A café run by McVities has opened its arms to customers who can pay for their drink with a hug. The McVitie’s Cuddle Café is on 52 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 5RN.
The pop-up is a response to the fact that Britons are apparently in need of more hugs per day. Coffee, tea, and snacks are all free on the condition that the customer hugs the McVities’ mascot, the BN Owl.
Cute images and soft furnishings are among the features included, with the aim of maximising customer happiness.
According to the Independent the café was constructed with the help of Dr. Stuart Farrimond, whose research builds on the knowledge that when we hug a familiar person we release oxytocin, the chemical also known as the ‘love hormone’. This exerts a powerful effect on the brain making us feel happier, which in turn reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, making us feel more relaxed. Dr Farrimond’s research shows that hugging a cuddly toy could share some of the health benefits of hugging other people.