May 30th, 2013

We Grind the Numbers
#GuardianCoffee Needs to Sell 270 Coffees a Day to Break Even

Using figures from landlords We Are Pop Up, Guido has ground the numbers and calculated how many coffees the Guardian has to sell a day to break even:

  • Rent for one unit at BoxPark Shoreditch is £5,000 for every three months. Guardian Coffee has knocked three units together, making the cost for a year plus VAT £72,000.
  • There is a one off service charge for each box of £1,250, and electricity for each box is £150 a month. That makes £9,150 for the year.
  • Fitting the shop itself is valued at £25,000.
  • Business rates for Hackney Council are calculated as 47.1% of the annual rent, totalling £33,912.
  • A shop manager and four staff (based on witness reports of staff numbers) would together cost a minimum of around £100,000.
  • That is an estimated total cost per year of £240,062.
  • Each coffee is sold for £2.50.
  • At an estimated whosesale price of £10 per kilo from Nude Espresso, at 7 grams a cup that makes a fair trade gross profit of £2.43 per coffee.

Meaning they have to sell 98,791 coffees to break even. That’s 8,233 coffees a month, 1,900 a week, or 270 a day – basically one every 2 minutes...

At the time of going to pixel, before Guardian Coffee sadly removed their data infographic from the internet, on their big opening day they had sold just 60 coffees. Another Guardian financial success…


  1. 1
    number cruncher says:


    do they literally only sell coffee? no other goods? I am sure you aren’t wilfully leaving stuff out to make your rivals look bad.


    • 5
      Smig says:

      Missing the point GF.

      They’re not there to make a profit. #grauniadcoffee is to offset tax liabilities.


      • 10
        Will says:

        The paper already makes tax losses it only the second hand motor sites which make money. Which is funny because most guardian readers seem to hate motor cars


        • 61
          I recall Camp Coffee sweetie says:

          I bet the coffee tastes like mud. After all, it was ground only a day ago.


          • not a working boy says:

            Typical lefties and is Guido too middle class.

            Not a mug of tea sold or with Guido china cup of tea with cucumber sandwich.

            Perhaps its Dutch Coffee shop. Apologies to Guido for insinuation.


          • Quiet Bat Person says:

            Why drink instant, when you can have freshly grauniad coffee.


        • 81
          broderick crawford says:

          so they are fabricating a tax loss in order to offset another tax …….. loss

          is that it. ??

          now i realise why these top tax accountants ern. mega. bucks


        • 95
          Paperless makes sense says:

          Now the Chinese are beginning to use toilet paper there won’t be enough paper to go around.


        • 96
          Paperless toilets says:

          Paperless toilets. You can smell it coming.


      • 12
        Vick says:

        Can’t offset VAT. Not even a Guardianista can do that.


      • 33
        Jimmy says:

        That won’t work. In Guidoworld you pay tax on turnover, not profits.


        • 34
          Vote Tory, get heir to Blair says:

          That’s thicko BBC world, pal.


          • broderick crawford says:


            who or what are you calling. shitehol e ????



        • 39
          Grumpy Old Man says:

          That’s Murphy-world. I thought that in Jimmy-world, Profits was a dirty word.


          • number cruncher says:

            it’s a good job Guido is a journo and not an accountant, as it is pretty obvious he would only look at those parts of the P&L he liked and ignore the bits he didn’t want to think about


          • Quiet Bat Person says:

            Yep. Like including all the fitting-out costs as a per-annum cost, instead of writing them off over several years, and including the reclaimable VAT as a cost.

            Didn’t Guido work in the financial sector once? Scary, isn’t it.


          • JH92398921938120 says:

            Tarty little makeovers like that will quickly look shabby, so you will be spending money on fitting out year on year. Besides, £25K is small beer when you look at the fixed costs.

            I do feel for them though – 47% fucking rates, in shitehole Hackney. A direct tax on enterprise.


          • Profitless says:

            You could be on to something.
            They will sacking their paid staff soon.

            With inters, student writers, copying off the web and a desirable tax set-up, pay very little out; pay fat dividends out to Alan, Polly…


    • 11
      lolwut says:

      He’s trying to spin that being a quarter of the way to profit on *opening day* is a bad thing

      270 isn’t that unrealitic. I queued in Starbucks the other day – 5 mins, 10 people ahead of me, probably 15 cups sold. In 5 mins. And that was in Leeds out in the sticks.


