A MCDONALD’S franchisee is set to tackle loneliness and the cost-of-living crisis by introducing a ‘coffee and a chat’ initiative.

Craig Newnes, who operates McDonald’s restaurants across north Essex, is hoping to bring people together for a hot drink and conversation.

The initiative was set up in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Each week, a different Essex McDonald’s will invite the public to purchase a 99p coffee or tea and receive free refills from 9am until 11am.

The events will take place on the first Tuesday of every month at McDonald’s in Pier Avenue, Clacton, on the second Tuesday at the High Street, Colchester, site, the third Tuesday at the Williamsburg Avenue, Dovercourt, site and on the fourth Tuesday at the Turner Rise Retail Park site, in Colchester.

Mr Newnes said: “Our ‘coffee and a chat’ initiative is all about offering a warm, friendly space to our customers with an opportunity to meet people and have a chat in these particularly hard times.

"The past two events have been very successful, and it’s been great speaking with the community.

"There’s been both laughter and some emotional moments shared, and overall, a heart-warming couple of hours.

"We look forward to next ones and welcoming even more of the Essex community through our door.”