Friday, 19 February 2010

Profiteering on the Motorway

I often have coffee in Costa Coffee on Ludgate Hill. I probably have four or five coffees a week in there – the staff are lovely, I like the ambience and there is plenty to watch as people wander past on the way to St Paul's.
I’ve been on the road quite a lot over the last few days and have become fed up with the naked profiteering that goes on on the motorway services.  A glorious example is with Costa Coffee. In my usual haunt, my standard order of small black americano costs £1.80. On the motorway it costs £2.19 – an increase of 39p or 21.6%. This is a shocking level of increase. I do not believe that Costa pay their staff on on the motorway any more (although I’d be delighted to be proven wrong) and I can’t conceive of any justification for this level of difference – other than this is the price that they can get away with.
Shame on you, Costa!


  1. I believe motorway Costa outlets are ran by the operator through franchise agreements. So the prices are set by the operator, and the revenue goes to them first.

    It's worth remembering that in the past few years all the major operators have come close to bankruptcy, so if this is all about profiteering then they're not doing it very well. Similarly if this business was easy money then we would be falling over different companies which have all jumped on the bandwagon.

    I say this because I once spoke to a service station manager who said they wanted to repair the sliproad but couldn't afford the asphalt.

    So this begs the question, where is all the money going? (I believe the answer is tax, but don't quote me on that)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Clive.

    I'm sure the arrangements are as you say. Nevertheless, I can't see any reason for the high difference in price. In the end my perception is that Costa are profiting excessively from their position. Whether this is true or not, the brand is tainted in a way I'm sure they would not like.

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  4. You think that's bad - what about £1.60 for a coke!

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