Customers at a Starbucks drive-thru in Newington, Conn. are passing along the holiday cheer this week by paying it forward to the person behind them – in astonishing numbers.
It started on the morning of Christmas Eve, when the coffee drinkers began footing the bill for the order of the customer behind them. Customers continued to pay for the next person’s order through the day after Christmas. In all, over 950 people “paid it forward.”
The number is still growing and one Starbucks employee at the Berlin Turnpike store tells Yahoo! News that the goal is now 1,000 orders.
“I thought it was very cool," Harry Evert told WFSB TV in Hartford. “(The Starbucks barista) told me there had been hundreds, asked me if I wanted to pay it forward for the guy behind me, so I said absolutely.”
This is not the first time an act of charity like this has been reported, although it may be the largest. Consumerist notes that this could be a new record. The previous titleholder belonged to a Tim Horton’s in Canada, where 228 customers paid for the next person’s order.
Customers and store employees are using a variety of methods to continue the cause. When the Starbucks opened Thursday morning, there was an additional $45 left over from previous purchases. According to one employee, a gift card with the extra money is now used to cover orders that are only partially funded. In addition to dollars, customers are also donating their bonus rewards from their personal Starbucks cards to be used for the person in line behind them.
Similar reports of people picking up the tab have surfaced this past year in other Starbucks locations from Detroit to Reno, Nev.