Be polite, or be prepared to pay.
That's the message a French cafe is sending its customers. Employees of La Petite Syrah in Nice, France, posted a menu that rewards politeness and punishes rudeness. A photo was posted on Twitter with the line, roughly translated to "There are still people who know how to live!"
So, here's the deal. Customers who can only be bothered to mumble, "un cafe" (without a greeting or a "please") can expect to pay 7 euros ($9.63).
A lot of money for a cup of java. Fortunately, there are simple ways to cut that cost dramatically. If the customer includes a "s'il vous plait" ("please"), the price goes down to 4.25 euros ($5.85). But wait — don't order quite yet.
If you really want to save cash, greet your barista with a "Bonjour" ("Good day" for those who never saw "Beauty and the Beast") and the cost drops again, this time to a perfectly reasonable 1.40 euro ($1.93). You get a hot cup of coffee, and the employee feels appreciated. Win-win.
Cafe manager Fabrice Pepino spoke to the Local about the pricing scheme. "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," he said.
Pepino told the Local that the unusual pricing structure has changed the way customers speak to employees. And yes, customers get the humor.
From the Local:
“Most of my customers are regulars and they just see the funny side and exaggerate their politeness,” he said, adding, “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."
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter at @mikekrumboltz.