A journalist in Nice stopped by the local Restaurant le Petite Syrah and snapped a picture of its menu board. It outlined a very specific set of rules for how coffee would be priced.

Say, “Hi, a coffee, please,” and your espresso will cost about $2, a typical price in France. A customer who doesn’t say hi but does say please gets charged about triple the price — almost $6. And for a rude customer who comes in and grunts “coffee,” the price is almost $10.

In other words, there’s a politeness discount; the price drops four bucks for every increment of courtesy.

Reader support makes our work possible. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations TRIPLED!

But the Guardian found that it’s more of a nudge than a serious pricing policy:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Pepino said he had not yet had to enforce the politeness policy, and admitted the sign was more of a gentle reminder than a serious threat.

“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,” Pepino told the English language website the Local.

And you probably aren’t going to get far by telling a caffeine-deprived, grumpy person that their grumpiness just cost them $8. But, Pepino told the Local, the sign is doing the work on its own: People are smiling more. And saying please.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.