Later I notice that not only are they not drinking Starbucks beverages but they aren’t eating anything on the Starbucks menu either.
Which isn’t to say that they weren’t eating or drinking. In fact, they were chowing down a full meal with drinks, all from a Vons shopping bag.
I suppose I shouldn’t care. It isn’t my store, not my enterprise. And there were plenty of available seats.
On the other hand, have you ever gotten a strong Web signal at a Starbucks? Rarely me. Too many people hogging the Wi-fi bandwidth, downloading streaming content. So these freeloaders—who were in fact playing an online game—were cutting into my surfing signal.
Nice bastards though. Friendly and all.
Here’s the real kicker; though purely freeloading for a web signal, they were treated by the Starbucks workers with equal courtesy and generosity. The workers went among the patrons (and freeloaders) offering free pastry and coffee samples. Yes, even to the surfing freeloaders, chowing down on their non-Starbucks food and drinks.
This is surely a bad business practice. Right? Surely!
(Said I from an easy chair at the world’s most successful coffee shop chain.)