The price list at Le Petite Syrah cafe in Nice, France, suggests that being polite could cut the price for a cup of coffee.
Ordering simply “a coffee” at the Le Petite Syrah cafe will cost you 7 euros ($9.5) according to the prices on the chalkboard menu.
However, if you add “please”, the price drops to 4.25 euros ($6).
Going for the full, “Good morning, a coffee, please,” the politeness discount gets even steeper, 1.4 euros ($2).
Le Petite Syrah cafe owner Fabrice Pepino said: “We’re just a tiny restaurant with my wife and I’m also the wine waiter in the wine shop.”
“We started to notice at lunchtime people are a bit more rude and stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee.”
The sign, inspired by those he saw in Italy and France, started as a joke – Fabrice Pepino never charged more than 1.4 euros for a coffee.
“I don’t even think it’s legal,” he said. But it has made his customers act differently.
“They started at the beginning to say, <<Hello, your highness, will you serve me one of your beautiful coffees>>, exaggerating it even more polite than the sign to try and get free coffee.”
Mostly though, it has amused customers and helped them relax.
“The sign reminds us that we are still human beings. It doesn’t matter if the guest is the president,” Fabrice Pepino said.
Fabrice Pepino was bemused that the photo of the sign, which he put up in the summer, went viral after a French journalist passing through tweeted a photo of it. French TV stations started calling him up right away wanting to descend on his shop.