When Political Correctness And Business Meet, Business Loses

Earlier this week, Starbucks made a hysterical, ridiculous, and plain ol’ stupid decision to allow people to loiter in their stores and use their restrooms at will, no purchase necessary.

Starbucks stated in their press release that “everyone who visits Starbucks is a customer.” Allow me to retort: HAHAHAHAHAHA. No, they aren’t. Customers are defined as people who purchase goods and services. People who sit on your couches, use your free wifi, and dirty up your bathrooms? Not customers. And anybody who has worked in retail for more than five minutes will agree with this.

Your humble author worked retail for well over a decade. I started in high school and college at a musical instrument store, working there for almost four years before I went on to work for Verizon, T-Mobile, Men’s Wearhouse, and Cricket in store and district leadership roles from 2001 to 2010. I can tell you, without qualification, that loitering customers are always bad news.

They are almost always there to steal. And while Starbucks might not have a ton of inventory on the floor, there is a commodity in any Starbucks that is incredibly limited—space. There’s only so many seats available, and when those seats are taken by people who have no interest in spending money in your store, then you are restricting access for people who do want to spend money in your store. That’s bad for business.

The other commodity that is offered by Starbucks is atmosphere. Before this policy was enacted, you could be relatively certain that Starbucks would be a quiet, calm setting, filled with professionals and/or SAHMs in yoga pants. Not anymore. Do I expect Starbucks to be taken over by rowdy “teens” immediately? Well…yeah, I kinda do. And that’s double bad for business.

Why? Consumers often visit Starbucks for reasons that have nothing to do with coffee. I have personally conducted all sorts of business in Starbucks over the years, due to the fact that Autotrader didn’t have regional offices in most of the markets I visited—I’ve interviewed people there, I’ve had 1:1 meetings with employees, and I’ve even written posts for this blog and others, all while sitting in a seat at Starbucks. But I’ve never, ever dreamed of doing it for free. I’ve always purchased at least a drink for myself and my colleagues, and sometimes multiple drinks if I was there for long enough—and I don’t even drink coffee. But I’m no longer going to be able to assume that Starbucks is a safe place to conduct business, and for a lot of traveling business professionals like myself, that will be reason enough to seek out somewhere else to go.

Why? Well, let’s be honest here. I have no interest in conducting business in a hangout for the destitute, homeless, or troublesome. I also have zero confidence in the ability of Starbucks employees to be able to add the necessary skills of landlord, policeman, and therapist to their barista duties.

And while Starbucks says that they have outlined specific guidelines for how to handle troublesome “customers,” the media frenzy that hit that store in Philadelphia ensures that any Starbucks employee will think three times before enforcing said guidelines. Keep in mind, those “customers” in Philly were asked by management to either make a purchase or leave, and they refused. Thirty minutes later, we had a “national conversation.”

Unfortunately, Starbucks felt that they had to make a decision that was based on something that had absolutely nothing to do with actual business and everything to do with perception—a perception formed largely by people who had no interest in ever buying a single Americano at their stores.

It’s symptomatic of a larger issue in American society today, where Social Justice Warriors can sit behind a keyboard and threaten billion-dollar businesses simply because they are offended. Never mind that the guys in Philly were actually loitering and that they refused to either make a purchase or leave. Rather than deal with a situation like that again, Starbucks decided they’d rather offend actual customers.

Stupid decision, guys.

 

 

 

80 Replies to “When Political Correctness And Business Meet, Business Loses”

  1. Dr Ribs Revere

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is rarely a benefit to any company’s bottom line unless it’s a marketing expense or for employees to “feel better about themselves”

    Reply
  2. -Nate

    I’m interested in this as the closest starbucks to me is often full of these bums who used to hog all the seats to sleep the day away, piss all over the bathrooms and so on .

    The baristas would chase out the worst offenders but there were always more to come .

    After a while I just decided to stop patronizing my local store .

    This also comes under the heading of foolishly calling customers ‘guests’ ~ no they aren’t : guests don’t have to pay, customers do .

    -Nate

    Reply
  3. E. Bryant

    The beauty of capitalism is that Starbucks customers can immediately vote on this new policy. The likely outcome is that we’ll soon see various Starbucks corporate execs exercising their exit options and coming away largely unscathed, while licensees and employees bear the burden of this misguided decision.

