Good news for anyone who doesn’t want to drop five bucks on a Frappuccino in order to take a pee. Starbucks recently updated its bathroom policy. While their restrooms were previously available to only paying customers, the coffee franchise has since reversed its stance, making the bathrooms at all 14,000 of their locations free to all.
At an event in Washington D.C., Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz clarified the new, updated policy and had this to say at a speaking engagement for the Atlantic Council, “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 the bathroom because you are ‘less than.’ We want you to be ‘more than.'”
This news follows a series of controversial incidents for the company. The updated bathroom policy is part of a continued response after the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia location. The two individuals were waiting for a business associate and had not ordered anything, prompting the manager to call the police. When footage of the incident appeared online, it prompted a public outrage. Another discriminatory incident also occurred in January at a Torrence, Calif. location when a black man claimed he was denied access to the store’s restroom, while a white man was given the code to enter. Neither man had ordered anything.
Starbucks also announced that all locations will be closed on May 29 to conduct racial bias training with its employees (maybe America should also take a day off to examine implicit bias too.).
While the new bathroom policy and employee training are great starts, it’s yet to be seen how these responses will be enforced. It’s easy to be skeptical, because no one should be harassed when nature calls, or arrested for meeting up with a friend at one of the most universal coffee shops in the world. And for those who won’t be frequenting the chain in protest, here’s how to make some of the best Starbucks drinks in the comfort of your own home.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.