A couple of days ago, we highlighted a delightfully Illustrated Etiquette Guide Explaining How to Ride the Paris Metro in a Civilized Way. It comes to you courtesy of the RATP, the government organization that makes the subways and trains run in Paris (sometimes on time).
Let's now head 600 miles south, to the Riviera city of Nice, where some café owners opted for another way to keep bad behavior in check. At the Petite Syrah, they've implemented a simple pricing scheme that works like this:
If you ask for "a coffee" (it's most likely an espresso), it will run you 7 euros, or $9.50.
If you ask for a "coffee please," the charge drops to €4.25/$5.80.
But if you start your order by saying "Hello, may I have a coffee, please," the bill becomes a manageable €1.40.
Now, truth be told, the pricing scheme is more carrot than stick. The café's manager readily admits that he has never actually charged any of the punitive higher prices. But that's not to say that the scheme doesn't work. According to manager/owner Fabrice Pepino, regular customers quickly took note of the sign and began to "say, 'Hello, your highness, will you serve me one of your beautiful coffees." Eh voilà, no more coffee jerks.