Starbucks' Howard Schultz: Our bathrooms are open to anyone who needs them


The announcement follows the controversial arrest of two black men after one of them tried to use the bathroom without ordering anything at a Center City, Philadelphia location. After a few minutes, officers handcuffed the men and led them outside even as other customers told officers that the men were not doing anything to warrant being arrested.

Previously, the policy stated that use of the store's bathroom required a purchase but the rule could be waived at the discretion of the store managers.

The company plans to close more than 8,000 of its USA stores on May 29 for racial-bias training for its employees.

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"In terms of the bathroom, we're going to have to make sure that - we don't want to become a public bathroom, but we're going to make the right decision 100 percent 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 said. He demurred and sat down to wait with his friend for their business associate to join them for a real-estate meeting. And they go into a conversation.

The incident embarrassed Starbucks, and it quickly took the blame for the actions made during the Philadelphia incident. "The policy and the decision [the store manager] made", Schultz said. "It's the company that's responsible".

As for the ubiquitous coffee shop franchise and this seemingly isolated incident, Starbucks announced it would close over 8,000 stores on May 29 to hold anti-racial bias training. A similar event happened back in January when a video surfaced showing an African American man stating that he has been denied access to the store's bathroom, but moments later a white man was given permission.

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The men portrayed the twin settlements as an effort to make sure something positive came out of the April 12 incident, which touched off a furor around the US over racial profiling.

"Howard is a really good spokesperson for this because he's very committed to social issues", said Latour, referring to the Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz.

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