LONDON: Pays to be polite! A Spanish cafe owner has put in place a novel policy to promote good manners under which rude customers are charged more while prices are cut for those who say “please” and “thank you”.
Marisel Valencia Madrid, the owner of the Restaurant Blau Grifeu in Llança on the Costa Brava in northeastern Spain, became so fed up at being barked at by customers that she has introduced a pricing system to penalise those who are impolite.
Those who demand a coffee will find they are charged an extortionate 5 euros while those who say please will pay a more affordable 3.5 euros, and those courteous enough to greet their server first with a ‘Buenos días’ (good morning) will be charged a mere 1.30 euros, a paper reported.
“I put a sign in the window with the price system and it has made all the difference. People are now super polite in all matters and it has really improved daily life,” she was quoted as saying.
“Yesterday some children even told their parents to say please, so it’s working!” she said.
The 41-year-old is originally from Colombia and has run the restaurant with her husband for the last nine years.
“I’m not singling out Spanish people as rude. We are just off the seafront so have a lot of tourists here well, French, German and British, and I think generally people could just be more polite,” Madrid said.
A customer took a photograph of the sign with the house rules and posted it on social media sparking a nationwide debate on politeness.
“I’m surprised at the attention but it’s good to remind people to be polite to everyone, even when ordering a coffee,” she said.
And she admitted that since putting up the sign she has not had to charge anyone the full price.
“The normal price of a coffee is 1.30 euros and thankfully I haven’t had to charge more because everyone is giving me a greeting and saying please. Some even say thank you now too!” she said.