Tough Sell for the French, Even at Discount

The Petite Syrah cafe, in the city of Nice, France, began pricing its coffee differently in December to introduce greater politeness among the notoriously brusque French. If a patron orders by saying, “Bonjour, un cafe, s’il vous plait” (i.e., with “hello” and “please”), the price is 1.40 euros (about $1.90). “Un cafe, s’il vous plait” — not quite as polite — costs 4.25 euros (about $5.80). The price for “Un cafe!” — apparently the usual way of announcing one’s need for coffee — 7 euros (about $9.50).