Coffee Shop Owner: Quit Asking Me To Offer Suspended Coffees Already

Last week, we explained why we think that the “suspended coffee” movement that allegedly began in Naples, spread all over Bulgaria, and exploded on Facebook isn’t such a hot idea. But don’t just take it from us: the owner of an independent London coffee shop weighed in on the movement. Her take: it’s insulting that people think independent coffee shops don’t already help people who look like they could use a warm cup of coffee, and you should support your local indie shop. Well, that second part was predictable.

She wrote the blog post because she was tired of turning down well-meaning customers who asked about the movement and explaining her reasons. “People have responded almost hysterically to this idea,” she wrote, “and in the last five days, I have been asked so many times to support the scheme, that I’m sick of saying no and giving my reasons.” So she blogged about it.

Her arguments, in condensed form:

  • It’s not just her. Big chain coffee shops aren’t all that interested in the idea, either, even if supporters think it could lead to higher sales. Why is that?
  • What makes people think the keepers of hot beverages don’t already help when they see someone in need? “Didn’t really want to shout about [giving food and drink away] as I don’t want the rest of you dressing up as you think a homeless person might look,” she notes, echoing our “there are a lot of cheap jerks out there” argument on our post about the subject.
  • If there aren’t any more “suspended” coffees for the day, a shop wouldn’t just turn someone truly in need away. They’d give them a freebie. The people who love the idea so much are the same ones who would give away cups of tea and bowls of soup if they, too owned a coffee shop.
  • It feels scammy. Unscrupulous business owners or managers could take advantage of money donated to buy items that they’ll never see, at the full retail price of the items.

If you own a coffee shop or restaurant and want to start this program, that’s great. More power to you. Some people, notably in Sheffield, England, are putting a lot of thought into ways that this could work.

What you don’t need to do, though, is pester the owner of your favorite coffee shop to participate. If they have Internet access, or they happen to have a particularly chatty tweenaged niece, they already know. They’ll do it if they want to. Or maybe they’re too busy running yesterday’s bagels to a day shelter.

Is #Suspended #Coffee a Good Idea? [My Coffee Stop Stories]

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Why Ordering ‘Suspended’ Coffees For The Needy Is Stupid And Inefficient