Rude customers; you already know who they are. They are the people who make your eyes roll and shake your head in disappointment. You must have come across such people at least a few times in coffee shops. These customers come in with their rude remarks, impolite behavior, not to mention ignorant attitudes. Such snooty customers walk into a shop and expect the best but never pay respect. A customer with a ‘Karen‘ attitude is a nightmare for employees. .
Rude customers never bother to greet the workers or say thank you. They prove that customers are not always right.
Noone likes rude customers, but they are everywhere.
You will come across a dozen of them when you are driving along on the highway. You will also encounter them when you are out at restaurants. You may also come across them when you are at work too.
Employees have to work with impolite customers like this all the time.
If you have worked in the service industry, then you know customers can be a headache. The universal quality of rude customers is that they are plain rude. However, they never even realize it.
Their tone, their overcomplicated and demanding orders make the workers’ day terrible. An impolite customer can immediately worsen an otherwise good workday.
Unfortunately, service workers with low wages have to put up with these unnecessarily rude attitudes. Negative customer behavior also adds to a highly stressful work environment.
Unfortunately, customers who lack manners are everywhere. The workers have no other choice than to put up with them everyday.
However, one coffee shop owner came up with a brilliant idea to solve this issue.
The coffee shop owner is Austin Simms. He is the owner of Cups Coffee and Tea, located in Roanoke, Virginia’s Grandin Village neighborhood.
Simms had enough with rude customers barging into his coffee shop regularly. It was upsetting for him to see how impolite they were to the staff.
He wanted to put good habits back into business transactions. So he came up with a simple but genius idea.
Simms decided to charge prices based on how friendly customers were.
He then displayed a sign in front of his shop that explained the brand new pricing policy.
According to his strategy, customers need to pay for their rudeness!
For example, someone walked into his shop with no politeness whatsoever and demanded a small coffee. It would cost them five bucks. But if they greeted the worker and said ‘please’ while ordering, the price dropped to $1.75.
Rude people pay $5 for a cup of coffee. A “please” saves you $2, and a friendly “hello” saves another dollar and a quarter. See what a simple polite gesture can do? How wonderful!
He put up the sign to make sure that people changed their behavior the next time they walked into his shop.
According to Simms, ”I decided because I need to solve the world’s injustices to start charging more for customers who never take the time to say hello.” Simms explained that these customers need to realize employees behind the counter are human too. They too deserve kindness and politeness as anyone else does.
Simms made a good point. It seems like people have forgotten basic human decency these days. Such problems are especially common in consumer-business relationships. A lot of customers are mean to the employees and the business owners as well.
These customers have this sense that the customer is always right, even with their rude behaviors. Things like basic manners and decency are often unseen in such situations.
To his surprise, his fantastic price policy caused a big stir.
The sign that Simms put out about the coffee prices ended up going viral on the internet. The coffee shop owner has gained immense popularity after that. Several news channels interviewed him too and the story ended up in the newspaper!
People liked the idea and appreciated the owner for standing up for him and his workers. Also, it was great that he was putting rude customers in their place.
A funny comment read: “And $10 a cup if you’re talking on the phone while ordering.”
One user went on to say, “You should patent that, you know this brilliant sign is going to show up all over the globe. Good for you. Have a great day,” and another one said: “People need to start using their manners more nowadays. People have forgotten that if you use your manners, you will get what you give.”
However, for Simms, this incident was a bit of a shock. He never expected the sign to gain so much popularity. He emphasized that he was only trying to be funny, not famous.
Simm’s genius new idea certainly made people rethink their manners. Now that the story got a lot of media coverage we can hope for some change.
It is possible that at least a few customers changed their behavior once the sign went up. Technically, it is good, even if they were polite only to get coffee for a discount.
Hopefully, more people will follow along and try to be more polite to employees. This fantastic strategy that Simms used could end up causing people to be more polite.
We look forward to this store owner inspiring more people to remember the importance of manners and kindness. It is about time!