1. Katie Hinchliffe is a barista working for a Starbucks in Ontario.
2. She lures customers into the store by designing her own eye-catching signs. Some of them reference pop culture icons, such as David Bowie.
4. Others reference memes, like Grumpy Cat.
Hinchliffe tells BuzzFeed:
“I try to keep up with trends, and I like knowing what is popular. I like to pay attention to conversations that I have with our daily customers, and really do it to brighten their day, even for a little while. I know how stressful everyone’s jobs can be, so something to cheer people up always makes me feel happy.”
5. Customers think they’re pretty great.
“I didn’t realize that they would garner so much attention or reaction when I first started doing them - but people seem to think they are fabulous. I have people come in all the time who have seen the signs online, or have heard of them because of word-of-mouth, and it always makes me feel great that they enjoy them. I can’t tell you how many people have come in because of the signs, which, obviously, is great for business.”
6. But head office aren’t so impressed.
“In terms of what Starbucks thinks, that’s where things get a little tricky. The signs are not exactly following the Starbucks ‘brand’. I don’t know how happy the marketing / branding departments are with me using pop culture references to advertise our store.
I have really stood my ground in regards to the signs, though - there have been a few times that I have had to change them based on the subject matter. The Ermahgerd girl [pictured] didn’t go over well, as some people didn’t understand the context, and thought I was making fun of people, but I have never done anything that is purposefully inappropriate or hurtful.”