A Curious Idea


A cafe in Manchester is testing out a new business plan, and I find it intriguing.

 

The concept is paying to stay, rather than paying to consume. You eat, drink and use the wifi for free, but you are charged 6p per minute to physically stay in the cafe.

That works out to 3.60 per hour, which I suppose is not an unreasonable price by any stretch. I find it interesting, because I wonder how it will work out. It certainly discourages loitering around and chatting well after you finish your coffee, which I think will improve turnaround and free up more spots for customers, leading to fewer losses of customers when they can’t find a place to sit down. On the other hand, you lose the customers who stop in for takeaway coffee and sweets, which many businesses will tell you make up a very decent revenue stream.

I would definitely try it out, and I could have seen myself using it as a good place for study groups in college. I’m sure its success will also be determined by the quality and variety of snacks offered, and by the robustness of the wifi. Either way, it’s definitely original, and clever, and I’m curious to see how it works out.

What are your thoughts on it? Would you go to a cafe like this?

Comments

  1. A. Noyd says

    I go to a pay-to-stay cafe almost every week, actually. But not for the food or drinks or wifi. I go because they have dozens of cats and kittens to cuddle and play with. Dunno that I’d be interested in one without cats.

  2. quotetheunquote says

    @A. Noyd

    Ooooo! I would pay for that! Where is it?

    Oh, and RE: Crys’s O/P. I think it’s an intriguing idea, I would definitely check it out, were I in the vicinity.
    There is a very new café in my neighbourhood (the “Berlin Bicycle Café”) that could probably use a business model like this. I have only been in it twice, but everytime I walk past, it looks like it is full of people who will be camped at their tables for hours, during which time they will probably consume (a) one coffee + (b) one scone.

    “the”

  3. says

    It certainly discourages loitering around and chatting well after you finish your coffee, which I think will improve turnaround and free up more spots for customers, leading to fewer losses of customers when they can’t find a place to sit down.

    But with that business plan, that’s the customer you want to have! The folks who stay well after their coffee is empty still pay for the space. Think about it: You will earn as much per hour if everyone stays only 15 minutes to have a coffee and a snack as if you have one person who stays for an hour, but you will spend much less on coffee and snacks.
    From the video of the customers working there it actually seems to me like they’re renting workspace with additional coffee: You can finish that project together even though neither one’s apartment offers the necessary space, you don’t have to worry about getting hungry plus there’s no waitstaff who want you to MOVE.

  4. A. Noyd says

    @quotetheunquote
    Well, it’s in Japan, which is famous for cat cafes. The one I like specializes in kittens. (They are also a rescue/adoption center, so there are new kitties every week.) But cat cafes are getting more popular in other places, so maybe see if you have any around where you live.

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