Starbucks is rethinking its open bathroom policy because of safety concerns, Starbucks's C.E.O. Howard Schultz says

Luay Rahil

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In 2018, Starbucks declared, "Any customer is welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes, and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase."

However, this week Starbucks's chief executive officer, Howard Schultz, stated the company is contemplating ending its open bathroom policy.

This decision would reverse Starbucks's policy that was issued in 2018 after two Black men in one of its Philadelphia stores were arrested and denied access to its bathroom without making a purchase.

But on Thursday, Mr. Schultz spoke at the Times's DealBook D.C. policy forum and stated that the company's employees are unable to manage its stores under this open-door policy. He added that the company is discussing options to limit the number of non-customers entering its stores.

Is it a safety issue?

Mr. Schultz considers restroom access a safety issue for his staff, "we have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people. I don't know if we can keep our bathrooms open."

This change didn't surprise anyone who knows Mr. Schultz. He wasn't a fan of the decision in 2018. When the company opened its bathrooms to non-customers, then Starbucks's executive chairman said he didn't want to turn his stores into public restrooms.

Schultz also wants to make his employees happy but doesn't know how to do it.

Schultz wants to stop his employees from joining unionizing.

Howard Schultz wants his employees back at the office and his staff to stop unionizing. This month, he announced another pay raise for hourly employees, the fourth pay raise in 18 months.

He also invested $1 billion to improve employees' conditions and customers' experience. However, he excluded unionized store employees from these benefits.

To Schultz's defense, labor attorney Magdalen Bickford told National Restaurant New, "You cannot change the terms and conditions of employment for anything good, bad or indifferent unless you bargain with the union."

What do you think of these changes?

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