A French café has come up with a way of making customers calm and observe their manners. Charging more to rude customers is their method of enforcing civility by customers to their staff.
The manager of the café says that the staff got fed up with rude customers during busy hours. This may seem like La Petite Syrah café in Nice is taking the old adage that manners don’t cost anything a little to its extreme but it is definitely paying off.
In the café, if you ask for “un café”, you get charged €7. Adding the magic words “s’il vous plaît”gets you the same drink at €4.25 and beginning the order with a polite “bonjour” greeting is easier on your pocket since you pay only €1.40 for the same coffee.
During office lunch breaks, customers to the café were rude since they were in a rush and the staff got fed up. The manager, Fabrice Pepino, says that office workers are usually stressed and tend to be rude but this is the café’s way of telling them to be calm and carry on with life.
This brings to the forefront the issue of customer rudeness. Traditionally, café services were seen as beings sometimes rude but now the tables have turned. With many of the customers to the café being regulars, the Pepino has noted that there is little resistance to the requirement to be polite. Customers are ok with the rule even though strict enforcement has not really begun.
And the changes are visible; customers are happier and smile more. That is the joy of the manager who now has a happy clientele, and a happy staff. So is this the way to go for businesses in the service industry? Only time will tell but with the results in La Petite Syrah café show that this may be a viable way of dealing with rudeness from impatient customers.