Originally posted on 10 Jan 2014
I thought this was interesting. London’s first pay-per-minute café has opened, but will the idea catch on?
Ziferblat is London’s first pay-per-minute café, based on a Russian chain where ‘everything is free, except the time you spend there’.
Ever felt you’ve overstayed your welcome in a café, by reading, working or surfing the web while hugging the latte you bought two hours ago? Pay-per-minute cafes could be the answer. Ziferblat, the first UK branch of a Russian chain, has just opened in London (388 Old Street), where “everything is free inside except the time you spend there”. The fee: 3p a minute, says the Guardian in a story here.
The word “Ziferblat” means clock face in Russian and German (Zifferblatt).
The idea is guests take an alarm clock from the cupboard on arrival and note the time, then keep it with them, before, quite literally, clocking out at the end. There’s no minimum time. Guests can also get stuck into the complimentary snacks (biscuits, fruit, vegetables), or prepare their own food in the kitchen; they can help themselves to coffee from the professional machine, or have it made for them. There’s even a piano – an idea that could seem brilliant or terrible, depending on who takes the seat.
Ziferblat has opened 10 branches in Russia in the past two years and now wants to take the idea worldwide. With hostels, hotels and cafes around the world often filled with people either working remotely or enjoying some downtime online, the market for expansion is certainly there. The “coffice“, we’re told, is the way of the future.