      • 15
        Infuriated of West Mids says:

        That was Starbucks, though. This is a *professional* ponce-pit.


      • 22
        Erm... says:

        Leeds is quite a big city and they’ve had coffee for…ooh a few years now…


        • 83
          broderick crawford says:

          eeeh lud. ooo. yooo. callin. out in t. sticks

          we re. part of gods own county ere…

          yorkshire ???centre of t world

          with leeds its capital city..

          transnationals us !!


    • 23

      They almost certainly make less gross profit on non-coffee items than they do on coffee.

      We had that Seumas Milne in earlier. Got his washing all mixed up and turned everything pink.


    • 72
      number cruncher says:

      if you click on the link from this site to the vice article the first thing you see is a picture of a coffee and, erm, some food

      put the spreadsheet down guido, you are a bit rubbish at numbers

      still :D they’ve opened this though. numpties


  2. 2
    LaboutNutter says:

    You forgot to add the cost of the iPads.


  3. 3
    Fuckoffee says:

    We are in negotiations to supply the BBC with all it’s coffee


    • 84
      broderick crawford says:

      sadda. hussein on meeting mr anaan in baghdad

      coffee ??

      anaan yes that s right sir

      saddam. yeah. cofffee

      anaan. yes sir

      saddam. so you want coffee yes ??

      anaan. yes mr president i am kofi

      saddam. no no no. coffee. coffee. coffee. do you drink coffee. ,,,, kofi ???

      anaan. oh i see sir pardon my stupidity . no ….. camomile tea please.


  4. 4

    Hey don’t forget us – pop over to @GuardianLaundry too!


    • 64
      Apprentice says:

      Is this a Lawd Sugar idea?


      • 85
        broderick crawford says:

        what pop up shops. ??
        sounds like it here tody y gone tomorrow fell off the back of. a van — bizness plan onthe back of a fag packet sorta thing. yeah thats his style .

        personslly. i think we should treat them the same as the (mary ) portias. pilot. retail. shops in rundown areas experiment ….. and wash our hands of them .


    • 86
      broderick crawford says:

      is this a chinese. guardian laundry. if so. will. widow rushbridger be in situ.


  5. 7
    Will says:

    It could be less if the rental for a pop up shop is lower. But that still a lot of latte to shift.

    You have to wonder what the point of this is, is the guardian in the media business or what. I am sure all the individuals at guardian towers facing redundancy will like this.

    I expect bella mackie (Alan rishbridger daughter) will be hanging out with all her friends blogging from thier. Articles what the best coffee shop etc to blog from.

    I can see it trying to be the place for all oh ton hipsters or trustafarians to hang out a bit Nathan barley.


  6. 8
    Owen Jones says:

    Right then.
    I’ll phone through an order for 269 take-away coffees then.

    As ever,Owen Jones to the rescue.


    • 54
      Old Grey Whistle says:

      I’m still waiting for Willy Qango MP to get back from his hols to do us an imaginative menu – for which one or two ideas were entered towards the end of the previous thread.


    • 77

      Now, assuming that a proportion of OJ’s income comes from … The Guardian, and that he’s just bought 269 coffees to take away, from the guardian, we can see perfectly the how the tax and business practice of the left actually create wealth.. I know, but if we all spend, we all get rich!.

      And exactly the same is true if we employ more state employees – their tax counts :)


  7. 9
    The drum says:

    The launch in Box Park also sees the job of retail operations manager, which has a salary of £25,000 to £30,000


  8. 13
    Oy Vey says:

    Why do you care?


    • 45
      Itchy Scrote says:

      It’s not about the caring, it’s about the pointing and the laughing.


      • 53
        Oy Vey says:

        People who don’t care don’t go to the effort of calling landlords to find out rental prices as well as other costs.


        • 76
          JH92398921938120 says:

          They do if the pleasure to be gained from pointing and laughing makes it worthwhile.

          The unwashed masses do rather love to see those who regard themselves as our betters falling right on their arses. It is a particularly English pastime.


  9. 14
    Gemima Moonface Smythe says:

    I like to drink my coffee in a warm and smug atmosphere.


  10. 16
    Tosspot says:

    Did not the Russians do something similar, to gather information ??


