However, Albania remains the first in the world for the high number of coffee bars in relation to the population…
If the entire population sits down at the same time in coffee bars and restaurants located throughout the country, they can accommodate almost 660 thousand people, or a quarter of the population. Not for nothing, Albania turns out to be one of the countries that has the highest number of coffee bars in the world in terms of population, comparing with Spain.
But even this business seems to be heading towards maturity. The latest INSTAT data show that for the first time in 2017, the number of bar-cafes has decreased. There were a total of 14,217 coffee bars in the country, decreasing by 4%, or in absolute terms there were 602 fewer coffee bars in the country. This decrease is marked for the first time since 2009, when INSTAT reports the data. At the time, there were only about 8,600 coffee bars in the country, but their number grew rapidly year after year, reaching a record high of 14,820 in 2016, before falling the following year.
In contrast, restaurants have resisted. Their number continued to increase in 2017, reaching 4,097, or 131 more, after the contraction that had marked the previous year.
In total, the number of seats in bars and restaurants decreased by 10% in 2017, compared to the previous year.
Opening coffee bars has been an easy business option for anyone, after the 90s. Opening a coffee bar, even under the palace, was the simplest way that many Albanians thought of making money, or simply surviving. Out of about 107,000 active businesses, bars and restaurants make up about 17% of them. While “accommodation and food service” had about 54 thousand employees in 2017, or about 13% of the total, being the third largest employing sector, after retail trade and services.
But now you have to think carefully about opening a coffee bar. The competition has also been increased by the lines of bar-cafés that have worked to create the brand, attracting customers from traditional neighborhood bars.
World record for cafes in relation to population
In 2016, Albania surpassed Spain as the country with the most coffeehouses per capita in the world.
In relation to the population of 2.87 million inhabitants, in Albania there are 640 coffee bars per 100 thousand inhabitants, according to the calculations of “Monitor”, or 1 coffee bar for 156 inhabitants. Compared to 2016, there is a slight decrease in the indicator, due to the closure of 600 bars and cafes.
In 2016, Albania also surpassed Spain for this indicator, which until now held the record in the European Union (EU) and in the world for the high number of coffee bars per inhabitant, with 592 coffee bars per 100 thousand inhabitants, or a coffee bar for 169 inhabitants, according to a recent EU study.
In Europe, after Spain and Albania, Cyprus also ranks for a high level of bars, with about 470 bars per 100,000 inhabitants (even in Cyprus there were closures due to the crisis).
In Italy, according to FIPE (Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi), there are about 250 coffee bars per 100,000 inhabitants, or almost half of Albania. In Amsterdam there are 63.5 bars per 100 thousand inhabitants, according to the Trade Association for Horeca and Catering, in Berlin 36, in Brussels 148.3, in London 32, in Istanbul itself 2.1, in New York 32.5, in Paris 27.2, Stockholm 19.1, in San Paolo 133.3. The highest is in Seoul with 186.4, Tokyo 216.5, Rio De Janeiro 191 etc. / Monitor.al