Starbucks: Connect With Free Coffee While We Wait For Elected Officials To Get It Together

Free coffee if you're nice to people.

Free coffee if you’re nice to people.

While the government is busy not talking to each other to figure out issues like the U.S. federal government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling problem, Starbucks is offering what it calls a chance for customers and the company to come together with free coffee. At least until Friday.

The company writes on its blog that from today through Friday, customers who buy someone else their favorite beverage will receive a free tall brewed coffee.

“We’re hoping this small motivation will encourage you to be the spark of connection that helps bring us all a little closer at a time when showing our unity is so important,” writes Starbucks.

CEO Howard Schultz echoed this feel-good campaign in a letter to Starbucks employees, asking them to “Please join me in helping our customers Come Together to support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country.”

Hear that, Congress? Buy each other a coffee and let’s get this stuff figured out.

Check out Schultz’s full letter below to Starbucks partners/employees:

Dear partners,

As I reflect on the success our company has achieved during the past year, I am nevertheless reminded of the hardships, stresses and strains that many of our customers are experiencing in these volatile times. The U.S. federal government shutdown, the pending debt and default crisis, waning consumer confidence and the general sense of unease these and other events have instilled in the minds of so many have created another period of uncertainty in our country.

Faced with this seemingly unending cycle of dysfunction and doubt, it would be understandable if many of us — and our customers — felt cynical, powerless or disengaged. So, as we have done in the past, we once again find ourselves asking a simple question: What can WE do about it at Starbucks? After all, we’re just a coffee company.

Our business was built customer-by-customer, one cup of coffee at a time. Every day in our stores, we bear witness to small acts of human kindness that reflect the generosity of spirit at the core of our guiding principles. Most often, these are the little gestures that best embody our commitment to our communities and our care for our customers, and one another.

Starting Wednesday through this Friday, we honor that heritage. If a customer buys someone else their favorite beverage, we will offer that customer a free tall brewed coffee in return. It’s that simple – “pay it forward,” and Starbucks will pay you back. I believe you will agree that this is a different yet authentic way Starbucks can help our fellow citizens to Come Together by supporting one another during a particularly challenging time, while continuing to make Starbucks stores a place of respite and comfort for millions of customers.

I’ve said before that we have a responsibility as well as an opportunity not to be bystanders, but to act in ways that contribute to the vibrancy of the communities where we live and work. This has always been the lens through which we make decisions, and it is a key reason why our customers have continually trusted us to do the right thing.

Please join me in helping our customers Come Together to support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country. And thank you all for the heroic things you do every day as a Starbucks partner. Together, we can continue to make a difference-one cup, one customer, one act of civility and kindness at a time.

Onward,

Howard