Customers Rage As Starbucks Turns Into Homeless Shelter

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Starbucks' controversial decision to enable every Tom, Dick, and non-paying Harry to use their restrooms has sparked equal parts criticism and praise, mirroring the nation's increasingly extreme partisan perspective on every- and any-thing...

“It sounds like Starbucks is turning their stores into homeless shelters. Their coffee is strong but their management is weak,” said Ron Raduechel, a 64-year-old retired supply chain executive from Waukesha, Wis., who said he would no longer go to Starbucks.

...

“I believe Starbucks is doing what’s right in their hearts whether its outcome sparks negativity or not,” said Johnny Varela, a 31-year-old carpenter in Orlando, Fla.

“I think Starbucks is very humanitarian.”

Starbucks has been forced to issue a second statement to explain its new policy following complaints that it would turn cafes into homeless shelters and drug havens.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, employees now have detailed instructions on what to do if someone is behaving in a disruptive manner, such as smoking, using drugs or alcohol, using restrooms improperly or sleeping.

Under the procedures for handling disruptive guests, Starbucks said Monday, managers and baristas should first ask a fellow employee to verify that a certain behavior is disruptive and if it is, respectfully request that the customer stop.

Other examples of disruptive behavior include talking too loudly, playing loud music and viewing inappropriate content. The company provided employees with examples of when they should call 911, which includes when a customer is using or selling drugs.

Starbucks’s piecemeal messaging on the issue and the outpouring of commentary that ensued shows the challenges firms can face in an era when every corporate move can be immediately telegraphed and then dissected by the public at large.

“Often the people with the strongest views on either end of the spectrum will be the loudest online,” said Jeremy Robinson-Leon, president of Group Gordon, a corporate and crisis communications firm.

However, as the reactions from viewers of CBS LA's recent story about Starbucks' new policy suggest, customers are outraged...

“If you go into a business and you just sit there and you don’t buy anything you are taking up space at the table,” said Melrose Larry Green.

“You could end up having a squatters problem where you just have people coming and staying. I mean if they are going to do that they need to limit how long people can stay in there,” said Joe Selva.

The story is getting a lot of traction on the CBSLA Facebook page.

One viewer said “it will be a homeless camp. At least we won’t have to deal with them on the street.”

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