(USA TODAY) -- An act of kindness at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida inspired an 11-hour chain of paying-it-forward.
A woman drove up and paid for her own iced coffee at 7 a.m. Wednesday at a St. Petersburg store, and also asked to pay for a caramel macchiato for the driver behind her, who then did the same for the next customer.
After a few people continued the chain, the employees started keeping a tally on a piece of paper by the window.
By 1:30 p.m., 260 people had paid it forward, according to the Tampa Bay Times, ordering their own drinks and paying for one for the stranger behind them. After people ordered their drinks and drove up to the window, barista Vu Nguyen explained that the drink had already been paid for and asked if they'd like to return the favor. In total, 378 people agreed to keep it going.
The baristas thought that if the chain lasted until closing, at 10 p.m., they would put the remaining money on a gift card and continue the next day, according to the Tampa Bay Times. But the chain finally ended in that evening.
At 6 p.m., the 379th customer ended the chain by ordering a coffee and declining to pay for the next one.
Nguyen says he doesn't believe that final customer understood the pay-it-forward concept.
Contributed: Associated Press