The Anti Cafe – Pay as You Seat


Some people do their absolute best work in coffee shops. The mood, the ambience, the indistinct chit-chat of white noise, and a rich romantic history of working in cafes all contribute to this special type of working environment. Some cafe frequenters don’t even have offices. Students, artists, traveling businessmen, hipsters in San-Francisco all ‘forced’ to work in local hole-in-the-walls. The plot of the recent hit indie-film “Coffee Town” focuses on this widespread phenomena.

But after that 3rd cup of coffee, even the bravest starts to feel uncomfortable for hogging that much in demand seat, and single power outlet. If only there was a similar place where you could have all the benefits of a cafe, without the self-imposed time limits. Well, there is.

The Anti-Cafe

The so-called Anti-Cafe is an on-going trend in europe. It’s a cafe, in which instead of paying for the drinks and snacks, you pay for the time you spend there. Offering office type amenities as printers, power outlets and high-speed wi-fi, but with a cafe type atmosphere, snacks and of course – coffee, prices for using Anti-Cafes can be as low as 10 euros a day.

Ziferblat is an international chain of such anti-cafes touting the slogan “ziferblat is the first place where everything is free except the time you spend there”. With more than 10 branches world-wide and an NYC branch soon to open. This just might be catching on.

For anyone who’s recently been to a cafe where laptops cover every available surface, not an uncommon sight in silicon valley, this business model would make perfect sense. At some point it’s the room on your sofas that’s limiting your income rather than another cup of bullet-proof coffee. Let’s see if this model will work states side.

Did any of our readers try such an anti-cafe? Any favorite one? Tell us in the comments.