In France, the Magic Word Could Get You a Cheaper Coffee

While we all know that “please” is helpful for getting mom to pass the spaghetti at family dinner, the magic word (or it’s French equivalent) now has an added power – it can lower the price of your coffee. French cafes are increasingly turning on to the trend of charging their rude guests more. In many cafes, this practice is kept discrete, although at least two spots have become open about the tiered pricing. At L’Hamburgé in Grenoble, France, coffees range from €1.50 for the most demanding guests, down to €1 for those who ask nicely. At La Petite Syrah in Nice, the divide is even more extreme: a full “Hello, coffee please” costs only €1.40, but saying only “Coffee” is a full €7. There is a middle tier of €4.25 for adding a s’il vous plaît but no bonjour. It’s also unclear if tourists who are still struggling to be polite in a new language get any special dispensation – or added penalty.

While it would be nice if we could all be a little kinder to each other before the morning coffee, we don’t think a trend like this would (or should) catch on here. Hospitality and human connection are the x-factor you just can’t put a price on. Even if a guest forgets the magic word, chances are they won’t forget your great service; next time, just hope they come in with mom to remind them.

To read more, click here.

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