An employee at a Starbucks in Philadelphia apparently missed the “anti-bias training” the company implemented back in April.
“My friend Sam who is a stutterer stuttered on his name when ordering a coffee at Starbucks. The barista said, ‘Okay, S-s-s-sam.’ When he received his coffee, he was shocked to see that his name on the cup was written as ‘SSSAM’, which was disrespectful.”
The alleged incident took place at a Starbucks at 34th and Walnut streets – about a mile and a half from the Philadelphia Starbucks where two black men were arrested back in April while waiting for a friend, reports Eater. That incident inspired the coffee company to close stores on May 29 for a day of anti-bias training.
Lekwijit, who included a photo of the cup with his post, says Sam reached out to Starbucks customer service, receiving a “pretty standardized email” and a $5 gift card in return.
An official Starbucks Facebook account commented on Lekwijit’s post:
Hi, Tan. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We want our stores to serve as a welcoming place for everyone who visits and want to ensure our partners provide a positive experience. Our local leadership has reached out to Sam to better understand what took place and the specifics of his experience and apologize directly. We have zero tolerance for discrimination and are addressing this immediately.
Commenters didn’t let Starbucks off the hook – they pointed out that the employee should be fired immediately, that the sensitivity training didn’t seem to do much good, and that Starbucks deleting Lekwijit’s post from the company’s Facebook page without addressing it speaks volumes.
Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges told Eater that the company’s initial response to the incident wasn’t ideal, but they have since reached out to Sam – and the offending employee has been fired.
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