    Ultimately, the root cause is Starbuck’s inability to reconcile its “the third place” concept with the fact that it really needs to concern itself only with satisfying paying customers (as Bark so elegantly points out, the latter creates the former but Starbucks seems to believe the opposite to be true). I think that Starbucks is also trying very hard to avoid the appearance of being concerned with making money by conducting commercial transactions, which some of its customers undoubtedly feel is an evil process (an acceptable if misguided concept for SJW types, but completely unforgivable for upper management which is tasked by shareholders with stewardship of the corporation).

    I’m sure that all the Jim Collins types who lavished breathless praise upon this company during its rise will also find a way to profit by writing about its fall, so not all is lost.

    Reply
    • CJinSD

      Absolutely. The race-baiting SJWs that jumped all over Starbucks took ridiculous to new places. They really think less than nothing of blacks, or they wouldn’t have equated an aggressive homeless person with blacks in general. Who has won? Starbucks’ sheep will pay more for a lesser experience. At least this is one idiot tax that we don’t all have to pay, unlike the ones levied by the Obama regime.

      Reply
  4. mdm08033@aol.com

    I don’t enjoy they’re coffee. Please patronize you mom and pop independent coffee shop. In Philadelphia that’s Old City Coffee established in 1985.

    Reply
  5. Spud Boy

    If Starbucks continues this policy, it will either go out of business, or be forced to close stores in areas containing large numbers of vibrants. There’s no shortage of places to get a cup of coffee.

    Reply
  6. -Nate

    FWIW, nothing wrong with being a Tradesman .

    I do fine, my highly educated siblings OTOH, are not happy, not a one of them in spite of the $ .

    I prefer my little Blue Collar life to theirs .

    If you’re happy being highly competitive and making millions, go for it .

    I know many uber rich and only a very few are remotely content .

    -Nate

    Reply
      • -Nate

        ? Cheaper than the movies, right ? =8-) .

        Unlike most here, I have extensive experience with bums, druggies, stoners, homeless and so on .

        I was homeless for a while, no one to blame but _me_, let me tell you, it’s a great motivator and I didn’t steal etc. and I learned how to take ‘bird baths’ and wash my clothes at the same time in tiny sinks or wherever I found water .

        I have empathy for the many who are truly caught in life’s switches, it sucks but unless you’re mentally ill (many are BTW) there’s NO EXCUSE for being a smelly, lazy bum .

        -Nate

        Reply
        • rnc

          I live in NW Arkansas, very upper middle class, very metropolitan area (think large state university and 3 fortune 50 corporations headquartered, all in about a 20 mile stretch of interstate)…our bum problem is really starting to take off, the closest McDonald’s is right across the street from the local bus depot, so that’s where they head as soon as they get here, so I get to overhear them talking. They aren’t homeless, bum is their career choice, they are relocating here because standing on the off ramps is lucrative here (in their relative bum terms). Makes trying to teach your 9 yo son compassion, but not being an idiot fun.

          “Dad why don’t you give him $, he’s a Vietnam veteran?”…”No son they didn’t have drummer boys in Vietnam”

          Reply
          • -Nate

            Back when I was still on duty we’d be asked to drive the bum vans, picking up bums and delivering them to the shelters after the end of shift, we’d work until midnight or so .

            Listening to the young men talk about the various scams they all had carefully worked out was amazing and disheartening .

            I actually knew people who were out of work/luck/home/etc. and were seriously between rocks and placed you’ll never want to go .

            These lazy assed professional bums make it hard for those who actually need help .

            Same with poor folks : no one forces anyone to trash where they live .

            I wonder what those currently young able worthless lazy heels will do once they get past 40 and discover life’s a bitch when you’re responsible for our own damn self .

            -Nate

  7. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Other than in an airport, I have been in a Starbucks exactly once. They looked at me like I had a hand growing out of my forehead when I ordered a small black coffee. I in turn looked at them the same way when they told me it was close to $3.00 for that little cup.

    I have a SIL who works for them as some kind of regional something or other up in the Northeast. I’ll have to ask her what she thinks of this new policy, or if she’s searching for new employment already.

    Reply
    • S2k Chris

      “$3 for that little cup”

      You sure? I buy my wife a medium blonde roast all the time on the weekend donut run and it’s $2.50.

      Reply
      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        I think some of it is location. That was in a tourist fleecing, errr I mean friendly, area. I figure it’s location, kinda like how you get hosed in an airport.

        And I’m not enough of a coffee aficionado that I can really tell the difference between Starbucks, McDonalds, or the QT up the street.

        Reply
  8. ScottS

    “Starbucks decided they’d rather offend actual customers.”

    We have an entire political party devoted to offending “Actual Citizens” in order to curry favor with every fringe element of society in order to retain political power. Howard Schultz is a vocal member of that political party and nobody should be surprised by this action. In my household, we are actively engaged in avoiding patronage of companies run by left-leaning, activist CEOs.

