Customers Encouraged by Starbucks Employee Training

SCRANTON, Pa. --  Signs taped on the doors of Starbucks at The Marketplace at Steamtown warned customers the store in Scranton would close early so that employees could "reconnect with our mission and with each other."

The same sign is up at 8,000 Starbucks across the country.

Employees are going through racial bias training after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location and charged with trespassing.

"I just feel like it was basically disrespectful, you know, in a way. But it didn't really affect me. It just, I just felt for the guy, you know? It felt a little disrespectful. I think Starbucks is good for doing what they should do," said Sakinah Crawford.

Crawford stops at the Starbucks on Lackawanna Avenue almost every day and that didn't stop after the incident in Philadelphia earlier this year.

"I didn't stop becoming a customer because of that. I felt like it's only certain parts, certain situations, certain people."

There were boycotts across the country and critics see the training as Starbucks' attempt to win back customers.

The training will have a financial impact, too. Some economists estimate that closing for just a few hours will cost Starbucks close to $12 million.

"It did change my view a little bit, but I'll wait and see what they do. I don't rush to judgment. One thing, what they did was, that situation was wrong and uncalled for, but hopefully they respond in the right way," John Foley said.

Foley is skeptical that four hours of racial bias training can really help public perception.

"Hopefully, they take it to heart," Foley added.

Employees at Starbucks in Scranton weren't able to comment on the training but according to the company's website, the four-hour session includes a video and group discussions on how to make the coffee shops more welcoming.

10 comments

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    I find it interesting that Starbucks needs to close for a day for their employees to get their ‘moral bearings’ while the employees of Chick-Fil-A likely get theirs every Sunday because they’re not open.

  • J (@ds18301)

    Licker and Mopar. So your mother goes into a diner (or a Starbucks for that matter). Wants to wait to order until her friends arrive. Suddenly the cops arrive and put her in handcuffs, arrest her for trespassing and haul her off. You would (rightly so) consider this beyond absurd and would be at that diner with pitchforks and torches demanding action. But when it is a person of color, well that’s just fine and dandy to you. Sad…. Just like it’s so wonderful to you when Tim Tebow knelt during the national anthem but if people of color do it, it’s “unpatriotic”…This is called r*cism by the way — in case you didn’t know that.

      • J (@ds18301)

        OK. I double checked that, you are right. Thanks for pointing that out — it wasn’t *during* the national anthem and I retract that (but the rest stands). He however did make a point of making a ridiculous spectacle of his kneeling/praying during games (i.e. while he was “working” — would love to see your reaction if a Muslim rolled out a prayer rug during a game). BTW it do him any good. Nothing fails like prayer — he should have spent his time doing something more productive.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        No, the liberal press made a ‘ridiculous spectacle of him kneeling/praying during games’. Prayer is comfort to many people and is a positive influence in their lives, and it worked for Tim Tebow just fine. Just getting to be a starting NFL quarterback is pretty productive, wouldn’t you say?

  • AMJoy Fan

    I’m encouraged by this development. The government needs to get with the program and require this anti-bias training for all business, schools, and public institutions. #loveTrumpshates

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