The Best Way to Motivate People to Be Nice: Offer Cheaper Coffee

Would you be nicer if it saved you some money? One coffeehouse in the south of France is willing to bet on it.

La Petite Syrah café in Nice (how appropriate!) charges customers a cheaper cup of coffee if they're polite while ordering… and charges more if they're not.

Ask your server for "a coffee, please", and it will run you €4.25 ($5.85). If you don't add "please" to your request, your coffee will cost you €7 ($9.65).

If you're nice enough to say "hello, a coffee please" when you order, you get yourself a deal - €1.40 ($1.95) a cup.

The café's manager, Fabrice Pepino, says the payment policy began as a joke, though he did want to encourage a more polite environment.

"It started as a joke because at lunchtime people would come in very stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee," he told The Local. "I know people say that French service can be rude, but it's also true that customers can be rude when they're busy."

"Most of my customers are regulars, and they just see the funny side and exaggerate their politeness," he adds. "They started calling me 'your greatness' when they saw the sign."

"But people are more relaxed now, and they're smiling more. That's the most important thing."

American coffeehouses, take note! We'll happily take on a pleasant attitude if it means we can get a less expensive latte.

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