So here’s the deal at a café in London called Ziferblat. The coffee and snacks are free, but you pay five cents a minute to hang out.
The London magazine Time Out calls it the “contender for the best opening of the year.”
Ziferblat is owned by a Russian company, and the company calls Ziferblat a “social experiment.” The goal is to get folks to hang out in a congenial atmosphere. So the café is filled with comfortable chairs, writing tables, and Wi-fi. You’re welcome to sit down and socialize, read the newspaper or a book, or work.
Help yourself to coffee, tea or any snacks on offer—it’s all free. You just pay a nickel for every minute you’re in the house. That’s $3 an hour, and if you regularly spend $5 for a fancy coffee at a rival place, you may be ahead of the game if you spend less than two hours at Ziferblat.
I haven’t visited, so I can’t describe the food offerings, but it’s certainly an interesting concept. If you spend four hours a day writing the Great American Novel at a Starbucks, though, this might not be a business model that works for you.