Monday, 13 January 2014

Pay-Per-Minute Coffee at Ziferblat

Don't you hate having coffee at coffee chains where the staff take away your cup as soon as you've taken your last sip, making you feel like you either have to order more or leave.  There is non of that going on at Ziferblat, a new coffee place on Old Street in trendy Shoreditch.

At Ziferblat you can stay as long as you want, because you don't pay for the number of cups of coffee, but you pay for the amount of time you spent there. Apparently this concept has been quite the rage in Russia where there are even pay-per-minute restaurants.

Ziferblat, which means clock face, looks a little bit like your granny's living room, albeit a bit bigger and a lot more crowded. But that is the whole point of the concept. The idea is to create a communal cafe where people come together, drink coffee together and talk together.

The way it works is simple. When you arrive you take one of the clocks and take note of what time you arrive. There is no wait staff, so you help yourself to tea, coffee and biscuits and pick a seat. If you want more, you take more, if you want to hang out and work on the laptop or read a book, you can do that too.When you're ready to leave, you pay 3p per every minute you spent at Ziferblat and leave the money in an old suitcase by the door. But don't forget to wash up your cup before you do.

I think it's a great concept and so did half of London yesterday. It was so busy that they ran out of clocks and had to revert to an honesty payment system. Let's see if it stays that way. And if they do, who knows, they might have to turn Ziferblat into a chain.

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