Worldwide coffee retailer Starbucks will officially close 8,000 stores Tuesday, offering anti-bias training to over 175,000 employees just weeks after a manager called the police on two African American men waiting to use the restroom.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz released an official statement to all Starbucks customers Tuesday morning, saying the closures represent a “new chapter” in the history of the company.
“Recently, a Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the police a few minutes after two black men arrived at a store and sat waiting for a friend. They had not yet purchased anything when the police were called. After police arrived they arrested the two men. The situation was reprehensible and does not represent our company’s mission and enduring values,” writes Schultz.
“After investigating what happened, we determined that insufficient support and training, a company policy that defined customers as paying patrons—versus anyone who enters a store—and bias led to the decision to call the police,” he adds.
The incident prompted the coffee giant to revise their bathroom policy; allowing anyone -including those who haven’t purchased anything- to use the store’s restrooms.
Read the full letter here.
STARBUCKS SHUT DOWN: Coffee Chain to Close ALL STORES for ‘Racial Bias’ Training
Nationwide coffee retailer Starbucks announced Tuesday its plan to shutter all of its 8,000 locations on May 29th, vowing to educate their employees about “racial bias” after the public uproar over the arrest of two African American men who asked to use the bathroom.
The “racial bias” training will be provided to all of the coffee giant’s 175,000 employees; educating the workers on sensitivity, bias, and the appropriate methods for contacting local law enforcement should they need to do so.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”
“The two men entered the Starbucks on Thursday and asked to use to the bathroom,” writes Fox News. “An employee told them it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed.”
COFFEE CHAOS: California ORDERS Starbucks to WARN Customers of 'Coffee Risk'
A judge in California sided with a local non-profit group this week and ordered coffee retail giant Starbucks and other purveyors to warn customers of the drink’s “cancer risk,” saying chemicals used in the roasting process can be harmful to people’s health.
“The lawsuit claimed those companies violated state law, which requires them to warn consumers about chemicals in the roasting process that may cause cancer. One of those chemicals is acrylamide, which is a carcinogen,” writes ABC News.
It’s unclear how one of the nation’s largest coffee manufacturers plans to comply with the ruling; with experts predicting cigarette-style warnings on future Starbuck’s disposable cups.
The judge’s decision echoes a similar lawsuit years ago, when national fast-food chain McDonald’s was compelled to warn customers of the drink’s “Hot Temperature” risk.
The move comes as California residents struggle to come to terms with decades of liberal policies and the state’s ‘Sanctuary City’ guidelines; prompting many locals to flee the region’s high taxes and soaring crime rates.