Pau: Downtown cafe owners split on arrival of Starbucks
No help for the self-employed
Bastien Metois is still struggling to understand that Starbucks received 40,000 euros from Agglo as part of the “installation help”. This idea was also discussed extensively in the municipal council last March. “In September 2021 a car drove into our facade. We had to close for five months while waiting for the new door and we got no help. When we reopened we asked for planters to prevent cars from parking in front. It has just been installed! “, does not accept this boss. And to add: “It’s hard enough with the staff we can’t recruit. Mr Bayrou, it’s better that he doesn’t visit us, I don’t think he would be happy with what we would tell him.”
A few meters further, just opposite Starbucks, the Café de l’Europe and its large terrace overlooking Rue Foch. Behind his counter, Laurent Ferreira takes orders from regulars and tourists who left early Tuesday morning. He is happy to note her return. He is more expectant of his new neighbor: “We will not draw a plan on the comet. We’ll wait and we’ll see.”
On the other hand, at 20 rue Foch, in the Cristal, Loïc Lacabanne is much more relaxed, even “satisfied”. “The city of Pau needs big brands like this to attract other big groups like this. Here on Rue Foch we have an average of 10,000 people a day. We need more flows and Starbucks can help,” says this boss. Who thinks downtown traffic will grow with this arrival.
Loïc Lacabanne has done his calculations: “Starbucks will steal 10% of our customers and give us 15%. We don’t do the same. We may only have one coffee shop, but it’s a top brand. And we have hot dishes of the day, a coffee for 1.50 euros, which is 32% cheaper than at home, cold drinks…”
To cope, he relies on his clientele “families of all ages” and on the transformation of his house. “We planned the work for two years. They should be ready in 2023. We want to set up a take-away sale,” reveals the Cristal boss.
Promenade of the Pyrenees, Manu Do Couto, one of the bosses of Columbus, shares the feeling of his colleague from Cristal. “Of course, this is direct competition for us and we were the only ones with this type of coffee. But it’s a nice brand that settles in the city center. Coming here shows that Pau has real potential, that she’s moving. And he’s hoping Starbucks can attract other big groups, particularly in his artery. “It’s awful to see so many shops on the promenade closed, and for a long time. »