Java Street Cafe

Kevin R Brown
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Java Street Cafe

This is a low-key story I find very interesting.

So far it appears that the policy, against what my own expectations would have been, is actually working. According to the cafe owner his profit numbers are almost identical, in fact, to when he set his own fixed prices.

 

Predictions on what will happen here, in the long term? I don't imagine this is a very sustainable system, but I'm extremely surprised at the initial results (I'd have estimated a decline in profits by a flat percentage - around perhaps 30-50%). Interesting experiment that the fellow has decided to conduct, in any case (and at quite some risk).

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Hambydammit
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 That's brave to a point,

 That's brave to a point, but it also illustrates something I've often said about people -- we are basically good.  Most people aren't going to stiff the place because they have basic human empathy, and they know about what a cup of coffee is worth.

More importantly, they also know how they are perceived by others if they are seen paying a quarter for a double latte extra foam skinny fat Americana with chocolate syrup.

Isn't it amazing how morality works even when we don't make it mandatory?  It's almost as if it's... natural...

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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I think they have a hard

I think they have a hard time ripping off the cashier when she's right there infront of them.

 

I wonder if it would be the same if they had a drive through where there's not a lot of personal contact.

 

 

 

 


Kevin R Brown
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Quote:More importantly, they

Quote:
More importantly, they also know how they are perceived by others if they are seen paying a quarter for a double latte extra foam skinny fat Americana with chocolate syrup.

Isn't it amazing how morality works even when we don't make it mandatory?  It's almost as if it's... natural...

Quote:
I wonder if it would be the same if they had a drive through where there's not a lot of personal contact.

These are both great points. I'd love to see someone try this experiment out with different types of scenarios, actually, and find-out what the various results are.

...Of course, I also wouldn't want to be the person operating the business at such large risk. Sticking out tongue


 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Hambydammit
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 There have been controlled

 There have been controlled experiments of this type.  I don't have any of them at my fingertips, but the results weren't that surprising.  When there's no risk of being caught, people "cheat" more often, but when there is knowledge that their cheating will directly hurt someone else, they're less likely to cheat than when it's "free money."

In other words, we would expect people to pay proportionately less at Alison's Drive Thru, and still less at Kevin Brown's Automatic Coffee Dispenser, even if there was an employee behind the curtain operating the Automatic Dispenser, and the customers knew it.

None of this should be shocking.  Morality is the evolved system of interaction with other humans.  When you take other humans out of the equation, we don't feel moral urges as strongly.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Kevin R Brown
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f that's the case then, can

f that's the case then, can we expect the current policy at Java Street to continue working?


Cpt_pineapple
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Kevin R Brown wrote:f that's

Kevin R Brown wrote:

f that's the case then, can we expect the current policy at Java Street to continue working?

 

Depends.

 

In order to cheat the place, they have to justify it. They could think that this is a multi-million dollar company that has enough,  or that they somehow try to trick you to pay more etc... then they're more likely to cheat.

 

 

 


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Quote: There have been

Quote:

 There have been controlled experiments of this type.  I don't have any of them at my fingertips, but the results weren't that surprising.  When there's no risk of being caught, people "cheat" more often, but when there is knowledge that their cheating will directly hurt someone else, they're less likely to cheat than when it's "free money."

 

I  think if a big chain company did this such as Mcdonalds, then they would get cheated more than Java Street, which AFAIK is a locally owned shop.

 

 

 


Hambydammit
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 Yes, Pineapple.  The

 Yes, Pineapple.  The McDonalds version of this would get cheated because we perceive the owners of corporations as having more money than they know how to spend.  We think of local business owners as somebody's Ma and Pa, struggling to make ends meet.  We're much less likely to cheat them.

KB, Pineapple's basically right about the perception of the company.  So long as it is perceived to be run by "regular folks" who are "in the trenches," we would predict that they'd do ok.  (Don't expect them to get rich!  Expect them to be able to pay the bills on time.)  In fact, we would predict that the longer they stick around with this model, the more of a "sin" it would be for a newbie to cheat them.  They'll develop a lot of loyalty this way.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sam Lippert (not verified)
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Java Street and Pay-What-You-Think-Is-Fair...

 Sadly, the model in the Cafe was unsustainable, primarily because by the time I implemented it I was already too far behind on rent and other bills to recover.

 

I have since re-thought the concept, and I am trying to launch a new project with this pricing model.  If you are interested, please "like" Stuff-itz Truck on facebook and follow @StuffItzTruck on Twitter for more information!