Vienna`s famous coffee house culture, a Unesco recognised part of Austria’s cultural heritage, is under serious threat as many of its cafes are struggling to survive.
 
New statistics issued by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce the increasing numbers of the  2,5000 cafes in the capital are being forced to close each year as  they struggle to remain financially viable. Although, the historic coffee houses in the most favourable locations, of which there are approximately 110, continue to thrive according to new figures from the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Whilst the number of coffee housesin total remains fairly stable as new ones open regularly the tradition is under threat as often within half a year.
 
Causes for the generally downward tend are citied, among others, as being due to the introduction of stricter rules governing non-smoking areas, cash registers now being required, the banning of slot machines which provide extra income for smaller establishments  and the new EU law which has made the labelling of all  ingredients that contain allergens compulsory. The current economic crisis is also seen as plaving a role with customers spending less when visiting coffee houses.
 
In order to remain solvent many coffee houses are increasing the number of extra activities they offer, with live music, brunch and grill evening being the most widespread. Only time will tell as to whether such methods will prove to be sufficient to help preserve this wonderful tradition.