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Starbucks’s new policy towards non-paying customers

  • Crystal Ng
  • May 23, 2018
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Starbucks’s new policy allows non-paying customers to sit in their cafes and use their restrooms.

A video centered on two African American men in a Starbucks in Philadelphia spiraled out of control on the internet. It caught world-wide attention not long ago. The two men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were seen to be ushered out of the local Starbucks on screen. This subsequently led to a heated discussion centered on racial discrimination issues.

While the internet has called out to consumers across the States to boycott the chain café, it could perhaps be a miscommunication because they were non-paying customers. Like many establishments, indoor seats and restrooms are regularly reserved for paying customers, for profit-making purposes. Hence, the boycott, as well as the rallies that took place outside that particular chain, were not particularly fair to the Starbucks chain.

Nonetheless, the customers are always right – or so society believes.

Consequent to this incident, Starbucks has decided to renew its rules and regulations when it comes to non-paying customers in their facilities. According to Associated Press, non-paying customers are now permitted to use Starbucks’s restrooms as well as to sit in their cafes regardless of their status as a non-paying customer. This was publicly announced by Starbucks on Saturday.

The former policy states that whether or not those who are not making a proper purchase at Starbucks can use their facilities was based on the manager’s discretion. This means that there are no definitive regulations, rather, it is simply decided by one individual at the very moment. Although this may not have seemed like a big issue, incidents like this often prove otherwise. Owing to policies like this, it is difficult for the establishment to attest to the fact that it was indeed, an ethical decision. The manager could have been biased as the internet had presumed for all we know. There simply isn’t a way to make sure.

This new policy will leave no excuse or grounds for incidents like this to ever happen again. No customers – paying or non-paying – shall be escorted out of a Starbucks from now on. Employees in the cafes are now told to perceive every customer as of equal importance “regardless of whether they make a purchase” so long as they are in the café.

Howard Schultz is the Executive Chairman of the Starbucks coffee company. He has openly reassured customers of their equal respect and importance. Despite the risk of getting exploited by a passerby for their restroom, he wants to avoid offending or disrespecting people.

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key, because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are ‘less than.’ We want you to be ‘more than.’”

The restroom policy of Starbucks has officially been updated earlier this month as a direct consequence of the incident.

Yet again, Associated Press reminds the workers at Starbucks to stay safe. They encourage the workers to report to the police if they are to sense danger.

All in all, Starbucks continues to strive for excellence as they are doing everything in their power, going through lengths to show the customers of their sincerity.

On Sunday, they issued a statement to The Hill as follows.

“One of the key pieces within the policy is the respectful request of customers to behave in a way that maintains a warm and welcoming environment.”

Apart from that, they will be running a racial-bias employee training course on May 29. More than eight thousand Starbucks cafes will be closed on that day.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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The concept of time is lost on me as I venture into the world of business, politics, technology and all other matters concerning recent events. No matter where I am; out in the big cities or isolated in the desert, writing is seemingly the only constant in my life.