Baristas Slam ‘Pay It Forward’ Chains on Drive-Thru Lines: ‘I Actively Don’t Want You To’
Doing kind deeds for others is a good thing. However, in some situations it can make things worse.
And according to a former Starbucks barista, “pay-it-forward” chains are one of those things that employees would like you to stop. TikTok’er Tiiffany explained to viewers why “breaking the chain” is best. “
Pay-it-forward lines are simple in concept — one customer gets to the register at a drive-thru and offers to pay for the person behind them, thus inciting a chain of customers paying for one another.
“When you get to the window, you say ‘I do not I do not want to pay for the person behind me,’ you take the money that you were gonna pay for your drink and give that to the barista as a tip as they deserve,” she explained of breaking the chain in the drive-thru line. You can take your drink for free, and then you can move on. This breaks the pay-it-forward line, the barista is happy with their tip, you get a free drink, and your barista will likely like you a lot more. “
Former and current baristas as well as other drive-thru workers flooded the comments section in solidarity and endorsed her statements, explaining how harmful the pay-it forward lines can be for the job.
“As an employee of a barista, you shouldn’t feel obligated to carry it on, and I actively don’t want it to happen, especially when it’s busy,” one user stated.
“Not one worker wants a pay-it-forward chain. It’s nice, but they will all be grateful if it breaks.” Another added.
According to Indeed, the average salary of a Starbucks worker is $14. 64 per hour.
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.