As long as there have been restaurants, there have been people who surprise others by paying their bill. Sometimes it is in a sit-down restaurant and the giver knows or at least …
OKEECHOBEE — As long as there have been restaurants, there have been people who surprise others by paying their bill. Sometimes it is in a sit-down restaurant and the giver knows or at least sees the person he is trying to bless. Law enforcement officers are often the recipients of these gifts. Occasionally parents with small children are blessed. Sometimes honeymooning couples are recognized and gifted with a free meal. Other times, it is almost a blind gift in a drive-thru where the person at the window chooses to bless the stranger behind him.
In recent years though there has been a new trend where one person pays for the car behind him and then that car pays for the car behind him. This can be interesting and maybe fun for the drive-thru cashier.
There have been several discussions about this on Facebook and the posters are about evenly divided in their opinions with some saying if the person in front of you pays your bill, you are obligated to pay the bill of the person behind you. Others feel the choice is yours. You received a gift and can do whatever you choose after that.
One woman posted about her gift and how excited she was when the cashier told her her bill had already been paid. She said she had several ideas for paying it forward and could not wait to do it. She was criticized by some for not paying her “bill” then and there. She was told she was supposed to pay for the car behind her and keep the chain going.
Another woman said she was told her bill had been paid and now she should pay for the car behind her. She asked how much it was and was told it was $37. Her bill would have been about $5 she said. She paid it but was very upset about it and felt almost forced to do it.
A viral TikTok video tells the story of a man going through Starbucks Drive-thru and ending a 23-car streak of paying it forward. In the video, the man claims his order was $6, and the one behind him was $46. He refused to pay that bill. He had more than 7,000 comments, and most of them agreed with him.
A barista said her favorite people are the ones who end the chains.
One person said Starbucks is a treat for her, and she is not paying for anyone else.
Another suggested using your extra money to tip the workers in the drive-thru.
Several baristas spoke out saying the chain makes it more complicated for them especially during the holidays.
One man summed it up by saying, “When it turns into a train of pay it forward, it belittles the first person’s gift and makes everyone else give under compulsion instead of goodness.”
How do you feel about pay it forward chains? Do you end them? Do you start them?