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Starbucks 2.0: Terra Bite Lounge, Where Coffee prices are based on the people who are inherently good. This should prove to be at least interesting. Only in the Seattle area could I see a ‘Honor System’ business actually work. Located in Kirkland where people tend to be a bit more honest. Terra Bite Lounge is an upscale cafe in Kirkland, WA that doesn't list any prices on its menu. Expresso and muffins are not free either though. The owners' definition:

Terra Bite Lounge is an upscale voluntary payment cafe/deli.We serve espresso, blended drinks, baked goods, sandwiches, and desserts in a hip upscale setting. Patrons choose what to pay, and are encouraged to pay what they would elsewhere. You may use this as a convenience feature, e.g. get your daily coffee and drop in a $20 at the end of the week.

We also cheerfully serve those who cannot pay, in a non-stigmatizing customer setting, with no political or religious message, and with full-time availability.

The idea emerged from a debate where founder Ervin Peretz, a Google programmer (of course... A Google guy) argued that people are inherently good... Stay in Kirkland Ervin. To prove his point, he created Terra Bite Lounge. These bois and they're money... if it's not first edition Sith Lord computer games, it's upscale computer related cafe lounges. Ervin Peretz plans to build a growing for-profit business from his debate that cost the MP3 tune of 6 figures. Terra Bite employees are instructed not to look at the drop box where patrons can discreetly drop payment

Even without posted prices, 'social monitoring' - the feeling that others are watching what you do can enforce payment, said Erica Okada, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Washington Business School. With its anonymous drop box, Terra Bite has minimized, if not eliminated, that effect. Under these circumstances, Okada said, the economic model predicts that Terra Bite customers won't pay anything.

The Professor's cynicism does not deter Ervin, who plans to expand Terra Bite into a chain. Considering the line at my local Starbucks...I don't think the higher powers are sweating... unless they're playing video games with Gates.


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