    Reply
  9. Spud Boy

    Just like we now have conservative news and liberal news, we may end up with conservative businesses and liberal businesses. Starbucks is the latter; Chick-Fil-A is the former.

    Reply
    • E. Bryant

      Yep – and Chick-Fil-A is doing pretty damn well, by the looks of it.

      Identity politics is all fun and games until the majority starts to play by the same rules that the minority exploits. It’d be best for many of the groups involved to keep this sort of game out of the economic sphere, lest they find themselves holding the short end of a stick (politicians may be willing to play these games for their own benefit, but I suspect that most businessmen will find the outcome far less favorable relative to their goals).

      Or, hell, let’s keep going, and provide a lesson on the axiom “live by the sword, die by the sword”. For many of us, there is no time like the present. I don’t really think that’s going to be the healthiest way to resolve the issue, but I’m not seeing anyone present serious alternatives.

      Reply
      • Sean

        Hobby Lobby isn’t doing too bad either.
        Funny how people will boycott Roseanne Barr for supporting Trump but when it comes to their cheap tchotchkies they turn a blind eye.

        Reply
  10. Mike

    It is interesting how a fine “Social Justice” oriented organization should be pittied by the press and the blogosphere. SJW’s are some of the most ignorant and racist people in this country of ours.

    Starbucks wanted to be known for “Social Responsibility” so who better to receive the backlash for the way they handled the situation.

    Also, why Starbucks definitely has a right to refuse service if anyone believes the police would have been called if two suited Caucasian male single pulled it, you are probably in denial.

    Reply
    • Spud Boy

      “Also, why Starbucks definitely has a right to refuse service if anyone believes the police would have been called if two suited Caucasian male single pulled it, you are probably in denial.”

      Starbucks didn’t deny them service. They were asked to buy something and they refused, likely out of a sense of entitlement that guilty whites have managed to cultivate in vibrants.

      WRT to two suited caucasians, the clerk needs to consider not just whether a seated person has bought something, but whether they are likely to buy something in the near future. Most normal people, when asked to buy something, would have either bought something or left quietly.

      Reply
      • nightfly

        As it turns out I have some recent experience with “suited white males” in Starbucks, in our local store. A couple of well-dressed white dudes whom I’ve seen in there more than once like to come in, one sits in the same spot each time, and the other goes to the counter and asks for a single cold tap water (no charge). Then he joins his buddy.

        To be quite honest, that annoys me and I don’t even work there. That’s almost *more* insulting than expecting to just be allowed to hang out as if it was one’s own home, because it shows A) that they know better and B) are still out to exploit the company by taking advantage of a courtesy. Whenever I have met friends there, most or all of us order a little something, even if we use the patio seating. We wouldn’t presume just to hang out there for no reason.

        Being raised “old-fashioned” as it were, I don’t think such a thing is beyond the power of anyone, regardless of dress, regardless of ethnic background. If one is, in fact, a professional, then it is absolutely within reason to ask for a purchase before use of the store.

        This whole thing was a set-up.

        Reply
        • Shortest Circuit

          “A term used by middle class people to show that they are fascinated and not alarmed by the other. Used in reference to an area which contains people of an ethnicity different to their’s. Much like exotic but can be reached by car.”

          (Some hear Yanny, some hear Laurel, some hear nigger…)

          Reply
          • -Nate

            Thanx RPN ;

            I’m always learning new things and words here .

            We’re awash in vagrants in and around Los Angeles, I like to feed them when I can but there’s so many who clearly are just lazy, I offer them something to eat and they say ‘nah, I don’t like that, just give me money’ .

            FUCK THAT ~ I’ve been seriously hungry in my life so no one ever gets to refuse food from me, period .

            O.K., maybe my Son but we’re cut from the same cloth and like the same foods except he doesn’t like liver & onions , go figure .

            Right now I’m in Inglewood, Ca. and there are many, many homeless right at Imperial Highway and Crenshaw Blvd., one in particular ambles by daily, he always has clean clothes but some times is grimy from lack of washing .

            At least he bothers no one .

            I’m sure most American cities are the same, it’s just warmer here so many “vote with their feet” to a place it’s difficult to freeze to death in .

            When I was young ‘Vibrant” meant something different and dare I say, positive .

