Local community

We know our stores and teams are at the heart of communities across the UK. This gives us the opportunity to make a real difference that goes way beyond our doors.

Our Community Programme

imageIn 2014, we set up a nationwide Community Programme to enable our teams to support the communities we serve. Our nationwide activities focus on social themes that our customers tell us they care about such as litter, loneliness and food waste, and we also encourage our teams to plan their own activities to meet the needs of their specific communities.

Every store has its own Community Noticeboard where customers and members of the public can put up news and information about activities that are happening in their local area. Plus, with Costa Coffee outlets in over 30 countries around the world, we also support our international stores in similar ways.

By making the most of our space in-store and drawing on the enthusiasm of our amazing teams, we put huge effort into bringing people together to strengthen the communities we are part of.

Chatty Café

Costa Coffee customerIn August 2018, we announced that we would be rolling out an initiative called the Chatty Café Scheme across over 300 stores nationally – the first big coffee chain to do so.

The Chatty Café Scheme, established by Alex Hoskyn, was set up to tackle the challenge that loneliness brings to many people in the UK.

It’s simple: stores dedicate one table in store as a ‘Chatter and Natter’ table, which is marked with a sign at specific times each week. People who sit at this table are indicating that they are open to chat with someone new.

We couldn’t believe how much our communities embraced the scheme! We’ve seen tables used for homework clubs, parent and baby groups, police drop-in sessions and even craft clubs. It’s fantastic to see our warm and welcoming stores being put to use as social hubs, facilitated by our brilliant team members.

Our research

59% of people have fewer face-to-face chats compared to 10 years ago

4% often have no face-to-face conversations at all

75% would prefer to have more interactions in person


As the nation’s favourite* coffee shop, it's our responsibility to operate in a way that respects the planet. In addition to our continuing efforts to reduce waste and find new ways to recycle, we are also committed to tackling litter in our local communities.

A Costa Coffee employee collecting litter We were among the first signatories of Keep Britain Tidy’s Litter Prevention Commitment back in 2015, which involves raising awareness of the problem of litter, encouraging people to do the right thing when disposing of their rubbish, and to take positive action to reduce the cost of cleaning up litter.

Since then, we've been working hard to make litter a key pillar of our Community Programme and we continue to collaborate closely with Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful to encourage our teams and customers to play a part in clearing up litter.

We've participated in the Great British Spring Clean for the past five years - in March 2018, 266 of our store teams took part in the event. We also support our teams in planning litter picking events throughout the year, as we know this is a great way to make a real difference in the communities we serve.

In 2020, we continue to get involved in current anti-litter campaigns. This includes support for DEFRA’s ‘Keep it, Bin it’ message by reminding people to recycle their takeaway cups, and partnering with McDonald’s and Keep Scotland Beautiful to encourage customers to #TakeItHome.

We've also been involved in a number of industry-wide collaborations to increase recycling and prevent litter on the go. We work closely with Hubbub, a social enterprise who use behaviour change techniques to drive consumer action, on many of their city trials in areas including Edinburgh, London, Swansea and Leeds. These projects have led to significant changes in how consumers dispose of their litter, and have created templates for other cities to follow when it comes to tackling on the go recycling.

Litter continues to be a hugely important social and environmental challenges across the UK, and we will continue to protect and preserve our local community spaces by encouraging people to dispose of their rubbish in a responsible way. This includes recycling our takeaway coffee cups and encouraging reusable cups.

You enjoy it.
We recycle it.

Since May 2018, we've collected and recycled 155 million paper cups from our stores.

Food redistribution

imageFood waste is a huge challenge globally and we all have a part to play in reducing it.

In 2019, we made a public commitment to reduce food waste by signing up to the Step Up to the Plate Pledge and the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, which is designed to help businesses like us take targeted action to reduce waste in our own operations, our supply chain and from customers. To help us redistribute our food and prevent it from being wasted, we’ve introduced food saving initiatives in our stores and throughout our supply chain.

In our stores

imageStore teams follow the principles of the food waste hierarchy at each stage of their food’s lifecycle; we first aim to reduce waste, then to sell it at a reduced price. If we can no longer sell it, we try to donate food to local charities where possible. Our last resort is to recycle food that is no longer safe to consume. Here are a few examples of what our store teams do to reduce waste:

  • One of the many ways of tackling food waste is through a highly efficient ordering system designed to reduce waste before it is created.

  • Waste not, want not! Our stores offer a 50% discount on food during the last hour of trading that is in date but cannot be sold the following day!

  • Our Food Surplus Policy enables stores to make food donations to local and national charities on request and, for those stores whose waste streams we manage, any food waste that cannot be redistributed we send to Anaerobic Digestion, where it is turned into biogas and bio fertiliser. If you represent a charity that could make use of Costa Coffee food surplus and would like to collect regularly from your local store towards the end of their trading hours, please pop in and speak with the Store Manager. To read more about our approach to food surplus donations, please see our policy above.

Working in collaboration

We are proud to work with some fantastic partners, charities & NGO’s across the UK to tackle food waste, including food redistribution app Too Good To Go.

Too Good To Go Costa Coffee food bagToo Good To Go is a social impact company driving a movement against food waste. Their app is the world’s largest business to consumer marketplace for surplus food. The app connects users with businesses that have leftover food, so that this food can be enjoyed instead of wasted.

We've been working with Too Good To Go since August 2018, and we are proud to have 1100+ stores across the UK using the app to help fight food waste! To get a Costa Magic Bag, head to the app.


Supply Chain

For a number of years now we have partnered with FareShare to donate surplus food from our supply chain meaning that food that might otherwise have gone to waste is sent to charity and community groups that support vulnerable people across the country.

What's next?

Want to check the ingredients in one of our products for allergens? Or maybe you simply want to make your latte lighter? From our cortados to our croissants: we've got your cravings covered.

*When Allegra asked 5,022 UK consumers ‘What is your favourite branded coffee shop chain?’, 52% cited Costa Coffee. Click here for full terms and conditions.