French cafe causes a stir by rewarding 'polite' clients

Coffee being poured

A French Riviera cafe has created a stir on social media by rewarding its customers for good manners.

At the Petite Syrah in Nice on the Cote d'Azur a cup of coffee becomes cheaper by adding a simple "Hello" and "please" when ordering.

A blackboard outside the cafe advertises "Un cafe" for seven euros (£5.90; $9.6) - but "Bonjour, un cafe, s'il vous plait" costs just 1.40 euros.

Owner Fabrice Pepino says it started as joke but his clients now smile more.

A picture of the menu tweeted by a local journalist has gone viral.

So far, the story on the Facebook page of Nice-Matin newspaper has received more than 60,000 "likes".

Former government minister Christine Boutin responded that it was an excellent idea, the local newspaper reports.

'Funny world'

Mr Pepino and his wife Renee opened the restaurant three years ago.

"It started as a joke because at lunchtime people would come in very stressed and were sometimes rude to us when they ordered a coffee," Mr Pepino told the English-language website The Local.

"It's our way of saying 'keep calm and carry on'. I know people say that French service can be rude but it's also true that customers can be rude when they're busy," he said.

"We live in a funny old world," he told Nice-Matin.

"For three years we have put all our passion into what we do, which is trying to provide quality food, and good wines, and what causes a buzz? A few words scribbled on a blackboard."

Mr Pepino says he came across the idea when surfing the internet and liked it, and admits he nearly erased the sign a few months ago.

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