about a baby cino the same way after seeing the treatment it gets from the Soul Mates