Bad Manners Will Cost You Extra In This French Café

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Image: Jazzbobrown
A Cappuccino with a cap of milk foam. Image: Jazzbobrown

A café in France has found a way to encourage politeness.

The more polite you are, the less you have to pay for your coffee.

A cup of coffee at La Petite Syrah cafe costs a whopping €7 (seven Euros, or more than $10).

However, you can bring the price down if you’re nice to the server.

If you say please when you order (or s’il vous plait in French) the price comes down to €4,25 (about $6.18).

And if you say hello as well (“bonjour, un café, s’il vous plait”) the price comes down to a much more reasonable €1,40 (just over $2).

Interestingly, the café is located in the French town of Nice—pronounced “Neese.”

A journalist posted a photo of the café’s price list and posted it on the news website It has been shared hundreds of times on the Internet.

The manager of the store, Fabrice Pepino said that during busy times, like over the lunch hour, the café’s patrons were often rude. The staff were frustrated by the lack of politeness. So Pepino put the new policy in place; at first it was more as a joke, but it has caught on. People are more relaxed now, Pepino says.

The price blackboard at La Petite Syrah café says:


“Un café”…………………………………………..… 7€

“Un café, s’il vous plait”……………………….…4,25€

“Bonjour, un café, s’il vous plait”…………..…1,40€

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Laurence Sterne was a famous writer of the 1700’s. One of his most famous quotes ends, “respect for others guides our manners.” What do you think he meant by this? Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?

Sterne’s full quote was, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” According to Sterne, how does a person’s sense of respect shape who they are? What does respect for oneself and others look, sound, and feel like?

Reading Prompt: Text Features
On the price blackboard at La Petite Syrah, the use of quotation marks is very significant. Why? What does the board’s price list mean with the quotation marks, and what would it mean without them?

Primary & Junior
Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.3).

Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.3).

Grammar Feature: Heteronyms
Nice is both the name of a city in southern France and a way to describe something that is pleasant. When two words are spelled the same but have different pronounciations and different meanings, they are called heteronyms.

What are the different pronunciations and definitions of the following heteronyms: lead, wind, bass, live, minute, object, permit, tear, rebel.