While a year old, the above is still relevant. One of the points that stood out the most in the article was the cost of GBP27.50 per hour of trading. For rent, rates, power and associated costs.
I doubt that you could obtain premises at those rates, in any busy city centre, in Australia. The wages at GBP12.50/hr are a lot lower than in Australia, even if you double it (exchange rate), as they include holiday pay etc.
The cost of doing business in Australia is very high, and when you have a close look at the prices set in cafes, restaurants etc, they do not always reflect this. Some are way to low in comparison to the cost of doing business. Greedy landlords, and Super funds investing in commercial real estate only exacerbates the issue, and makes it difficult for the shop owner trying to offer value.
Whilst in Europe recently, I talked to many a cafe/coffee shop owner (or manager), and while wages were lower in Eastern Europe and reasonable in other parts, the rents were not as high as here in Australia. Granted, certain prime real estate (especially city squares) commands high rents, but overall the costs were reasonable and businesses were viable. Most places I came across were run by managers.
I have family who work in the industry supplying restaurants etc,and their insights were quite an eye opener.
Europe has a lot of tourism all year round, and empty shops in busy areas were non existent.
Our standard of food and coffee is very high in Australia, but there are too many shops and not enough patrons to support them.
I feel for the coffee shop who gets complaints for $5 coffees (perceived as high by some), especially when a neighbouring "health food/juice bar" charges $10 for fruit juices/smoothies.
In Eastern Europe (and parts of Germany) coffee was more expensive than beer or juice, but not quite as tasty.