Starbucks apologizes to Latino customer for racial slur written on his drink cup
A Latino man says that when he received his drink order at a Starbucks coffee store in a Los Angeles suburb, it came with a racial slur written on it.
On a label indicating the customer’s name, the word “Beaner” was typed.
The incident comes two weeks ahead of Starbucks’ planned meeting of staff at its more than 8,000 U.S. stores to discuss racial profiling and other issues. The all-hands meeting results from fallout over the manager’s decision to call police last month after two African-American came to a Starbucks in Philadelphia and didn’t buy anything.
In the latest case, the customer, who only identified himself as Pedro, told KNBC-4, the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles that he was buying two drinks at the Starbucks in the Los Angeles suburb of La Cañada Flintridge and saw the derogatory term for a Latino person on both cups.
Pedro said he didn’t think it was an accident because the barista had called his name once his order was done, according to the TV station. He declined the offer of a $50 gift card, which he called “insulting,” but he’s scheduled to meet with Starbucks officials on Thursday.
A Latino man said a racial slur was written on his Starbucks drink order, according to media reports. (Photo: KNBC-4)
Starbucks said in an e-mail that company officials met with the customer Thursday morning at one of the local stores and that he accepted their apology.
“This kind of mistake is unacceptable and we will take additional steps to assess what happened here and how our partners can be better,” Starbucks said.
On the afternoon of May 29, Starbucks is closing all 8,000-plus of its U.S. company-owned stores and its corporate offices for racial-bias training for its employees.
That company-wide education effort was announced after the national outrage stemming from the arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson on April 12 at a downtown Philadelphia restaurant. They were sitting in the coffee shop without ordering anything to eat or drink, because they were waiting to meet a third man for a business meeting. Nelson asked to use the bathroom, but was told restrooms were for paying customers only. A staffer, who is no longer a Starbucks employee, called 911.
The company apologized to Nelson and Robinson for what happened and CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two men. They reached a financial settlement with the Seattle-based chain.
Last week, Starbucks changed its bathroom policy to make restrooms available for people who haven’t purchased anything from the restaurant.