Can I get a coffee shop to give me my order for free?
Jun 1

I want to practice being more comfortable with rejection and asking for things even when they go against cultural norms. As I go to coffee shops over the next few months, I'll make a small order (a coffee and a pastry, maybe just a pastry, etc) and at checkout ask the barista if I can have my order for free.

Market resolves YES if I do this and they agree to give me what I ordered for free.

Market resolves NO once I've tried this 10 times and been rejected every time. I'll try to update with info every time I try this.

I won't necessarily ask this every time I visit a coffee shop and may tend towards asking when I feel comfortable / think I have a good chance.

I'll only do this at coffee shops with baristas I didn't know before posting this market. (i.e. I won't ask my preexisting friends for free coffee, although I may visit the same coffee shop multiple times to build a relationship)

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@kaizen can this resolve?

Just read about this research on how attaching a reason to a request can make it more successful:
The simplistic conclusion it reaches is definitely flawed, but maybe it'll work if you can find a good reason?
Some things you could try:
"Can I get this order for free, because I'm conducting research?"
"Can I get this order for free, because I think you're cool?"
"Can I get this order for free, because I could really use a win this week?"

predicts YES

how is this going?

I love this as a growth exercise as it sounds like you feel some challenges in receiving a "no" and this is a great way to get some low-stakes practice in that! even better if you get an occasional cup of coffee along the way!

this may be irrelevant (and only share what you're comfortable with) but: do you live in a big city or a smaller town? do you go to cafe chains or locally owned/individual coffee shops?

@shankypanky Thanks! :) I live in SF, and I'll probably go to more locally owned places for this market (or at least smaller chains than Starbucks, Peets, etc)

Will you use any tricky persuasion techniques or will you just ask flat out?

@VAPOR what would count as a tricky persuasion technique?

@kaizen for example, Ellen Langer's "Reason Why":

"In the 1970s, Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard University, conducted a set of famous experiments about compliance-what makes people agree to a request. The experiments centered around a busy copy machine on the Harvard campus. Langer’s students asked people waiting in line to use the copy machine if they could move to the front of the line, using various approaches.

A straightforward request was honored 60% of the time, but Langer found that adding a reason for the request increased the compliance rate to 95% - an astounding improvement."

@kaizen did you decide, I'll bet based on the answer

@VAPOR hmmm, I will be doing some attempt at being convincing. I don't plan to be especially premeditated or manipulative (not planning on like, subliminal messages or anything) but simple things like what you described 'can I have it for free because we're friends now' is in the realm of the kind of thing I might say. I won't lie in anything I say

bought αΉ€10 YES from 51% to 55%
predicts YES

@kaizen it's a good balance, persuasion that is based on being cheeky and charming is kinda cool, but what I described is probably gonna ruin that experience in your description for you, even if it would be more likely to resolve yes.

Love the idea, good luck!