Starbucks cites safety concerns as reason to reconsider ‘open bathroom’ policy

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is reevaluating the coffee giant’s liberal “open bathroom” policy due to heightened concerns for customer safety in their coffee shops.

“There is an issue of, just, safety in our stores, in terms of people coming in who use our stores as a public bathroom,” Schultz said on Thursday at a New York Times DealBook event.

One of his primary concerns is the “mental health” problem plaguing the nation and causing issues for his employees.

“We have to provide a safe environment for our people and our customers. The mental health crisis in the country is severe, acute and getting worse,” the 69-year-old chief executive said.

Although he did not tie the crisis to any specific cause, Starbucks may be experiencing the effects of the draconian pandemic lockdowns that numerous reports have shown took a drastic toll on the psyche of the American people.

Schultz indicated that he might be on the verge of flip-flopping on the open bathroom door policy that has been in place since 2018 that allows anyone, regardless of whether they make a purchase, to use the restroom in a Starbucks store.

“We have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people,” Schultz noted. “I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”

The policy was originally issued in response to an incident in a Philadephia location after two non-paying patrons were arrested after they refused to leave the store despite requests to do so. The two black men claimed racial discrimination.

Despite there being no evidence to support their assertions, Starbucks panicked and halted operations at its some 8,000 United States-based stores to provide employees emergency “racial-bias” training.

Since then, the official policy of the coffee chain has proudly proclaimed that “any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase.”

The change of heart was no surprise to many people on social media who predicted the demise of the politically pandering policy from the beginning.

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