1,500 customers pay tab for others at Starbucks

Employees at a Connecticut store were surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to their gift card idea.

By InvestorPlace Dec 30, 2013 1:47PM

 A Starbucks Corp., sign is displayed outside a coffee shop in London, U.K. / Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Christopher Freeburn

At one Starbucks (SBUX), a large chain of consecutive customers decided to pay for the orders of people behind them last week.

The Starbucks store in Newington, Conn., says a total of almost 1,500 customers opted to pay it forward after managers posted a gift card allowing people to pay the bills of those who came after them on Christmas Eve, ABC News reports. And one customer added $100 to the card on Christmas Day.

Store employees said they were stunned by the number of people who decided to contribute. By Thursday, 783 people had contributed to the gift card at the Starbucks, paying it forward for other customers. By Friday, the number of consecutive customers paying it forward had topped 1,000. 

The chain of customers who gave to others at the Starbucks was finally broken on Saturday when one customer decided not to pay extra. By then, 1,468 customers had paid it forward.

Employees at the store expressed hope that the surge of Starbucks customers paying it forward would convince others to involve themselves in charitable works. The store says it hopes the tradition will live on next Christmas.

In other uplifting initiatives, Starbucks announced back in November that it will hire 10,000 new employees who are either former military service personnel or the spouses of active members of the military over the next five years.

Starbucks' stock price has risen almost 40 percent since March, though it was off slightly in Monday trading.

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Tags: SBUX
Dec 30, 2013 2:20PM
You call this charitable? Paying for some Yuppie's $4 coffee drink. These arre NOT the people who need charity.
Dec 30, 2013 3:38PM
Stupid...all they did in the end was still buy their own overpriced coffee - this is not paying it forward.
Dec 30, 2013 3:05PM
Didn't starbuck's turn their back's on US troops earlier? While other company's offer military discounts and care packages etc starbucks snubbed our soldier's.I won't step foot in a Starbuck's nobody in my familey or extended family go near them.
Dec 30, 2013 4:30PM
Wow...  I hate Starbucks.

Overpriced for a coffee shake!  

Real coffee drinkers drink it black, not white.  So much unhealthy garbage in one.  So, go get some food in your system - it's much healthier and wiser to spend.
Dec 30, 2013 3:50PM

So I get to pay more so the person behind me can also pay more? So in the end one guy got a discount? You can all rest easy tonight now that you have done your good deed for the day! What a crock!

Jan 4, 2014 11:41AM
I agree. they could have found a more charitable way to use there money. very selfish
Dec 30, 2013 4:48PM
Never been to a Starbucks - what's the attraction?
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