Surprised at Starbucks, morning coffee was free

Starbucks linking logoI was very surprised this morning at my local Starbucks. I stopped by the drive through window after church for my standard grande cappuccino. There was a car in front of me. When I got up to the window, I could see that there were a larger than normal number of customers inside the store. When the barista handed me my drink, I had my Starbucks card ready. But she said not to worry, it was on the house for having to wait so long. I said thank you very much.

I wonder if this is related to Starbucks refocusing on customer service and providing good coffee. I was impressed by the local store’s ability to allow a front-line employee who interacts with a customer the latitude to provide a free drink. This is the type of discretion can also be found at my favorite vacation spot, Walt Disney World. I didn’t complain about the wait, but the server provided a pleasant customer service experience for me. She was proactive. And it made me write this post. (Though that won’t get them a lot of free publicity. It is mostly my family who reads this, and they aren’t coffee drinkers.)

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