It’s one small pedal for a man, one giant ride for mankind.
Okay, so perhaps being the first person ever to be served a cup of coffee whilst riding a bicycle through a drive-thru isn’t quite up there with landing on the moon. I’m still a bit chuffed about it, though. After all, it’s not often you get to be the first at something.
Other places – I’m looking at you, McDonald’s! – turns away customers who turn up at their drive-thru with non-motorised vehicles: Car? Yes, would you like fries with that? Truck? Drive on up. Motorcycle? Of course we’re loving it. Walking? Bicycle? Oh no, McDonald’s drive-thrus weren’t designed for that.
So, big kudos to the newly opened Costa Coffee in car-centric Basingstoke for recognising that a customer is a customer no matter how they get to the shop. There’s even a very secure looking bicycle rack out front (piccie here) if you decide that you would prefer to order inside.
Earlier in the summer, at the time I found out about McDonald’s loony policy, I used the fantastic CEO Email database to find out the contact details of the person in charge of Costa Coffee’s parent company, Whitbread: Chris Rogers.
I emailed Chris in July and asked him if his company would serve people who choose to ride a bicycle at their drive-thru locations. Just a few hours later he replied,
“I am sitting in our Drive Thru in Swindon: Off the top of my head I can see no reason why not.”
The new Costa Coffee shop opened in late August, and on 17 September 2013 I happened to be travelling by bicycle through Basingstoke when I thought I’d see if the shop would be true to the CEO’s word. They were!
A few staff came over to the drive-thru window to witness the hand-over of the cappuccino to me on my Brompton. My good friend John snapped a photo of the historic occasion.
Success there too: the 71 year old national party leader, Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope was more than happy to have his photo taken riding John’s Brompton bicycle!