On the 4th of July, a Starbucks employee asked six Tempe Arizona police officers to leave because their presence made a customer feel unsafe. In April of last year, Starbucks employees in downtown Philadelphia had the police arrest two black men for waiting at a table without buying anything.
After the Tempe incident and subsequent social media backlash, the executive vice president publicly apologized to the officers and the Tempe Police Department and promised to take action so this would not happen again. After the Philadelphia incident, the CEO publicly apologized to the customers, shut down every Starbucks store for a day of “racial-bias education,” and later paid a financial settlement to the two customers.
Should we thank Starbucks for issuing a quick apology and taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Should we point out the differences in how they responded to the police vs the two customers in Philadelphia? What do you think is the appropriate way to respond to this situation? If you would like to express your opinion to the CEO of Starbucks we have some options for you: