Starbucks Is Now Allowing People To Sit In Their Cafes Even If They Don't Buy Anything

A new policy states that anyone who walks in their stores is considered a "customer".

Cover image via Associated Press

Starbucks has announced a new policy stating that anyone is allowed to sit in its cafes and use its restrooms, even if they do not buy anything

In a report by The Guardian, Starbucks said that employees have been told to consider anyone who walks into its stores a customer, "regardless of whether they make a purchase." 

Hence, anyone - including non-paying customers - can use its cafes, patios, and restrooms.

Previously, such decisions were left to store managers to decide on whether non-paying customers could sit in stores or use the restrooms

In light of the new policy, the coffee chain added in a company-wide memo that workers should still call the police should a customer behave in a "disruptive manner" or present "an immediate danger or threat" to those within the premises.

Though the new policy is currently only applicable to its US stores, Starbucks said that a different set of guidelines will be issued for international stores

The new policy is put in place after two African-American men were arrested in a Starbucks outlet in Philadelphia for attempting to use the restroom without buying anything over a month ago

On 12 April, two men were waiting for a third person to arrive for a meeting when one of them was denied entry into a restroom because he did not purchase anything. A worker called the police, and both men - Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson - were arrested. 

A video of the incident went viral on social media, prompting Starbucks to initiate racial-bias training for its employees and the recently-announced policy. 

According to Associated Press, the men reached a settlement with Starbucks earlier this month for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. They also made a deal with the state for a symbolic USD1 each as well as a promise from city officials to set up a USD200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

Do you think the same policy should apply to Starbucks outlets in Malaysia?

However, some might say that implementing the new policy here could bring about a whole new level of seat-hogging:

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