Oonagh Robinson: Is a trendy coffee worth so much more?
MORE shocking headlines providing a worrying snapshot of Broken Britain this week – 1,700 people apply for only eight jobs at a new branch of a famous high street coffee-shop chain in Mapperley.
This comes onl months after 800 applied for ten jobs at the Long Eaton branch of the same high street coffee-shop chain.
Meanwhile, there are hopes that the entire town of Sutton-in-Ashfield could be magically regenerated thanks to plans for a new outlet of, you guessed it, the very same famous high street coffee-shop chain.
Which only goes to prove just one thing.
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They obviously drink a lot more coffee in Long Eaton than they do in Mapperley, otherwise how do you explain the extra staff?
Also, and I've said this before in this column, but it's worth saying again, we're all complete mugs when it comes to drinking coffee in this country.
While other retail outlets are dropping like flies due to lack of custom, the coffee shop just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
New branches of this aforementioned famous high street coffee-shop chain seem to spring magically into existence in Notts quicker than you can say: "Espresso dopio, me duck." There's one inside Next at Giltbrook Retail Park, there's even one inside my local supermarket now.
I think the staff at the latter might need to work on their "barista banter" a bit, though. One lady there served me tea (yes, always tea) the other day and observed: "You look how I feel, love."
Somehow I don't think she was telling me I resembled Charlize Theron.
Casually insulting comments from staff aside, I genuinely cannot understand why these shops seem to be taking over the entire western world.
I'm all for a nice break from a hectic shopping trip with a drink and a sticky bun. But why do we feel the need to go into a branded coffee-serving environment?
A large cappuccino, for instance, is about £2.65 in the famous high street coffee-shop chain nearest to Post Towers. Or it's £2.80 for a large mocha, whatever one of those is (mind you, it's £3.20 for the same thing at the rival brand across the road).
Compare that to the Tea Trolley in Chapel Bar, where it's 90p for a filter coffee or £1 for a pot of tea for one.
Are the drinks in the former genuinely worth so much more than those in the latter? Or are we simply paying more for the trendiness factor (the factor which was probably responsible for the much-loved Hollies cafe in Upper Parliament Street closing down after 30-odd years earlier this month).
Course, it's never a bad thing that a new business is opening and providing (a measly eight) jobs where there weren't jobs before.
I just worry for a future where the entire city centre and all the outlying towns and suburbs have hundreds of famous high street coffee-shop chains but no decent shops because they've all gone bust.
Forget Shoppingham, as some have wittily dubbed our fair city – we'll end up being called chuffing Coffingham.
Yikes, I need a drink. Anyone mashing?