French Café Adds Extra Charge for Rude Customers


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.

via Kot­tke/The Local

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Illus­trat­ed Eti­quette Guide Explains How to Ride the Paris Metro in a Civ­i­lized Way

Men In Com­mer­cials Being Jerks About Cof­fee: A Mashup of 1950s & 1960s TV Ads

The (Beau­ti­ful) Physics of Adding Cream to Your Cof­fee

Hon­oré de Balzac Writes About “The Plea­sures and Pains of Cof­fee,” and His Epic Cof­fee Addic­tion

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  • GeorgeLCSmith says:

    Things must be dif­fer­ent on the Riv­iera. In Paris, rude­ness has been pro­mot­ed almost to an art form. We Amer­i­cans think that Parisians are rude to us, but they are just as rude to each oth­er. I don’t know what might hapen in Paris if peo­ple bring good man­ners home from the Riv­iera.

  • Martin says:

    La Chope du Chateau-Rouge, a Parisian insti­tu­tion that insti­gat­ed free cous­cous on Fri­days 20 years ago (which was huge­ly sucess­ful and was imi­tat­ed all over town), has had a crazy cof­fee pric­ing on the black­board, so they can ask 8 euros to the cus­tomers they dis­like. The own­er and wait­ers are super nice so I always loved that they would do that. If you’re nice you’re more like­ly to be offered a beer than charged 8 euros for an espres­so!

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