Monogram Coffee trusts customers to pay through honour system

Want a coffee but too rushed to wait in the latte line? A Calgary café trusts customers to pour their own basic black and ring themselves through the till while the baristas sling the lengthier orders in separate line.

Drip coffee drinkers at Calgary coffeehouse's new downtown location no longer have to wait in the latte line

Monogram Coffee owner Jeremy Ho stands in front of his 'honour bar' at the cafe's new downtown location. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

A Calgary coffee shop is putting a lot of faith in its customers.

At its new downtown location in Fifth Avenue Place, Monogram Coffee is asking patrons to pour and pay for their own java.

Owner Jeremy Ho calls it the "honour bar."

"We trust them to pay. We don't really even police it," said Ho.

Customers can also grab a few pastries before ringing themselves through a tablet register system.  

The onus is on customers to ring in their coffee and pastries through this laptop register at the Fifth Avenue Place location of Monogram Coffee. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

Need for speed

Ho says relying on the honour system helps his staff meet the needs of Calgary's fast-paced downtown crowd.

While Monogram baristas staff a separate espresso bar — slinging Americanos, cappucinos and lattes — customers who just want drip coffee can quickly serve themselves at the honour bar.

"You know they don't have to wait in line. They like the efficiency."

The hot black brew is stored beneath the honour bar in kegs, which customers access through a tap.

Monogram customers serve themselves drip coffee from converted beer taps at the 'honour bar.' (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

With files from the CBC's Sarah Lawrynuik and the Calgary Eyeopener


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