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Everything You Need To Know About Manchester's First Pay-Per-Minute Cafe

Everything is free inside except for the time you spend.

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This is Ziferblat Edge St, in Manchester's Northern Quarter, where you're encouraged to help yourself to cake, biscuits, cereal, and coffee, all for free.

Buzzfeed / Harriet Williamson

All you have to pay for is the time that you spend there. The flat rate is 5p a minute and £3 an hour. It's all self-service and you simply give your name at the counter and get stuck in. During the hour I stayed, I enjoyed two coffees, biscuits, and a bowl of Coco Pops.

Inside, it's a mixture of cosy and functional.

There are plenty of armchairs to curl up in, tables for meetings, and a breakfast bar to perch at while you eat, drink, and chat.

"We've not really had any problems so far" Ziferblat host Jake Campbell told BuzzFeed Life.

Buzzfeed / Harriet Williamson

"We’ve had lots of questions about whether people are going to take the mick, running in and out for 10p, but it’s not really happened," he said. "We put it down to the community atmosphere and the way people talk to each other and get on. You don’t want to rip off a place like this.

"We’ve tried to make it as homely as possible, so you start in the kitchen with the breakfast bar and cereal, and go on to the dining room, and end up in your grandma’s living room. We’ve got library wallpaper up at the moment but eventually want to replace them with real books.”


When I chatted to customers, the general consensus was one of comfort and satisfaction.

Buzzfeed / Harriet Williamson

Bar manager Matthew and PhD student Joe both told BuzzFeed Life they were keen to come back and that the concept gave them good value for money. Students Becca and Miryam said they'd visited Ziferblat yesterday too and wanted to help out by bringing in homemade cakes.

Ben Davies, Ziferblat Edge St's head of marketing, told BuzzFeed Life that the concept of Ziferblat "works on trust".

"We get a lot of people saying ‘You’re not going to make any money’ but we’ve had people coming in for one cup of tea and staying for three hours. We're already proving them wrong."

"We wanted to have a balance of taste to prevent it from becoming too cliquey or hipster. We’re aware of our trendy Northern Quarter location, but it’s important that we don't take ourselves too seriously and we appeal to a wide range of people. In the six days the Edge St branch has been open, we’ve had design agencies in, mums and babies, and groups playing Dungeons & Dragons in the corner."

It's the perfect place to get some work done, or to meet friends and play games.

What are you waiting for? Pour yourself a free coffee and settle in for an afternoon of board games and conversation.

Ziferblat hopes to open more branches across the UK, including additional locations in Greater Manchester. It already has an existing branch in London.