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CURIOSITY – French cafe bases prices on customers’ politeness

NICE, France –  A French coffee shop has gained international notoriety after reminding customers to mind their manners. In fact, the Petite Syrah cafe in the Riviera city of Nice has launched a new system where you’ll finally have to pay the price for being rude. Here is how it works, according to a menu displayed outside the establishment.

Customers who order their coffee with a “bonjour” and a “s’il vous plaît” (hello and please, respectively) are charged €1.40. A coffee ordered with no greeting but with “s’il vous plaît” costs €4.25, and a coffee ordered simply as “un café” costs €7 .

A Nice-Matin reporter tweeted a photo of the menu and the story went viral within hours.

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Image: Twitter/tokai06

“It started as a joke because at lunchtime people would come in very stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee,” manager Fabrice Pepino said.

“It’s our way of saying ‘keep calm and carry on.’ I know people say that French service can be rude but it’s also true that customers can be rude when they’re busy.”

Pepino has never had to enforce the pricing system, but his customers have certainly taken notice of the sign.

Apparently there has been an improvement in customer attitude.

“Most of my customers are regulars and they just see the funny side and exaggerate their politeness,” he said. “They started calling me ‘your greatness’ when they saw the sign. But people are more relaxed now, and they’re smiling more. That’s the most important thing.”