Come all ye bathroom breakers and freeloaders and loiters, the great green goddess of Starbucks welcomes ye. Or something like that. Last week Starbucks announced to employees that anyone can hang in their stores or patios, use the bathroom, even if they haven’t purchased anything.
“Any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer,” Starbucks said in an email to employees, reports CNN.
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The policy changes comes on the heels of social media dismay after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Protestors shouted, “Starbucks is anti-black!” at the time, though the men have since settled with the city of Philadelphia.
“We want our stores to be the third place [between work and home], a warm and welcoming environment where customers can gather and connect,” the new policy reads on the Starbucks website.
In return, the company said it “respectfully” requests customers to “behave in a manner that maintains a warm and welcoming environment.” Specifically, that means using spaces as intended, being considerate of others and acting with respect and responsibility. The company said that it has also provided its employees (known as “partners”) with “guides on how to address disruptive behaviors.”
Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz hinted at these impending changes last month, indicating the coffee chain might soon open its bathrooms to everyone. Previously Starbucks had a loose policy on bathroom usage, which ultimately lay at the discretion of individual store managers.