The last time that I walked into a Starbucks and made a purchase, I couldn’t find a place to sit to consume my coffee and roll. After waiting a bit, I finally had to settle for a stool at the end of the counter near the bathrooms.
All of the good spots at the tables were taken up by people who weren’t consuming anything but rather surfing on their device or simply sitting doing seemingly nothing. They didn’t even have Starbucks products on their tables.
I wondered what exactly they were doing there taking up the paying customer space. Kind of annoying after you just made a purchase and the store wasn’t jammed with customers.
Since, the Philadelphia incident in which two non-paying, black customers were arrested, Starbucks has been working overtime it seems to prove they are not a racist Corporation. In their rush to prove themselves politically correct, one begins to wonder if they aren’t beginning to lose sight of the purpose of a private market business- profits.
While profits may be a dirty word to so-called “progressives”, in the private market sector if profits decline– businesses close and jobs are lost.
Both of these symptoms are beginning to surface at Starbucks as their “white guilt” attempts to prove themselves to be non-racist and politically correct seem to be oriented more towards non-paying people and less towards customers who are there to give them their earned incomes in exchange for Starbucks products.
Turns out that in April of 2018, after the racist accusations incident in Philly, Starbucks enacted a “Third Place Policy” (Still not sure what that policy name is supposed to mean. Is it like a third world place or something for minorities?).
Anyway, with this policy, Starbucks is making up for its bad press by being “committed to creating a culture of warmth and belonging where everyone is welcome”.
Translated that means that anyone who enters the store has as much right to the facilities as paying customers- even if they don’t buy a thing.
As more and more homeless and vagrants began to take advantage of the new liberal Starbucks policies, hanging out in the stores for their facilities and space, customers and employees began finding syringes, drug baggies and blood spatters on the walls in the bathrooms.
Apparently, the non-paying customers are finding other ways to alter their awareness and state of being without having to purchase a caffeinated beverage to produce it.
Fox News reported that:
In a Starbucks sub-reddit, people are voicing concerns that the new policy will lead to stores being filled with homeless people and drug users. One user who claims they work at a Chicago Starbucks wrote that a homeless person using the bathroom got into a fight with a customer and police requested to see the store policy before taking action.
One user stated:
This is exactly the kind of behavior that I fear will drive all the regular customers away, at least from urban locations. Opposing racism is nice and all, but it is not the responsibility of Starbucks to resolve all urban problems at one location, let alone turn its stores into homeless drop-in centers…
Employees as in Chicago are reporting that they hate the new policy because the store bathrooms have turned into a hub for drug activity:
We haven’t been allowed to change our bathroom codes since April. So almost all the junkies and homeless people know the code now. About once a week we find needles, drug baggies, blood all over the toilet or walls,
Customers are not happy. I wasn’t when I couldn’t find a seat.
I didn’t associate it with the new policy because I don’t use Starbucks often enough to know that they implemented one. (BTW, this was in Philly where all this hullabaloo began.) However, I was not a satisfied customer and am now less inclined to go back to that particular store, at the least or maybe not use Starbucks at all.
Employees are not happy because it is causing them more work and apparently even endangering them as well. In October 2018, 3 baristas reported they were poked with needles after having to dig them out of tampon disposal boxes. (All 3 employees who reported this produced hospital, pharmacy and insurance receipts that showed they took anti-viral medications to protect them from AIDS and hepatitis.)
It’s probably too soon to tell, but Starbucks announced in June 2018 that it will be closing 150 stores (triple the normal closure rate) due to a slowed growth rate from the expected 3% to 1%. Store density was blamed.
Their 1% growth caused stagnation in the share growth as well in opposition to an 18% gain in the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Index over the same period.
They also announced an undetermined number of layoffs in September 2018, including corporate layoffs that will start at the top levels, as they try to reverse stagnant sales. Competition from fast growing regional chains were blamed this time.
They also closed 8,000 stores on May 29, 2018 to give race training to 175,000 employees which cost them $12 million in lost revenue so their employees could become more “color brave” which is to say- seeing differences as positive.
Whatever the causes for the stagnation, one has to expect that the new social policy can certainly not be identified as a driver of sales growth since there has been no growth to point at.
Being careful not to offend the homeless drug addicts, who only use the establishment to shoot up, Starbucks came up with a socially acceptable solution after thousands of employees had signed a petition about the homeless issues.
They installed sharps-disposal boxes in their store bathrooms. Brilliant huh?
They are also testing other solutions, including using heavier-duty trash bags to prevent needle pokes, and removing trash cans from certain bathrooms.
Seems to me the focus should be on the person whose dollars drive your business through their purchases, then secondarily the employees who serve them.
The last individual a profit driven business should be concerned about it would seem is the non-paying person using store resources but returning nothing of value to the profit line. One would think that at a time when sales are flat and falling that would be common sense logic.
However, in the day of the Marxist inspired policies of political correctness driven by “white guilt” as former black activist author Shelby Steele puts it, logic takes a back seat to image. I guess that old 1990’s Andre Agassi Canon commercial which emphasized that “image is everything” was more prophetic than we knew.
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