French Cafés Charge Extra If You're Rude

© Travel Pictures / Alamy Stock Photo

By James Oliver Cury Posted March 17, 2016

Prepare to pay more for coffee if you're an obnoxious jerk.

How do you order coffee in the morning? If you include "hello," "please" and "thanks," then you're a paragon of virtue, a decent human being. If you just point and grunt "coffee," then clearly you're a jerk. Normally rudeness in public is merely annoying. But sometimes it gets expensive too.

In France right now, where civility is expected, two cafés are experimenting with tiered pricing based on niceness. L'Hamburgé in Grenoble charges €1 if you're polite and €1.50 if you're a complete ass. Another venue, La Petite Syrah, in Nice, has three levels of pricing for three types of behavior: Coffee costs €1.40 for those who say "Hello, a coffee, please," €4.25 if you omit the initial pleasantries ("hi," "hello," etc.) and €7 if you merely bark "coffee"—yes, you're penalized if you mince words or prove to be too groggy to utter more than a single word.

 

This is not the first time that European cafés have experimented with behavior-based price schemes. A Reddit post from 2013—titled "A Little Politeness Goes a Long Way"—shows a handwritten Italian café menu organized exactly like that of La Petite Syrah. The phenomenon seems to pop up every few years. Is this legal? Will it come to the USA? One can only hope.

 

[h/t to Grub Street]

 

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