As many Southerners can attest, it pays to be nice—literally.
Just ask the folks at CUPS Coffee & Tea in Roanoke, Virginia, who, in an effort to teach patrons the importance of and value of good manners, the charming Grandin Village coffee shop put this pricing display out front last year. It was the sign shared around the country after being posted on Reddit in 2016, but it’s been making the rounds again in recent days. Perhaps as a reminder that in today’s world we could all use a little more kindness, laughter, and some good old-fashioned niceties in our lives.
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Because if there’s one thing we know how to do in the South, it's making people feel welcome, which is what the bakery-slash-cafe attempted to do in its own hilarious way. As you can see below, a cup of Joe at the cozy shop came with an added incentive—politeness.
For those who just rattled off their coffee order without a greeting or acknowledgement, they had to shell out $5 for a small coffee. However, one small utterance of “please” could get an order discounted by $2. Yet, a simple “hello,” “please,” and “thank you” could save customers a total of $3.25 on a small coffee. That certainly beats any Starbucks' rewards program in our book.
Too bad, though, it was all in jest. According to Roanoke's local CBS News Station, WDBJ7, owner Austin Simms admitted the sign was a joke. “I decided because I need to solve all the injustices of the world to start charging more for people who didn’t take the time to say hello and connect and realize we’re all people behind the counter,” he said. However, another employee added that people actually started being more polite, despite not taking the sign seriously.
So how do you take your coffee? With a smile, of course. And after reading this story, we hope it will encourage you to add a splash of pleasantries and a spoonful of courtesy the next time you’re placing an order with your local barista.
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Let this sign be a lesson: a little Southern hospitality (and charm) go a long way. And we should all remember that “please” and “thank you” really are the magic words.