Starbucks says customers are welcome to spend time in its stores and use the restroom, even if they don't buy anything. But there are limits, and enforcing those limits could be tricky for employees. https://t.co/RuqE1huz0c pic.twitter.com/C1MIUiBAwX— CNN (@CNN) May 21, 2018
• Over the weekend, Starbucks announced a new all-are-welcome policy that allows anyone to occupy the coffee shop or use the store’s facilities, even if they don’t buy anything.
• The “Third Place Policy” maintains that employees should consider anyone who enters Starbucks space, including restrooms, cafes and patios, a customer “regardless of whether they make a purchase,” the company said in a statement.
• Customers using the space must still follow a set of general rules & guidelines, which requires them to use spaces as intended, be considerate of others, communicate with respect, and act responsibly, or they will be asked to leave. This means no sleeping or improperly using the restroom, being unreasonably loud, watching inappropriate material on a personal device, smoking, and using drugs or alcohol.
• This policy comes after the company faced intense scrutiny and backlash when two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
• The incident, which CEO Kevin Johnson has called “reprehensible,” took place last month in April and quickly made headlines after video of the arrest circulated online.
• One of the two men tried using the restroom when a Starbucks employee told him that the restroom was for paying customers only. When the two then sat and waited for a friend in the store without ordering anything, the manager called the police on them. No formal charges were filed.
• Restaurant consultant Aaron Allen says, “It is the type of thing that has the potential to disrupt the existing business.”
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
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