I know, I know… I’ve posted about this before. It was fun how many people on my recent trip talked about this/teased me a little. A lot of discussion around the last post (which is now over two years old – who is stealing my life?!) was around the times you really want to comp a guest a drink. I totally understand the value of the currency and the gesture. I ended up discussing this quite regularly with a whole bunch of different people. I’d like to offer my take on this, which is going to probably seem staggeringly obvious.
If someone has come in, queued like a customer then they have the right to pay for their drink – to experience what you offer as a non-industry person. If you want to comp them something then offer an additional thing as a gift – whatever you wish they’d ordered or whatever you’re excited about. Coffee people usually have a solid tolerance for caffeine, and are always excited to try the coffee the barista is enthusiastic about. In this scenario everyone wins, a gesture is made but the feeling of freeloading is prevented. This is nothing new – this is something that happens in restaurants all the time, and is significantly less loaded (with guilt, leverage or awkwardness) than a comped meal.
I’ve a bunch of topics that I want to post about after my time in the US, and I think I’m going to keep them short and several, rather than one big long thing.