• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French café charges extra for rudeness

The Local · 10 Dec 2013, 17:56

Published: 10 Dec 2013 17:56 GMT+01:00

The French are well-known for their love of everyday formalities. While much of the Western world can sometimes seem to get through the day with grunts and nods, the French insist on sprinkling their exchanges with a “Madame” here and a “C’est gentil” there.

Baguette purchases must be preceded by a mandatory “Bonjour”, and it’s de rigeur to wish complete strangers a good afternoon, even when leaving an elevator.

So what happens if these standards drop, as can happen from time to time?

Well, for the owners of one café in the south of France, the solution is clear – hit your rudest clients in their pockets, or at least threaten to do so.

The Petite Syrah café in the Riviera city of Nice, has implemented a new pricing scheme, as seen in the picture below.

“A coffee” will set you back €7, according to the sign, while “a coffee please” is a little more affordable, at €4.25.

If you want keep your expenses down, and stay friends with your local barista, however, the best option is “Hello, a coffee please,” which will only cost you €1.40.

Manager of the Petite Syrah, Fabrice Pepino, told The Local: "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.

“It's our way of saying 'keep calm and carry on,'” he added.

"I know people say that French service can be rude but it's also true that customers can be rude when they’re busy.”

Story continues below…

Although Pepino admits he’s never actually had to enforce the price scheme, he says he has noticed a difference in his customers’ behaviour.

“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."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Euro 2016
Cantona laments omission of north African-origin players
Cantona won 45 caps for France between 1987 and 1995. Photo: AFP

The omission of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa from the France squad for next month's European Championships is a missed opportunity to unite the country in the face of extremism and division, according to ex-international Eric Cantona.

UK rescues 19 migrants from boat in Channel
A boat used in a previous attempt by Iranian refugees to reach the UK. Photo: AFP

The British coastguard said it rescued 19 migrants on Sunday from the Channel after their inflatable boat began to take on water.

BREAKING
Ten children struck by lightning in Paris park
Photo: AFP

Eleven people including ten children have been injured by lightning during a thunderstorm at Parc Monceau in Paris on Saturday.

What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
Photo: Fabrizio Morrola/Flickr

Fancy the idea of a bar job in Paris? There are a few things you need to know first, writes bartender Lauren Belcher.

Five key tips to opening a bank account in France
Photo: Dave Dugdale/Flickr

Avoid the headaches. Read this before opening a bank account in France.

Afghan migrant killed by lorry in Calais
French riot police guard a truck after migrants tried to mount several trucks near the Eurotunnel, near Calais earlier this year. Photo: AFP

A 25-year-old Afghan migrant was killed by a lorry on a motorway near the French port city of Calais in the early hours of Saturday, according to officials.

French PM Valls stakes political career on union fight
A demonstrator wears a sticker featuring France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls last week in Nantes, western France, during a protest against government planned labour law reforms. Photo: AFP

Engaged in a fierce tug of war with unions and some of his own party over labour reforms, France's embattled Prime Minister Manuel Valls has staked his political career on staring down the crisis.

Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Photos: AFP

A series of ongoing strikes in France could continue to affect the country throughout the Euro 2016 tournament, which starts in just two weeks.

Fuel crisis eases as French police unblock depots
Tires on fire in front of an oil depot near the Total refinery of Donges, western France, on Friday. Photo: AFP

After a week of fuel shortages in France, things are improving in time for the weekend.

Opinion - French strikes
'Stop pissing everyone off': French boss to union chief
Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT union. Photo: AFP

In an open letter to the man attempting to bring France to a standstill, a business owner tells him to stop "living in the past" and stop "pissing everyone off".

National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
2,738
jobs available