The headline is misleading. They are not actually calling it "The Grande Latrine." But, the Starbucks coffee chain did announce that "customers" are now considered anybody who steps foot on to a store's property. This means people who do not purchase a coffee or any other product are allowed to sit in their stores and use their bathrooms. This decision comes after a brouhaha in a Philadelphia store led to a Starbucks manager calling the police on two African American men who were waiting for their friend in her store. This led to the arrest of the two men and a cry of national outrage against racism.
In an effort rehab their image, Starbucks Corp. announced they would no longer use old guidelines that a person present in the building or wanting to use their bathroom must purchase an item, according to the Wall Street Journal:
"On Saturday, the company told its employees in a letter that “any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer.”
Under the new policy, when a customer is “behaving in a disruptive manner,” employees should follow the company’s procedure on handling disruptive guests, which will contain some new guidance, a spokesman said. Starbucks didn’t say what that procedure entails or define what constitutes disruptive behavior. If a situation presents an immediate danger or threat to employee or customer safety, Starbucks employees should call 911, the company said.The two black men arrested on April 12 for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks cafe without ordering anything, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, have reached settlements with Starbucks and the city of Philadelphia. The men spent hours in jail before they were released, but no charges were filed. Demonstrators protest outside the Starbucks cafe where the arrests occurred.
Starbucks said customers should use spaces as intended, be considerate of others, and act responsibly.
During a talk about corporate responsibility at a Washington, D.C., think tank earlier this month, Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz told attendees: “We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision 100% of the time and give people the key.”
Hot Air colleague, Jazz Shaw, brought up what should be obvious to Starbucks executives; This new policy is going to be a disaster. An open invite for free wifi, free bathrooms, and free rest areas is going to welcome all sorts of characters. Here's Jazz's take:
"This “woke” policy is an invitation to abuse, and history has shown us that when you roll out such an invitation, there will be someone coming along to take advantage of it soon enough. This is particularly true in larger cities where business owners regularly have to deal with individuals looking for a place to pass the time, either to escape the heat or the cold or to find a free bathroom. If the word gets out that Starbucks can’t stop anyone from hanging out there, some of the stores are going to turn into impromptu homeless shelters and that’s not going to do much for the store’s prospects in terms of paying customers.
Starbucks may believe that they’re going to get the SJW crowd off their backs with this policy change. And for a short time they might. But I would wager that many of their outlets will come to regret the new policy in short order."
Author's Note: Thank God for the mobile app at Starbucks. You can order from your iphone and cut the line every day. Which ironically is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more mobile orders that come in, the longer the in-store line wait becomes. Sometimes causes can become effects and effects can become causes.