It’s not just any storm in a cup of tea! M&S risks controversy by ditching saucers for cups in its cafes
- M&S says it’s replacing two pieces of crockery with one to save water and energy
- He will replace traditional porcelain services with cups, but still plans to use teapots
- Regular visitor Ron Moore, 86, said the move could ‘cost them a lot of customers’
- But a company spokesperson said feedback was positive at all ten test cafes.
It is the British brand par excellence.
But Marks & Spencer is breaking with national tradition – ditching teacups and saucers in its cafes in favor of mugs.
The retail giant is making the switch to saving water and energy because it’s faster to clean a single cup rather than two pieces of tableware. He still uses teapots.
The move reflects a trend in homes where china cups and saucers — as well as teapots — are being pushed out of kitchen cupboards.
Most households barely use a porcelain tea set and simply place a tea bag in a cup.
But fans of traditional china, Ron and Jennifer Moore, who regularly visit M&S in Longbridge, Birmingham, are disappointed. Mr Moore, 86, said: ‘We go to M&S once a week for our tea and toasted tea cakes for breakfast, before doing our weekly shopping. We are very friendly with the staff and they informed us that the cups and saucers were being removed.
M&S are ditching tea cups and saucers in their cafes in favor of cups to save water and energy (Pictured: an M&S cafe in Newcastle)
“They are going to be replaced by cups and tea bags. It could cost them a lot of customers, especially since we pensioners love our tea pots. They told us that they had received many complaints from retirees.
“Staff think it’s the cost of electricity to run the dishwashers, so it would appear to be purely financial.”
Tea sets were first imported from China during the reign of George IV, 1762-1830. Initially, a small amount of tea was poured into the saucer to promote rapid cooling. Over time, the size of the saucer evolved to accommodate the cup.
The move reflects a trend in homes where porcelain cups and saucers – as well as teapots – are being pushed out of kitchen cupboards (stock image)
Handles were not added in Britain until around 1750, largely thanks to designer Robert Adams. Adams made cups taller than their base and accompanied by a saucer, which soon became the standard of what is known as English tea service.
An M&S spokesperson said: ‘We have started providing customers with porcelain cups rather than cups and saucers to reduce water and energy consumption.
“It reduces water because fewer items need to be washed in the dishwasher.” We’ve tested it in ten cafes and it’s now rolled out to another 50 cafes. Customer feedback has been positive.