June Power Poll Results

July 2, 2020 7:00am
By Bob Bernstein
Coffee Correspondent

Email apologies & data analysis

Issues & Apologies

Perhaps the biggest take away from the inaugural Coffeehouse Power Poll was that there were issues with the survey software. A bug in an update sent some of you 50 or more email survey reminders. I totally apologize for that and have been assured by the fine folks at Power Poll that this hasn't happened before and that the problem has been fixed. Big thanks to those who stuck with me and even bigger thanks to those who sent words of encouragement.

Survey Results

This first survey was intended to get a feel for our membership and to see how we are all doing with the pandemic. Overall, the results surprised me in at least three ways.

  • We have an incredibly experienced group. More than 40% of those that responded have been operating for ten or more years.
  • Many cafes have actually increased sales during this period.
  • About 55% of the responders never closed any of their operations.

COVID-19 Responses

Most own operations that are open and have used the time to improve their business(es). Yet most have experienced signficant lower sales and a sizable number have had a rather difficult time. 88% of owners reported that their cafes are now open. However, one-third reported having negative feelings during this period  with 14% even saying they'd exit their business if there was an easy way out.


How did your operation deal with COVID-19?

We closed down for awhile and are now back open. (32%)

We never closed any operation. (56%)

Our store(s) are closed and we don't expect to open for at least 30 days. (6%)

Our store(s) are closed yet we expect to open all/most within 30 days. (6%)


How has COVID-19 affected your feeling about your business?

It's just one more business hurdle I've had to face. (18%)

I've used the time to find ways to improve my business. (50%)

I've been on an emotional roller coaster. (18%)

I'd exit business if there was an easy way out. (14%)


How has COVID-19 affected your business?

Stores still closed (9%)

Sales about the same (0%)

Sales are up (15%)

Sales down 10% or less (0%)

Sales down 10% to 25% (24%)

Sales down 26% to 50% (26%)

Sales down 51% to 75% (23%)

Sales down 76% plus (3%)


Demographic Survey Results

Those that filled out the first survey despite the technical issues tended to be long-time and single-cafe owners. About 82% of those responding have been operating for more than five years while 75% of the group operate a single store. Further, about 40% have been operating for more than 10 years and nearly 97% operate six or fewer stores.


How long have you owned your coffee business(es)?

0 to 1 year (6%)

1+ year to 3 years (15%)

3+ years to 5 years (15%)

5+ years to 10 years (24%)

10+ years (41%)


How many coffee operations do you own?

1 to 3 (76%)

4 to 6 (21%)

7 to 10 (0%)

10+ years (3%)



Again, sorry for the email issue and thank you for sticking with the Coffeehouse Power Poll. This is intended to be a monthly project; to get on a normal schedule, look for another survey in two- to three- weeks.

Some have asked how they can help. Here are a few other ways to improve this Power Poll.

  • Email with ideas for future survey questions.
  • Nominate other cafe owners for membership.
  • Ask any questions and make any comments.


Bob Bernstein



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