CUPS Coffee and Tea was a successful little coffee shop that faithfully served the residents of Roanoke, Virginia. But over time, the owner of the little shop noticed that in general, customers could be fairly rude. Barking orders at the people behind the register, ordering while on their phones, or practically forgetting their manners when it was their turn in line, it was as if they customers didn’t realize that they weren’t giving their orders to robots…but to actual, real live people instead.
I decided because I need to solve all the injustices of the world to start charging more for people who didn’t take the time to say hello and connect and realize that we’re all people behind the counter,” said owner Austin Simms.
While he couldn’t just tack on a “rude attitude” charge on top of the price of a coffee, he could offer a discount for being polite, instead!He wrote the little sign and left it outdoors one Sunday afternoon, and by Monday afternoon, a picture of his sign had been published in a newspaper in England. In the days that followed, his shop was visited by more customers than ever and was requested to do interviews with dozens of local news stations on top of it all.
He couldn’t have imagined that his idea would have spread so far, but for retail workers everywhere, it was like a sigh of relief. Someone was standing up for them, and the reminder to “mind your manners” is a strong one. In this case, at least the customers were now polite!
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