            -Nate

  11. totitan

    As is the case more often than not with articles by Mark, I find some of his claims and/or statements to be absurd……”Rather than deal with a situation like that again, Starbucks decided they’d rather offend actual customers.” I have never seen the type of people the author describes at a Starbucks in either Ventura County CA where I live, or in the Elbert and Douglas County areas in Colorado where Im building a new home. Either the problem described above is more imaginary than real or there are no undesirables in my areas. Does the author really believe that Starbucks would intentionally damage their business by letting a vagrant situation get out of control? I dont think so but maybe he does. Even if I am wrong, I wonder how the author would suggest keeping undesirables out of Starbucks short of having armed security agents present at every store. I remember decades before Starbucks was even thought of, coffee shops were places that people hung out at and talked. My dad did that for hours at a time for decades until he dies in the 90’s. How was what he did then different than what people do today? Do you think that we have might have become less tolerant of everything and everybody that does not fit within our own demographic bubbles? I know we have and it has escalated dramatically since 2016.

    Reply
    • JC

      Well, have you been to the central public library of a large city lately, like in the last 20 years? They have changed from being libraries to being homeless shelters with libraries attached – except that the people who loiter permanently in the public library don’t conform to the minimal standards required of those who make use of actual homeless shelters.

      In other words, all the bathrooms are filthy (beyond description), every sitting surface is occupied by sleeping drunken or drug-addled unwashed people, and anything you are trying to do there will get periodically interrupted by an outburst from one of the mentally ill.

      The public library is funded by tax money. They truly cannot do anything about this problem. But a coffee shop is a private enterprise.

      If your Starbucks in the central business district fills up with vagrants (because they know the minimum wage clerk behind the counter will be fired if he tries to move them along, and it’s got a bathroom), and if your corporate policy says that the minimum wage clerk behind the counter will be fired if he tries to move them along, then the minimum wage clerk is NOT going to try to move them along and those Starbucks locations will soon offer the same ambience of an urban downtown public library, or a Greyhound bus station, etc.

      Reply
    • JC

      Well, first of all, Starbucks has up till now had a policy that if you weren’t a customer, you would be asked to move along. That’s why you haven’t seen a bunch of vagrants. Ten bucks says a year from now the Starbucks located in downtowns and some other areas will be full of vagrants.

      Secondly, did your dad buy a cup of coffee when he “sat in coffee shops for hours”, or did he just sit there occupying a table that was meant for paying customers?

      Thirdly, was he drunk, disorderly, high on drugs, mentally ill with freuqent loud outbursts, and/or unwashed to the point that his stench made other people nearby nauseous? I bet he wasn’t.

      Reply
    • Mozzie

      Downtown Denver, my colleagues would tell me stories of seemingly homeless people lined up at the Starbucks door during opening hours waiting to use the bathroom. I recommend you stop by the library next time you’re in town.

      Reply
  12. Frank Galvin

    This decision is going to get someone killed and others hurt, badly I might add. Urban centers, particularly those governed by a blue coalition, are absolutely unwilling to do fuck all about homeless and vagrants that populate high traffic commercial areas. So now Starbucks is going to place its store manager in the role of policing the paranoid schizophrenic homeless substance abuser wearing seven coats in May smelling of piss and ranting of his right to use the bathroom. Junkies shooting up and OD’ing in the bathroom. And when someone does say something – that insane vagrant is going to lash out, violently.

    Reply
  13. stingray65

    I for one don’t think Starbucks has bent over far enough to truly achieve social justice. Forcing people to buy your product is just plain wrong – what if they can’t afford it? Overpriced coffee is a human right, people can get downright irritable and grouchy without it. I think the only solution is that Starbucks provide each economically challenged “customer” a free Grande coffee of their choice upon entry and free refills as long as they decide to stay. Each Starbucks should also install and allow free use of unisex shower and valet service so that guests can freshen up during their Starbucks experience. These new rights and services will be paid for with a slight increase in the everyday low low Starbucks prices that regular customer will pay, plus a new mandatory purchase of a bakery item with every drink purchase, and a small rental charge for sitting at a Starbucks table. Starbucks believes that when your spread the wealth around its good for everybody.

    Reply
  14. Jim

    A somewhat similar situation was happening about 20 years ago.

    My town has a large Somali population who apparently have a culture of hanging out for hours socializing in the local coffee shops and hookah parlors. Many of the local Starbucks suddenly became popular with this demographic, who would make a small purchase, and camp out to engage in hours of respectful guy talk. They were low margin customers, but customers nonetheless.

    Starbucks solution to this was to limit parking to one hour. This didn’t work, as they would take turns moving the car to a new spot before they reached the time limit.

