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Starbucks flushes old policy away, opens bathrooms to all

12 May 2018
Starbucks flushes old policy away, opens bathrooms to all reports that Executive chairman Howard Schultz spoke at a Q&A session called "The Role and Responsibility of a Global Company" in Washington on Thursday and said that moving forward the restaurant will work to foster an inclusive environment by giving anyone the bathroom key.

Starbucks is revising its bathroom policy after an incident at a Philadelphia store last month that resulted in the arrest of two black men.

The coffee chain announced that now anyone can use a bathroom at one of their stores, even if that person has not purchased anything there.

One was waiting for the other and he asked to use the bathroom and was told that restrooms were only for paying customers. "We want you to be more than", Schultz added.

He then sat down and waited with his friend for their business associate to join them for a real-estate meeting.

The episode sparked a national uproar - and a public-relations nightmare for the Seattle-based chain.

Schultz said the sessions will kick off a change to the way employees are trained.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the victims, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, and the company reached a settlement with them.

"We have a - kind of a loose policy [that] you should be able to use the bathroom if you buy something", Schultz said.

The arrest, which quickly went viral, prompted Starbucks to close 8,000 USA locations for the afternoon on May 29 to "conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores". "And it's really the judgement of the manager".

Starbucks said in a statement to Nation's Restaurant News on Friday that the company is reviewing all polices following the Philadelphia incident.