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Time is a precious thing

Eurest | Great service |  23 April 2014

chef and manager

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 provide entertainment.

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 enjoy.

Smith, O. (2014) ‘Pay-per-minute cafe opens in London’, The Telegraph, 9 January 2014, [online] (Accessed 16 January 2014).

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