A barista at CUPS Coffee & Tea in Roanoke, Va., was having a rough day, and a stream of rude customers in the coffee shop wasn’t helping. So he wrote a message on a whiteboard outside the shop, warning customers if they weren’t polite, they’d have to pay more for their coffee.
The sign, which was put outside the shop about two weeks ago, says that if someone orders “one small coffee,” it will cost $5. But if someone says “Hello, I’d like one small coffee please,” it would just cost $1.75.
The standard price for a small coffee at CUPS is $1.75.
“Working in a coffee shop, you do get a lot of people throughout the day who come in and not really conscious of their actions and moods toward the barista,” said Billie Byrd, another barista at CUPS who explained how her co-worker came up with the gimmick.
Someone posted a picture of the sign on Reddit and story caught the attention of media across the globe.
Byrd says the sign, which is intended more as a friendly scare tactic than anything, else appears to be working. The shop hasn’t needed to charge anyone more than $1.75 for a small coffee.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Perry Stein