Giving the Gift of Coffee: 228 Tim Hortons Customers Pay for Next Person in Line

For some coffee drinkers in Canada, it’s all about paying it forward – for three hours, as 228 customers paid for the next purchase in line.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Brent Lewin / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts are shown in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 3, 2011.

For some coffee drinkers in Canada, it’s all about paying it forward – for three hours. At a Tim Hortons branch, the chain of kindness was 228 customers strong, as one customer after another paid for the next person’s purchase.

Just a few days before Christmas, one drive-through customer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada decided to pay for the next customer in line at Tim Hortons, a Canadian coffee chain. The next person caught on, evidently, and continued the trend. In the spirit of the gift-giving season, the acts of kindness continued for about three hours, as 228 orders were fulfilled all on someone else’s tab.

(MORE: Fair Trade: What Price for Good Coffee?)

It wasn’t limited to drive-through customers either; when in-store customers caught wind of what was happening, they soon too jumped into the delightful fray. According to Troy Thompson, who manages the restaurant, both staff and customers gleefully alike participated. “They were calling out the numbers, ‘We’re at 162,’ and they made a really big deal of it,” he told the CBC. “I think that’s what helped keep it going because nobody wanted to be the one who broke that streak.”

“We don’t know who started it, but that’s the beauty of this act of generosity,” a company spokeswoman told the Winnipeg Free Press. “It was the start of something wonderful.” But there’s always one who’s not feeling the spirit. The seemingly-endless chain came to an end when one man refused to pay for the next customer’s three coffees – though he had received four free coffees.

(MORE: Where to Get Free Doughnuts on National Doughnut Day)



There are morals after natural lifestyle along "the way" died out. There are lies because the shrewd people are praised. There are affections because family discord with one another. There are loyal vassals because the country is in disorder.

A small country with a small population: Even though there are convenient tools, people do not use them. They value their lives and do not travel. Even though there are ships and vehicles, people do not ride on them. Even though there are arms and armors, people do not wear them. They enjoy old-fashioned life. They enjoy their meals, clothes, and houses. Because they enjoy their life, even if they can see a neighboring country and hear its voice of domestic animals, they do not come and go each others until they get old and die. It is a utopia in the human world.

It is the best to consider that you still don't know though you know enough. It is human's fault that they consider that they know enough though they still don't know. If you notice your fault, you can correct it. So the saint who knows "the way" admits his faults and corrects them. Then he has no fault.

If you give a little love

you can get a little love of your own.

love your neighbour as yourself.


I'm really shocked that after 6-7 years that Starbucks has seeded and published guerrilla PR placements of stories just like this, we're still seeing them published in 'reputable' sources as if this was a new concept and nobody is in on the con.


@swagv Are you saying this didn't happen? If not, then are you saying this was organized by TH? What exactly are you saying?