Hundreds Of Customers Pay It Forward At Fla. Starbucks

More than 300 customers bought the drink ordered by the person behind them in line at a Starbucks in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Hundreds Of Customers Pay It Forward At Fla. Starbucks
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​​People in St. Petersburg, Florida, were clearly in a kind mood all day Wednesday.

Three hundred seventy-eight customers at a Starbucks drive-thru paid for the drink ordered by the person behind them in line. 

And a few of the customers even came back later in the afternoon to see if the chain was still going.

Tampa Bay Times spoke with Tim Burnside, who came back in to order another drink. He told the publication, "It's nice just to do a random act of kindness for someone you don't know."

The chain went on nearly all day, beginning at 7 a.m. and ending around 6 p.m. when the 379th customer in line declined to keep the chain going. The baristas had apparently started to try to figure out a plan for what to do if the line kept going until 10 when the store closed. That last lady really killed it for 'em. 

We've heard this story before: Starbucks customers paying it forward — or I guess behind them — in line. From Detroit, where about 50 customers paid for one another's orders, to Seattle, where almost 500 customers joined in the fun, people have paid it forward at several of Starbucks' many coffee joints around the country.

But we've found an even longer chain in the U.S. 

Over five days last December, 1,468 people paid for one another's drinks at a Starbucks in Newington, Connecticut.

"I just think it's cool that total strangers are willing to say, 'Hey, I'm going to pay for the car behind me.'"

And in China, one pay-it-forward chain at Starbucks went on for more than 19,000 — yes, 19 with a thousand — people. 

So why Starbucks?

Well, first of all, it has over 20,500 stores across the world, so the chances of having a store in your city is pretty good.

Second, people worldwide drink about 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day, according to PBS. And The Richest says Starbucks serves 40 million of those coffee-loving people each week.

And the coffee giant had even gotten behind the movement and created a pay-it-forward campaign, offering to give customers a free coffee if they paid for the person behind them. The campaign went through October 2013, and perhaps it got people feeling generous. 

We'll drink to that.

This video contains an image from Getty Images.