Coffee shops or bistros owners usually try to practice a very friendly policy with their customers, but owner of La Petite Syrah in Nice, France became worldwide known because he decided to switch the roles.
Fabrice Pepino, owner of La Petite Syrah, wrote on a chalkboard three special prices for the coffee, according to the degree of politeness that customers use when they order it.
Thus, a coffee ordered simply with “un café” costs €7 ($9.63); a coffee ordered with no greeting but with “s’il vous plaît” costs €4.25 ($5.85); and finally those who are super polite and order a coffee with both a “bonjour” and a “s’il vous plaît” are charged €1.40 ($1.93 USD)! It seems that being polite it is really a good deal.
Of course, all this was intended to be just a simple joke for the stressed clients that sometimes were also rude. But when a Nice-Matin reporter tweeted a photo of the menu, Fabrice’s gimmick became an instant internet sensation.
Television cameras turn up to film the sign, in the local Nice-Matin newspaper the story received tens of thousands of “likes”, and even the former center-right government minister Christine Boutin said on twitter that it was an excellent idea.
The funny thing from all this story is that, as Fabrice confessed, the idea wasn’t his, but taken from the internet. Moreover, the great irony is that for three years Fabrice and his wife, with whom he runs La Petite Syrah, put all their passion to offer their clients quality food, and good wines, but none of this created an international buzz like few words on a chalkboard.
But Fabrice Pepino is really happy not because of the unexpected fame, but because he had not yet had to enforce the politeness policy. Thanks to his unique promotional coffee price his clients are smiling more, and that is what he really wanted to obtain.
Fabrice Pepino’s story probably made many entrepreneurs wonder, what actually really makes customers pay attention to advertising messages? How would you answer to this question?
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