This afternoon I reached a milestone- 30 free drinks from Pret coffee over the past year from around 8 different Pret coffee shops! I usually call in when I’m on my way somewhere with my national role within The Light Project, the charity that I founded 17 years ago. Usually it’s when I’m at Waterloo, Paddington or Kings Cross stations. Or on Euston Road, St Pancras station complex or Cambridge.
I wonder if it’s a record?
I’m aiming for 50 free ones by the end of 2017 and I think I’m well on track. This would total around £75 worth of free drinks, a mix of the 99p filter coffees and Earl Grey teas with the occasional Soya latte.
I grab a hot drink about once a week and my ratio of free to paid drinks is about 2 free drinks in every 3.
My son thinks I only recieve them because I look like a person who is homeless! – but today I was more so sharply suited and booted than usual and I still received a free drink.
Pret operate a discretionary ‘on the house’ free drink policy to customers and it is entirely up to the member of staff serving the customer if they would like to offer a ‘on the house.’
I can usually guarantee a free drink from the person serving (male or female) if they answer my question enquiring as to how their day is going. I do genuinely take an interest, not because it’s a free drink but because I do love people and want to know how they are doing.
I blame my mum for this inherited interest in people! She always stops strangers to talk with them and they soon become friends.
With the work of The Light Project we passionately believe in meeting strangers who become friends who, like us, become disciples.
Another reason I believe I may receive drinks for free is a spiritual one. In life I do love to share with people what I’ve got, be it something practical like clothing or something to eat, but I also love to share my faith with people. You see, what I’ve got I believe to be so good. It is good news after all!
Galations 6 also reveals a bit of this mystery: what we reap we also sow.
The Message paraphrase of the bible puts it like this:
What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
Here’s a challenge for you. Why not have a go at asking the next person who serves you at Pret how their day is going. Take a genuine interest and see what happens.