Fed Up With Rude Customers Shop Owner Decides To Teach Lesson With Brutally Honest Sign
Apr 16, 2020
For those of us who have worked in the service industry, we know customers can be, well, just plain rude — even when they don't realize it. But Austin Simms of Cups Coffee and Tea, located in Roanoke, Virgina's quirky Grandin Village neighborhood, had had enough.
Taking matters into his own hands, he placed a sign outside the cafe in 2016 that not only encouraged customers to say "please," but also charged extra for rude customers who forgot to say that magic word.
It seems like manners have diminished over the years, especially in the context of a consumer-business relationship. Many customers are rude not only to the employees, but also to the actual business owners.
They have this sense that the customer is always right, even if they act like complete jerks. Things like common courtesy and manners are often unseen in such situations. But Austin Simms wants to put manners back into business transactions. He used a strategy based on how the customers addressed the cashiers and servers.
“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,” Austin told WDBJ7.
We'll discuss his coffee pricing as an example. His new sign displayed the cost of a coffee as $5. So, if the customer walked up to the person and simply said, "Small coffee," they would need to pay $5 for that small coffee. The price of a "Small coffee, please" went down to $3.
In other words, a nice please with their request for a small coffee would drop the price by $2. The coffee only cost $1.75 if the person said, "Hello. One small coffee, please." So you can see that the approaches that showed the most manners got the largest discounts.
The new strategy certainly inspired some folks to rethink their manners given that the post spread across the world. A newspaper in England even published an article about Simms' strategy, according to WDBJ7. We can be sure that at least some customers changed their behavior, and that's a good thing, even if they were doing it to get discounted coffee. The more you do something, the more accustomed to it you become. So, this little strategy that the business owner used could actually end up causing many people to be more courteous all the time.
The sign that he put out about the coffee ended up spreading across the internet. When someone asked the store owner to give a comment on his strategy, he said he decided to resolve the injustices of the world by starting with the small stuff. He wanted to start by charging people more when they didn't take the time to greet other people and connect as human beings. We can probably look forward to this store owner doing more things to encourage people to use manners, courtesy and kindness
What did you think of Austin's actions? Do you agree? Let us know. And tell your neighbors, friends and family members about Austin's message while also reminding them to be polite to service workers everywhere.