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Calling all procrastinators!

Tokyo café offers service to pressure customers into meeting deadlines

By Kara Santos Published May 17, 2022 5:00 am

A new café in Tokyo which launched in April 2022 has gone viral on social media for offering the unique service of pressuring their customers to help them meet their deadlines before they’re allowed to leave.

Located in the district of Koenji in Tokyo, the Manuscript Writing Cafe is a café aimed at writers and artists with imminent deadlines.

“The establishment takes in people who are focused on manuscript writing, which includes copywriting, translation work, paper writing, screenplay writing and manga drawing, among others,” according to the cafe’s official website.

Here's how it works. Customers will receive a card when they enter the café where they can indicate their work goals, which could range from tasks like “Write a two-page paper” to “Finish a 2,000-word manuscript” during their time at the café.

“The manager, who has no direct vested interest in you, will gently ask how you’re coming along and this will motivate you to write your manuscript,” according to an explanatory video.

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Distracted? Wait till the last minute? For a small fee, a cafe in Japan will hound you to meet your deadline

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Customers can choose between “mild,” “normal” or “hard” verbal checks.

Writers who want a progress check at the time of payment can choose “mild.” For the normal pressure, the manager will circle back and ask you about your progress every hour. Those who choose “hard” will have someone constantly hovering over them as they try to work in addition to the hourly checks. 

Customers will not be able to move on to the checkout process until their goal is met.

The restaurant currently has four counter seats, four window seats and one table seat, each with a power outlet and a USB quick charger. Visitors can also use a laptop cooling stand free of charge. The cafe offers Wi-Fi at 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

For those who miss the high-pressure environment of offices and schools, the unique café aims to provide a “unique sense of tension like studying for an exam in a library” to stimulate creative work.