    Small groups became large groups, and after awhile, there was no more seating for the 20-minute-break-from-work customer. After a while, the word was out, and visits decreased.

    Then, for reasons unknown, it was over. I never figured out why…

    Reply
  15. Paul M.

    There is no way to defend this Starbucks policy. It is timid. It is bad for paying customers. My own experience in a Atlanta suburb where I have choice of four Starbucks, there was one where I could see in mornings, these people that unfortunately smelled, and looked homeless and were sleeping there. I was there usually around 7am, so no doubt they were getting in early. I mostly avoided that store. Recently when I went there, those people were gone. I wonder if cops took care of it. In Georgia we are pro business. Starbucks will regret this move.

    Reply
  16. Compaq Deskpro

    The reality in Lowell and Boston is if there is a public bathroom available, heroine atticts will use it and pass out in there, so Dunkin Donuts locks the bathrooms and has done so for years. For a long time the one in down town Lowell even removed the tables and chairs it got so bad. You don’t have to buy something, but some locations enforce this line of thinking anyways, and I can’t blame them.

    I loved this line: “Underlying the rules is the expectation that customers use company spaces as intended…” They intended for their stores to be used as board rooms and bus stops and offices and civic centers and homeless shelters?

    Reply
  17. Jeff Zekas

    Bark: you’ve got it down perfectly. Years ago, I went to a Starbucks in Long Beach, California. The place was filled with black guys who brought food FROM OTHER RESTAURANTS and then camped out in the patio. The manager said nothing, perhaps because the brothers were covered in gang tattoos (I know this because of my former career in law enforcement).

    Here in Eugene, Oregon, the public library is filled with dirty, scary, smelly vagrants, so I rarely go there anymore. When the liberals take over, public spaces are taken over by gangsters and bums… at least, in my experience.

    This is why I am no longer a member of the Democratic Party, which exists mainly to pander to minorities and screw blue collar guys like myself.

    Reply
    • Disinterested-Observer

      When I was there several years ago it was still possible to get meth antecedents directly from pharmaceutical companies in India and the whole area was pretty sketchy. Ironically considering the relative status of the towns, Springfield’s library was much nicer and cleaner.

      Reply
  18. Duong Ngyuen

    I actuallly think they’re doing this with ulterior motives.

    Starbucks mobile orders are increasing, people who place mobile orders don’t sit down in Starbucks, which means when leases expire they will move to smaller and cheaper locations with less and less seating.

    Reply
  19. scotten

    This is where me and the Democratic spectrum diverge… stupid knee-jerk policy to please the media and left without consideration of the unintended consequences.

    Reply
  20. hank chinaski

    I believe /chan is working on prank flyers for the homeless, similar to the recent ones for ‘free black coffee’, to hasten the spiral.

    Reply
  21. Crancast

    Sensationalism Sells! The truth or more balanced reporting for the touchy topics, not so much.

    Starbucks is one of the better Corporate parents at taking care of their employees in a racket that most commonly does not. Any attack on that positive Corporate brand image is a massive deal. So while they went way overboard in attempting to counter balance the bad press and it will hurt some of their locations, I do understand and hate it at the same time. A small percentage of store fronts will be negatively impacted in a big way – likely all major metro area standalones. In those areas, I can see a new Starbucks-Free Restroom Finder app being really popular.

    Now to a real question – what coulda/shoulda/woulda worked as a real win-win out of this sensationalist shit show? Say we could have handled it better, take some small steps, blame the police for going to far? Defend the position, which would have brought on more protests and others looking to get tossed for their 15 min of fame? Put rent-a-cops in all Metro stores watching all customers to move them along? Ignore it, hope it goes away? I cannot think of a good answer as much as I dislike the one Starbucks arrived at.

    Another good read, you are on a roll Bark.

    Reply
  22. DirtRoads

    Starbuck’s you’re playing a stupid game where there are no winners.
    And I recall Jack writing, “play stupid games, get stupid prizes.”
    I wrote that on a sticky note and posted it in my cube.

    Reply
  23. dave

    “Do I expect Starbucks to be taken over by rowdy “teens” immediately?”

    Teens being white code for niggers.

    “Keep in mind, those “customers” in Philly were asked by management to either make a purchase or leave, and they refused”

    “Never mind that the guys in Philly were actually loitering and that they refused to either make a purchase or leave.”

