Starbucks opens bathrooms to all visitors after controversy

Starbucks toilets will now be open to all chairman says

Starbucks toilets will now be open to all chairman says

Last month, two African-American men were arrested for trespassing at a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia. Executive Chairman Howard Schultz now said the chain's bathroom will be open to anyone who needs to use them, no purchase required.

A Starbucks spokesperson said the company's policies are still under a 90-day review, but that the coffee giant is telling all its employees to ensure all customers "feel welcome".

One of the two men arrested on April 12 was denied a bathroom key before sitting down for a business meeting at the coffee shop. This entire series of events was initiated when a store manager saw two black men idly waiting for a friend-and profiled them as risky, as vagrants, as people to be removed.

Until now, Starbucks has held a "loose" policy of letting paying customers use the store's restroom, but managers had discretion to allow others to use the restroom as well.

According to the The Seattle Times, Schultz said: "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". "We want you to be 'more than'". And in this particular case, she asked the gentleman: Are you a customer? And they go into a conversation. "And she made a bad decision to call the police".

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"We were absolutely wrong in every way".

The arrests in Philadelphia were a major embarrassment for Starbucks, which has long projected itself as a socially conscious company and has promoted its stores as a place for people to gather outside of their homes and offices.

The incident led to a public backlash and Stabucks promised to train its employees about racial bias. "The policy and the decision [the store manager] made", Schultz said.

"It's the company that's responsible", he added.

Schultz said the company's upcoming bias training "will be the largest kind of training of its kind on perhaps one of the most systemic subjects and issues facing our country".

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