In August 2018, Costa Coffee launched the Chatty Café Scheme, an initiative designed to encourage conversations between customers at designated ‘Chatter and Natter’ tables, in over 300 stores nationwide. It accompanied this launch with new research, showing that 75%105 of people would like more face-to-face conversations, 63% would hesitate to talk to a stranger, 34% feared rejection, and 28% were too nervous to approach someone.
Chatty Café is designed to break down these perceived barriers, and encourage people to interact in a safe, welcoming environment.
The scheme builds upon Costa’s existing Community Programme, and on successful regional pilots that have been running for the last year.
Victoria Moorhouse, Head of Sustainability at Costa Coffee, says,
“Our coffee shops have always played an important role within communities. With loneliness and social isolation on the rise, feeling part of a community is more important than ever. And that’s exactly what the Chatty Café scheme is all about – helping our customers to open up and have a friendly chat.”
Chatty Café and Costa store teams have strengthened relationships with their customers and communities. Chatty Café was founded in Manchester by Alexandra Hoskyn, inspired by a visit to a supermarket café with her four-month-old son.
“He wasn’t great company and I was feeling fed up. Looking around the café I saw an elderly lady, and a young man and his support worker who looked down. I thought about the positive impact we could have on each other if we could all have a chat”.