Starbucks 'Pay It Forward' Chain: Over 700 People Participate; Blogger Tries To Stop It
A woman in Florida started a pay it forward trend that lasted almost 12 hours and affected close to 400 people on Wednesday.
Starbucks Hosts Pay It Forward Chain
Wednesday morning, around 7 a.m., a drive-thru Starbucks customer bought an iced coffee and offered to pay for the person behind her. When the next customer went to pay for his or her caramel macchiato and was told that it had already been covered, he or she decided to continue the trend and paid for the drink of the next customer. Soon, the employees began keeping a tally and informing each new customer of the trend, saying they could either pay for their tab, which would then go towards the following customer, or cover the following customer entirely.
According to the St. Petersburg, Fla., Starbucks baristas, 260 customers had participated by 1:30 p.m., and 378 people took part in the pay it forward chain before it was halted at 6 p.m.
“We are greatly humbled by the generosity of our customers and store partners in the organic Pay It Forward movement happening in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s truly a testament to the goodwill of our customers and our store team,” said Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, a woman who would have been the 379th participant appeared confused when asked by the Starbucks employee if she would like to pay for the next drink and insisted to pay for her own coffee.
Man Goes To Starbucks To Break The Streak
On Thursday, the very same Starbucks experienced another pay it forward streak until the 457th customer, blogger Peter Schorsch, purposefully drove to the Starbucks to end it.
“When the barista asks you to pay it forward, it is no longer spontaneous,” Schorsch explained to ABC News.
Schorsch, who claims he left the Starbucks barista a $100 tip, says he felt that the streak made the action of paying it forward meaningless, and pointed out that some customers ended up paying more than their fair share due to the varying orders and drink prices.
“It just seems like a First World problem to me. Middle-class people sitting in their cars at a drive-thru, sipping a $5 drink and worrying about someone breaking the ranks,” Schorsch continued.
Over 700 Customers Pay It Forward
Schorsch, of course, blogged about his acts, claiming responsibility for ending the chain, but that has not been confirmed. And despite Schorsch’s attempts, he did not end the pay it forward movement. In fact, according to Mills, many people have chosen not to participate and gone on with their day, interrupting the chain for only a moment or two.
“There were some stops and starts to it since it started yesterday [Wednesday] morning at 7 a.m.,” Mills said Thursday, adding, “More than 750 people have participated in it at this one store, which is so amazing to see. Naturally not everyone chose to participate, which is completely fine.”