23 Jun Costa Coffee standardise in-store hearing accessibility
Costa Coffee is one of the UK’s favourite Coffee brands, strongly associated with robust market presence, quality coffee, with a popular selection of snacks and beverages. The company is the country’s largest Coffeehouse chain with over 2,100 sites both company owned and franchise based. Costa Coffee is the world’s second largest chain with over 3,400 worldwide locations.
Ordering a hot beverage is a trivial task for many people, with the only decisions being whether we order our coffee milky, strong, single or double and do we add a snack. However, this is often a more difficult task for people with hearing loss who wear hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Hearing instruments amplify all the sounds heard and adjusts them to address the individual’s particular hearing loss, which usually is extremely beneficial. However, in situations where there is significant background noise, the instrument often amplifies all sound indiscriminately, making it difficult for the wearer to discern the conversation they want to hear.
The Costa Coffee payment till can sometimes be such a loud environment, with surrounding noises from background music, conversations, food and drink preparation and coffee making machines. All these sounds are amplified by hearing aids, reducing conversation intelligibility. This often leads to an unpleasant experience for hearing aid users.
Contacta 1 to 1 Hearing Loops, installed at hundreds of Costa Coffee till points across the UK, help make communication clearer for hearing aid users. The systems are installed under the counter tops making them completely concealed. The under-Counter IL-AE99 powerful aerial is installed at an L shape facing the customer with the signal transmitted through the wooden countertop.
A high-quality Cardioid Directional Microphone on the countertop faces the member of staff. This set up helps cut out surrounding noises, transmitting clear staff voice direct to the customer’s hearing aid.
Contacta hearing loops have been well received by hearing aid wearers with one customer tweeting “Blown away with the quality of the counter loop @CostaCoffee”.
All new shops are specified with Contacta 1 to 1 hearing loop systems at the planning stage, with installs taking place prior to the doors opening for the first time.
Contacta continue to supply, install and maintain hearing loop systems in hundreds of new and existing Costa Coffee stores across the UK.