    You keep saying that, so I guess you’re not into facts. The men did NOT refuse to make a purchase, they said they were waiting on their business partner, who showed up a few mins later. One would think a glorified used car ad salesman might understand the importance of waiting for the person you’re doing business with, but I guess not. The men got there at 4:35 for a 4:45 meeting. Records show the men entered at 4:35pm, 911 was called at 4:37pm, and the police showed up at 4:41pm. They were there for TWO WHOLE MINUTES before the 911 call went in. Please tell me any other establishment on the face of the planet that requires an order be placed in 2 mins before the police are called. But let’s not forget the real point of this article – a whiny snowflake is offended that his safe space is being violated by the fact that the filthy niggers can come in and order the cheapest latte and hang out all day scaring off all the holy white people.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth

      Hey Dave,

      I can’t have you using that word here.

      A) there’s no way to tell who is really black and who isn’t over the internet

      B) even if I had your 23 And Me printout and it said 100% African, the use of the word creates problems.

      The default policy of this site is non-censored. Please help me keep it this way.

      Reply
          • Ronnie Schreiber

            It’s fascinating the way the elect, while attributing them to their opponents, feel free to use bad words. They get to have the frisson of naughtiness while supposedly retaining palms up “who me?” deniability.

            I’m in the Lenny Bruce and Owen Benjamin camp when it comes to words.

            My mom could be abrasive but in my eulogy at her funeral, I wanted to show another side of her, and related a story of how when I was a little boy at a day camp excursion to an amusement park, my mom, who was volunteering as a chaperone that day, taught me to be kind to a young man of limited intellectual capacties who had been sent to the camp with much younger children. This was in the early ’60s and there were fewer options for parents with special needs (God I hate euphemisms) kids.

            In 1961, my mom would have used the word retarded to explain to me about the young man. Do I have to explain that it just means slowed? When my older brother first got married in the late 1970s, he and my sister in law worked as house parents for JARC, a Jewish non-profit that provided resources to “retarded adults”. The R in JARC stood for retarded. Of course, that name has long since gone down the memory hole. Kids, though, still call each other “retards”.

            Anyhow, the night before the funeral I was writing the eulogy. My older sister had locker herself out of the house where she was staying and was laying down on the couch in my living room. My first reference to the young man was “developmentally disabled.” I don’t like using the same words over and over in my writing, so the next time it was “mentally challenged.”

            The next time I had to reference the guy’s condition I was stumped. I called to my sister from my desk, “Can I use the word retarded? That’s what mom actually said,”

            “No. Someone will get offended.”

            “That’s retarded.”

            Note to JB: I didn’t want to link directly to the Bruce routine in question, as I don’t know if it will put a Bad Word on your site. If the following creates a problem, feel free to edit it out while it’s in the moderation queue.

            https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lenny+bruce+are+there+any

      • dave

        I can’t possibly think of a more unbiased source than the hysterical white lady who called the cops two entire minutes after the men entered the store. I’m glad you didn’t even bother to pretend to listen to the side of the men who were arrested. Just like the cops didn’t bother to ask for their side of the story, read them their rights, or tell them what they were being arrested for. But then when someone points out this discrepancy, we can expect a 5,000 word diatribe on how white men are so oppressed in this country.

        But it doesn’t matter, since the entire point is that millions of people go to Starbucks for hours on end without ordering anything, and you still have not provided another example where the police were called after 2 mins. Were the men not entitled to change their minds at some point? What if they were working on their startups on their Macbooks? Is that the magic ticket to not get the cops called on you? Starbucks markets itself as the “third place” which is not quite home and not quite the office, and their website explicitly states how it was a good place for business meetings, and “de facto workplace of Freelance Nation”. But it’s all for naught since it will now be invaded by the feral hordes of negro “teens” now that anyone can use the bathroom with impunity.

        https://news.starbucks.com/news/no-office-no-problem-meet-me-at-starbucks

        Reply
        • Bark M Post author

          Dude, I worked in Cricket retail for four years. I’ve been there, and you’ve just read the story. Shhh.

          Reply
          • Bark M Post author

            My valid rebuttal is that while you were studying inequality in Iowa, I was living it in the ‘hood. Every day. I’ve had to face down more gangsters and hoodlums in my life then you’ll ever dream of. And I never called the police once, but I probably should have. I know what these poor, $10 an hour Starbucks assistant managers have to deal with. You have no idea.

            If you want to move the goalposts to suit your narrative, have at it.

          • dave

            Bark, hold this L. I’m as black as the ace of spades and I am born and raised in New Orleans, so please save your lecture about what you think is “the hood”. You have NO CLUE what the hood is and trust me when I tell you that you’d know if you had ever met real ‘gangsters and hoodlums’. The real murderers where I’m from will make your little suburban ‘gangsters’ piss in their superman underoos. And you’re one to talk about goalpost moving since you haven’t rebutted or even addressed a single fact yet. You keep deferring to the apparently traumatic experience when some black “teens” punked you at the Cricket store, but anecdote != data so no one gives a shit. You still have not provided an example where the police were called after 2 mins because no one ordered. You can’t.

