Starbucks’ new bathroom policy states that even people who don’t purchase anything in the store can use their facilities, Business Insider reports.
This update comes in light of a recent “unconscious bias” scandal that took the nation by storm last month when a video of two black men being arrested for loitering at a Philadelphia location went viral.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson published a statement soon after the scandal that stated, in part, “The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks Mission and Values. Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store.”
“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome — the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” Johnson continued. “Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”
Starbucks will close over 8,000 stores on May 28, 2018, so its partners could participate in implicit bias training following a store manager’s decision to call the police on two black men who asked to use the store’s bathroom without buying anything. Since then, the store has also made updates to its bathroom policy.
In a statement made at the Atlantic Council on Thursday, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz said, “We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision 100% of the time and give people the key, 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.”
Schultz continued saying that it’s ultimately up to the manager: “You should be able to use the bathroom if you buy something. And it’s really the judgment of the manager.”
In the case of the Philadelphia store, however, the manager’s judgment didn’t cut it. Schultz said that the manager is that instance “made a terrible decision to call the police.”
So as a solution, the famous coffee chain decided that its bathrooms will now be open to everyone.