Never feel guilty again about high-tailing it into the next Starbucks you see when you have to use the restroom. Employees are now being instructed to allow bathroom access to all customers, after recent controversy over a non-paying black customer being denied a bathroom code even though it was given to a non-paying white customer.
Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz announced that bathrooms would be open to all customers–regardless of purchase, at the Atlantic Council in Washington. He addressed his brand’s old policy of bathroom admittance being dependent on store manager discretion, and explained how it has failed the company. “We were absolutely wrong in every way. The policy and the decision [the store manager] made,” The Seattle Times reports him saying. “It’s the company that’s responsible.”
“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,” Schultz said. “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.”
The Daily Meal contacted Starbucks for an official statement on the matter. A spokesperson for the brand told us, “Policies are still under the 90-day review, but [staff should] ensure all customers coming in feel welcome. If someone needs to use the restroom, please let them, but if the safety of that customer, other customers or partners is in jeopardy, use your 911 quick reference guide for guidance on any action to be taken.”
Starbucks will close more than 8,000 U.S. locations on May 29 for racial bias training in light of a recent racial profiling in a Philadelphia store that led to the arrests of two black men for “trespassing.” The same sensitivity training will also be taught in the onboarding process for new hires.