A cafe that charges you by the minute

Carol RH Malasig
In London, an 'anti-café' which charges people not for how much they're drinking but for how long they're staying is becoming popular

ANYTHING GOES. At Ziferblat, you pay by the minute. Photo from the cafe's website.

MANILA, Philippines – Here in Manila, coffee shops are almost always full with people who stay for hours. Some are doing a bit of work, others  trying to pass the time, and still others using it as a meeting place. All they need to do is order a cup of coffee and they can stay for as long as they’d like.

Simply put, here in Manila, the concept of overstaying at a café is practically non-existent.

However, in London, there exists an establishment labeled as “anti-café” called Ziferblat, which started out in Russia.

In Ziferblat, you can drink as much coffee as you want or eat whatever you want from the café’s kitchen as long as you pay 3 British pence for every minute of your stay. 

Business Insider did a bit of math and computed how much you’d have to pay for a 45-minute stay – GBP1.35 or $2.20. That’s around P100. Pretty cheap if you’re just looking for a quick pick-me-up. 

Ziferblat, which literally means “clockface” in Russian and German was a concept started by Ivan Mitin in Moscow in 2011. He told Business Insider that his idea became so popular in Russia that he was able to open 9 branches more after his first one. 

FUNKY DECOR. A perfect place for creative people. Photo from the cafe's official website.

In Ziferblat’s official website, the management regards each customer as a “micro-tenant” who’s supposed to be responsible for the café. You’re welcome to do whatever you like – “work, do some art, read a book, play piano, get acquainted with good people, attend events, drink as much tea or coffee.”

While some may argue that the concept might not take off in countries where drinking coffee is a past time, it seems that it’s doing well in London as it is rather frequented by people.

Do you think a similar concept will work in Manila? Will you hang out in such a coffee shop? Let us know in the comments section below. – Rappler.com

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