"We want you to be more than".
The decision follows a recent incident in Philadelphia, where two black men were arrested at a Starbucks after asking to use the bathroom. When they sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested for trespassing. "And it's really the judgment of the manager". "And, regardless of the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, your ethnic background, your station in life, we want to welcome you as a customer and we want to welcome you as an employee".
"It's one of those things you don't think about until you've got to go and then you realize - just try to find a place. And she made a awful decision to call the police".
Since the incident, CEO Kevin Johnson and company chairman Howard Schultz have been working to restore confidence in the brand by visiting Philadelphia, meeting with the two men and taking responsibility for the incident in various national media interviews.
In response to the arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, Starbucks will shut down more than 8,000 of its USA stores on the afternoon of May 29 to instruct 175,000 employees on how to better recognize unconscious bias. He adds that the company would prefer the words "public bathroom" not become synonymous with "wherever your local Starbucks café is", but it's a risk they're now willing to take if it proves everyone is welcome.
Schultz said the company's upcoming bias training "will be the largest kind of training of its kind on perhaps one of the most systemic subjects and issues facing our country".