Starbucks has become a regular stop in many people’s day. Coffee, in America and beyond, is a beverage that millions of people rely on to wake up in the morning and get to work. That’s why it is big news that Starbucks, one of the leading coffee retailers in the United States and the world, will be closing sixteen of its locations due to safety concerns.
As the coffee chain deals with escalating safety concerns in various cities across the United States of America, the corporation has decided to shutter its doors rather than deal with the problem. Locations will be closed in cities including Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. in a matter of months.
Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations, penned a letter to Starbucks partners talking about safety and what stores can do to keep their locations a safe place for customers to visit. The letter was published on a Starbucks website as follows:
“You’ve been open and honest with us about your experience – from what you need to feel your best at work to the many inspirational and heartfelt examples of how you are creating memorable moments for one another and our customers. You also see firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.”
The letter continues, “We want you to know that creating a safe, welcoming, and kind third place is our top priority. Because simply put, we cannot serve as partners if we don’t first feel safe at work. The question on our minds is: How do we continue to show up for our communities while protecting our partners?”
Stroud and Nelson also wrote how they are going to institute “robust safety training for all partners, like how to de-escalate situations, active shooter training, mental health first aid training, and our upcoming store training in August.”
In addition, the Starbucks letter outlined the chain’s “clear policies and procedures, like our Third Place Policy, Addressing Disruptive Behaviors procedure, when to call 911, how to engage local community resources or social services to support customers in need, protest preparedness, customer restriction procedures, and more.”
The letter concludes, “We hear the challenges facing you in stores, and we all have a lot more to still figure out – but we know we’ll get there because YOU have shown us, time and again, that our stores can be a place of hope, optimism, and community for all. As we move forward, we will continue learning together and share regular updates on this important work.”
What do you think about Starbucks? Do you feel safe in their coffee shops?