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Less is more, at least for one innovative coffee shop in the small town of Vassalboro, ME. Owner Donald Crabtree has found a way to bolster business and bring in the customers (and job applicants) during this tough economic spike: topless servers.
More than 150 applicants expressed interest in the 15 positions (10 women and five men), and Crabtree made his selections based primarily on customer service attitudes—not overall physique or previous serving experience. From CNN:
In a town with fewer than 4,500 residents, the topless coffee shop is booming with business. Paul Crabtree, the owner’s brother, describes business so far as “fantastic.”
Many local residents were irate over the idea of combining coffee and nudity. Crabtree, however, saw a profitable business venture.
“I know what people want,” the owner said. “People like nudity, and coffee is profitable. Sure, I’d start a coffee shop, but I’d be out of work in a week.”
The coffee shop jobs are paying off. One waitress received a $100 tip for a cup of coffee, and most of the wait staff make about $30 a table.
“The economy is so bad,” Crabtree said, “Everyone’s losing their homes, their ties, everything they own. People leave here happy and can’t wait to come back. It’s nice to see people smile again.”
Check this link for a video of resident responses.
The shop opened on Monday, February 23, 2009. Patrons are not allowed to touch the waitstaff, and customers must be over the age of 18.