Starbucks is stepping up and facing the latest backlash that caused protests this weekend. On Thursday April 12, two men walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks and asked to use the restroom. An employee stated that restrooms were for paying customers, and the men sat down at a table to wait for their friend to arrive. A Starbucks employee asked the men to leave and they refused politely, asking why they were not welcome. Eventually one of the Starbucks employees called the police and the men were arrested for trespassing.
@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
At the police station, the men were released once Starbucks made it clear that charges would not be made. In a statement, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to both men, setting a goal for better training of Starbucks partners and to create a safe and welcoming environment in every Starbucks store.
To further this, all 8,000 stores in the United States (which is approximately 175,000 employees) will undergo a racial-bias education on the afternoon of May 29th.
"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," said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. "While this is not limited to Starbucks, we're committed to being a part of the solution. 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."
This curriculum will include training on implicit bias, preventing discrimination and promote conscious inclusion. The training will then be included in future on-boarding training for new employees.