Thursday, April 14, 2011

No Fries With That

I went to the Starbucks closest to my home this morning to get a cuppa on my way to my client’s offices.  I gave my regular order “Grande, drip, room” which is nothing very fancy.  The gentleman behind the counter upon getting my cup of coffee and before taking payment asked “Would you like to buy a bag of our Tribute Blend?”  I simply said, “No fries with that... thanks,” paid, and left.

When I said “No fries with that, thanks” the barista, as the Starbucks employees refer to themselves, gave me a little smirk.  The smirk was not directed as much to me as it was to Starbucks.  It was his way of letting me know that it was not his idea to offer the whole bean bag of Tribute Blend but moreso Starbucks’ and probably his store manager.  Well, OK, maybe the smirk was partly aimed at what he may have taken as a smart-ass reply.

I felt no remorse for my statement for two reasons.  First, my tone was neither sarcastic or remotely angry.  It was matter of fact and thus benign.  Plus it was 6:15 am I did add the “thanks” at the end to be polite.  Secondly, I may be getting a little curmudgeonly again, but I am tired of being asked “Is there any way we can get you to buy more stuff than you came in here for?”  I am the customer who willingly walked into their store with every intent of spending a few dollars.  I really just want what I want and do not care to be asked to spend more.  Besides there are numerous impulse items arranged around the cash register silently asking customers to buy more.

I understand that it is a business and they would rather I spend $20 than the $2.12 I actually spent.  I just think they should be happy with the $2.12 rather than the $0 if I should decide never to walk into another one of their stores again ever.  Most of the time, I really truly, “do not want fries with that.”

I believe this all began with the burger fast food  chains.  I am not sure when exactly it began but I am guessing in the 1980s or 1990s.  Every time you order something the server would ask “Do you want fries with that” or “would you like to super-size that?”  It was company policy.  Now, it seems to be the policy at every company.

“No fries with that, thanks.”  This is my policy and stock answer whenever being offered something more than I ordered.  I like the old fashioned, and to me more acceptable, “Is there anythings we can do for you today?”  It is open ended enough and somehow gives me a choice and reply with a simple “no thank you.”

“No fries with that, thanks.”  This will be my stock answer whenever I am offered something more than I came in for except for when I kinda like and kinda want what they are offering.

Oh the challenges we face being consumers...


  1. Good for you! Take back your power as a consumer! But I know what you mean when "I kinda like and kinda want what they are offering".
    Dominick's offered 50% off of Fig Newtons at the checkout line. Fig Newtons were not on my radar when I went shopping, but it brought back childhood memories so I bought a bag. Not what my waistline needed, but oh well ... they were good!

  2. Mark - I do not take offense at "is that all, sir?", or, "will there be anything else, sir?" I've heard those two phrases all my life and do not consider them to be unreasonable - considering the setting - or obnoxious. No thanks to anything beyond that, however.