“Pay as You Stay” Cafes are Now a Thing. But Is That So Crazy?

A new cafe just opened in Manchester England, the first of its kind.

It charges you for the time you stay in the cafe rather than by the cup.  In fact the coffee is free.  Or you don’t even have to buy anything.

Cafe Ziferblat (which means clock in Russian) was created by cofounders Ben Davies and Gareth Harold and charges customers 5 pence per minute, measured on the mismatched vintage clocks that each customer gets at the door.

That’s equivalent to 8 cents a minute or $4.80 an hour.  When you consider that a Starbucks Venti Latte and say a Blueberry Scone will set you back about $6.50, that’s an intriguing deal if you just need to cool your heals for an hour or two at a cafe.


“It completely turns the model on its head,” says Gareth Harold, the project’s head of operations.

“When you go into an establishment where you eat or drink, you expect a transaction, you purchase something that enables you to occupy that space for a certain amount of time.

“That can cause problems for people who just want to take a seat. They feel obliged to buy something, which is overpriced, more often than not, and actually not that good.

What do you think?  Tell us in the comments below.