PEDALLER

A first with Costa Coffee drive-thru (and a Loony rides a bicycle)

JPB20130917-1826-TZ8-120433 Costa bicycle drive-thru - ARH orders coffee (resized)

Andrew places the first-ever order from a bicycle for coffee at a Costa Coffee in Basingstoke on 17 September 2013

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.

JPB20130917-1829-TZ8-120444 Costa bicycle drive-thru - ARH gets coffee (resized)

The first-ever coffee ordered by a person on a bicycle at the Costa Coffee drive-thru is handed over with big smiles all around.

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.

Receipt for first ever Costa Coffee served to person on bicycle 2013-09-17 (resized)I put the coffee into the carry bag’s holder – of course it has a place for refreshments! – and cycled off to a nearby park to enjoy it.

ARH20130917-1856-TZ8-120456 (resized)

And here is the leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party riding John’s Brompton!

Afterwards, John and I continued our cycle ride out to Longdog brewery to join in the CAMRA launch party for the Monster Raving Loony Party‘s “Winning Co-ALE-ition” beer.

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!

Update 2014-10-01: Salt Lake City updated a law that will allow cyclists to use drive thru windows at fast-food restaurants in the city.

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