Time, the uncontrollable, yet perpetual resource that can only be spent or saved and actually never created. Although we cannot control the measure of time, we certainly do package and brand it as we like based on how we utilize it.
One café in the heart of London makes time a product of their service, allowing customers to spend it however they wish- whether it’s talking to friends, working, reading, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, having a treat or playing a board game. Ziferblatis the new café concept where visitors pay for their time spent, while coffee, tea and treats remain a part of their service at no cost.
Named after ‘clock face’ in Russian, customers clock-in with a time card and are then given a vintage clock to take back to their table- each clock is unique and seems to have been named after some famous writers, such as Ernest, Margot, Fanny and Alfred. The interior is cozy, filled with antique chairs, tables and various memorabilia.
People are welcome to refill their mugs and plates in the kitchen, where much of the social interactions take place as people either self-serve or serve each other- don’t be surprised to find people topping up your tea cup or wash your dishes. This social and familial environment is much like visiting your grandmother’s house where people are open to helping each other out- it brings out a very honest and respectful demure from people.
By putting time as the basis of this service, there is a shared experience among visitors- everyone is consciously spending their time in the same place, but in many different ways, which might enable the social interactions and openness between people just got more meaningful.