  11. 17
    Anonymous says:

    Business rates are calculated at 47.1% of a notional rental value as at 2010 levels, not the actual rent being paid. You also need to add in the cost of other consumables such as milk and sugar, crockery, paper cups, insurance, professional fees, head office cots, legal costs and a host of others. they will need to shift a lot more cups than that.


    • 57
      Old Grey Whistle says:

      Cots? Sleeping on the job again at Graudina HQ?


    • 65
      NE Frontiersman says:

      ‘47.1 % of a notional rental value..’
      Insane, isn’t it? Advance tax on money you haven’t earned yet and maybe never will, for which you get nothing in return.
      Also insane that a product with 7p raw materials needs to cost £2.50 to turn a profit.


  12. 18
    T Lady says:

    They should have opened a tea shoppe, then Polly could have put the kettle on.


  13. 19
    Man from middle earth says:

    I’d like the Full Fat Prescott – served in a pot with a VERY small spout.


  14. 20
    Smell the glove says:

    I’ll have a skinny balance sheet with sprinkles of parent company subsidy in a tall tax write-off mug


    • 80
      JH92398921938120 says:

      Would you like a wafer-thin readership with that?

      We also have a special on our sanctimony-infused fruity tea.


  15. 21
    Gemima Moonface Smythe says:

    The secret to their great tasting coffee is they use Owen Jone’s boiled piss to make it.


  16. 24
    Beefsteak says:

    Having worked in a tossy coffee shop I can assure you that a decent double shot will use 20g of coffee. Because it’s a good coffee shop every shot drawn will be a double. There’s also the hugely wasteful ‘dialling in’ process (calibration of the grinder) each morning that uses a shit-ton of coffee.

    The biggest margins will be in the cookies, sarnies, magazines etc etc.,


  17. 25
    Grinding the Numbers says:

    Add on the food which typically has a 200% markup (for muffins / toasted sarnies etc.) and the number of coffees comes down.

    May take them about 5 years to realize a profit if they are paying their taxes properly (ie higher rate than S’Bucks), paying their staff S’Bucks equivalent salary with all the unnecessary crap like iPads in the table.

    Techno Geeks will know that replacement costs on those will be high on those. The touch panels don’t like having coffee spilled on them.

    May work out for them, but the odds are stacked against.


    • 52
      davidc says:

      A shop manager and four staff (based on witness reports of staff numbers) would together cost a minimum of around £100,000.

      i hope these costs reflect the london ‘living wage’ – or are they are employing unpaid barista interns


  18. 26
    Anonymous says:

    O/T but I’d kinda like second opinion on a basic I’ve just realised – I can be very slow sometimes.

    UK pays money into the EU. The EU then distributes some of that money to various entities in member states, including UK; part of the contract between the EU and the beneficiaries is that the entities cannot say anything disparaging about the EU, regardless of any validity. So, effectively, the UK is paying(via the EU) to ban criticism of the EU. Good deal for the EU!

    Included among UK beneficiaries are BBC and many of our councils


  19. 27
    south7eventh says:

    Now THAT is what I call investigative journalism with your own special ingredients for that unforgettable aroma of decay and failure!

    I look forward to your regular topping up of milky froth and added caffeine reporting as another progressive venture bites the dust!


  20. 28
    Will says:

    Guardian spokesperson ” guardian coffe is a fantastic example of how we are bringing our open journalism approach to life, by taking our leading technology to where technology actually is: driving real time debate and technology among the creative tech community”

    The above is an actual quote. Is all very Nathan barley, its is very hoxton hipster stuff.

    Meanwhile in the real world outside of north london people are trying to make a living


  21. 29
    Anonymous says:

    Stupid idea but I’ll bet they’re not paying a penny for rental. Boxpark is struggling to keep tenants as it is. Likely a freebie thrown Guardian’s way in exchange for ‘buzz’ and promotion.
    Just popped in-feels like I travelled back to 2009.


  22. 30
    Will says:

    Does anyone fancy protesting outside this coffe emporium next week about companies located offshore to dodge taxes or inside buying a coffee and seeing how long before they chuck you out. I reckon about 4 hours should do it.


    • 41
      Sir Peter Bottomless says:

      Great idea, let’s get this shit trending now, maybe #fairtaxguardian or even better #petrolbombtheseHunts


  23. 32
    The BBC says:

    We’ll sort this out.


