Research shows that Britain’s coffee shop operators will need to hire another 40,000 baristas to cater for their expansion programmes over the next six years.

Figures from Allegra Group’s latest UK Coffee Report suggest that the number of coffee shops in Britain will pass 30,000 by 2025, an increase of more than 7,000 compared with today.

The latest statistics suggest that an average of 24 coffee shops are opening every week across Britain, implying that the total is set to overtake that of pubs by 2030. Coffee shops are expected to pour £8.9bn into the UK economy this year, an increase of 12% on last year.

The big three chains — Costa, Starbucks and Caffè Nero — account for 19% of total sales, with all three reporting high single-digit growth last year.

Allegra said there are about 150,000 baristas working in the UK, many from overseas, and warned that any curbs on immigration from European Union countries after Brexit could severely hamper the industry’s growth projections.

The projected increase would require a further 40,000 staff, which according to Allegra would mean there were “ten times more baristas than barristers” in this country.

Jeffrey Young, chief executive of Allegra, said: “Coffee is taking over the nation and with that comes a surge in demand for skilled baristas to keep the lattes flowing.

“Being a barista is a brilliant job that requires a great deal of knowledge and skill. We believe it should be as respected as the top sommeliers at the finest restaurants.”