Last year we asked Brisbane’s cafe and hospitality community to share their thoughts on just how coffee in the River City stacks up to the rest of the country, the impact of COVID-19 and what the future of the industry looks like.

The results are in, and the answer is clear: Brisbane’s coffee industry needs a united front.

Almost one in three representatives from Brisbane’s cafe and hospitality industry (30.4%) felt there is not enough business focused support for the coffee industry in Brisbane.

With more than half (52.9%) of respondents feeling that there is not a strong collective voice when it comes to rules and regulations set by the government, there is a clear need for advocacy.

“These results show us that café owners are very optimistic of being able to grow and be sustainable, if the government works together with industry to find the right solutions and outcomes needed,” our founder Phillip Di Bella said.

The survey also revealed that staffing is the biggest issue for industry operators, with 63.8% of respondents reporting that wages and costs have the largest impact on their business.

“The industry is heading into difficult times with the ending of government assistance if both the rising cost of wages and utilities is not addressed.”

Download the full report here.

Here’s what some of our contributors had to say:

“Hospitality, in general, has an endemic problem of low net margins. It requires either businesses that make very little, or are run with very questionable morality.”

“We need more opportunities of training for baristas to advance their skills. It’s hard for baristas to get a job unless they have three years experience.”

“2021 will be a big year, with many opportunities locally and further afield. If we as an industry work more collaboratively, the world will be our oyster.”

The Coffee Commune aims to be a conduit between government and the industry to ensure that all decisions made are in the best interest of both parties.

“Now is the time for café owners and all people involved in hospitality to be part of the change they want to see,” said Phillip.

Have your say! Tell us what you think on social media, or drop us an email at [email protected]

The coronavirus pandemic could have spelled doom for Alex Milosevic’s roastery café. Instead, it forced him to wake up and smell the coffee.


Opinion: Phillip Di Bella explains why right now cafes and restaurants need a strong voice and a singular foundation that holds them together.