Starbucks’ controversial decision to enable every Tom, Dick, and non-paying Harry to use their restrooms has sparked equal parts criticism and praise, mirroring the nation’s increasingly extreme partisan perspective on every- and any-thing…
“It sounds like Starbucks is turning their stores into homeless shelters. Their coffee is strong but their management is weak,” said Ron Raduechel, a 64-year-old retired supply chain executive from Waukesha, Wis., who said he would no longer go to Starbucks.
“I believe Starbucks is doing what’s right in their hearts whether its outcome sparks negativity or not,” said Johnny Varela, a 31-year-old carpenter in Orlando, Fla.
“I think Starbucks is very humanitarian.”
Starbucks has been forced to issue a second statement to explain its new policy following complaints that it would turn cafes into homeless shelters and drug havens.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, employees now have detailed instructions on what to do if someone is behaving in a disruptive manner, such as smoking, using drugs or alcohol, using restrooms improperly or sleeping.
Under the procedures for handling disruptive guests, Starbucks said Monday, managers and baristas should first ask a fellow employee to verify that a certain behavior is disruptive and if it is, respectfully request that the customer stop.
Other examples of disruptive behavior include talking too loudly, playing loud music and viewing inappropriate content. The company provided employees with examples of when they should call 911, which includes when a customer is using or selling drugs.
Starbucks’s piecemeal messaging on the issue and the outpouring of commentary that ensued shows the challenges firms can face in an era when every corporate move can be immediately telegraphed and then dissected by the public at large.
“Often the people with the strongest views on either end of the spectrum will be the loudest online,” said Jeremy Robinson-Leon, president of Group Gordon, a corporate and crisis communications firm.
However, as the reactions from viewers of CBS LA’s recent story about Starbucks’ new policy suggest, customers are outraged…
“If you go into a business and you just sit there and you don’t buy anything you are taking up space at the table,” said Melrose Larry Green.
“You could end up having a squatters problem where you just have people coming and staying. I mean if they are going to do that they need to limit how long people can stay in there,” said Joe Selva.
The story is getting a lot of traction on the CBSLA Facebook page.
One viewer said “it will be a homeless camp. At least we won’t have to deal with them on the street.”
That is a concern some employees have.
“We get attacked a lot. Hollywood Boulevard. So I feel like obviously if you get attacked then we have the right to say no. We have the right to say no and call the police,” said Starbucks employee Ayumi.
The story itself then received a barrage of negative responses…
Richard Magnuson: Liberal dopey enablers of the bums. Typical.
challenger392: They’re right.. every bum in the area will now hangout there and they ain’t buying anything. All anyone has to do is say they’re a racist and they will get a free Java.
DB (@VillageViking): Don’t forget to take your can of Lysol to starbutts with you…just in case you need to use the restroom!
Fluoric (@Fluoric): Well done /pol/. You’re doing God’s work and it’s wonderful.
Dana Blasi: I’m so excited Starbucks restrooms are now open to the homeless, street people and the wandering mentally ill. This is bound to enhance the Starbucks guest experience even more than the “let’s talk about race” promotion did… of course regular customers will no longer be using the restrooms as the above will be camping out in there for hours.
We leave it to Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, to summarize just where this desperate social justice warrior corporate behavior will end… “Starbucks is making a strategic bet that by defining its own moral code they will continue to attract a core consumer group that will remain loyal, but you max out on that demographic at some point.”
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