Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Daily Grind tries a Groupon

My local coffee shop, The Daily Grind, is run by a wise and down-to-earth Italian immigrant named Gino who moved to the US from his native Naples. He makes, hands down, the best coffee in the world. Not the watery buckets of soup offered by chain of so-called coffee shops like Starbucks, but real Italian expresso and cappuccino.

The other week his coffee shop was, unusually, packed with people and I get a chance to ask Gino about this fortunate change in his business the next day.

"Hey, Gino, my man, what's happening? Crazy busy, yesterday!", I said.

Gino looked at the floor and said quietly, "I tried a Groupon".

"High five, dude, that's awesome"

"No, it's not", he replied, "my entire coffee shop has been filled with needy, entitled morons who couldn't distinguish espresso from Nespresso. One of them even asked me for 'creamer'".

He continued, "I should never have given in to the guy on the phone".

"What guy?", I asked.

"Groupon. They kept calling me telling me how 'great it would be for my business' to 'work with them'. How easy it was to 'offer a Groupon'. How it wouldn't cost me much to 'grow my business'. I kept ignoring them, but they kept calling. Then the calls stopped."

"Go on", I said.

"And one day a guy walks into The Daily Grind. Never seen him before. He buys a coffee and spills a bit on his way out. Just before he leaves he says: 'You guys should totally try a Groupon'. I got the message. I grew up in Naples. I know how this stuff goes".

I was baffled, and then it dawned on me, "Are you talking about the Mafia?"

Gino went white and made a strangled sound in his throat that sounded like 'yelp'. When he'd recovered  he continued, "We never say that. Never. Not as a joke."

"OK, I'm sorry", I lied. "But weren't all those idiots good for business?"

"I doubt it", he replied, "and, after all, I've already got plenty of dumb customers as it is. Come te."

I just smiled and walked out with the venti cappuccino Gino makes just for me.

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