Starbucks Will Give You a Free Cup of Coffee for Buying Another Customer a Beverage

The coffee franchise is offering a free beverage to customers willing to ‘pay it forward’

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Jose Gomez / Reuters

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Bogota August 26, 2013.

As the federal government shutdown rolls through its second week, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is hoping the franchise’s customer base will set a moral example for Congressional representatives locked in an unrelenting budget crisis in Washington.

Starting on Wednesday, Starbucks will offer a free tall cup of brew to any patron who buys a drink for another customer.  According to a memo penned by Schultz, the promotion aims to push citizens to “support and connect with one another, even as we wait for our elected officials to do the same for our country”.

This is not the first time Schultz has interjected into the U.S.’s increasingly polarized political landscape.  Last month, Schultz asked customers to refrain from bringing firearms into Starbucks franchises and, in 2011, the CEO called on other executives to withhold campaign contributions until politicians toned down their partisan quarreling.