One of the first lessons you learn when looking to open a restaurant
is that your environment needs to draw custom in. You want your welcome
to reach out to people, to bring them in and to keep them there;
because, generally, the longer they stay the more they spend.
Ziferblat, a new Russian-inspired café in Shoreditch, London,
has a novel outlook on the value of time. This is why customers take an
alarm clock from a cupboard upon arrival, note the time, and then keep
it with them until they leave. A flat fee of three pence per minute
means that an hour-long stay will set you back just £1.80, no matter how
many cups of Earl Grey and custard creams you manage to tuck away.
There is no minimum time, either, meaning a coffee can be had for mere
pennies — if you drink it quickly enough.
This system is an inventive way of suiting everyone. We all
know that people spend their time differently, and this is often
determined by our lifestyles. Some people enjoy a lengthy cup of coffee
with friends, and others are too busy for chit-chat and just want to pop
by for a speedy coffee before they get back to the office.
Guests at Ziferblat serve themselves using a coffee machine
and kettles; other complementary snacks, including fruit and vegetables,
can be prepared in the kitchen — punters can even choose to wash their
own dishes. There’s also a piano, a record player and unlimited wi-fi to
The result? A venue where you’re paying to stay, where every
moment you’re weighing up the value of sitting at your table and
enjoying the ambiance. How would that work for you?
Call us greedy, but we want to give our customers the best of
both worlds — great ambiance and keenly priced delicious food and
drink. We don’t mind if you come because it’s a great place to meet
friends (or just to take a break from work), or because you can’t resist
our mouth-watering food. Whatever the reason, we’d like you to take
your time; our restaurant is your restaurant. So pull up a chair and
Smith, O. (2014) ‘Pay-per-minute cafe opens in London’, The Telegraph, 9 January 2014, [online] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10560565/Pay-per-minute-cafe-opens-in-London.html (Accessed 16 January 2014).