Could The Chatty Café Concept Revolutionise Your Business?
If you’ve been feeling as though your business is in something of a rut and needs shaking up a bit, you might want to start looking into Chatty Café, a scheme created by one Alexandra Hoskyn in Manchester that’s designed to connect people from different walks of life who are keen to make new friends and spark up new conversations.
Speaking to ITV News, Ms Hoskyn explained that she believes technology has most likely led to people having fewer conversations in person but research shows that connections are really important for mental health and wellbeing, contributing to your overall levels of happiness.
If you pop into a Costa Coffee in the near future, you could well come across one of Ms Hoskyn’s Chatter and Natter tables, as more than 300 branches will be taking part in the scheme nationwide.
Apparently, the idea for Chatty Café came on a wet and horrible day as Ms Hoskyn was sat in a café in a supermarket with her baby son who, she admits, wasn’t the best company aged just four months. Looking around, she spotted an elderly lady who looked just as fed up as her, as well as a young man with additional needs who was there with his support worker.
This got her to thinking about the positive impact all of them could have on one another if only they could sit together and have a little chat.
The idea behind the Chatter & Natter table isn’t about building friendships but just about focusing on simple interactions that can combat loneliness and perhaps have a big impact on someone’s day.
Announcing the news that Costa Coffee has become the first and only UK chain to adopt this scheme on a national scale so far, head of sustainability Victoria Moorhouse said: “It is clear from our research that although we appear to be talking less as a nation, there’s a real desire for people to actually have more face-to-face conversations around the country.
“Our coffee shops have always played an important role within communities; acting as a hub for people to meet, spend time together and most importantly, talk. With loneliness and social isolation on the rise, feeling part of a community is more important than ever.”
A Costa Coffee study found that there are regional differences in conversation habits, with Brighton emerging as the chattiest city in the UK – with 14 face-to-face conversations a day on average compared to the national average of ten.
Birmingham, meanwhile, is the shyest city, with 73 per cent hesitant to talk to strangers. Sheffield has the least confident conversationalists, with 20 per cent avoiding starting chats with strangers because they don’t think they’re interesting enough.
As for actual conversation starters, the top topics were the weather, the immediate surroundings, the local area, asking how someone is doing, the news, sport, asking what someone does for a living, music, asking where people live and asking what they did at the weekend.
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