Greasy spoon cafes are still top nosh

SUFFOLK'S greasy spoon cafes serving a full English fry-up and mug of tea are under threat, so claims a report.As the county becomes more health conscious fewer customers are opting for the old-fashioned egg, beans and chips restaurants.

SUFFOLK'S greasy spoon cafes serving a full English fry-up and mug of tea are under threat, so claims a report.

As the county becomes more health conscious fewer customers are opting for the old-fashioned egg, beans and chips restaurants.

Instead, they prefer a growing number of trendy American-style coffee bars and gourmet sandwich shops, according to the report by market analysts.

But at the BP Dock Stop Café in Felixstowe, Jason Revell who serves up the fatty goods to truckers said his customers were more interested in value for money than healthy food.


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He said the healthiest food the Anzani Avenue cafe had on offer was a baked potato and that the traditional fry-ups and 50p mug of tea were still popular.

Wendy Harper, another employee who was serving up the English breakfasts this morning, said they were busier than ever.

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The report by market analysts Euromonitor, which is due to be published at the end of October, said that traditional cafes saw sales grow by only 1.5 per cent between 1997 and 2001, leading to a decline in their numbers in the UK of 11.7pc over the period.

At the same time sales at the growing number of coffee bars, such as Starbucks, Puccinos and Costa Coffee, rose by 69.5pc with the number of outlets increasing by 152pc.

According to the report traditional English cafes: "suffer from an old-fashioned and unhealthy image and, together with a generally low level of innovation and reputation for a lower quality of service, are witnessing a dwindling customer base.

"Their sales of hot drinks have been challenged by the rise of speciality tea and coffee houses, with many consumers seeking a more sophisticated offering.

"Their sales of the traditional British all-day breakfast, in contrast, have been hindered by consumer health concerns and the appeal of fast food restaurants, whether they be burger restaurants or premium sandwich bars," it claims."

Trucker Mike Spencer said: "You wouldn't go in to places like that for a coffee costing £3.50, they're far too expensive.

"I eat very sensibly here, last night I had a salad, I don't have big fry ups," he added that he liked greasy spoons because they catered for anything he wanted.

Rita Humphries, manager of Boss Hogs Transport Cafe, London Road, Copdock, said they had always served a specific type of food to a specific type of person and had no intention of changing.

She said: "We have a steady flow of people all day and we're as busy as we've always been. People who come here are mainly truck drivers although we do get families with children as well.

"They are often after a decent meal which we serve and I don't know what they would think if we just sold sandwiches. These cafes are mainly in the town centre so to get 50 trucks to go there would be impossible!"

Mrs Humphries added that Boss Hogs would not be changing their menu despite the report.

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