Kindness-focused coffee shop offers 'drive-by' compliments to unsuspecting pedestrians
[Dec 29, 2022: Staff Writer, The Brighter Side of News]
Bringing food for a sick family member can be somewhat rare because people underestimate how good these actions make recipients feel. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)
When most people hear the term "drive-by," they typically don't associate it with acts of kindness. However, a Texas and California-based coffee chain called La La Land Kind Cafe is changing that perception through its drive-by kindness videos that have become a hit on TikTok.
The concept is simple: La La Land employees offer random compliments and acts of kindness to total strangers while driving by in their car. Some examples of the compliment bombs dropped on unsuspecting pedestrians include: "Do you work at a restaurant? Because you're serving looks right now!"; "Do you ever get tired? Of being so beautiful!"; and "Did you drop your crown? Because you're a literal king!"
La La Land Kind Cafe was founded in 2019 with the goal of spreading kindness and positivity through its organic cafes. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and fewer people were visiting cafes and other public indoor spaces, the company's founder, Francois Reihani, and his team decided to take their mission of spreading joy out into the communities.
Their goal is to prove that a business can be kind, give back to the community and serve high-quality products. (CREDIT: La La Land Kind Cafe)
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They began posting drive-by kindness videos on TikTok in November 2020 as a way to continue spreading positivity and joy, even during difficult times.
There should be a love between random human beings. We all go through the same things in life. (CREDIT: eleanormccabe1karissaboggess.xo)
The drive-by kindness initiative aligns perfectly with La La Land's business model, which is centered on normalizing kindness towards strangers.
In fact, La La Land's employees even tell customers "I love you" as they exit the cafes, something that Reihani believes is important because "there should be a love between random human beings. We all go through the same things in life."
In addition to the food and drink offerings, La La Land also touts itself as a socially conscious cafe with the purposes of hiring foster youth. (CREDIT: La La Land Kind Cafe)
La La Land's content creation team occasionally hits the road to deliver random acts of kindness, and the reactions of the recipients are usually the same: a huge grin, an appreciative chuckle, or a look of disbelief that a complete stranger could be so kind.
When La La Land's drive-by kindness side project first started, one of the company's content creators, Jeremiah Sabado, recorded a video of a colleague shouting kind and encouraging words to strangers on the street. Sabado then posted the video on TikTok, and it quickly went viral, accumulating millions of views overnight.
A man on the street smiles after receiving an unexpected compliment from an employee of La La Land Kind Cafe during the company's Drive-By Kindness mission. (CREDIT: La La Land Kind Cafe)
Since the start of the pandemic, La La Land has continued to share kind, unexpected messages with strangers from car windows, and the random compliment videos have amassed over a billion views on TikTok as of 2022, according to Reihani. The company's mission is to bring people closer together, and Reihani believes that it is the duty of his generation to take on this task.
Dallas resident Francesca Schell can attest to the power of La La Land's drive-by kindness. After a tough day at work in the spring of 2021, Schell was feeling down and was thinking about negative feedback she had received from an attorney. She was standing outside of the law firm where she worked when a car drove up to the curb and a La La Land employee offered her an unexpected compliment: "You look so put together!"
A woman expresses gratitude for the unexpected compliment she got from an employee of La La Land Kind Cafe as part of its Drive-By Kindness mission. (CREDIT: La La Land Kind Cafe)
The kind words hit home for Schell, who said, "It's not something that happens a lot – that a random stranger gives you a compliment, especially one that feels quite genuine, so I think it'll always stand out to me."
La La Land's drive-by kindness videos have not only brought joy to the recipients of the kind gestures, but they have also inspired others to pay it forward. Reihani has received numerous messages from people saying that the videos have inspired them to do something nice for a stranger or to share a compliment with someone who might need it. The power of kindness should never be underestimated, and La La Land's drive-by kindness videos are a perfect example of the positive impact that small acts of kindness can.
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