AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

In some French coffee shops, rude customers are charged more than polite ones.

Are you a jerk to baristas? You’re gonna pay, monsieur. Some cafés in Grenoble and Nice threaten to add a surcharge for customers' rude moves, Grubstreet recently reported.

At least two coffee houses have adopted a sliding scale for uncivil behavior, The Times reports. If you bark your order and skip the pleasantries, it will cost at least €0.50 more than if you’d thrown in a bonjour and some small talk.

It’s not the first time diners and restaurant workers have butted heads over etiquette questions in France. In January, some diners in Paris confessed to shrinking under withering side-eye glares from servers judging them for asking for takeout containers and to-go bags. The country has launched a campaign to encourage customers to take home leftovers in an effort to reduce food waste.

Actually, the owner of the one of the cafés explained to The Local in 2013 that the sliding scale is at least partially tongue-in-cheek. He hung a hand-scribbled sign advertising drinks for €7 if a customer simply demanded “un café”; the price was a less eye-popping €1.40 for anyone who requested “un café, s’il vous plaît.” The owner told 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."

So, it seems the sign isn’t so much a harbinger of an expensive trend, but a silly-and-pointed reminder to treat service workers like human beings. (No one should need this reminder. But baristas’ tales of customer antics are enough to spawn an entire Internet genre.) In any case, it seems wise to err on the side of groveling when the barista stands between you and your morning jolt.

H/t Grubstreet

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man and a woman shop at a modern kiosk by a beach in a vintage photo.
    Design

    Why Everyday Architecture Deserves Respect

    The places where we enact our daily lives are not grand design statements, yet they have an underrated charm and even nobility.

  2. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  3. Equity

    Judges Can’t Decide Whether Freedom Extends to Your Car

    Officers have wide discretion when they pull over motorists. And the courts keep giving them more.

  4. SEPTA trains in Philadelphia
    Transportation

    Startups Are Abandoning Suburbs for Cities With Good Transit

    A new study finds that new business startups are choosing cities with good public transportation options over the traditional suburban locations.

  5. an aerial photo of urban traffic at night
    Transportation

    The Surprisingly High-Stakes Fight Over a Traffic-Taming ‘Digital Twin’

    Why are some mobility experts spooked by this plan to develop a data standard that would allow cities to build a real-time traffic control system?

×