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Coffee shop finds ingenious way to teach customers politeness and it's much needed

The cafe's owner put up a genius pricing sign to appreciate polite customers and teach the impolite to be kind towards baristas.

Coffee shop finds ingenious way to teach customers politeness and it's much needed
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Clem Onojeghuo

Manners are a sign that reflects a person's sensitivity towards others’ feelings. It is the awareness of the fact that being impolite or discourteous to others can make them feel bad, hurt, embarrassed, and disrespected. Even after knowing this, not many people can instill the virtues of politeness and gentility in their everyday demeanor. For them, a barista in Virginia has come up with an innovative plan. The cafe is inspiring people to be kind towards staff, one coffee cup at a time.

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Austin Simms is the owner of a coffee shop, CUPS Coffee & Tea, located in the Grandin Village of the Roanoke area. A few years ago, he put up a sign in front of his cafe, that told people that the more impolite they were, the more they needed to pay for their coffee. The hilarious sign was photographed numerous times by people, who shared it across social media, and soon the cafe became popular. Laced with a red-and-white Coca-Cola banner, the shop's sandwich board read, "One small coffee - $5.00. One small coffee, please - $3.00. Hello, I'd like one small coffee, please - $1.75."


The text in the menu clearly illustrates that the more manners someone shows, the lesser the price of their coffee. Those who say “please” while ordering will get a $2 discount from $5, whereas those who say both “hello” and “please” will get a small coffee just for $1.75. At CUPS, being nice and polite pays off.

The picture of the signboard has made waves on social media. On Reddit’s r/funny group, where the picture was shared, there are more than 33,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments. Relating to the idea, u/dingers-ate-your-baby commented, “It doesn't cost you anything to treat people nicely, say hello, please, and thank you, maybe ask them how it's going.”

Image Source: Reddit | u/cadelogan
Image Source: Reddit | u/cadelogan

u/popemichael also liked this idea and gave an explanation behind it, “I normally order in a polite way and treat the person that is taking my order like a human. People who work service jobs have it rough. There is no point in making their job tougher for them.” u/pandral said that this kind of a tradition is quite common in France, “This is usually how it is in France, always say madame and s'il vous plaît.” Others pointed to a similar sign that became famous in 2013. The sign was put up by Côte d'Azur cafe on the French Riviera, as per The Guardian. Their sign listed coffee prices as, "Un café (a coffee) - €7 ($7.63). Un café s'il vous plaît (a coffee, please) - €4.25 ($4.63). Bonjour, un café, s'il vous plaît (hello, a coffee, please) - €1.40 ($1.53)."

The French café’s manager, Fabrice Pepino, said that the idea started as a joke because at lunchtime people would come in very stressed and were sometimes rude to the staff when they ordered a coffee. "But people are more relaxed now, and they're smiling more. That's the most important thing," he added. 


Austin had a similar reason for creating a sign like this. "I decided because I need to solve all the injustices of the world, to start charging more for people who didn't take the time to say hello and connect and realize we're all people behind the counter,” he told WDBJ7. He said that the day he wrote the sign, it appeared in a local English newspaper, and from there, it went viral on the internet.



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