When did you last start a conversation with a stranger?
We’re going to guess it wasn’t anytime recently. It doesn’t seem to be common these days and a poll conducted by Costa Coffee shows that 59% of us are talking less in person than we were 10 years ago.
And with loneliness on the rise, especially among older citizens, new parents and young renters, it’s starting to become an issue.
So the coffeehouse is introducing a scheme to help tackle the epidemic and get their customers talking.
They are launching a ‘Chatty Café’ scheme nationwide, which will introduce ‘Chatter and Natter’ tables across 300 of the coffee shop’s branches.
Anyone can use the dedicated tables to meet and chat with whoever else is sitting there.
Costa Coffee’s poll, which looked at over 2,500 UK adults, found that 63% of us are hesitant to start a conversation with someone we don’t know. 34% of participants were hesitant because of fear of rejection and 28% because of nerves.
This initiative is a way to remove the barrier of hesitation that usually comes with starting up a conversation with a stranger. Here you are expected to speak, so it makes you more comfortable doing so.
Originally founded in Manchester, the scheme was created to connect all different types of people who wanted to meet new acquaintances and have a natter.
‘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,’ says Victoria Moorhouse, head of community and sustainability at Costa Coffee, regarding the findings that 75% of us want more real-life conversations.
‘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.
‘And that’s exactly what the Chatty Café scheme is all about – we understand the importance of conversation and we want to help make it as simple as possible for our customers to open up, have a friendly chat and bring local people together within our stores.’
The national roll out of the scheme is Tuesday 7th August, so if you want to take part just turn up at your local Costa Coffee and join one of the dedicated tables.