There's no money in these banana stands.
Amazon has given out more than 1.7 million bananas in two years, according to the Wall Street Journal. But the community-minded gesture has disrupted local business.
The company opened its first free bananas stand — available to anyone — on their Seattle campus in 2015. And the neighborhood has been forced to tailor to the tech company’s good deed.
Anar, a nearby vegetarian café, got rid of their $1 banana yogurt toppings because people just grabbed a freebie on their way out. They’ve since changed their menu to include two banana-based drinks to cash in on the banana frenzy in another form.
“People have bananas on the brain,” the café’s owner told the Wall Street Journal.
One Amazon employee said he stopped buying the fruits from the grocery store and a local restaurant said customers always eat the free bananas at their tables, leaving behind an extra mess. And a particularly unlucky juice bar said customers often ask if their bananas are free. Because when they say no, the clever jokesters get to respond with the popular “Arrested Development” line: “There’s always money in the banana stand!”
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, reportedly thought up the idea as a public service. Bananas are a healthy, compostable snack that don’t need to be wrapped like an apple and don’t have the price tag of an avocado.