          • Bark M Post author

            Anecdote doesn’t equal data, but then you want an anecdote about police being called in 2 minutes? K.

            What is your beef here, exactly? I think it’s a bad idea for a private business to become a loitering free-for-all. You apparently don’t. Bully for you, dude.

            I’ve managed retail locations where the target audience is the sub-15k household income. I know what their behavior is like. I’ve watched them murder each other in front of me (in 2009). I’ve had guns pointed at my face a few times (2008 x 2, 2009, 2010), and laughed and said that I didn’t have the safe combo. I have had these “customers” show up for “customer appreciation day” and celebrate by eating 12 hot dogs and then smearing their own shit all over the bathroom. You’d probably like a peer-reviewed study for this, but all I have are anecdotes. Sorry.

            It’s cool that you think you’re so much more ghetto than I am. I’m not sure that’s something to be proud of, but whatever. Maybe next you can tell me what prison is like!

          • dave

            You got called on your bullshit and now you’re backpedaling. Oh, and I know all blacks are the same to you, but I’m not ghetto. I’m FROM the ghetto.

            “I think it’s a bad idea for a private business to become a loitering free-for-all.”

            The business in question SPECIFICALLY STATES that it’s designed to be a space that’s between home and work and designed to be used for business meetings and what you would consider ‘loitering’. Your statement is utterly fucking pointless in light of the fact that Starbucks SPECIFICALLY wants people to loiter there and is listed on their website and marketing materials.

            https://www.fastcompany.com/887990/starbucks-third-place-and-creating-ultimate-customer-experience

            ” Starbucks goal is to become the Third Place in our daily lives. (i.e. Home, Work and Starbucks) “We want to provide all the comforts of your home and office. You can sit in a nice chair, talk on your phone, look out the window, surf the web… oh, and drink coffee too,”

          • Bark M Post author

            That last part seems important about the coffee drinking and everything, but what do I know?

            I love this thing the left does where you CALL PEOPLE OUT!!! Fuck off with that. You’re on my blog, I’m not on yours.

          • dave

            “That last part seems important about the coffee drinking and everything, but what do I know?”

            Obviously nothing considering you have failed to make a single point and have literally nothing to say about how Starbucks purposely wants people to loiter there as you complain that people are going to start loitering there. Note that the quote puts coffee drinking dead last, after all the loitering you’re so worried about.

            “I love this thing the left does where you CALL PEOPLE OUT!!! Fuck off with that. You’re on my blog, I’m not on yours.”

            I’m not a leftist and did not vote for Hillary, Bernie, or whoever was the head of the Green party. Your limited worldview only allows for the false left/right dichotomy since all of your words have failed to make a single point. But we both know that your REAL point is that it’s perfectly okay for whites to loiter there, but now that there was an incident involving blacks, the new Starbucks policies will cause the place will be overrun by loitering teens, aka The Wrong People. So now you don’t want to go there anymore since your safe snowflake space will be invaded by vibrants. BTW, don’t start a blog if you don’t want criticism or differing opinion.

          • Bark M Post author

            Amazing how you’re the only one mentioning race. You’re not a marketing guy, and I am, so I don’t expect you to understand the psychology of that Starbucks marketing message. Google “relevancy and recency.”

            But Cool! You voted for Trump! #maga

    • Crancast

      Dearest dave,

      Taking facts and guesstimating intent does not make that guesstimation an actual fact.

      From the 911 call log and the GMA interview with the lawyer present to ensure the nest egg survives whole, a fairly reasonable guesstimation of intent could go something like this (feel free to continue with making up your own)….

      Baseline points – in the Northeast Corridor, using a restroom and camping out in a store are not allowed without a purchase. This is well known to people living in those communities. Individual stores and managers handle those situations of non-compliance differently from time of day, to personal experience, to yes I will agree even race unfortunately.

      FACT: Young men entered the Starbucks and immediately asked to use the restroom and were told only paying customers could use the facilities. The young men said no thanks (or something like that), walked away without making a purchase, and took a seat.

      Reasonable Guesstimation (RG): By immediately entering the store, asking to use the restroom, and then choosing to not make a purchase, the manager is now aware of the young men and their intent to not make a purchase. Without asking to use the restroom, the manager likely pays them no attention at the start. But they did, and the staff is aware right away.

