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European Cafes are Proving Kindness is the Way Forward

In a humorous attempt to improve the vibes in her establishment, the owner of Restaurant Blau Grifeu has taken an interesting initiative, charging €5 to any customers demanding a coffee but neglecting to use their manners. English travellers to Costa Brava now have even more reason to learn that basic Spanish!

Marisel Valencia Madrid was sick of the brisk attitudes from many of her customers, who would bark ‘un café’ at her waiting staff without so much as a ‘por favor’ to follow, so she decided to implement a simple pricing scheme which would ensure that polite customers would reap the benefits.

The menu, which reads €5 for ‘un café’, €3 for ‘un café, por favor’ and just €1.30 for an added ‘beunos dias’, has set the bar for any establishment that receives an heavy influx of tourists every year, proving once and for all the manners cost little – €1.30 to be specific.

This ingenious strategy has since caught on and is now being implemented all over the world. Nice-based bar, the Petite Syrah, has upped their rude tax to €7, while a restaurant in Virginia slaps a hefty five bucks on poor mannered customers’ bills. If more places catch on, we could be looking at a much more friendly world.

This inspiring yet amusing tactic got us thinking, what other crazy things are cafés and restaurants doing to change their industry for the better? Keep reading for the most interesting stories we found.

From ‘por favor’ to paws galore

The rude tax isn’t the only intriguing initiative that European coffee shops are taking to improve at the atmospheres at their establishments.

The Cafe des Chats, a Parisian hipster hotspot in the heart of the chic Marais district has opened its doors to a dozen or so kitties, in the hope that the friendly animals will create a more social and light-hearted atmosphere. The cats are the friendliest of a group of strays that the cafe helped to re-home, so you can bet you’ll make a new friend or two over your cuppa whether they be feline or human.

Really feel those caffeine tremors

Another of the oddest joints we’ve come across is the Disaster Cafe in Lloret de Mar, a cafe which sits right in the heart of a high risk earthquake zone, making it one of the most extreme days out you’re likely to have in Spain.

This cafe simulates a full on quake which, were it real, would measure 7.8 on the Richter scale! The staff wear hard hats, the plates are weighed down, and customers are seated in a cave-like room which shakes around wildly during the meal. You might be forgiven for poor manners in this atmosphere.

Bins to beans

Rikkert Paauw and Jet van Zwieten, two designers from the Netherlands, put together a unique project to turn discarded wheelie bins and skips into pop up coffee vendors. FOUNDation, which started in Utrecht, is a coffee-focused attempt to show us all exactly what can be done in an eco-friendly world, with the materials we would otherwise think were completely useless.

This project has since been taken around festivals and cities in Europe, preaching this positive message of recycling.

Pay it forward

Suspended Coffee has a dream, a dream to promote kindness and good will in our every day lives, through coffee. With over 30 branches located all over the globe, including Slovenia, Greece and Turkey, Suspended Coffee are changing the way we act, one cup of kindness at a time.

How it works is customers buy not just one cup of coffee, but two, or three, or as many as you like, and the extra cups are then stored as ‘suspended’. The coffee you suspend will then be available to the homeless, the poor or just someone who forgot their purse that day.

You can also suspend food items, which will feed the hungry in the local community. Suspended Coffee ensures your charitable donation goes exactly where you want it to in the hopes that that one cup of coffee or sandwich will alleviate some of the darkness or stress in another person’s life.

Want to take part in one of these amazing initiatives for real? Book a holiday to one of the beautiful destinations that we’ve mentioned above and see just how far good will can go.





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