In London, a café that attracts customers with a book swap
The Prêt à Manger in Southampton Row in London has replaced the traditional loyalty card with a book swap system.
It’s common for customers to sit themselves down in a café with a book in their hands. But it’s quite original for the café owner to use this habit to attract new customers.
That’s the plan at the Prêt à Manger in Southampton Row, one of the 374 cafés from the well-known chain across the UK, which has developed an original, innovative idea.
In the Southampton Row café every person who brings a book into the store gets a free coffee. Customers can then borrow books, take them home and then bring them back to the café.
Children’s books, novels, books on art, old and new works… all books are welcome. The customers are invited to place the books in an area reserved for the purpose.
This clever alternative to the traditional loyalty card is inspired by ‘book crossing’, a popular practice on the internet which involves sharing books with perfect strangers to offer them a second life.
Book crossing aims to make the world into a giant library where everything is shared forever. One London café, through its own initiative, has given this global, digital phenomenon, a local twist.
Prêt à Manger
102 Southampton Row,
London WC1B 4BL