May 22,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Starbucks continues to  try to dig itself out of controversy by attempting to clarify a policy toward nonpaying guests that generated an onslaught of weekend criticism.

The Seattle-based retailer on Saturday had said it would allow all guests in its U.S. company-owned stores to use its cafes, including its restrooms, whether or not they make a purchase. That announcement, which attracted some support, also drew complaints that cafes wouldn’t have enough seats for paying customers and would turn into homeless shelters and drug havens.

At issue, is whether Starbucks views itself as a business that caters to customers, or a quasi-public place generally welcome to all. The uproar, which follows the arrest last month of two black men who wanted to use a Starbucks bathroom in Philadelphia, demonstrates the unusual spot that the nation’s biggest coffee chain holds in American culture.

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