The pay-per-minute café concept continues to spread throughout Europe, following the opening of what is thought to be London’s first coffee shop to charge for its time instead of its drinks.
Ziferblat, a Russian chain with 10 outlets in Russia, has opened a branch in London’s chic Shoreditch neighborhood, where customers can relax for £0.03 per minute.
Customers take an alarm clock upon entering the café, note the time and then present the clock at the till when they want to leave.
Meanwhile they can help themselves to free snacks, cookies and coffee from the espresso machine.
The café’s relaxed policy stretches to its décor, which features mismatched furniture items and a piano for customers to play (potentially a risky strategy).
“Each Ziferblat guest becomes a sort of micro-tenant of the space, responsible for it and able to influence its life,” says the company on its website.
Pay-per-minute cafés seem to be taking off in Europe of late. In addition to Ziferblat’s London location, there is the AntiCafe in Paris, which charges customers either €4 or €3 per hour for drinks, snacks and wifi. Clients are also free to bring their own meals.
In 2013 the Slow Time Café opened its doors in Wiesbaden, Germany, operating on the same principle.
It seems coffee shop lovers everywhere are taking to the concept of being able to relax in an establishment without worrying about pricey drinks or clock-watching waiters. The trend originally comes from Moscow, where the number of ‘anti-cafés’ which charge by the clock is growing steadily.