People have expressed mixed reactions to Starbucks’ recently announced changes to their corporate policies, which allow anyone to use their bathrooms or simply hang out in their cafes even if they do not make a purchase.
“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision 100 percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said at a recent speaking engagement for the Atlantic Council. “Because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are ‘less than.’ We want you to be ‘more than.’”
Chris Holmstrom, a reporter at CBSLA, went out into the Los Angeles community to gauge public reaction to Starbucks’ policy changes.
Regarding the use of their bathrooms without making a purchase, Nicole McDonald said, “I’ve definitely done it. So I don’t see a problem with it.”
“I think it should have always been that way, especially because of the way racism is, you know,” said Desiree Mollere.
Starbucks’ policies were revised just weeks after two black men who did not purchase anything were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
Others expressed differing perspectives on the new rules at Starbucks.
“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.
Joe Selva noted, “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.”
CBSLA also sought opinions on the issue on their Facebook page.
One commenter said “it will be a homeless camp. At least we won’t have to deal with them on the street.”
Starbucks employees expressed concerns for their safety.
“We get attacked a lot. Hollywood Boulevard. So I feel like obviously if you get attacked then we have the right to say no. We have the right to say no and call the police,” said Starbucks employee Ayumi.
One family that Holmstrom encountered on Hollywood Boulevard totally supported the new policies.
“Bathroom and sit,” said Dolores Charles. “Sometimes you don’t feel like drinking the coffee or something and they let you stay, then I think that’s good.”