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Kissimmee RaceTrac random act of kindness: How businesses should treat customers

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Yesterday I shared the story of being accosted at my table by the Denny's manager at 5855 West Irlo Bronson Highway, across from Old Town in the Walt Disney World area of Kissimmee because I handed out two extra coupons to other customers.

If you read that story, which you'll find here, you'll see that my coupon karma was inspired by a clerk at the RaceTrac gas station farther down the road, near Medieval Times, at 4554 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. I think she deserves an article of her own because she set an example of how businesses should treat their customers.

I stopped at the RaceTrac earlier in the week, around lunch time, to fill my tank. I paid at the pump but ran inside to get a cup of coffee. RaceTrac has wonderful flavored coffees and an amazing mint mocha cappuccino for the holiday season. (And did I mention they consistently have the cheapest gas prices in the area, when most stations charge a premium because of the tourists?)

At the cash register, the clerk asked, "Is that all?" as I waved my coffee cup. I nodded and she flashed a "free coffee" coupon, smiled, and said, "I've got this one."

I doubt the clerk noticed that I filled up my car with gas at the very busy station. I could easily have been someone just running in for a caffeine fix. She had no way of knowing that I'm a regular RaceTrac customer, since I divide my business between three local RaceTracs. She didn't know I was a local, since I was dressed like any one of the hundreds of random tourists who navigate Highway 192 daily on the way to Walt Disney World, and my car is a nondescript model popular with car rental companies.

None of that mattered. She saw a chance to pay it forward and happily did so. Her kind act inspired me to share extra coupons to spread the karma the next time I got a chance. Sadly, that chance was at the Denny's where the manager forbids any such sharing and will publicly make his policy known if you try to do it.

RaceTrac prints coupons and obviously encourages customers to use them. They even spread some goodwill and Christmas cheer while doing so. Denny's prints coupons and shames customers who try to share. It's pretty obvious which business has earned my loyalty.

There are many other great businesses in Kissimmee, in the very same area as the Denny's, where they care about their customers and don't begrudge a few pennies. Here are three I recommend when you're in the Highway 192 area of Disney, with links to articles that describe their exemplary service:

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