    • 36
      Grinding the Numbers says:

      They could pimp out Owen Jones to make a bit of extra money.


      • 43
        The BBC says:

        He’s ancient.


        • 46
          Grinding the Numbers says:

          Adding a socialist massage parlor upstairs could work in that part of town.

          Rub ‘n’ Tug with a Latte could work as a business model, and would be both liberating and radical.


  24. 37
    Raving Loon says:

    I reckon it’s a scam to avoid tax. No serious business would ever be so stupid.


  25. 38
    Handycock says:

    Do they use sun dried flicked beans found on the beaches of Rio?


  26. 42
    Mrs Bigot says:

    ……and the Guardian being the Guardian they will certainly not be selling fair trade coffee.

    They might SAY they are but could you trust the old tax scammers, I think not!


  27. 44
    Casual Observer says:

    The corollary is that they are having to give up on their publications as they perceive more profit and growth in Coffee and Cakes.

    Is it true that the Staggers are opening a fast food location specializing in Burgers ?


  28. 47
    Dandare says:

    It’s a marketing excersise to get their name in the news and on the blogs. Seems to be working…


    • 51
      Peckham Sage says:

      Except it looks cr@p, like they’re pishing money down the drain on a coffeeshop rather than investing in actual journalism.

      What next? Guardian-branded lawnmowers? Footwear? Building services?


      • 55
        Gumbril says:

        I wonder if they are going to ‘crowd source’ the labour for the coffee shop by making Hunts pay for the privilege of bringing and preparing their own coffee and then drinking it in their own mug which they then take with them?


  29. 48

    When is Rusbridger going to wake up and smell the #GuardianCoffee ?


    • 92
      Too rich says:

      he too rich for all this, like all his lead writers.


      • 93
        Do they work in London says:

        If they mimic guidos set-up, and do as Polly does, and run the Guardian tax affairs out and beyond, then probably they are a plane journey away.

        No they won’t visit and smell the coffee.


  30. 49
    Zing! says:

    They could make savings by using Polly Toynbee’s hot air to heat the milk.


  31. 50
    Tosspot says:

    At least it is not called ” Baldrick’s”


  32. 62
    Chris Klein says:

    I though this was another risible task from “The Apprentice”.


  33. 63
    ron says:

    It’ll only be open on windy days when there is enough eco-electricity from windmills to work the coffee machines.


    • 89
      static electricity says:

      its all static in this coffee shop.
      As Einstein observed if you can collect that (lightning) you would solve your energy needs.


  34. 66
    Cancel My Subscription??? says:

    Why don’t they give a free coffee with every paper. That would help them lose money faster.

    And all those ipads embedded in desks. Really funky – but do i want to use an ipad someone else has been fingering while I then much my croissant smearing all those germs and sticky excrescences on it onto it. And they come from guardian readers so they are probably more left wing virulent disease germs.



  35. 67
    Bob Diamond Standard says:

    Does explain why we pay such a fortune for coffee everywhere else.


  36. 69
    kofi annan says:

    coffee shop… what a great idea! i’ll get morgan freeman to front the campaign. right oh that’s that! best get back to my cell to inject some more heroin into my big black dick.


  37. 74
    Eeyore says:

    Fascinating exercise for someone’s ‘A’ level business project – but haven’t you better things to do, Guido?

    Ms Hodge’s tax affairs, for example?


  38. 75
    Courier says:

    @courierpaper: Contrary to the rumours, a print newspaper IS available at #guardiancoffee


  39. 79
    Polly Kettle-On says:

    At least if there any spills, they’ll have unsold copies of the Graun to mop it up.


  40. 87
    Andy McNab says:

    Send in the SAS


  41. 90
    Useless users says:

    Will students, OAPs, unwaged, Mums with kids and the slow to learn be allowed to visit this coffee shop.


    • 97
      Will says:

      Sorry only hoxton hipsters allowed with a black/disabled/ lesbian employee serving to add ethnic diversity. Also trustafarians welcome whilst trying to pitch a media/web idea.

      No real working class please mind you the poncy look of the place will put them off.


  42. 98
    Anonymous says:

    The cost incl. VAT ? I no the gruaniad r fik, but even they will reclaim the input tax, shirley ?


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