Every Minute Counts at Germany’s Slow Time Cafe

Slow Time, a newly opened cafe in Wiesbaden, Germany, is charging clients on how much time they spend there, rather than on what they order. Coffee and biscuit snacks are free, and customers can even bring their own food, but on departure, they have to pay for every minute spent inside.

The “time cafe” concept comes from Moscow, where it has proven a big hit. Locals and tourists there find refuge from the hectic city streets inside one of these peaceful cafes without worrying about high drink prices. The amount of time they spend inside is the only thing that counts on the bill. 24-year-old Daria Volkova, who immigrated from Russia in 2008, recently opened the first time cafe in Germany, called Slow Time. Customers are charged €2 ($2.50) on arrival, which covers the first 30 minutes, after which they have to pay €0.05 per minute, or €3 per hour. The coffee, which is supposed to be delicious, tea and water are offered free of charge, and there are also free biscuits to snack on, but clients are invited to bring their own food and drinks if they want, or maybe have a pizza delivered there. What’s important is the time, although the owners says the several clocks purposely showing different times are meant to make people forget about time and focus on relaxation and the people around them. To pass the time, visitors can use the free Wi-Fi connection to browse on the internet, play social games like Carcassone, Scrabble or Activity with friends, or enjoy a good book from the cafe’s selection.


Photo: Slow Time

Daria, who opened Slow Time in April, says her main goal is to take the business where it can support her and her 6-year-old daughter. The 75 square-meter living-room-like cafe can seat 25 people, and it needs at least 11 customers to make a small profit. Volkova told Der Spiegel she hasn’t been able to break even yet, but she’s confident that things will improve in the near future, as more people hear about her unique cafe. Most people don’t even know Slow Time exists, and others don’t really understand the concept. They just stop, look through the windows and move on. So Daria has put up two large posters explaining the time cafe concept. Clients are given a wristband with the exact time of their arrival, and their bill is calculated on how much time they spent there.


Photo: FAZ


 via The Local

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