Running a drive-thru makes for many interesting stories. Some cause my blood to boil, some prevent me from being able to speak from laughter, and many just light up my face and soul for days to come. What happened this morning is among the later, but still completely different.
Customer: *pulls up to the window searching briefcase and nooks and crannies in car*
Me: Hi! Having trouble there?
Customer: I can’t find my wallet! Can I pay you with a check?
Me: No, I can’t take a check, but I can give you your drink and let your day go up from here!
Customer: Really? Are you sure? Is that okay?
Me: Absolutely! I really want you to have your white mocha on your way to find your wallet.
Customer: Wow! Thanks so much! What’s your name? *sees nametag* Rebecca, I will be back!
Me: That’s what I like to hear! Have a great day!
I always give a customer their drink or food if they realize they don’t have their funds or their card declines. It’s literally a Starbucks policy the empowers me to do this as my discretion and I’m just going to have to throw away the item anyway (or give it to the next customer). It happens a few times a week at most, really. Obviously it elicits a smile and sincere gratitude every time. Sometimes the customer comes back and requests to pay for their order, we assure them it’s not necessary, but they insist so we concede since that will make them happy, I guess. I can understand wanting to pay for or earn what you get. But I'd rather someone that kind and genuine come back just to get another fix. "Surprise and delight" is a brand relationship asset.
Apparently he was so blown away that I gave him his drink anyway he came back and tried to offer to buy me a drink (which partners get for free while working) and then just requested to speak to me when he found out buying a drink for me was fruitless. The shift superviser covered the drive-thru while I was gone.
(formerly "Bare Barista Threads" and "Memoirs of a Pizza Girl")
With a year of delivering pizza, two and a half years as a barista, and some more time in the trenches, I have plenty of stories, thoughts, and musings. The days that threatened to break me all the while built me. I want to help others in my profession view their work as an opportunity, too. This is my soap box.