Almost 400 People ‘Pay It Forward’ At Florida Starbucks

So there’s this sort-of tradition at Starbucks where a customer will pay for their own order, and then pay for the order of the person behind them, too. It’s called “Paying It Forward,” and at a Tampa-Bay-area Starbucks, a Pay It Forward chain lasted 11 hours and 378 customers, Huffington Post is reporting.

The fun began at around 7:00 A.M. when an unnamed woman bought an iced coffee, and paid for the caramel macchiato for the customer behind her. That customer did the same, and on and on it went. For 11 hours.

17-year-old Lexie Kane told the Tampa Bay Times:

“It makes your day better, I think.”

Doubtless a few of those customers ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is coming out a month early (See this Inquisitr article), because what’s better on a sultry August day in Florida than hot pumpkin spice?

Of course, there has to be that one guy who spoils everyone else’s fun – or, in this case, that one lady. According to barista Vu Nguyen, the chain came to an end when a woman, who Nguyen suspects doesn’t understand the Starbucks “Pay It Forward” tradition, declined to pay for anyone else’s order and just paid for her own. Apparently the $2.25 for her order was all she had to spare; although since she was driving a Jeep Commander, she probably wasn’t hurting for money. Good on Nguyen, who gave the lady the benefit of the doubt.

This particular Starbucks location had a “Pay It Forward” chain last year that lasted 141 customers. The unofficial Starbucks Pay It Forward record, at least in the U.S., goes to a location in Connecticut. The chain began Christmas Eve, involved almost 1500 customers, and lasted for several days, according to NBC Connecticut. However, that’s nothing compared to the 19,000 customers in China who paid it forward, according to the company’s website.

It’s unclear when, where, or how the Starbucks Pay It Forward tradition began. Snopes suggests that it may be the modern version of an “ancient Italian tradition” of buying hot drinks for the poor.

Have you ever been a part of a Starbucks Pay It Forward chain? Let us know in the Comments.

Image courtesy of: Tampa Bay Times