Java Street Cafe in Ohio Implements “Pay What You Want”

I was watching America’s Newsroom on FOX News today during lunch and came across this awesome story. It seems the “pay what you want” theory is branching out to other industries — in this case, the restaurant business.

java street cafe

Sam Lippert, owner of the Java Street Cafe was having some trouble keeping his business afloat. He was looking for alternative strategies to bring in new customers during this recessionary period, and decided to implement the progressive idea of allowing customers to pay what they think is fair for the food his cafe offers.

During a seperate interview with KPTV in Oregon, Sam Lippert said:


“In the current economy, maybe that’s what people need to feel comfortable going out again. They need to know that they’re going to pay what they feel is a fair price for what they’re getting.”


You can view the article & video here: Click Here

He said during the America’s Newsroom FOX interview that, although unsure of the exact figures, his store has seen an increase in total volume of sales of at least 50%. Isn’t that something, huh?

He also said that he has yet to have a customer look him in the eye and ask for free food, EVERYBODY has given him something for the food they order. This is crazy! Imagine this business strategy catching on everywhere?

I think this is a really cool concept…once my band puts out a legitimate EP with cover art, liner notes and the works, I am going to implement the same strategy and hope it pays off! I have heard several success stories from artists but I have yet to hear it from a business outside the music industry! Cool stuff.



2 Responses to “Java Street Cafe in Ohio Implements “Pay What You Want””

  1. Joe Fattal Says:

    I don’t like the idea. So I had breakfast, lunch or diner. Time to pay, I am going to feel bad about it if I underpriced, and I am going to feel stupid if I overpriced.

  2. classicrocker415 Says:

    very good point joe…i was worried about this myself.

    But, how do you know what is underpriced and what is overpriced? The store owner isn’t going to judge you either way, he’s going to be grateful that you gave him anything at all, since technically you can take it for free. You just pay what you think they deserve. Think of it as a donation.

    Lets say you go to this place for the first time, and order a small coffee. You pay the cashier $1 because this seems fair to you. You drink the coffee and decide that it is really freaking amazing. The next time you go back, you can give them $2, $4, whatever for the coffee because you feel it is worth the extra money since you really enjoyed the quality of it.

    Thats the basic philosophy of it….just thought it was interesting and post-worthy. Thanks for commenting!


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