Owner prices coffee by kindness to teach rude customers value of politeness

The very best thing about kindness is that it’s free to use. And sometimes it comes with a pretty fat discount too.

We’ve heard it time and again, “the customer’s always right?” But just how true is that statement really?


You’ve undoubtedly seen or heard of countless instances where, in fact, the customer was very wrong. Even so, customer service employees have had to swallow their pride and just carry on.

But is that really the best business model to go off of? In truth, doesn’t condoning rude behavior only signify that this is acceptable, enabling it to happen more and more?

Well, the jury may still be out on that one, but this coffee shop owner is testing a new theory.

Excellent service must be given to customers, that is absolutely true. But does that mean employees are no longer entitled to self-respect?

Austin Simms, a barista at the Cups Coffee and Tea in Roanoke, Virginia thought of a clever but effective solution to teach rude customers a lesson.

And of course, he did it with kindness.

He seemed to notice the absence of respect on their establishment so he came up with a brilliant idea in stopping it.

Just how hard it is to say the word “please”?

Based on his experience, it somehow looked like it’s pretty hard for their customers.

In the world of business and customer service, a lot of customers tend to forget how to be polite towards their helpers.

It really goes to show that a person can’t acquire good manners just by studying at a prestigious university. Respect begets respect, and one can’t buy a positive attitude from a department store.

The reality is, customers are not just being rude to employees but also to business owners as well. They fear no one and they will disrespect anyone, often for no reason at all.

So the Cups Coffee and Tea decided to send their customers a message.


They had no plans of being disrespected again, not inside their very own coffee shop. So, they made a new price list and posted it outside the shop.

According to the sign, if the customer said: “one small coffee”, that’s going to cost them $5.00. If they said “one small coffee, please”, that’s $3.00.

You don’t need to be a Math genius to know the difference between the two.

Saying “please” gets the customer an instant $2.00 discount.

It is that simple. No ifs, and or buts about it.

“Hello, I’d like one small coffee please,” drops the price to $1.75.

Even if someone is being “polite” just to score the discount, if it becomes a practice then it just might be worth it, and it may even lead to them paying full price for something else.

Austin told WDBJ7, “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 we’re all people behind the counter.”

The more respectful the customer is, the higher their discount. It’s a “win” for both parties: the employees get respected, customers learn how to be respectful, and they get discounts in return.

Being nice, kind, and respectful doesn’t cost anything.

Jumping to the present time, we need more of this, more positivity, respect, and kindness! Right now, these are among the things the world needs the most.

See the short clip below for more insight on the genius behind this brilliant idea!

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