Costa chaos as motorists queue for HOURS at drive-throughs

They must REALLY need a caffeine fix! Costa chaos as motorists queue for HOURS at drive-throughs after coffee chain opened 29 branches at weekend

  • Queues of traffic stretched around the block at takeaway chains in Edinburgh, Wakefield and Glasgow today 
  • At the weekend eager customers queued for more than a mile to get a drink at a branch in Snowhill Retail Park
  • Backlash from key workers at people going out for takeaway food and drinks, ignoring pleas to stay at home

Motorists queued for hours to get a drink at Costa drive-throughs this morning, sparking fears people are ignoring lockdown measures as more high street chains reopen. 

Tailbacks stretched around the block at takeaway chains in Edinburgh, Wakefield and Glasgow today as drivers waited to get their coffee fix. 

At the weekend, eager customers queued for more than a mile to get a coffee at a branch in Snowhill Retail Park in Yorkshire as it reopened after more than a month on Saturday.

But it has led to a furious backlash from key workers, who claim people venturing out for takeaway food and drinks are ignoring warnings and pleas from the government and NHS staff to remain at home.  

This comes as fast food giants including KFC, McDonald’s, Five Guys and Burger King move to gradually opening restaurants, leading to a deluge of orders and lengthy queues as delivery drivers wait in line.

Drivers were seen queuing for a coffee at Costa Drive Thru, Cameron Toll, Edinburgh this morning

Staff members were face masks were serving customers trays of coffee at the Edinburgh branch 

At the weekend 12 delivery only and 17 drive-through stores re-opened in towns and cities including Croydon, Edinburgh (pictured), Glasgow, Leeds, and Newcastle

Costa drive- throughs open across the UK



Edinburgh Sharpdale

Enterprise Swansea


Glasgow Braehead






St Ives


Toddington North

Toddington South

Wakefield Snowhill

Watford Arches Retail Park 

Four Costa Coffee branches re-opened in Manchester, Bristol, and Mansfield – two delivery only, two drive-through – on April 24, a month after the lockdown began.

And on April 2, 12 delivery only and 17 drive-through stores re-opened in towns and cities including Croydon, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, and Newcastle.

Some Costa Coffee branches have been open inside hospitals to serve NHS staff through the lockdown. But the decision to run a total 33 stores across Britain indicates that Costa Coffee is one of many chains seeking to kick-start trading.

The UK Government pursued a lockdown after scientists produced models warning that half a million people could die with the coronavirus if no action was taken.

There are concerns that the decision to shut down a huge portion of the UK economy has brought the country to the edge of an economic crisis more severe than the 1930s Great Depression.

Economists have estimated that the lockdown is costing Britain around £2.4billion per day, while a Bank of England official recently warned that Britain could be facing the worst economic contraction since 1920-21 – and possibly for three centuries.

Other companies which have moved to limited store reopenings or delivery-only services include Five Guys, Nando’s, KFC and Burger King. 

Costa Coffee CEO Jill McDonald told the Daily Mirror: ‘Last week we made the decision to reopen two Drive-Thru lanes and two stores for delivery only in line with the latest Government advice.

‘The safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and ahead of these stores re-opening, we put in place new social distancing guidelines, enhanced hygiene procedures and are providing teams with PPE.

‘We have been really pleased with how well our stores teams have been able to adapt to our new ways working, allowing us to serve great coffee, as safely as possible.’

KFC has launched an investigation after pictures emerged of delivery riders ignoring social distancing measures at its recently-opened Filton restaurant in Bristol

A member of staff wearing a face mask and gloves is seen directing cars at the Burger King drive-through in Havant, their first branch to reopen

Which businesses have started to reopen?

  • Nandos – has opened six restaurants – four in London and two in Manchester – for delivery only. The restaurants to reopen are: London (Clink St, Camberwell, Canary Jubilee, Gloucester Road) Manchester (Fallowfield, Printworks).
  • Burger King – has opened eight restaurants for delivery in Dundee, Aberdeen, Reading, Hillington (Norfolk), Southampton, Merto, (London) Springfield Quay (London).
  • Wagamama –  is to reopen its kitchens to deliver food to customers’ homes from Thursday from its kitchens in Peckham and Hackney.
  • Five Guys – the burger chain has opened 20 of its 104 restaurants. The stores open for delivery are: Cambridge Leisure Centre, Norwich, Colchester, Chelmsford, High St. Kensington, Reading, York, Southampton.
  • Timpsons – will be slowly opening stores, starting with those located in supermarkets.
  • KFC – the chicken chain is opening 100 branches for delivery only.
  • Pret a Manger – has re-opened 10 London take-aways.
  • Costa Coffee – has opened four stores for delivery only.
  • Homebase – opened 20 of its stores at the weekend as part of a trial.   
  • McDonald’s – set to open 15 restaurants from May 13

Ms McDonald continued: ‘We have also received some great feedback from our customers and key workers taking advantage of enjoying a well-deserved coffee break whilst on essential journeys to and from work.

‘We will be increasing the number of Drive-Thru lanes and stores open for delivery via Uber Eats from May 2.’

Costa Coffee is joining a number of famous chains which have chosen to reopen a select number of outlets – including Starbucks and McDonald’s.

McDonald’s said it will reopen 15 restaurants for delivery only on JustEat and UberEats, with the locations of restaurants being announced this week. 

The fast food giant will not be serving breakfast and will return with a limited menu and shorter opening hours from 11am and 10pm.

McDonald’s will bring in perspex screens and floor markings, non-medical grade face masks for staff and social distancing measures for delivery drivers.  

All employees will be asked to confirm they are fit and able to work, and bosses will use contactless thermometers with temperatures taken on arrival at work for every shift.

McDonald’s furloughed 135,000 staff when it shut up shop temporarily in March. 

Under government rules, food firms are allowed to operate as takeaway and delivery outlets under lockdown. 

Pret A Manger recently announced plans to partially reopen as pressure grows for an exit plan from the lockdown ravaging the economy. Their shops will open near hospitals and GP surgeries for delivery and takeaway services only.

But Greggs has postponed reopening 20 stores over fears of overcrowding.

The takeaway bakery chain temporarily shut all of its 2,050 branches last month to protect customers and staff after the Government ordered all non-essential shops to close.

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