Heading to your favourite coffee shop for a hot cuppa after a hectic day, you might find your favourite band playing live or bump into a renowned author launching his latest book. As you settle yourself into a cozy chair, a popular stand-up comedian will tickle your funny bone while you sit back and sip your coffee.
This seems to the new trend of entertainment that coffee shops are brewing – to attract coffee lovers. The trend of stand-up comedy in a coffee café was begun by Costa Coffee. The chain has now introduced a new series, ‘Rhythm and Brew’ that brings live performances of celebrated artists for coffee lovers. Last time round, the coffee chain had Rabbi Shergill at their Cross Point Mall outlet, the cafe was overflowing with crowds eager to listen to the well-known crooner. “Costa Coffee was the first to combine coffee and comedy by launching ‘Costa Laughaccino’, a stand up comedy series which got rave reviews in Gurgaon. It has since been rolled out to other cities like Bangalore and Mumbai. Similarly, Costa Rhythm & Brew is another platform for music. We launched this initiative a few months back by hosting a performance by popular artist Leslie Lewis at our Juhu store and last month Rabbi Shergill perfomed at our Gurgaon store. Both initiatives have been very well received by our customers,” says Santhosh Unni, CEO, Costa Coffee India.
A similar concept has been initiated by Cafe Coffe Day (CCD) Lounge outlets which have ‘The Lounge Journals’, a series of tête-à-tête sessions with celebrity experts on hobbies, topics and passions of the youth. This concept in Gurgaon kick-started with Subir Malik (founder and keyboardist of Parikrama) and Chris Powell (percussionist and founder of band ‘Bandish’) and Timson Thomas (lead vocalist of ‘Bandish’) conducting a stimulating session on music and rock‘n’roll with a group of rock music lovers and enthusiasts.
The selection of the outlet is made by the owner keeping in mind, customer perspective with an aim to “build a relationship with the customers,” says Sobhita Kada, vice president, marketing, Mocha. “The culture of stand alone coffee shops has increased in Delhi and so have the number of gigs because everybody wants to make a difference and be spoken about.”
The live performances target youth on specific occasions such as the friendship jam organised on Friendship Day, which has become an annual feature of Barista Lavazza. It invites entries from guests, to participate by planning a simple acoustic singing competition where the winner wins free coffee for one year! The outlet has recently announced another initiative, ‘Brew A Story,’ which aims to bring coffee and book lovers on the same platform by enabling well-known authors to launch their books at Barista outlets.
“Having taken inspiration from its Italian heritage, Barista Lavazza has perfected the art of consumer engagement with various in-store activities, such as promotion of music, art, literature and culture in its cafés,” says a spokesperson from Barista.
So sipping coffee at the nearest outlet is now more than just about enjoying your drink!