      COMMENT: The 2 min rally point is sensationalism at it’s finest

      FACT: After taking a seat, the manager approaches the young men to confirm her suspicion that they have no intention of making a purchase by asking can she get them something. They tell her no while showing they already have water bottles as a beverage (purchased somewhere else).

      RG: This confirms the young men have no intention to make a purchase. She has already told one of them that using the restroom requires a purchase. It is well known, per the baseline above, purchases are required, so the manager acts. The manager has two options at this point, (1) address the young men, state the policy, and ask them again to make a purchase or leave or (2) call the police. A third option of leaving them alone could be argued, but …

      FACT: She calls 911 thereby taking option (2).

      RG: The manager has either seen or experienced an extreme negative reaction by going with option (1) during her Starbucks employment. There is a strong likelihood she is transferring a past negative experience to these young men. And a decent likelihood that experience is with young black males. Therefore, she takes option (1).

      COMMENT: It is easy to label the manager all types of racist ways. It is also easy to say she should have spoken to them respectfully and laid out the policy in a nice firm way. And with these two young men she probably should have. But before passing judgment, go watch all of the crazy irate customers in fast food joint video’s where a seemingly normal person snaps and looses their mind.

      FACT: Police arrive with backup, arrest the young men without explanation.

      RG: Same negative past experience. Remove the young men from the premises as calmly as possible and move on.

      COMMENT: In the entire story, the police going straight to an arrest is hard to get. Maybe someone from law enforcement can shed light on this part. Defuse, but customer returns and retaliates? Not sure how the police handled the situation would be Starbucks issue though.

      So, all parties could have handled this better, but Starbucks gets killed. And why? Right, 2 min.

      Reply
      • dave

        “The 2 min rally point is sensationalism at it’s finest”

        Stopped reading there. The police were called after 2 mins. FACT. Please point to another example anytime for any establishment where the police are needed after 2 mins as they waited for their business partner in a place that advertises itself to be used for business meetings. Why can white men camp out literally all day in Starbucks but black men can’t survive 3 mins?

        Reply
          • dave

            The explanation amounted to “well these are filthy ——, so we have to treat them differently”. Past experience and all.

          • Bark M Post author

            All right, we already politely asked you not to use that word. Now you’re being censored. Congrats.

  24. manfromlox

    I’ve shit (and pissed, natch) in many a Starbucks,and only occasionally purchased anything.

    Since I’m white that’s never been a problem for me.

    Reply
  25. yamahog

    Au contraire. Capitalism wins when bad companies die. It frees up resources for better companies.

    Reply
    • Dirty Dingus McGee

      The bad news is, you would probably be better off using a Porta John at a construction site.

      Reply
  26. Ryan

    1) Everyone knows that the move isn’t to use the restrooms at Starbucks, WacArnold’s, or similar. Real pros stop in the nicest hotel at the next exit.

    2) No wage slave barista is going to risk his/her job bouncing customers with such a vague policy in place. In most instances, these people care more about the income than who is sitting inside of the store. There isn’t much opportunity for shrink in a Starbucks, and there isn’t also real motivation to ensure that the location makes money. From my days in retail, I can say that I would’ve probably preferred that no “real” customers visit.

    3) In areas where there is a problem with loitering, I could easily see there being security guards. The Waffle House on OSU’s campus (the one adjacent to The Newport) had security/police on premises every time I’ve been there, and things seem to work out fine.

    Reply
  27. AoLetsGo

    Starbucks is a public corporation and in the end it is their internal bean counters who have the power and will make the decisions. The CEO can preach social justice but they will soon be gone if sales are down and share price is declining.
    They will do their audits and those locations that are losing money due to declining sales and higher costs from security/cleaning will be closed. New stores will not be opened in locations that have proven to be money losers.
    The only thing that counts is:
    Profit >= $ales – cost$

    Reply
    • rnc

      Exactly….Lets look at CFL. They are conservative, yet The family CEO was removed from that position and they had their franchisee’s (my brother in law is one) apologizing left and right at the local level doing damage control. Whatever of your political/social/religious views, at the corporate level, money is money, being willing to piss off and lose 5% is losing 5% and that’s rarely acceptable.

      Reply
  28. -Nate

    5.29.2018

    Sonofagun ! .

    They stuck to their guns and closed all the local $tarbuck$ for “Team Training” .

    I had to buy my drink @ McDonald’s to – day .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • CJinSD

      It would be really nice if a giant chunk of their client base explored other options and found them preferable while they’re busy virtue signaling.

      Reply

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