400 people in a row all “paid it forward” by paying for the order of the person following them in Starbucks – until the chain was broken by one person paying for their own order.

Nearly 400 people participated in the chain at St Petersburg's Starbucks

Nearly 400 people participated in the chain at St Petersburg’s Starbucks

A random act of kindness was on its way to being a world record in St Petersburg, Florida after one woman offered to pay for the coffee of the person behind her. The spontaneous act was repeated over and over , as nearly 400 joined the chain, all paying for the drinks of the person next in line.

The chain continued for 11 hours at the Starbucks drive-through window until customer 379 decided not to participate, preferring to pay for her own coffee, rather than a stranger’s. According to the barista, 29 year-old Vu Nguyen, the woman failed to understand the concept of “paying it forward.”

The current record for a chain of this nature was set in a different Starbucks, when 900 people bought a drink for another person. However, St Petersburg are happy with second place. 19 year-old Tim Burnside, who participated twice, said: “It’s nice just to do a random act of kindness for someone you don’t know.”