COSTA – Does it suffer from inconsistent/variable standards?

The Liverpool Echo has a story on its web site which got me thinking – see link above

As a regular user of COSTA across many of its cafes around the UK I have to say that, in my opinion, the standards can be variable in terms of cleaning and customer service. I’ve put this down to the franchise-type operation of the cafes whereby groups of them are owned by differing companies who buy into the COSTA brand, although I have also noticed differences between standards of their cafes that seem to under the same ownership. Clearly the local manager has a big say and a big responsibility to meet what I presume are common standards?

I wonder if COSTA use mystery shoppers to check out standards without the staff of the cafes even knowing they have been? If they don’t they should do. Now and again I get e-mails from COSTA asking me about my experience of a particular cafe in their chain that I have been to. I always respond but wonder if anything ever becomes of the comments made by customers?

Maybe COSTA suffers from the circular doors of companies in the retail trade who can’t recruit and retain staff? Certainly it is far from unusual to walk into a COSTA to see a new member of staff learning the trade. An ever changing workforce can’t be good for consistent standards.

I don’t go into McDonalds very often but when I have done I have gained the impression that they do adhere to a common and usually high standard. I say this as I think the franchise-type business model may be similar.

My feeling is that COSTA needs to either start to employ mystery shoppers, or if they already do then employ more of them. But more importantly their reports have to matter and be acted upon even if that means taking franchises away from partner owners who don’t meet corporate standards that all COSTA cafes should be meeting.

Sefton Focus hopes for 2016 and beyond

Here are a few of my local hopes for 2016 and beyond. They are in no particular order:-

Here I am at Lambshear Lane Lydiate checking out farm land that is coming under threat from house building.

Here I am at Lambshear Lane Lydiate checking out farm land that is coming under threat from house building.

That Sefton Council’s Local Plan is rejected on the basis that high grade agricultural land on which we grow our food should not be used to build houses on.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

That Merseytravel actually take some notice of what folks are saying about the planned Maghull North Station. Also, that they stop blocking the idea of the present Maghull Station being renamed Maghull Hornby.

That HMRC’s ‘exit Bootle’ plan is revisited and jobs are kept where they are needed in a community that requires investment rather than being moved to where they are not needed.

That the Environment Agency’s plan to create a flood plain north east of Lunt Village actually works when they turn off the River Alt pumps.

HALT poster

That the Lower Alt wind turbine proposal, to be built on high grade agricultural land would you believe, is rejected by West Lancs Borough Council. I am certainly not against turbines and renewable energy as it is the future for green energy, but not on high grade agricultural land that grows our food.

That Costa in Maghull stop running auditions for screeching child of the year. We only want a bit of peace and quiet while having a cuppa.

Uncut hedge at Maghull's KGV Park

Uncut hedge at Maghull’s KGV Park

That Maghull Town Council cuts its hedges more than twice a year.

That the electrification of the Liverpool – Ormskirk railway line gets the green light to be extended through to Burscough.

That before any more houses are built in Sefton Borough a thorough independent assessment is made of the consequences of building in terms of flooding events.

A Red Squirrel at Formby Point in 2015

A Red Squirrel at Formby Point in 2015

That our precious Red Squirrel population in Formby continues to thrive.

Southport FC

That the remarkable turn around in the fortunes of Southport Football Club in late 2015 continues and it leads to them getting back into the Football League one day.

That youth facilities in Maghull gain some investment instead of them being closed by Maghull Town Council.

Fighting for Southport's Libraries

Fighting for Southport’s Libraries

That volunteers are encouraged and welcomed by Sefton Council instead of them being treated so badly when they try to take over and run community facilities such as closing community libraries.

Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle

Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle

That the 2016 By-Centenary celebrations of the completion of the Leeds Liverpool Canal are a success in Sefton.

That those of us who live in communities outside of Liverpool do not allow ourselves to be dominated from Liverpool Town Hall now the imposed/unwanted Merseyside Mayor concept has been foisted on us.

That gun crime in Sefton Borough and beyond is brought under control.


That the concept of NHS drop-in centres is revisited and promoted so that more NHS services are delivered in communities rather than in over worked hospitals. Remember Maghull’s long-promised rebuild of its Health Centre to include a drop-in facility that was dropped by the NHS?

I am sure you will have other/additional wishes for 2016 and beyond and if I spent long enough thinking about it I could add to this list myself. However, I think you get my drift of what Sefton Borough could look like.

A very happy New Year to all.

Costa in Maghull Shopping Centre – Up and running


Well the rumours were obviously right and is this a pointer to a potential upturn in Maghull’s shopping centre? Whilst it has not suffered to the extent that many other shopping areas and town centres have in the current recession (vacancy rate of around 5%) has not been able to offer the retail and leisure opportunities that locals have wanted.

It is probably a little early to say but this has to be a positive step forward.