Costa Coffee dodgy business practises

Costa free voucher cannot even give the stuff away

Costa free voucher cannot even give the stuff away

Costa claim to be listening! Listening to who?

Costa claim to be listening! Listening to who?

Costa Coffee, like Starbucks, will flood a locality with coffee shops to drive all existing coffee shops out of business.

Planning consent is a minor inconvenience, to be ignored. Costa are quite happy to flout planning law and illegally open coffee shops without planning consent.

Illegal Costa Coffee shops: Bristol, Clevedon, Portishead, Southwold, Southend, Oxted, Sevenoaks, Thatcham, Beverley, Aberystwyth, Barnstaple, Darlington, Milngavie in Glasgow, Epping, Crowthorne, Lymington and St Anne’s.

Costa Foundation appears to be greenwash to make Costa look good. It is the customers who make the contributions, not Costa, not even matching pound for pound what the customers donate. Were Costa and other multinationals to pay a fair price for coffee the coffee growers would be able to earn a fair living and be able to afford to send their children to school.

Costa do not even seem able to give the stuff away. Out on the street giving out vouchers for a free coffee. Not only Costa, I saw McDonald’s doing the same today, out on the street handing out vouchers.

Naomi Klein in her excellent No Logo (a must read if you have not read), exposed the appalling working conditions at Starbucks (one reason I would never frequent Starbucks). If there was a slack period, staff would be ordered take a break, clock off, then clock back on when busy. This means you could be there ten hours but only get paid for two.

A con many companies are now employing is the Zero Hours contract. There are no set hours, like for example a 30 hour week, you only get paid the hours you work. I have asked of a manager in a Costa, are staff on a Zero Hour contract, he said no, but readily admitted staff are sent home if slack. Asked if they are still paid for those hours, he said no.

In Guildford there are five Costa Coffee shops, plus three Starbucks, plus at least one Cafe Nero. Those in the know in Guildford go to Guildford House, an art gallery, tourist information centre, plus a lovely tea shop.

Note: I originally said there are four Costa Coffee shops. I got it wrong, there are five!

Another lovely coffee shop in Guildford is Glutton & Glee, and unlike Costa or any of the other identikit clone coffee shops, it has character.

Farnham has one Costa Coffee shop (they must be slacking), still one too many. Costa claim to provide cultural and social space. Those in the know go to The Barn, quite literally an old barn, a genuine cultural and social space.

Alton has one Costa Coffee shop. Those in the know go to a lovely little Italian coffee shop with scrumptious cakes and lovely freshly made food.

Just when you thought it was bad enough with Costa and Starbucks, along comes Tesco with a chain of artisan coffee shops. Something of an oxymoron, Tesco linked with artisan. To fool the punters the chain will not mention Tesco, every little hurts.

Costa claim to be listening! Listening to who? They were not listening in Bristol, Southwold or Totnes where local people made it very clear they were not wanted.

It is long overdue for the Parliamentary Business Select Committee to take a look at the dodgy business practices of Costa and the failure of our local planning system to stop chains like Costa destroying our High Streets.

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