Customers can pay with a kiss at Australian café

It’s not quite an official throwback to the old barter system days, but an Australian café is making headlines for offering patrons the chance to pay for their French Press coffee with a little French kissing. (And now that the French have added their own official word for it to the dictionary, newspapers in France can accurately describe this exchange. Excellent timing.)

For the entire month of June, Metro St. James, a French-style joint in Sydney wants to promote its Frenchness by highlighting the Frenchiest thing we non-French people seem to associate with France other than french fries. Apologies to the cultural purists who just suppressed the urge to punch that last sentence in the face.

Here’s how café proprietors describe the promotion on their official Facebook page: “We’re bringing romance back! Take your partner to the café from 9-11 a.m. in June and surprise them with a kiss when you order your coffee. We’re not accepting your money, just your kisses.”

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Even if you’re a dedicated singleton, you can technically pucker up and grab the next person in line for the chance at a free cappuccino. Couples who actually have practice kissing each other are primed to caffeinate themselves for zero dollars all month.

Of course, there’s a catch. The staff has to deem your kiss worthy. "We'll watch you," a waiter says on the café’s promotional video. "It has to be a real kiss, I can see if it's a fake kiss. Trust me, I’m kind of a specialist." Alright there, Creepy McVoyeurstein.

The other catch is that your amorous exchange (of goods) might be captured on camera and used for promotional purposes, as evinced by the two-minute promo video and the photo stream of couples claiming that free java which the café has posted on their social media channels.

Also see: French kiss: In France, there's finally a word for that

Cynicism aside, it’s a great way to break the ice with a stranger. We have a hard enough time mustering up the courage to make eye contact these days, so acquainting yourself with someone’s tonsils could catapult you straight past that awkward getting-to-know-you bit.

And then you can find out each other’s names over your well-earned lattes.

Would this idea fly in Canada? More importantly, would you pucker up for a free coffee? Spout off in the comments below.