Russian café concept Ziferblat has opened its first UK outlet in London.
Launching in Shoreditch, east London, the tenth café opened by the company provides free coffee, tea and biscuits, charging consumers for their time at 3p a minute.
Consumers serve themselves, using kettles and a coffee machine, with complimentary snacks including fruit and nuts.
Attendees are given an alarm clock to monitor the time spent in the café.
A statement on the café’s website says: “Ziferblat’s doors are open to everyone. Each Ziferblat guest becomes a sort of micro-tenant of the space, responsible for it and able to influence its life.
“You will be welcomed by the Ziferblat community and able to work with them to help create, supply and develop this project.”
By paying for time within the outlet, consumers are “making a donation towards the further development of this social experiment”.
Speaking to British Baker, Ivan Mitin, founder, said: “We opened in London because it would be a challenge for us. We want to open in as many places as possible, so if we succeed in London, it means we can open the cafés everywhere. The response has been good. People really like it.”
Mitin added that customers spend, on average, two hours in the café, which can cater for up to 45 people.
Ziferblat currently has nine other outlets worldwide, with eight in Russia: two in Moscow, two in St. Petersburg, two in Kazan, one in Nizhniy Novgorod, one in Rostov-on-Donas, as well as one in Kiev, Ukraine