Business Ethics ?

Breaking News !

business_ethicsIf a business owner falls behind on their rent because of the lousy economic climate, yet creates a new business model that successfully meets the crisis, should the landlord evict them before they can recoup losses and pay the rent?

Back on the 18th of March, I posted the story of Sam Lippert and the Java Street Café, in Kettering, Ohio—Cafe owner thrives with no-pricing policy. That was in the midst of the first media blitz because of Sam’s creative commitment to taking all the prices off his menu and letting the customer determine their own fair price. Here’s the link to the live CNN interview with Sam from that post.

That seemingly crazy idea worked, very well!  Sam’s sales quickly increased. Before he implemented the no-price policy, he was tracking last year’s sales dead-even. Since implementing it, his sales are 13% higher than last year. Comparing March to January and February, his sales are up 32%. And, if that’s not enough proof, a food supplier informed Sam that, due to his good example, 15 restaurants in Michigan have adopted the no-price policy…


On the 31st of March, the landlord called and said an eviction notice would be sent the week of April 6th.

Admittedly, the landlord is within their legal rights yet, in this business climate, why would they be willing to kick Java Street Café out when they’re clearly showing their ability to weather the economic storm and thrive in spite of it? Do they feel they can quickly fill the space with another business in this economic downturn? Do they care? Is it possible they don’t give a ____ about Sam’s ability to thrive and pay his debt because they can write it all off and “balance” their books with not a thought about what ethics in business means?

Speaking of business ethics, Sam, in the midst of crushing economic circumstances, made a commitment to a business model that put the customer in the driver’s seat—gave the customer a chance to afford that cup of coffee or sandwich they may have been otherwise unable to justify purchasing.

Take a look at Sam’s latest Press Release

By the way, Sam is open to offering Franchise Opportunities – Call him at: 937-294-5280

My final question:

Who wins if the landlord kicks Sam out?

Spiritual Quote:

“He feels you should both consider the competent running of your business not only a moral obligation to any creditors outstanding, but also the wise and proper thing to do.”
from a letter written on behalf of Shoghí Effendí: 6 June 1954, Compilation on Trustworthiness

Please leave Your  thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
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8 thoughts on “Business Ethics ?

  1. Pingback: Business Ethics Training Business Ethics ? =AB Our Evolution «

  2. Hi dear Alex,

    I loved this story and had not heard or read about Sam. He is brilliant! What an amazing shift in consciousness, especially in the business world. This is truly remarkable. As I read this I had this mini vision of the world going in this direction. It will take a long time but it is where we are headed. How freeing it is. It puts responsibility back on the people in so many ways. It puts the power of choice back into their hands AND invites them to act responsibly. It says to them I think you are worthy of trusting, so I am going to trust you. It says, I think my product is good enough. I can’t really put it in words Alex but it speaks to some goodness in people that our culture just has not done in donkey’s years, esp the business world. It is revolutionary, visionary. Even if he is kicked out and can no longer rent their, I don’t believe Sam has lost anything. He still wins. His ideas, morals, visions and ability to take risks and trust go with him. He is still the winner. The landlord has lost out in every way. This was a great read and insight for me and how I also want to approach things.

    Thank you so much.
    Hugs, Robin

    • You said, ” It puts the power of choice back into their hands AND invites them to act responsibly.”, and you uncovered one of the most important parts of this saga–his customers must take a moment to consider Fairness!!

      Also, you are totally right about Sam winning, no matter what happens!!!!

  3. Pingback: Business Ethics ? « Our Evolution « Ethics

  4. Such an interesting paradigm! The cafe decides to do business outside the 9 dots and the building owner decides he needs to flex some power. Well, Sam wins cause there are ethical building owners who would assist him in moving his cafe to another location. Customers will follow as the word will get out and Sam gets free advertising.

    So, Sam wins any way you look at it! Good for him and may he have a heck of year!

  5. Pingback: An Ethical Business Press Release « Our Evolution

  6. Pingback: Heartwarming story from Alexander M. Zoltai « John Ayo Olaghere

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