These Mini-Shops in India Trust Customers to Use the Honor System

iD Fresh Foods via Facebook
iD Fresh Foods via Facebook / iD Fresh Foods via Facebook

Residents of Bengaluru, India may have noticed something unusual in the last month: Unguarded refrigerators have begun popping up around the city, and passersby are invited to open them up and take what they like.

As reported by Times of India, "Trust Shops" are honor system-based coolers from the food company iD Fresh Food. Customers can grab an item from behind the unlocked glass door and deposit their payment in the box attached to the front. If they don't have enough cash on hand, patrons are encouraged to come back and pay whenever they're able to. 

The foods available from the unmanned stands include preservative-free offerings like chapatis, parottas, and idli-dosa batter. iD Fresh Food has already set up 17 Trust Shop locations throughout Bengaluru, mostly in office buildings, apartment complexes, and the "software parks" that are common to the tech hub. Most apartment installations have reported payment rates around 90 percent, with some days reaching 100 percent. 

In addition to targeting adult buyers, the company also wants to expand the stores to schools and colleges to spread the value of trust to student customers. The business plans to launch in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai in the near future. 

iD Fresh Food is hardly the first company in the culinary world to dabble in the honor system. After a coffee shop in Valley City, North Dakota, swapped out their baristas for a system based on trust, they earned back 15 percent more revenue than they asked for. Panera Cares, a nonprofit "pay-what-you-want" cafe from Panera bread, has been operating under the honor system since 2010.

[h/t Times of India]