NYC barbershop chain is allowing customers to pay what they can for haircuts

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A New York City barber shop chain is cutting more than just hair, they're cutting prices all together.

Along with the buzz and snip at Fellow Barber, comes a generous offer ... to pay what you can.

"There were some people who'd pay a dollar, but most people would pay half of what our haircuts costs," Sam Buffa said.

Buffa, founder of Fellow Barber, has 11 locations around the country, including five in New York City.

The idea to allow people to pay what they can was born out of the pandemic.

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"People were definitely pretty shaggy during the shutdowns so it felt like a good way to get people in the door and activate our shops and do good for the barbers and good for the community," Buffa said.

The 'pay what you can' option was initially offered only on Mondays, but in March it expanded to everyday, and the barbers now doing those cuts are junior barbers still in training.

Like Archy Jeeves, who took a job at Fellow Barber in December. He needs all the experience he can get and doesn't mind paying it forward.

"Just having no budget for anyone, like anyone can just sit in my chair and can give them a luxurious experience ... goes a long way," Jeeves said.

Fellow barber ensures that their barbers don't lose money on those discounted cuts. The business takes the loss, but as it turns out, the business is breaking even and the owner says it's a win all the way around.

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"As everyone knows, staffing has not been the easiest thing and so we view it as a long-term investment in our staff," Buffa said.

And an investment in their clients.

"I just started a job about two or three weeks ago after school full-time, at this moment it's a nice perk, but in the future maybe I can pay a little more to help someone else out," client Nicola DiFusco said.

At a time when inflation is rampant, this haircut is just the right price.


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