Cafes around the world are expanding their appeal – by offering the affection of a pet. Owners at one café in China say the concept isn’t “quackery.”
CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more.
It may look like life on the farm. But, it’s actually an afternoon – at a café in Chengdu. Here, coffee and food aren’t the biggest draw – it’s the two baby pigs and four ducks.
“They’re really fun and very obedient,” said one customer. The “Hey! We go Café” imported a breed of call ducks from Europe for more than a $1000. They’re a species specifically raised as pets.
Customers can pet them and take selfies. “We think that the animals are really cute,” said another customer. So does Luo Yaochi, the café’s co-founder. The idea began from his own love of ducks.
“I started off by raising a duckling all the way to its adulthood, so I thought it could be possible to open a duck café,” said Luo. “It’s the same concept I had with the pigs. Chengdu is a city that is quite open to accepting to new things, so at the moment there are lots of people. And everyone’s enjoying themselves.”
Luo’s café is one of several pet-themed cafes popping up. Cats have been the popular theme in China and around the world. But there are also unconventional ones, like an owl-themed café in Tokyo.
Psychologists say the contact can help relieve stress and put people in touch with animals when they don’t have pets of their own.
“There is the contact, not replacing human contact but a different kind of unconditional love,” said Glauce Raymundo, a psychologist.
And the café’s customers hope the animals get something out of it too.
“From the pets’ point of view, what they are doing every day is very tough,” said one customer. “I hope the store owner can shorten their working hours so they will not be too tired.”
But for the critters, it’s all in a day’s work to deliver some joy – with a cup of Joe.
Linda Gaylard discusses the popularity of themed cafes
CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talks with tea sommelier Linda Gaylard about the popularity of themed cafes.